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The Benefits and Drawbacks of Psychic Readings

Updated on January 12, 2016
Colleen Swan profile image

Colleen is a psycho-therapist in private practice specializing in human relationships

She see's our past and speaks our future
She see's our past and speaks our future | Source

A quest to communicate with the dead

Nearly all human beings, especially after a recent bereavement, wish for some ongoing communication with the deceased. As with all vulnerabilities, such a naked need can be twisted by hucksters to their financial advantage. Still, there are those who have received words from the dead via a medium, which could, they feel sure, not have been known by anyone besides the deceased and themselves. This has sometimes convinced the most skeptical to reconsider the potential of communication with those who have predeceased them.

Imaginative exercise
Imaginative exercise | Source

My own experience

I myself have enjoyed several such readings. In all likelihood, I will have further ones, perhaps at a crossroads, or simply for the sheer pleasure of having a credible person, at an affordable fee, view my future. Though raised in a Christian home, I see no contradiction between these inculcated beliefs and occasional glimpses into the mystical realm. I know myself to be safe in so-doing, in that I will never base a decision of the slightest significance on any facts and circumstances beyond my own knowledge, combined with the thoughts and wishes of those closest to me.

Truth and mysticism
Truth and mysticism | Source

The danger of too much trust in a medium

While harmless if kept in perspective, excessive reliance on a medium can prove catastrophic. One acquaintance sold his home, sacrificed more than a dozen years of seniority earned in his company, and suspended a relationship which had enhanced his life for more than a decade, resulting in the births of two children. His sole reason for so-doing was a medium’s interpretation of advice from his great-grandfather.

Based on this input, he moved to a city more than 500 miles away where he knew no-one. At age 46, he was, to a large degree, forced to restart his life. Thus, this executive was compelled to prove his worth in the corporate hierarchy by working with those half his age or at times even younger. In addition, despite his continuous efforts to sustain the family life he had created, this proved infeasible. His partner, weary of feeling herself and their children to be of negligible significance to him, entered into a new relationship.

Reading our essence
Reading our essence | Source

The skeptic's perspective

There are those who believe, with validity, a bogus psychic reader will soon grow attuned to signs indicating the information sought, and then proceed to provide it. Tones of voice, posture, age, and style of dress and other aspects of demeanor are exploited to offer just enough information to lure a paying client to schedule ongoing sessions. The same is true of any con artist, and to some degree, by the most successful salespeople of every service or product.

Spirits walk before us
Spirits walk before us | Source

The divergence of science and spiritualism

Due to its lack of scientific basis, material regarding psychic readings is anecdotal, and even then, subjected to a vast degree of interpretation. Nearly everyone, seconds before their deaths, seem to see and communicate with those who have predeceased them. My Irish grandmother, a few moments before her death, began to cry out , “Ma, Ma!” and then started to speak her native Gaelic, despite the fact of not having done so for at least 50 years. Similarly, a neighbor who, during the decade or so during which I knew her, spoke what seemed flawless English. Still, just before her demise, she returned to her original language, Pennsylvanian Dutch.

Spiritual reality
Spiritual reality | Source

Scientific support for skeptics

Scientific research reveals that from the moment of our births our brains are aware of our eventual deaths. Hence, the brain seals off and stores euphoric endorphins, in order to enable our minds to leave this earth in a glowing flow of light, joy and freedom. Depending on our hopes and beliefs, this may result in a sense of being greeted with eagerness by those who are glad of our arrival into their sphere of cosmic existence.

Cindy Adams born April 24 1930 is a famous American columnist, socialite and writer
Cindy Adams born April 24 1930 is a famous American columnist, socialite and writer | Source

The bereavement of columnist Cindy Adams

While many rely on mediums to channel the spirits of the deceased, others rely on their own intuitive sense in terms of the meaning of an experience. Often these people are not pursuers of mystical thought, but enjoy an occasional foray into what its pathways might offer. This occurred after Cindy Adams, columnist for The New York Times, lost her husband and fellow columnist, Joseph (Joey) Adams. Their marriage had lasted from 1952 until Joey’s death in 1999. The final years of his life caused deep sadness for both, due to cardiac difficulties which severely curtailed his movements.

