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13 Tips for Getting a Great Psychic Reading

Updated on September 24, 2019
Lionrhod profile image

A spiritual counselor and psychic for over 30 years, I share my knowledge of the psychic readings, tarot and the magickal arts.

What a psychic reading will do for you:

We all want to know about the future, right?

Wouldn't it be great to know if you should take that job you were offered? Or how to make your relationship better? Or how a relative who passed is doing on the Other Side?

Working as a spiritual counselor, I find that many folks at the Cafe where I read are fascinated by the idea of getting a reading, but intimidated about trying it. After all, it's new, and scary right?

Whether your psychic is using Tarot, Numerology, Palmistry, Astrology or some new divination method you've never heard of, this article will help make your psychic reading a more powerful and helpful experience.

My tarot deck and table at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Orlando
My tarot deck and table at Cafe Tu Tu Tango, Orlando | Source

New things almost always have a small element of fear, after all. It's part of the programming that we inherited from our ancient ancestors, way before we climbed out of trees and began to walk upright. It's part of what keeps us safe.

Even if you've had readings before, and aren't afraid of them, there are ways you can help your reader to be more useful and informative.

This article will help you make your reading fun, informative and allow you to get the most positive and helpful info possible.

Why 13 tips? Well it just worked out that way. But the number 13 isn't a "bad" or "dangerous" number. It's just the number of lunar cycles that typically occur in a year.

Your Understanding of How Fortune Telling Works

The more you understand the basic process of how a reading works, the more valuable the information you'll gain and the more likely you'll be able to make positive changes.

Your diviner may work in many different methods, from Tarot to Crystal Ball Gazing and more. No matter what their medium this advice will help.

Ace of Wands from the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. This card is about getting new energy going. It could be anything from a new job to fertility issues, depending on the question.
Ace of Wands from the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. This card is about getting new energy going. It could be anything from a new job to fertility issues, depending on the question.

#1 - Know That The Future is Maleable

The future is not set in stone. Every change we make changes the future.

Let's say you're unhappy in your job. If you continue to stick with it and do nothing else, nothing is likely to happen. If, however you decide to make a change, you can change that future.

Just a few examples of changes you might make to change that job future might include:

  1. Sending out your resume and seeking a new job.
  2. Taking classes or reading books that will help you move toward a more rewarding position in your company or in another.
  3. Establishing better communication with your boss and/or co-workers.
  4. Creating fun "games" that you can play at work.
  5. Letting your boss know if you're feeling overwhelmed and how they can help you to do your job better and more efficiently.
  6. Changing your attitude about your work.

Making any one of these changes will result in a different future outcome.

It's helpful to visualize the future not as a straight line, but as a branching tree where every decision or change you make leads to more potential changes and decisions.

#2 - Realize That Your Future Happiness Relies on You, Not What the Reading Says

Because the future IS malleable, you have the option to take the outcome that the psychic says is most likely. OR you can change your attitudes and actions and allow for a different outcome.

The psychic's job isn't to say what WILL happen, but instead to give you options and possibilities for a change in direction.

However making changes relies on taking your reader's advice to heart and applying it to your life.

How often do you see a psychic?

See results

#3 - Understand That a Reading Has Time Limits

Because your actions change the future, there is a limit to how far into the future a reading will see. I've found that 3-6 months is generally the outermost limit on that, however on occasion, I'm able to see a few years ahead of that.

Here's one example of an exception. Just recently I did a reading for a gentleman who wanted to move back home to Japan. The basic reading said that this wasn't the best time for a move back. He asked when he might want to consider a move. Now, knowing that readings are so choice/time based This isn't the kind of question I generally find useful. I asked it anyway and looking at the results, realized I had a DATE. (Once I figure out how to download photos from my phone -- still a mystery to me -- I'll share the pic here.)

The more set in their ways and less likely the client is to make changes, the further I'm able to see -- but if they're not happy about their present circumstances, that might not be a good thing.

Focus on what is happening in your life right now, on the changes that you're considering making, the decisions you face and the things that make you happy or make you uncomfortable.

