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Psychics from Hell

previously published as a feature article entitled “Psycho Psychics” in issue 11 of WitchCraft magazine

Unethical practice in the psychic/spiritual reading professions ranges from simple ineptitude to cases of deliberate manipulation. One of the main reasons for the psychological damage done by the “shonky” clairvoyant is the ignorance and naivety of the client which gives slipshod or unscrupulous behaviour full rein. People seek psychic or metaphysical readings for a host of reasons. A friend has recommended it; it’s the “in thing” to do; it’s sensational and unusual and makes great conversation. The individual is in a dilemma, and their pride prevents them seeking “professional” help, yet they are willing to trust the intuition of someone presenting as “psychic”.

A reading is often considered a safe environment, in which they can call the consultant a fraud if they don’t like what they hear. If the information is accurate, the reader may be regarded with superstitious awe, because the client thinks that psychic ability is supernatural, instead of natural. 

Possibly unable to accept personal responsibility, the individual may be grasping for another perspective, and unconsciously wants the reader to take responsibility. In this case, readers who have not worked on clearing their personality, can get sucked into the “rescuer” trap. Because of their own unresolved issues, they personally identify with the client’s weakness, projecting their own fears and problems into the reading. Lacking the detachment to outline empowering strategies, the reader gets bogged down in a kind of “lower astral soup”.

An effective reader/healer will have developed in balance both the “left brain”  skills of informed, intellectual, discrimination and detachment, and  the “rightbrain” skills of creative synthesis and imaging, psychism and intuition. Any reader of calibre is keenly aware of the metaphysical healing levels of a reading, where real upliftment and enlightenment of burdens occurs. It seems that a lot of readers only know how to describe, with their emotional psychism, the mythscape of the story, at best offering “tea and sympathy”, at worst leaving the client shellshocked.

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To my mind the professional duty of a reader is to not only to “tell the story”, but show how the story contains a map to healing; how the picture of the problem contains the solution and the wound reveals the cure. In the case of the Runes, Tarot, Palmistry or the I Ching, there is an inbuilt “wisdom system” which provides insightful information through the symbolism in the picture of the reading. If the reader is using divination that contacts the astral levels directly, e.g. psychometry (reading objects, like jewellery), crystal ball or mirror, the wisdom system depends on the refinement of the reader.

The astral planes contain the imprinted images of things past, present and future. The most subtle aspect of this is called the Akashic Records, which many psychics claim they are able to read. Take such claims with a handful of salt, because genuine adepts of this skill are rare. The Akasha is the Element of Spirit, the Quintessence, the subtlest vibrational level of the astral Innerplanes. In the filtering down of astral forms between Spirit and Matter and their processing through the lens of an individual personality, there is plenty of room for distortion and error. If a reader gets it 80% right they are up there with the world’s finest, so if anyone is claiming 100% accuracy, or loudly trumpeting other sensational claims, it is a sign to be on your guard. Those with genuine power know better than to boast, as they are not driven by ego or greed.

For a reader/healer to become a clear lamp for the light of Spirit to shine through, a good basic training in balancing and grounding of their energies is vital. In metaphysical work, “professional development” requires ongoing self -development and purification. Fast and superficial techniques of psychic development can make some people believe, with their little knowledge, that they are constantly in control when in reality they are not. They may have discovered genuine past life memories of being a great seer or priestess, but their present -life energies still need to be cleared, strengthened and prepared.

This involves learning to gradually loosen and stretch the etheric shield, a protective layer of energy that protects our physical consciousness from the intrusion of stronger astral energies. Observe the level of health and psychological balance of the reader/healer and enquire about their training and experience.

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 Most readers operate on some level of altered consciousness or trance state. A “trance channel” is someone who is able to change levels of consciousness to access the astral planes directly. This can be done through unconscious mediumship, where the ego withdraws from the body completely to allow the spirit or guide to communicate; or through conscious mediumship, where the ego remains but passively allows the spirit to overshadow it.

