Some Good Advice For Us All


Octopus Escape!

Some Of My Favorite Whispers

Advice to be taken with a grain of salt.

Non-believers cite that supposed psychics often use very narrow or leading questions, while at the same time they tell the person, “Now don’t tell me any details.”

For example: You hire a reader to find your Uncle George who disappeared 5 years ago. They say, “Don’t tell me anything!” But start the “reading” by saying “I see a ring (pause)…. a wedding ring… a man’s wedding ring…. does that mean anything to you?”

You respond, “No, Uncle George was never married…I don’t know anything about a ring.”

Well, the “psychic” just learned a fact (remember, they asked you not to tell them anything)– they learned Uncle George was unmarried.

Now, if they wanted to fool you, they could take “the ring” story and go further until they get you to say yes to some “fact”.

For example, they could say, “Yes, I KNEW Uncle George was unmarried, but this ring… I see it very clearly, a man’s ring… or maybe a woman had bigger fingers… but there IS a ring….” And you blurt out, “Well, George’s dad had a big ring—”

“Yes!” They interrupt, “yes, the ring is clear, it was… kind of a dark band, maybe it was dirty? (You shake your head no, giving them an “answer” without even thinking.) “Oh, no, maybe…maybe it was gold (you start nodding) with something dark in it, or on it….” You pipe in with “Well George’s dad liked to garden; maybe that’s why it’s dirty.” IF someone was pretending to be psychic, you just gave them a good explanation of the image they claimed to see.

However, believers and people who claim to be true psychics say that a “real” psychic would never, ever play those kinds of games; they claim they don’t have to because their own abilities are real. “True psychics” will distance themselves from the false tactics that pretenders use. “True psychics” often make a point to not be given any information also, and do a “cold reading” meaning without a photo, with no information, with no direction.

Police departments tend to believe the “cold readings” more. However, critics point out that the best police detectives *have* slipped and offered a bit of information, when answering another question. This is common human behavior. It is very difficult to ONLY answer “yes” or “no”. People tend to go on with an explanation. “Yes. The victim was last seen here. (Here is where they should stop but they go on and say…) The victim’s boyfriend helped her put on her jacket (what, not a coat?) and walked her to her car outside the bar (could have been another business but now the psychic doesn’t have to guess… she was at a bar, wore a jacket, last seen by boyfriend). A con artist could use that information to keep the ruse going.

If you pay someone for a “reading”, give NO information. If you want to cut to the chase and find out for sure if they are being false, tell the person wrong details and see if the “psychic” uses that false info as if it is fact or if they recognize it was a lie. As in all interpersonal communications, you should expect indignation about being “lied to”. But if the person truly has a gift, if the person is a psychic, wouldn’t they know it was a lie? And if they are a true psychic, wouldn’t they, more than anyone, understand if there’s skepticism?
_____________________________________________________________________Being skeptical is okay.
Being careful about what details you share with a “reader” is okay.
Assuming that every question is designed to nefariously get information out of you, is not okay.
Assuming that every reader who asks questions is a con artist, it’s not okay.
Answering with only “yes or no” (or worse: grunting, nodding or likewise) is rude, and will result in you irritating the reader which will negatively influence your reading accuracy.
Lying to a reader, is not only rude, it is very disrespectful. Would you lie to your doctor to test him and see how accurate his reading of your physical condition is? Don’t do it to someone who’s reading your spiritual condition.
No, we usually can’t tell when someone is lying to us. This is because we TRUST our clients to be honest an open and NOT CON US.
Finally yes, we understand that you may be skeptical, but that doesn’t give you the right to be disrespectful, dishonest, and down right rude.

How to avoid getting scammed

Many people question psychics, or spiritual counselors, when trying to make important decisions in their lives. While a number of psychics are  frauds or take advantage of your situation, there are many of us that are truly here to help you. There are a few key things to keep in mind when visiting a “seer” in order to know the difference and get the most accurate information.
DO: Research
Before visiting psychics, do some research on them. Ask your friends who have visited the psychic before about their experiences, or, if possible, find other past customers. Also do some research online so you get a well-rounded picture of their reputation. Look into the psychic’s fees and compare them to others in your area. Comparing the fees will tell you if the psychic you are thinking of visiting is overcharging which is a sign of fraud.

DO: Be specific
When asking the psychic questions, be specific about what you want to know. If you over generalize, you may not get any useful information. For example, if you ask for a general read on your love life, you could get something that may not apply for twenty years. If, however, you ask for a reading on your love life over the next few months, then you’ll get information you can use and compare to the outcomes in the near future.

DO: Listen or record
Question your psychic ahead of time about this so you know what the rules are, as well as if recordings are part of the psychic’s process. If they charge extra for a recording, then it is more likely a scam and they are just trying to get money wherever they can. Listening carefully during your reading, taking notes, or getting a recording, can be extremely useful for going back and comparing what happened to what the psychic predicted, as well as for revisiting your session.

However, please remember that shuffling papers, fiddling with your phone or a recorder, could distract your reader. Be considerate of their need to concentrate.

