The Legitimate Psychic
Last month, I wrote about how it can be tricky to tell your relatives or past colleagues that you work as a reader or esoteric practitioner of some kind.
Part of the reason for this, of course, is because of the entrenched skepticism of our rather cynical, secular culture, where anything mysterious cannot possibly exist, and so must be the province only of the feeble-minded or gullible.
But another problem you’ll encounter if you “come out” as a metaphysical professional is that we often have a dicey reputation, thanks to the con artists that like to use our practices to rip people off. For many, “legitimate psychic” is an oxymoron.
So what can we do about it?
As I had written previously, adhering to a high level of professionalism is very important. You are not only a magical, metaphysical adept, you are a businessperson.
That means you return phone calls, keep your promises, pay your bills, show up on time, and treat your clients with friendly courtesy. A little eccentricity is fine (and fun). But whack-o, irresponsible, overwrought diva behavior is not.
You can also rest assured that our profession is not the only one with rip-off schemers, con artists, and unsavory dabblers. How many miracle cure-alls have you been offered in your email or seen on late-night infomercials? And anytime there is a natural disaster, just watch the hordes of unqualified con-artist repair people crawl out of the woodwork, hoping to take your money and disappear.
But it seems to me that we get more than our fair share. Fortune-telling as a scam is a very lucrative way of life for some people. There are whole families who have preyed on people this way for generations. Their legacy is a hurdle we must overcome. And don’t even get me started on some of those slimy TV “psychics!” Yikes!
That is why it is absolutely critical that if you are offering your services, you are genuinely skilled and serious about what you’re doing. I don’t mean you can’t laugh and be lighthearted in your approach.
But as I am so often reminded when I teach my workshops, if you are considering going public, or expanding your practice beyond close friends and family, you need to know your skills are polished and at a high, well-versed level.
Nobody ever knows everything about their discipline, of course. I learn something new in just about every reading I do, and I have been at it a long, long time. But readings for the public are so much more than just being able to rattle off a couple of key phrases.
It seems to me that, besides having talent and knowledge, the most important ingredient towards establishing legitimacy for our little niche is the commitment to be of service.
What that means is that you are there to listen. To speak and behave towards your querent or client with utter respect and compassion.
Baby readers spend most of their energy secretly wondering if they’re getting it “right.” They are acutely aware of the impression they are making on the person across the table, and hoping to amaze them, or at least not mess up. They want validation and to be liked or respected.
Of course, legitimate, professional-level people are also friendly, and want to make the client comfortable, and so on. Naturally, we’d like your experience to be favorable.
But we care much more about sharing the truth as it is given to us. To be of real service, you are the center of the reading, not us, and what matters most is that the session is giving you something you can really make sense of and put to use.
Sharing our gifts as clearly and understandably as we can is how we uphold the integrity of what we do. Honesty, highly developed skills, and impeccable service are the ingredients that can help raise the standards, and cultivate a more respectful reputation for what we do.
Let us all commit to helping this be so.