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?