The best method is the active, shamanic trance that is very similar to “travelling in the spirit vision” (see my article on Astral Travelling). The term channelling has become a catch-phrase for most forms of creative and psychic phenomena, so the channelling can be an actual spirit guide contact or it could be the image of a spirit guide from your Higher Self.  Apart from any misinformation and unprovable claims about its source, if the material is accurate and valuable, there is no problem.

The quick methods of opening to trance, as taught over a weekend or week-long seminar, lead to tearing of the etheric, as will drug use, erratic development efforts, undisciplined use of one’s energies (such as being unwilling or unable to close down astral contacts), poor diet, unhealthy lifestyle, continual stress and trauma.

Be very wary of those readers who claim that their spontaneous psychic development has resulted from past life preparation, a special gift from God, a mysterious occurrence or some major life trauma or injury. All of these indicate a ruptured aura and unhealthy astral “bleed through”, which means they will not have control over what forces and entities are playing upon them - a bit like not being able to close your back door and never really knowing who’s sharing the house with you! If you ever get a reader whose head jerks while they are in trance - it means that their ego is in control, but is being used by entities that are feeding upon its unresolved lower astral energies.

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Working with the public before clearing the lower astral levels, results in readers whose initially brilliant abilities dwindle, eventually only being able to read certain kinds of astral images. Well intentioned or not, an emotionally unbalanced reader or healer who has done too much “rescuing” will burn out and eventually lose the plot due to auric damage. There are many ways this can turn ugly.  Distressed and even disgusted by their own sensitivities, they can become rather brutal at inflicting what they believe to be the “truth” - for example, the extraordinary recent tabloid report of a reader who deemed it necessary to tell a fifteen year old girl that she would die before her sixteenth birthday!

Being human, the reader will often feel they have to go through with a reading even though they may not be up to the task, sometimes because of finances, reputation or their “rescuer” compulsion. A lot of clients don’t have the self -confidence and presence to speak up when they are being “taken for a ride”. Don’t be afraid to “test the spirits”, either during the reading or by verifying the information afterwards. Being without a body doesn’t necessarily indicate wisdom and benevolence, and neither is psychic or telepathic ability any guarantee of noble motives. It is far better to develop your own contact with Spirit, than become dependent on a psychic or channel as your only connection with guidance.

Sometimes the reader is an unwitting “outer tentacle” of a negative group that is being used by unwholesome astral forces. Such sessions will leave you feeling uncomfortable and drained. Pay attention to how your solar plexus is feeling, because that is where you will tend to feel any attempts to manipulate you. Beware of readers who want to exchange personal confessions with you. Keep focussed on your own practical goals and development.

No crusading cries of “should be a law against it” are necessary here. Raising public awareness may be the only cure for the metaphysical immaturity of much of the “New Age” movement, but everything comes back to the individual. Ultimately, nobody can take responsibility for anyone else.

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Everybody’s different. In life’s rough mill of learning, clients will get the reader they deserve, according to their level of development. The pattern of being a victim will play itself out until the individual wakes up, and not before. On a deep level, there are no unwilling victims, there is just the choice made to either stay asleep, or accept that the quality of your consciousness is what creates your “life -movie”, and take responsibility. Responsibility is not blaming yourself or others; it is the ability to respond with awareness.

Nonetheless, I sympathize strongly with client vulnerability, and consider that those who take on the role of the counsellor, in whatever modality, are stepping into the ancient archetype of the Wise Healer. This assumption of knowledge and power sets forces in motion that incur a responsibility equal to that of working magick.

That law of balance called Karma is inescapable, and is always perfect. An aware reader will never interfere with the client’s karmic process or free will. When you make a judgement about another, you are placing a limit on that individual’s possibilities, and also connecting their energy to yours, enabling them to draw on your vitality whenever they need it. Readers who project judgement on their clients take upon themselves the burden of responsibility for influencing those clients to give away their power.

