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Letao Wang of The Healing Kingdom is both spiritual counsellor and life coach

Letao Wang doesn’t like to just read into the future. ‘What I’m targeting is to provide therapy and healing to people,’ he tells me as he dips a piece of bread into his bowl of roasted tomato soup with herb ricotta. It’s a balmy afternoon, and the sought-after spiritual counsellor and founder of The Healing Kingdom has joined me for lunch in the sun-drenched dining room of The Continental, where we’re dining on a classically inspired but fresh new summer set menu.

Letao enjoys The Continental’s Roast Spring Chicken with New Season Carrots, Apricot and Thyme Jus, and finishes with the Dark Chocolate Mousse and Millionaire’s Shortbread

Combining the skills of a psychic and a life coach, Letao uses astrology, tarot and numerology to help clients discover their higher selves and purpose. It’s a unique vocation — one he would have never envisioned for himself when he was younger. ‘I grew up in a very traditional family,’ he says. ‘My parents are not spiritual at all. They don’t have the habit of going to a fortune reader. So, when I was a kid, I was never really exposed to that.’

While studying translation and interpretation at Macquarie University in Sydney, Letao stumbled into the store of renowned psychic Paris Debono, who offered to do a reading for him. The encounter turned out to be life changing, opening Letao up to a spiritual part of himself he’d never experienced before. Debono eventually took Letao on as an apprentice, equipping him with the spiritual knowledge and expertise to set up his own practice in Hong Kong.

Letao gives a demonstration of tarot reading

As its name suggests, The Healing Kingdom focuses on helping clients attain a sense of peace and well-being. After a few years of doing spiritual readings, Letao saw that many of those who came to him for answers about the future were actually struggling with traumas and challenges from the past and present.

‘It wasn’t enough for me just to tell my clients about their futures,’ he says. ‘For example, I could tell them there’d be opportunities coming within two years’ time, but I think my clients needed more. They needed to know what they could do now and how they could prepare for the future and what kind of actions they could take.’ Wanting to provide a more holistic way for clients to actively address these issues, Letao decided to complete a master’s degree in counselling at Monash University.

Letao enjoys a moment on the terrace at The Continental

‘When you talk about fortune telling or prediction, actually from my point of view, what we’re talking about are people’s tendencies,’ Letao explains. For someone who doesn’t care about their health, for example, their fortune will probably be that they will get sick at some point. ‘Actually, doctors make these predictions too,’ he adds. By training as a counsellor, Letao says he can better identify and understand his clients’ subconscious tendencies and help them resolve habits and thought patterns that block their future success.

Self-acceptance and self-love, he says, are crucial ingredients to healing and fulfilling one’s highest potential. It can be difficult and daunting, and it’s something he’s had to grapple with as well when he was deciding whether or not to leave a stable job in banking to pursue a spiritual career full time.

‘For a long time, I was in denial because I didn’t want to disappoint my parents,’ he recalls. ‘One day I woke up and I realised I can’t live my life being someone that I’m not, going to a job that I don't have a connection with because I feel that’s how other people want to see me.’

Even after finding his calling, however, Letao understands the need to practice self-care with intention. That’s why he makes it a point to check in regularly with his own spiritual guides, including Debono. He also finds solace in nature. ‘I go on a lot of hikes. I also go to the beach. I try to go early in the morning on weekdays when nobody’s there, and I just lie there and listen to the sound of the waves crashing onto the shore. It’s very healing,’ he says.

While Letao gives tarot readings, he complements this approach with formal training in counselling

Before the pandemic, Letao used to visit the Temple of Apollo in Greece every year to pray and spiritually recharge. And after being grounded in Hong Kong for two years, he’ll be resuming this pilgrimage this year. The trip will be extra meaningful because it’ll also include a stop in the US, where he’ll meet the publisher of his upcoming book on mythology.

In fact, it’ll be a busy few months for Letao. This November, he’ll start teaching a course on astrological counselling at the University of Hong Kong — the first programme of its kind being offered in English in the city. Through this course and his continued work at the Healing Kingdom, Letao hopes that there’ll be a greater understanding of the empowering potential of spiritual readings. It’s not about waiting for solutions from the future, he says: ‘It’s about how we build relationships with our higher selves.’