DON’T: Be overly helpful
Don’t be overly helpful. Give them the information they directly ask for, but otherwise you should be listening and not leading the psychic. However, don’t be rude. Being tight lipped, or answering with only “yes/no” can make the psychic feel you are ungrateful for their time. This can cause negative feelings towards you and alter the validity of your reading.

DON’T: Ask yes or no questions
When you ask yes or no questions of psychics. While sometimes you have to ask a yes or no question to find out what you want to know, as much as possible you should avoid them so you can get detailed information from the psychic.

Even when you do ask a yes or no question, don’t be surprised if you get a symbolic answer as that is how most readings come to the psychics.

DON’T: Live your life by what your spiritual advisor tells you

While psychics and spiritual advisors are great to visit now and then to gather information from, they aren’t 100 percent correct all of the time. You are responsible for your own life, and no matter how good a psychic is you should be the one to make the decisions that will affect the rest of your life. Visiting a psychic once in a while for input is great, but don’t base everything you do in life off of what someone else tells you.

Asking questions of psychics can be great fun, and informative, but the sessions don’t always go well. Not every session is helpful. Knowing how to approach a psychic in a responsible, but open way can help you get the best experience possible and help you get honest information.

The truth behind the Salem witch trials

What was behind the famous American witch trials in Salem in the 1600s?

I can usually spot him even before my talk is over – a middle-aged man with a smug expression on his face, borne of the total confidence of someone who spends a lot of time watching history programmes on television. Am I aware, he wants to inform me the moment the Q and A begins, that the real cause of the Salem witch crisis was ergot poisoning? I should look into it, if I wasn’t. Why, thank you, gentleman audience member. How good of you to share that with me.

In the 1970s – a time somewhat steeped in drugs, as it happens – a theory was advanced that the most deadly witch trial in North American history could be blamed on ergotism, a rare hallucinatory syndrome caused by consuming moldy rye bread. The adolescent girls who blamed their troubles on difficult, argumentative women in their community were suffering nothing worse than a bad acid trip. Comforting though this idea might be, the theory was discarded within months of its advancement. Not all the afflicted girls lived in the same household, for one thing. Hallucinations are generally preceded by violent vomiting, for another (which is absent in the contemporary accounts of the girls’ behaviour), and often conclude with one’s feet rotting off. It turns out that witchcraft cannot be solved with a simple disease, nor can it be safely consigned to the past. Early modern English witchcraft is more important than that.

The brutal truth is that witch trials had much more to do with power and gender than my interlocutor would like to believe. The typical person accused as a witch in the English Atlantic world in the 1500s-1600s was a woman, first and foremost, in part because at the time women were thought to be more innately at risk of temptation into sin. She was often someone who made her neighbours profoundly uncomfortable. Contrary to the Hansel and Gretel image of a withered old hag, most women accused as witches during this period were in middle age, or the time of life when they should have been at their most influential and powerful – heads of families, members of their church. Women who were childless, or had been abandoned by husbands, or who were destitute, or who were insane wore their exclusion from society in painfully conspicuous ways.

One North American English alleged witch, Rachel Clinton of Ipswich Massachusetts, was accused, among other things, of “hunching a woman of quality with her elbow” when the other woman passed her in the meeting house. What does this tiny detail nearly lost to history tell us about Rachel Clinton? First, that she is not herself considered to be a “woman of quality.” Second, that she doesn’t know her place. Third, that she is very, very angry. And finally, that when she is angry, she lashes out. Rachel, a childless, middle aged woman whose indentured servant husband had absconded with all her money, leaving her penniless and dependent on the charity of her neighbours in a time of great scarcity even for better-off people, embodies all the greatest fears of early modern English village women. Rachel’s desperation reminds all the other women of her small, closely-knit community what is at stake if they don’t behave the way women should.

In Salem Village Massachusetts in 1692 the last large-scale witch trial of the western world began because a little girl of about nine years old and her relative, a girl of eleven who was bound out to service, fell into fits that quickly spread to other adolescent girls in their community. Prayer couldn’t solve the girls’ fits, and neither could the nearest doctor. Only then was witchcraft floated as a possible cause. The first women accused were Tituba Indian, a slave from Barbados who was later beaten into a confession, Sarah Good, who was so poor that she survived by begging from door to door and had been absent “for want of clothes” (ie she was clad – literally – in rags), and Sarah Osburn, who had taken her handyman for her lover. Put another way, a group of severely disempowered girls living in a rigidly hierarchical society experiencing psychological troubles they lack the language to understand laid the blame on three women who had even less power than themselves.

Gender, power, and class form a powerful nexus, in the 1600s as today. Culture finds ways to punish people who don’t know their place, and who aren’t afraid to express anger about the status quo. Witchcraft wasn’t a quaint, archaic affliction easily solved by modern medicine and reason, no matter what my (usually male) audience member would like to insist to me, the sometimes angry woman speaking at the front of the room. “The past is never dead,” American author William Faulkner once wrote. “It’s not even past.”

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