The term “psychic” stirs up a lot of associations; some positive, some negative. Like, if they were “real,” wouldn’t they all be lottery-winning millionaires, married to the loves of their lives, living the ideal life? Well, not exactly.
Psychics have been around for thousands and thousands of years, and are still very much a part of society today despite the Internet, which allows you to “Google” answers to your deepest, darkest secrets. Psychics are completely unregulated and consumers can employ them only with the vague hope that the practitioner will act ethically. Is it any wonder that most of us are skeptics? That said, you’d be surprised just how many people believe in psychics and their abilities.
According to a Gallop Poll on the subject, three of four Americans believe in some sort of paranormal activity; another poll studying Americans’ belief in psychics showed that 57 percent believe in psychic phenomena such as ESP (Extra Sensory Perception). Even celebrities and CEOs have been known to phone up a psychic or two. And sure, while some practitioners may face criminal charges for fraud, they’re not all bad and the practice is definitely not dead. Evolving maybe. But not dead.
What is a psychic exactly? In an article on psychic readings and how to know if it works, the author explains: “Everyone is connected on a level of energy through an invisible worldwide web.” Psychics just “step into this space” where they can get impressions and build connections in your life, past, present and future. Then, with the ability to tune in on whatever might be going on within you, they use this insight to pinpoint any major themes or issues that may be playing out in your life. To “connect” with you and your life, psychics can use a number of methods or “tools” like tarot cards or numerology. Tarot cards are a pretty well-known method that involves your “higher-self” speaking to the “higher-self” of the psychic.
Remember those 1-800 number dial up psychics that were popular in the 90s? Think huge scams like Miss Cleo? As soon as the technology was available, America got an entire new batch of psychics itching to tell you your future. Now, there are tools like Skype and video chat that allow you to meet with psychics all over the world. Those little “hole in the wall” shops are still appealing, sure, but the ability to search for and connect with a person from your own home is revolutionary to the profession. It means that reviews do in fact matter, as does presence, skill, and reputation. Most people walk into psychics on impulse or maybe out of desperation when life has handed them a smashed box of lemons. Few people look for “reviews” of psychics, but with apps like Yelp, these reviews are “applying a modern lens to an old-age practice.” The interest is there like never before with the popularity of celebrity television mediums and reality shows on the paranormal, but with this peaked interest comes some hurdles for the field.
The ability to leave reviews and find psychics on social media and other sites is helpful but it can also be harmful. It’s never been easier to locate psychics, but how do you know what constitutes a “good” psychic? To avoid getting scammed, be on the look out for a few tricks of fake psychics. First, curse removal or spell casting services is a red flag. If a psychic tells you they’ve found a curse that only they can remove (which will probably carry a price tag of hundreds of dollars or more), run. Other tricks these scammers might use is asking for money upfront or encouraging you to come back to them on a weekly or regular basis. Finally, a good psychic will tell you information and not ask too many questions. They will be very specific and not full of generalities that anyone could guess about you and your life.
The Internet opens up an entire new way to locate and communicate with psychics, which can be a good thing but it also opens up the flood gates to people looking to make money off of your gullibility. So, to answer the question, yes, psychics will survive in the age of the internet but it’s going to require a new business model along with some persistence and patience as more and more people “muddy up” the field.
by Sue M. Swank [Sue M. Swank, Psychic Medium]
by Susan Allison PhD [Weiser Books]