That's why asking questions like, "Will I be rich?" or "Will I ever find love?" are not terribly useful. They bring "way into the future" into effect, which is so liquid that the only real answer that your intuitive can give is, "well, it depends on what you do."

Whenever someone asks a question like this, I change the question to, "What can my client do in the next 6 months to realize that goal." However it helps if you start with...

10 of pentacles from the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. This  card often points to prosperity and stability issues.
10 of pentacles from the Robin Wood Tarot Deck. This card often points to prosperity and stability issues.

#4 - Creating Well-Formed and Specific Questions

In most cases the psychic will ask you to think about a particular question that you have regarding your life.

In hypnosis and NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we focus on the fact that a well-formed outcome will create positive changes. How this applies to divination, is that if you don't know what you want, then it's challenging for your reader to help you figure out how to get it.

Here are some examples of poorly formed questions, and why they aren't useful as well as examples of what you might ask instead.

"Will I be happy?"

First, this question doesn't focus on a specific area of your life. What does happy mean to you? Does it mean you'll have strong and powerful relationships? Does it mean that you want a fulfilling career? Something else?

Beyond that, it doesn't have a set time line. Will you be happy? Ever? Well I'm sure you'll be happy at times and sad at times, that's just the normal condition of human life.

Instead, you might ask, "How can I make my relationship more fulfilling?" or "What can I do to make myself happier in my career?"

"Will I ever find love?"

Once again, there's that "ever" thing going on.

It's my personal belief that there is a "perfect someone" for almost everyone. Beyond that, this question leads to possibilities such as, "What? Your mother/sister/best friend doesn't love you?" Or the suggestion that you can experience love by getting a dog or cat.

A better question might be, "What can I do to find a meaningful romantic relationship?"

"When will I be able to retire?"

The problem with this one is that unless your retiring is imminent, it once again asks a question that is outside of the time range of a typical reading.

Instead you might ask, "I'd like to retire by age 55. What can I do to help that happen?"

How many children will I have?"

Not only does this again invoke this "way in the future" anti-rule, it also contravenes your personal choice. While there might be a potential for you to have 10 children, you might not want that number, and might decide to get your tubes tied or have a vasectomy before you get to that number.

For the purposes of a reading, "children" can also include pets and business and creative projects.

I have no physical human children.

At present, however, I have 5 cats/dogs and have had many others previously (as well as several even more exotic pets) and will in all likelihood have many more, since sad to say, their lives are far shorter than ours.

As a spiritual teacher, I consider my students (and many friends) to be my "children" as well. After all, in many cases, I'm "mothering them" through many of the changes and challenges of their lives.

As a writer, I'm also currently the author of 5 books, with at least 10 more in the works and probably many others that will come after.

If I asked a question like this, the answer would probably be that the potential is around 50 or 100 or 200 or so.

Moreover, there's just nothing useful about this question. It's just a guessing game about the future. If I limit myself on pets and students and books based on what some psychic says, then I may be stopping myself from my next brilliant work of art. Or stopping myself from adopting a pet in need. Or from taking on another student. Or some other experience that it would be foolish for me to limit myself on.

A better question might be, "Is this a good time to have another baby?"

"I'm pregnant. Will it be a boy or a girl?"

The psychic has a 50% chance of getting this one right or wrong. More important, does it matter? Time (or a sonogram) will tell. Unless you're in a culture that indulges in aborting a child of the undesired sex, the diviner's answer won't make a bit of difference in which you have.

A more pertinent question might be, "I'm pregnant. What are the things that I most need to know about raising this particular child?"

Some examples of well formed questions:

  • How can I improve my relationship with (name the person ex: my husband, my mother, my boss, my children)?
  • What can I do to make my career more interesting and exciting?
  • How can I improve my financial standing?
  • Is this a good time for me to change jobs?

In general, questions that start with, "Will I be...?" or "When will...?" are not very useful. Questions that start with, "How can I...?" or, "What should I do...?" are far more specific and will provide much more useful information that your reader can impart to you.

