An Interesting Experience

So, yesterday, I had a psychic reading. I’m a skeptic, so you might wonder “Why?” Indeed, that was the question I was left with afterwards – but I’m getting ahead of myself.

I had a voucher for a reading which expired next week. In a moment of … adventurousness? weakness? openness? desperation? I decided to book in.

Entering the clinic (yes, clinic) I was determined to give this experience a real chance at success – whatever “success” means in a situation like this. I thought: “Well, at the very least, he’s going to be an expert at reading body cues and facial reactions, so he might be able to tell me something about myself I don’t know using those skills alone.”

After preliminaries, I sat opposite the medium, across a tableful of arcane object, which he would routinely fiddle with: crystals; a glass ball; a five-pointed star, among others. He also had a habit of swiping his hand before his face, as I would shoo away flies on a summer’s day, though presumably the pests he was clearing from his vision were less tangible.

The reading got off to a decent start, with a lot of information coming from him. Now, I happened to know that we are “two degrees of separation apart” – we both know a third person – so there was the possibility that he knew some things about my situation already. Some things he said in those first few minutes could be seen as insightful, for example, saying that I was having trouble with blood pressure (yes, I am – but then again, I’m overweight, and many overweight people have high blood pressure). Other times he seemed to be on a fairly brazen fishing trip: “I see a woman, a very sweet woman, very sweet indeed, very supportive, possibly a grandmother. Do you have a grandmother in spirit? … I’m not sure whether it’s on your mother or your father’s side. … I think, maybe, your mother’s side?” whereupon he looked intently at my face for a reaction. I do indeed have a maternal grandmother “in spirit”, but although she had many fine qualities, “sweet” would be the last word anyone would choose to describe her. I kept my face blank and he moved on: “It may be an aunt, or a great-aunt …”

Perhaps it was when I started asking questions that the reading became less fluid. I’m not sure. I do know that the more questions I asked, the less information I was given, and the more I heard the line “as a medium, I can see it all”.

A few hours later, I had a strong emotional reaction. I felt violated. I think this was more to do with my issues with male figures telling me they know all about me than anything else. It was good to be able to keep walking, and observe those strong emotions come, and then go.

My verdict? He was a well-meaning, sincere fraud. My personal judgement is that he believes in what he’s doing, but that what he’s actually doing isn’t channelling spirits, but cold reading.

I now wish I hadn’t used the voucher. Yes, he told me two useful things I can implement in my life right now: that I need to be having more fun (don’t we all?) and that when someone offers you something, be willing to accept it – I do find it easier to give than to accept. However, the emotional hangover of violation wasn’t worth it.

What are your views on psychics, mediums and channelling spirits?

26 Comments

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26 responses to “An Interesting Experience

  1. His advice was pretty generic. I think you had him pegged as a cold reader on a fishing expedition.

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  2. I think they take advantage of the vulnerable, wether intentionally or not.

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  3. I just can’t believe in psychics, but I always wanted to go to one just for fun. Of course, the cheapest I’ve ever run across is $10 and even then I don’t want to throw away ten bucks! Which I guess is a good thing because I’d probably get the one who tells me I’m going to die soon and then I have that fun little foreshadowing nagging at me despite my disbelief in psychics.

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  4. As a skeptic, I’m still curious to see a “psychic” myself. Though after reading your experience, I’m not so curious anymore…

    I think a counselor would be more helpful than this dude anyday.

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  5. I think they are all channeling money from your pocket(book) to theirs. If yours was free….skip it and move on.

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  6. I’ve always wanted to see a psychic because I like proving people wrong, is that bad? It would also be cool to see if they got anything right.

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  7. dollyandronny

    I went to a medium tonight…a draining experience but a good one

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  8. I have seen a couple of psychics. I came home and wrote what they said down. There have been one or two who way off base however the last reading I had she incorporated numerology and nailed some stuff that there was no way it could have been generic. Some of the things she told me are still to happen (if they will).
    But I will say that every single one of them told me that I was making things hard for them because I had no questions. I just wanted to be told things.
    There is a blog I follow and this guy has recently began telling stories about being a psychic. He’s an aussie and not young. We have had some very interesting discussions about things. I’m not saying that he is the real thing but I’m not going to brush it off. On the flipside, I’ve had fun conversations about architecture, photography and wildlife with him also. 😉

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  9. ocdjm

    I avoid psychics, mediums, etc because they are usually frauds. The few who are tapped in to legitimate spiritual forces are too scary to fuck with, IMO

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  10. Yep, a typical cold reading. How I loath them.

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    • I guess there’s the possibility of being told something about yourself that you don’t know, by a keen observer … but why wrap it up in the sham of psychic-ness? (It’s Sunday morning, and obviously my vocabulary is at its best.) One of my friends didn’t know what I meant my “cold reading” so I made a list of observations about her based solely on her appearance – dress, hair style, jewellery, makeup / lack of makeup, facial characteristics; a look of shocked violation flashed across her face, so I stopped quickly, but it showed her just how much we can tell by really looking at people and having general knowledge about the culture they live in, let alone taking verbal and nonverbal cues into account during a conversation!

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