The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed of dog that was used as a rat catcher in factories and mills. Nowadays it is a companion or toy dog often dressed as a fashion accessory and said to mimic human personae
The Yorkshire Terrier is a small breed of dog that was used as a rat catcher in factories and mills. Nowadays it is a companion or toy dog often dressed as a fashion accessory and said to mimic human personae | Source

A bond begins between owner and dog

When, still mourning her husband’s death, a friend sent Cindy Adams a Yorkshire terrier, at first she felt somewhat bewildered and piqued. Never a dog-owner, she had no knowledge as to its needs and her own level of inconvenience. A call to the sender caused further concern when he listed, with nonchalance, the various injections and overall veterinary requirements of this palm-top puppy. Still, despite feeling overwhelmed, Cindy found this small dog adorable, and named him “Jazzy”. If nothing more, dealing with his immediate needs went some way towards distracting her from her lingering anguish.

As time passed, Cindy found her tenderness for this dog beginning to ease the ache of her widowhood. At times, when away, she would call her home, simply to ask one of her staff to place him close enough to the phone for her to hear his barking. In addition, like a child left at home while a mom is away, Jazzy sulked and snubbed her when she returned, until she re-earned his affection.

Their souls are waiting
Their souls are waiting | Source

Did Jazzy the dog have a mystical purpose?

While away for a weekend, Cindy placed Jazzy in a kennel. Upon her returned she was informed that Jazzy had ingested something which poisoned him. A larger animal might have recovered, but given his small size, Jazzy could not. Having learned of his death, Cindy lay in the fetal position for several days, all but unable to rise from her bed. Later, having regained her perspective, she began to view this time with her dog as a bridge between grief and resumption of life as an active, successful woman.

The name, Jazzy, had come to her for no particular reason. The dog’s similarities to joey did not end there. Jazzy’s definite tastes in food, his frequent contrariness, insistence on continued attention, combined with subtler quirks, were profoundly reminiscent of her late husband. Thus, Cindy concluded Jazzy had been an emissary from Joey, first easing the depth of her grief, then leaving this earth before she became so absorbed in his care as to limit her openness to human encounters.

Do animals have afterlives?

According to renowned clairvoyant Theresa Caputo, the answer is a definite yes. Given lesser mental capacities than human beings, animals, she maintains, have a more immediate connection to the spiritual realm. Where a beloved pet has died, Ms. Caputo often feels the same depth of psychic energy as intuited by the loss of a child. While dogs and cats appear most often, due to their popularity as domestic pets, she believes she has also channeled messages from horses, a fish, and even one squirrel.

Source

Enlightenment gained from the ashes of a pet

In her book, "There's more to life than this", medium Theresa Caputo relates a unique occurrence. While channeling information regarding a son's deceased mother, a squirrel appeared. Convinced no-one kept squirrels as pets; Ms. Caputo assumed it must be a ferret. Then, when the mother conveyed, “I have Speedy with me”, the son was astounded.

His mother did have a pet squirrel called Speedy, so dear to her that, on a mantelpiece, Speedy’s ashes are set beside her own, as she would wish them to be. Naturally, the son found this message deeply consoling.

Note: Theresa Caputo was born June 10, 1966 and is a famous American medium and television personality.

Author Radclyffe Hall: contradiction between writing and life

Herself a lesbian in a time when gay people as a whole were ostracized, Radclyffe Hall wrote to the publisher of her previous novel, that she understood the potential of her new book “The Well of Loneliness” to destroy her authorial reputation. Still, she viewed this sacrifice as worthwhile, if it could enhance general understanding of the homosexual life overall, and lesbians in particular. While her book voiced the anguish experienced by the victims of infidelity, her own intimate life by no means reflected this value. Despite the previous depth of a relationship, Ms. Hall proved callous in flaunting a more recent passion.

Radclyffe Hall, born 12 August 1880 died 7 October 1943 was a famous author and poet of lesbian literature. In later life she became a member of the Society for Psychical Research which investigates psychic and paranormal events.

Liberated from guilt by a psychic blessing

Radclyffe Hall formed her first major relationship with Mabel Batten, a wife and mother, who she met at a German spa. After her husband’s death, Batten and Hall set up a household together. Some years later, having become infatuated with Battens cousin Una Troubridge, Hall made no effort to shield Batten from any sense of desertion. Instead, she often set out on jaunts with Troubridge.