Asking untuned, unspecific questions forces the psychic to expend extra energy trying to figure out what you "really" want to ask, This can result in a muddled and confused reading, as well as just mental strain on the part of the intuitive.

#5 - Realize That It's Your Reading, Not Someone Else's

When you come for a reading, the psychic is focused on you and your own needs, not on someone who isn't at their table.

When someone comes to me for a reading with questions about someone else's life, I will either rephrase the question or refuse to answer it, depending on how intrusive that question is, and what value I see that my client will get out of it.

Parents are understandably concerned about their children's future, and children and parents alike are often concerned with the health and happiness of their family members. However sometimes it's not your business to know what will happen to someone else or what they "should do." After all it's their life and their decisions, not yours.

When someone comes to me with a problem that a family member or friend is dealing with, I translate the question to, "What is the best information that my client can impart to their friend/family member based on their own experience."

And sometimes the answer is that it's none of your darn business unless it's about how the situation concerns you.

As an example, let's say that you and your sister's husband don't get along. You can impart wisdom advice to her based on your own experiences, but what you can't do is find out what her actions should or will be. It's not your business, it's hers. If you want to encourage her to have a reading, fantastic; but don't expect information other than what wisdom you can/should impart, or whether you should just stay out of the whole thing.

Another example: I had a client the other night who was in the middle of a divorce and among other things asked whether or not her husband would ever remarry. I had to warn her that I probably couldn't answer that question because it wasn't her business to know. I pulled three cards just to check (and to make her happy that I wasn't flat out rejecting her question) and sure enough the cards said "not yours to know," as well as, "it's too early to tell." (There goes that "ever" thing again.)

#6 - How This Applies to Minor Children

Since the place I work has rules against reading for those under 18, I make a bit of special exception for questions about people's under-aged children. 1) They can't get a reading for themselves. 2) It IS in their parents' purview to protect them and guide their upbringing. Therefore I will talk with their parents about what their kids might be up to and how they can help their children.

The older the child is, however, the less information I will divulge to their parents. And of course, the situation that the child is in matters as well. Although legal age in my state might be eighteen, I still see teenagers as having more than a little right to privacy and self-definition. Thus unless the child is involved in something incredibly self-destructive, I'll limit my advice to, "What advice you should impart," or "How you can improve your relationship with your child."

A reading is NOT an excuse for psychic spying on your kids. It's far better to establish healthy relationships with them so that they will come to you with their problems. Or if you see signs of challenging behavior, to sit down with your child and discuss it.

Why Psychics Don't Like to Read for Kids

Some of the reasons we have rules against reading for folks under 18.

The Future IS Just So In Flux

When parents come to me with questions like, "What will their future be?" or "What will they be when they grow up?" those questions are so far out of the likely 3-6 month timeline that it isn't terribly useful.

What will they be? Who knows? Their interests and abilities are changing. Every day brings new possibility. If we suggest that a child has aptitude for being an airline pilot or a ballerina, we don't want the kid to be railroaded into that, just because some psychic suggested it was a potential AT THE TIME.

Most Small Kids Can't Understand a Reading

The younger they are the more challenging it is. Reading for a 4-year old and a 14-year old are obviously different, however there are only so many concepts that your psychic can impart to children that are not beyond their level of personal experience and growth.

Many Kids Have Attention Deficit

This isn't about actual ADHD but just the fact that little kids don't want you to sit around explaining high concepts of human interaction. Even if they CAN understand it, try to get a small child to sit still and listen to a prolonged reading and they'll die of boredom.

Yes, it's possible for a psychic to make their reading relevant to young kids, but it's often more challenge than it's worth.

Kids Can Just Sheerly Misunderstand Things, Make Stuff Up and Cause Problems

Here's the main reason we don't read kids at Cafe Tu Tu. Many years ago, my teacher (who was one of the readers there at the time) did a reading for a teenager who just happened to be the daughter of one of the company executives.

During the reading the Death Card came up.

Now, the Death Card doesn't talk about physical death. Nor would my teacher have ever interpreted it as such. Most likely what happened is that my teacher talked about changes she needed to make in her life, the kid for one reason or other either misinterpreted the reading or was out to create drama.