Cruel as it sounds, people should be free to learn by the “crash and burn” school of karma - they create such great stories for others to learn from ! Should a victim come to me for help, naturally I will heal and make right what I can. Beth, a student of mine, first approached me to help extricate her from the clutches of a rather sinister “tarot reader”. In the local paper’s psychic column Beth noticed an advert for “Genuine white witch, High Priestess”, and phoned for a Tarot appointment, which apparently cost $50.

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 At the appointment, the woman laid out some cards, then said that before she could effectively read her cards, she needed to do a “witch’s cleansing” because Beth was carrying a lot of negative energies. Beth is a businesswoman and mother, solid and sensible, who happens to be very psychic, but has always been too busy to educate herself in metaphysical matters. She is very open, enthusiastic, impressionable, and has plenty of energy once she has a goal in mind.

 Natural but untrained psychics have a curious quality of being easily “fascinated”, which comes from a Latin root meaning both “spell” and “binding”, meaning once you catch their attention, they become absorbed in hypnotic concentration. This “white witch” must have thought she’d found a gold mine and pronounced that Beth had been a white witch and High Priestess of a coven in a past life. The cleansing would cost $285 of course, after which she would feel much better.

It so happened that Beth was feeling quite run-down, as she had recently moved both her house and her business into a new area, as well as settling her four children into new schools. Beth’s experience illustrates the astral dimensions of some very predatory psychism, her tiredness and stress making her natural sensitivity work to her disadvantage. Flattered, excited and totally sucked in, Beth consented to the cleansing, charmed by this woman, who seemed “so nice, and so caring”.

For the cleansing Beth was put into the witch’s Circle, and after the cleansing (I wish I’d been a fly on the wall for this!) asked her to leave because she had to close the Circle, giving her a bag of herbs to put under her pillow, which she was later to bury in the garden. What else did she do in the Circle after she sent Beth home, I wonder...Beth was informed that she was to come back in one week for a “regeneration”, costing $50. Despite the underhanded tactic, money is not the key issue here. In any transaction, whatever two parties agree on is fair, and nothing in the story so far is any more sinister than an average con job, except for what came next.

For some time after this Beth started having traumatic, disturbed nights, with lots of exhausting out-of-body experiences that could have been exciting adventures - if they were under her conscious control. In just one night there would be wild journeys, rituals and sexual approaches made to her by people unknown, male and female, and this went on for weeks. Beth had been experiencing an awakening of latent abilities before seeing the woman, but nothing like this had happened to her before.

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 Correctly intuiting that the Witch was drawing on her psychic energies, Beth naively phoned her to ask if this was so, which naturally she denied. When told what was happening, the clever woman told her that she was overloaded with psychic energy (which is actually close to the truth). “Come back and see me on the next Full Moon”, she said “and I’ll do an induction into my Circle. I’m looking for people to train”. The induction cost was $600, but Beth would have to go every week for one half hour lesson costing $50 before she could induct her into the Circle, and she also had to get permission from the “Elders”...At this point Beth declined, starting to work out that something was wrong with this picture.

The night-time astral invasions continued unabated, so that by the time she phoned me, she was fearful for her health and sanity. Over a few days and many phone calls, I coached her in breaking the astral connections, firstly by removing all emotional response to the now decidedly grimy grey Witch, especially the desire for revenge, justice and rescuing future victims, allowing the Law of Karma to work unhindered; secondly I warned her about the danger of becoming addicted to the astral excitement and drama, before being able to exercise psychic control.

I gave her a very simple but powerful Protection Rite to perform every night before sleep, proving to be very effective, using blessed water and sea salt to seal the openings of the body with Divine Light, which works to seal the aura through the physical. In addition, any method of circulating Light through the energy centres (chakras) will alleviate exhaustion from “astral bleeding”. This is caused by a surplus of energy at the astral level that is not under the control of the individual will. The unconscious projection of astral substance gives the psychic predator plenty to work with. Those with strong but unschooled abilities like Beth’s are advised to train them under their own honourable will.

Remember, “The first lesson on the Path is the false teacher.” Fly free, you Fledgewitches!

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