Batten had the grace to say as they left on their outings, “Bless you both.”

After Batten’s death, although continuing her connection with Troubridge, Hall was engulfed by guilt, to the point of seeking a spiritualist in hopes of finding forgiveness. Hall asked this psychic if Batten had been aware of her ongoing love, despite her ruthlessness. Having affirmed this understanding, the psychic added Batten’s repeated words, “Bless you both.” This affirmation of the validity of the reading liberated Hall from the shackles of shame which had begun to consume her.

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born 6 March 1806 died 29 June 1861. She was a famous English poet
Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born 6 March 1806 died 29 June 1861. She was a famous English poet | Source

Elizabeth Barrett Browning felt drawn towards spiritualism

This poet is best known for her “Sonnets from the Portuguese”, and her elopement with fellow poet Robert Browning. Although in her late 30s, this secrecy was forced upon her due to the refusal by her father to allow his adult children to marry. While this marriage was largely joyous, some contention seems to have arisen regarding Elizabeth’s later absorption in séances centered on psychic phenomena. Much of this interest was based on the work of Daniel Dunglas Home, a respected medium during that time.

In 1855, she wrote to her sister Henrietta that during one such séance, a garland was lifted from the table and placed on her head by a large hand of extraordinary whiteness and beauty. Later, Elizabeth stated she could not comprehend how anyone could resist some urge towards mysticism, “like a crying child” in the hope that it might hold truth at its core.

Viewed psychologically, Elizabeth seemed to have few memories of her mother, while her father disowned her after her marriage. Despite her shared depth of love with Robert Browning, was there a crying child within her, seeking parental tenderness, acceptance and approbation?

Our true self
Our true self | Source

Robert Browning remained unconvinced

While attending various psychic gatherings with Elizabeth, Browning was never convinced of the validity of their content. His one concession was to acknowledge having seen a lamp moved, and heard an accordion played by hands which could not be seen; he had no way of explaining the roots of these happenings.

Still, after Elizabeth’s death, Browning wrote a fairly long poem, “Mr. Sludge the Medium”, in which a trickster pleads not to have his sole source of livelihood wrecked by public exposure. Much of his self-justification stems from his claim to have brought profound comfort to many by his supposed messages from the deceased. Though doubtless his only truth, this assertion cannot be refuted.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle born 22 May 1859 died 7 July 1930 was a renowned writer and physician best remembered for his crime novels about Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle born 22 May 1859 died 7 July 1930 was a renowned writer and physician best remembered for his crime novels about Sherlock Holmes | Source

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wished to communicate with the deceased dear to him

This creator of Sherlock Holmes, in time, extended his investigative capabilities beyond subtle reasoning on a human scale. A series of deaths, in fairly quick succession, seems to have awakened this fascination. It began when his first wife, Mary Louise, died in 1906. Other family members’ deaths, while painful, were of less significance to him. Then, his son, Kingsley, in 1918, died due to the lingering effects of pneumonia contracted after the WWI Battle of the Somme. In his despondency, Doyle sought consolation in communication by psychic channeling. To some degree, some of Doyle’s writings began to reflect this belief.

Coincidence or spiritual pathways

An intriguing link between Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is their both having lived on Wimpole Street in London during intensive creative periods. Elizabeth Barrett, prior to her meeting with Browning, wrote a great deal during 1841-1844, while living on Wimpole Street, the same street on which Doyle wrote the majority of his Sherlock Holmes’ stories. In addition, both Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Doyle’s first wife Mary Louise were believed to have died from tuberculosis.

Crystal chakra set

Source

Methods of gaining healing energy and /or reaching the dead

Mediums use various methods to aid in their work. Often this depends on the need or preference of the individual client. Where healing is requested, crystals may be placed on various chakras in order to facilitate the process. Where description of an illness is vague, a crystal wand might be waved over the body, intended to stop at the vital area. (This is not to be confused with the fairy-tale wand some clients hope can erase any difficult issues.) Other clairvoyants, when asked to channel a person who has passed on, find it fruitful to hold a garment worn or object owned by the deceased.