End result: The girl claimed that my teacher told her she was going to die. He was dismissed on the spot, despite the fact that he was either perjured or misunderstood.

For mre information on the Death Card itself, check out That Scary Death Card

It's Just Not a Good Economic Choice

Face it, psychics have to live on the money they're paid. Yes, we do ths for a living. Although some of us have other jobs, a strong majority do not.

Now if you want to schedule a reading for your child at the reader's usual per-hourly rate, that's one thing. However, for those of us who work in tip-based venues, reading for kids is not a good decision. While a reading for a child may take as long (or longer, depending on the concepts you're trying to impart) parents and young teenagers seem to think that $2-5 is a good tip to leave for their reading.

Meanwhile we could be making $10-20 or more for the same amount of time spent with an adult.

#7 - Don't Play Proof Games

If there are any signs that I won't enjoy doing a reading for someone, it's those who wants to play "proofs." These are the questions that let me know it's happening:

"You're psychic? What am I thinking?"

It's pretty obvious that amongst the other things you may be thinking, one of those is that I don't know what you're thinking.

First off, there is a major difference between telepathy and intuitive counseling. Not every psychic is a mind reader. Nor does reading minds let us be better at our job. The only thing it may help with is letting us know what the client WANTS to happen, not what WILL happen.

Many of us deliberately shut ourselves off from reading the minds of others because 1) it's none of our business 2) it creates too much psychic noise.

Imagine tuning into 3 or 5 or 20 radio stations at once. That's what telepathy can be like when it's unshielded.

As a psychic, I don't want to know what you're thinking, I just want to know what the best advice I can give you is.

"You're psychic? What's my name?"

The answer I give for this one is, "Oh migosh! You don't know? That must be terrible for you!"

I'm not here to play guessing games with you. Nor do I have any interest in giving you information you already have access to. Unless you're the (very rare) victim of amnesia, you already know your name and it's an incredible and wasteful drain on my psychic energy to focus on that, when the simplest way of me finding out your name is for you to just tell me.

"You're psychic? What are the lottery numbers?"

As we've seen, the future is malleable. I might be able to guess the numbers, but I probably won't know on what day they'll hit. Could be next week, could be 30 years from now. Is it worth playing those numbers every day or week?

Probably not.

I, personally am anti-gambling except as a sport (if it's affordable for you) so I'd be the last person to consult on something like this.

Face it, if us psychics knew the numbers and could strike it rich, we'd probably already have done so and wouldn't be out on the market offering our readings to the general public. Instead we'd maintain our clientele at a select few who honored our advice while we went off in more personal or spiritual pursuits.

Understand that the reason this person is able to make their living doing readings is because they already have a proven track record of being an effective psychic. Playing "proof games," only creates an emotional barrier between you and your reader.

A candle on my table. Candles not only shed light, but symbolize (and help provide) wisdom and light to the situation being discussed.
A candle on my table. Candles not only shed light, but symbolize (and help provide) wisdom and light to the situation being discussed.

#8 - Be Open To the Experience

Shielding is a natural defense mechanism that all humans have learned in one manner or another. We shield to prevent others from harming us on a psychic and emotional level. Some examples of shielding might include attacking whenever you feel you're in an uncomfortable situation or just not allowing anyone to know the core person you are.

When it comes to a psychic reading, it's important to remember that the intuitive isn't your adversary, but your counselor, advisor and helper.

The more you feel that you don't want to let them know what's going on in your life, or the more you expect them to guess about details rather than open up, the more challenging it will be for them to give you useful information.

To Prevent Yourself from Shielding:

As you walk in for your reading, or sit down at the table, imagine that you are open to allowing them to peer into your life, and to the suggestions they will make. If you want, you can use a visualized metaphor for this, such as opening a book, or a box.

#9 - Don't Lie to Your Psychic or Yourself

If you're doing this to trick them so that they have to "prove" themselves, it will probably backfire. It's very likely they'll realize that you're full of it, but will be too polite to say so.

