About twelve years ago, in my first year of giving psychic readings, I sat with my friend Tara (not her real name) on the carpet of her cosy flat. Surrounded by coffee, cookies and fortune telling cards, we had a psychic peek at what her boyfriend, who was living in Africa at the time, was up to. She didn’t particularly believe it would work, which made her the perfect friend with whom to practice. If I got stuff wrong, she wouldn’t be upset or disappointed, and if I got stuff right, result!
Since it was Tara’s first ‘serious’ boyfriend, with whom she was very in love and who she trusted implicitly, we both felt we were on safe ground. They’d known each other several months, had loads in common and never rowed. The two of them were openly looking forward to their rosy future, and we thought it would be an easy reading, just picking up on all the love in the air. We honestly thought we were having fun.
A quick shuffle and lay of my cards later though, caused Tara to pale. My first sentence, “I see him in bed with a blonde woman” was surprising, almost funny to me, but very upsetting to her. I joked that he’d be hard pushed to find a blonde in Africa. With her head in her hands, Tara corrected me. I had no idea he’d gone out there for a project with his blonde lady friend, Kerry (nope, not real name either) who never warmed to Tara.
I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort her. I realized my talent and abilities have developed more than I cared to accept. I saw his infidelity clearly and knew I was right but my lack of professional experience meant I had not yet mustered the art of tact and diplomacy needed to deliver worrying news to my client. The evening was ruined and coffee gave way to wine.
Tara stayed upset for several days. She thought of nothing else, doubting her boyfriend, eating little and not sleeping at night. I felt guilty myself. Uncomfortable with my prediction, I tried to avoid her, conceding it was my fault that she was crying. I was inconsolable too – look what I’d done to my friend.
When the boyfriend rang, tortured and sobbing, long-distance from Africa to Camden, and admitted that he had slept with Kerry once, a few weeks previously, I learned an important lesson. My commitment to Truth was cemented.
I truly believe that a big part of my psychic work is removing wool from people’s eyes. If my man were unfaithful, I’d like to know. If I were facing the sack, I’d want to be prepared. Is there death in the family? Alright, that’s life, just tell me who and when. I expect 100% honesty from everyone - a plumber, a shop assistant, a psychic reader, and I don’t see why any of my clients deserve any less.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those odd characters that’ll creep up to you by the vegetable section and whisper “Bobby says hi, he wants you to get a hybrid car”. There’s nothing ruder in my eyes giving a reading to someone who’s not asked for one. It’s no different to someone approaching you in the street and asking if you’d heard of Jesus. When advice is given unsolicited, it’s not advice in my view – it is judgement, criticism, interference. I don’t advocate telling everyone in your life everything they need to know constantly and irrepressibly. Frankly, I won’t even notice someone who is in need of a reading unless I’m ‘switched on’ for work. When picking out a cherry tomato, the tomato is the only thing on my mind, not the affair of the person next to me, who is also focused on filling their basket. So as you go about your daily life, you’re safe from my open and honest approach. People’s journeys are their own and if they prefer to travel them unassisted, that’s an aspect of their path, too. Not my business.
All that changes when you ask me for a professional psychic reading. In my eyes, you deserve to know it all. The one new thing I had to learn since that unfortunate first time, is to keep the reading fun and polite.
At the start of a session, or when approaching a delicate situation, I’ll often ask “How blunt do you want me to be?” and that helps me set the tone for the reading. Most people I talk to prefer the honest approach, when I can be completely myself, discuss anything that I can see, and answer all questions straight and to the point. Both I and the client have fun then, and you’re certain to leave the reading feeling you’d got your money’s worth.
If anyone asks me to be subtle, they’ll still get all the information, but I will mainly focus on the positive messages. Instead of telling a lady that her married lover will never leave his wife, I’ll describe her next partner to her, and mention what she needs to change in her life in order to invite him in; The good aspects of a new job will take centre stage to the bullying boss who will stay in the background for the time being.
I fully believe that the information received psychically in a reading is what the client needs to know at that time. I also believe each client will only be given whatever information they can handle, and which their higher self has asked for, consciously or otherwise. This is why I know that whatever my cards tell me is safe information to pass on to the person in front of me. I believe in the honesty and wisdom of spirit, not my own judgement, and to me, any psychic who receives information and doesn’t pass it on to the person who’s paying them is a judgemental coward. To my horror, I recently read an article about an established psychic family who claimed that it is psychic law to withhold negative information unless specifically asked for. It did make my blood boil to read the paragraph which told of the novice palmist, about to tell a lady her husband will leave her, being stopped from doing so by her grandmother. What if the wife was waiting for her husband to leave so she could start her life? Who are they to decide what is positive and what is negative news for another person?
I accept that my approach is somewhat unorthodox. My talks on the subject are considered controversial, and I have got called all sorts of things when I’ve voiced my opinions around more experienced psychics. Several training schools for mediums and clairvoyants are very strictly against this, but I find that the new generation, those that have cast off the scarves and the mystical back-lighting, those that can think for themselves, have arrived at a similar point of view to my own. At the moment I am lucky enough to work with several free-thinking psychics who share my approach and my passion for Truth.
Although the ‘say it how it is’ attitude is not a big hit with vast sections of the psychic community, it is a favourite with the regular Joe or Jane. Many people who book an appointment with me say they do so because they’re ready to know the truth or because they feel they can trust my honesty.
When they hear me tell them good news, they know it’s genuine and not just a soothsayer line. They know I won’t mince my words if news isn’t that great.
Many people, disappointed with end-of-pier experiences which promised them the moon and the stars, come to my door wanting hard facts. I mean, we all know life is an exquisite mixture of good and bad – why would a genuine psychic reading be any different to that?
About five years ago, I travelled to see a client to whom I gave a reading one year previously. Showing me into her front room, she thanked me for mentioning in her first reading that her grandfather would die within four months. I had to sit down. I couldn’t understand why I had told her something so frightening. She smiled and told me she was setting plans to go travelling abroad around the time of our meeting, and thanks to the reading, which stated his day of dying accurately, she was able to say her goodbyes properly. If I hadn’t told her of his passing in advance, she promised me she’d have been devastated and guilt ridden for not getting the chance. That was a beautiful conformation that my unpopular approach was working.
There’s one last thing I’m sure you’re all dying to know. Whatever happened to Tara? She never saw that unfaithful guy again. She studied, qualified, bought a property, got married to a loyal, committed chap - and I just heard that a first daughter was born to her and her lovely husband a week ago. They couldn’t be happier.