The above-mentioned medium Theresa Caputo does not utilize any of these methods, choosing to rely on information conveyed directly through her from the mystical sphere. At times, especially in a group situation, humor can defuse an otherwise tense situation. During one point, while reading for a group in a restaurant, she channeled a message to one young woman to sever her bond with her current boyfriend. The reaction left no doubt the young man sitting next to the woman was in fact the suitor she had been advised to discard. Ms. Caputo quipped if she later found her car tyres slashed, she could guess the culprit.

Supernatural existence
Supernatural existence | Source

Things to look for in a psychic reader

If you opt to have a reading by a medium, here are a few guidelines you might wish to consider. One of these might be the medium’s claims. I once decided against a clairvoyant who boasted of being the finest psychic on earth. A further concern, if a medium is recommended by an acquaintance, is whether this person might have a financial incentive for this suggestion.

Further warnings of fraudulence may be, during a reading, a psychic’s spewing an abundance of supposed messages from the beyond. Inevitably, a few of these statements or prophecies will prove accurate. Similarly, too many statements traceable to guesswork should be viewed as suspect. Approximate age, way of dressing, overall mood and demeanor, presence or absence of rings indicating commitment, type of car driven, all these and more can give clues as to lifestyle and emotional struggles.

Conversely, there are many mediums who are genuine in their efforts to be of the utmost assistance to those seeking their intervention and help. By way of conclusion, I hope anyone who chooses to try a psychic reading will have as positive experience as my own, while keeping a healthy perspective as to credibility.

In this video Richard Bacon an established British media presenter explores the claim that Sally Morgan is a bogus psychic

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Bibliography

  • Adams, Cindy: The Gift of Jazzy.
  • Baker, Michael: Our Three Selves: The life of Radclyffe Hall.
  • Caputo, Theresa: There's More to Life Than This.
  • Hall, Radclyffe: The Well of Loneliness.
  • Hyams, Joe: James Dean: Little Boy Lost: An Intimate Biography.

© 2015 Colleen Swan

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    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 2 years ago

      Oh, Colleen, I am so delighted to see that you have pulled back the sheet to reveal a bit of supernatural. This was most interesting as I have had,

      let's say, unexplained knowledge come to me, all my life. I have even had dogs relay messages to me. Yes, and may I add, the dog was correct.

      My information either comes out of the blue or in a dream.

      No, I don't do reading or anything of that nature.

      I am familiar with Theresa Caputo. I have watched her off and on for many years. But, it is difficult for me to watch her with those fingernails

      and that ratted up bleached hair. She is stuck in the 60's.

      This was most interesting. If you do further research, you might enjoy Ruth Montgomery. She has passed on. Start with the first of her publications and work your way through her library of books.

      Great Hub, Colleen! Voted up and shared.

      DJ.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Personally, I view psychic readings as more an entertainment than anything else. I don't deny the supernatural's existence as much as I am a skeptic.

      Great read.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Hi DJ, it is great to know we have yet another interest in common. I believe most people have experiences which they choose to view as coincidental. Like you, I have had too many of these to dismiss in this way. Once again, thank you.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Hi Larry, I agree that a certain skepticism is needed where this subject is concerned. My first psychic reader could not have been more wrong, but since then I have found some observations surprisingly accurate. Thanks for reading.

    • WiccanSage profile image

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 2 years ago

      Great hub. Usually you find articles either totally for or squarely against seeing psychics. It's so nice to see a balanced viewpoint for once. I agree with you about not becoming to dependent upon a psychic or too wrapped up in what they say, but it can be a nice bit of guidance to have in mind.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Thank you WiccanSage. I agree that bias impairs the validity of any article. A mixture of perspectives is needed in order to provide a balanced view. It is heartening to know that you appreciate my objective stand on this controversial issue.

    • Vagabond Laborer profile image

      Vagabond Laborer 2 years ago

      Ms. Swan,

      It was a pleasure to read your hub. Your writing is educated and engaging. It was wonderful how you cited historical figures who have taken interest in the supernatural.

    • Colleen Swan profile image
      Author

      Colleen Swan 2 years ago from County Durham

      Dear Vagabond, I am glad you enjoyed my perspective on psychic readings. It is always difficult to know of how much interest an historical framework will be of to readers. Having read your profile, it sounds as if you and I share interests in law and literature as well as mysticism.

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