If you're doing this because you're in denial about something going on in your life, then it's time to be willing to look at those things and make some changes. Sometimes the psychic will hit nerves. Remember that they're here to help you.

#10 - Be Focused

The more you concentrate on the primary question(s) you have, the more precise and accurate the reading is likely to be.

If your most important question is about your upcoming wedding, but you're also worried about your relationship with your co-workers and the impending death of your favorite geranium, the reading will probably be muddied.

In many cases the reader will allow you to ask other questions once the main reading is over, but when it starts, focus on the main thing you're interested in.

#11 - Let Them Know When They're On the Right Track - or the Wrong One

It's not unusual for me to word-for-word repeat something the client or their friends have said. Especially if the client's friends have given them helpful advice.

Remember once again that you're not here to test the psychic's validity. If they mention something pertinent, and you understand what that's about, let them know what it is. The more information they have, the more information they can give you.

If what they're saying doesn't make sense based on what's going on in your life, let them know that. This is also a good time to let them know what your original question was, if you haven't said that up front. as that may help them to narrow down their interpretation.

As an example, you may have been concerned with an antagonistic relationship with your mother, but the reader asks if you're having issues with your boss. "Well no," you say. "I was thinking about my problems with my mother." "Ah!" the reader says. "You still consider her an authority figure, don't you?" And then delves into helpful suggestions for that relationship.

#12 - Be Willing to Extrapolate

Sometimes your intuitive will "see" various symbols. For example they may see a duck, or a Maserati or an ice cream sundae.

If you happen to know what that symbol means, let them know, certainly!

Not long ago I did a reading where I saw a flash of a squid-like creature. I told my client that I had no idea what it meant, but that was what I saw. She asked, "could it be an octopus?" "It might," I said, "mostly I just saw the tentacles." As it turns out, she made stuffed-animal octopi for her employees whenever they made a major coup. (I wish I could recall the lovely explanation she had for what that meant to her!)

If you don't know what a symbol means, let the reader know how you relate to that symbol.

Does the ice cream sundae sound fantastic, but you're concerned with your weight? Right there, that makes sense of that symbol.

Does a duck make you think of pet ducks you had as a child? Are you craving duck a l'orange? Does your cousin collect toy ducks? Or do ducks make you think of the phrase, "like water off a duck's back"? Letting the reader know your reaction to the symbol will help them relate that to your reading.

#13 - Don't Run the Deck Dry

At the end of your reading, the psychic will usually ask, "do you have any other questions?"

It's fine to ask another question or two or to ask for clarification on things that came up in the reading. However, this is not an invitation to ask every question in the book.

In venues where you pay the psychic for a block of time (by the hour, or in the case of psychic fairs, often in 5 or 15 minute blocks) it's perfectly fine to use up all the time you have scheduled. In some cases, it's also possible to extend your reading for a longer time period (assuming the reader doesn't already have someone scheduled).

In a venue such as I work in, where we are paid by tips only, this is far less acceptable. (And if you do it, be kind and leave your reader a larger tip to compensate.) There have been occasions where a client will try to ask 300 questions, and meanwhile other customers are missing out on the experience of having a reading, and the reader is missing out on their tips.

There are two other problems with this:

The first is psychic overload. Trying to answer too many questions for the same client can be draining for the reader at times. The deeper we have to dig into any one person, the harder it is. And because they are now asking about things that are NOT part of their major focus, the cards/symbols/oracle were not originally shuffled to answer those questions.

The second challenge is that in dealing with any system that uses a finite number of cards or other symbols, the card/symbol that is needed to answer your continued questions may have already been used. There are only 78 cards in a Tarot deck, and yes, I've had clients that have tried to run through at least 2/3 of them on occasion.

It's better to ask for a second reading and reshuffle the deck (and tip accordingly) or to come back another time for a second reading.


That Scary Death Card - What You Need to Know About This Terror of the Tarot

An in depth look at the meanings behind the Death Card, and why it's not as frightening as you may have been led to believe.

© 2014 Lionrhod


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