I was in New York after a big life change. I was feeling a little down, and I decided to go see a psychic. Men go to prostitutes for comfort. Women go to psychics!
— Illeana Douglas, “I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived In and Out of the Movies“
Whatever the medium, the fundamental tool of the psychic is the cold reading, actively listening for information from another person and then reflecting it back to them. That lets them feel seen and mirrored; why shouldn’t that be essentially comforting?
Unless the reader is being deliberately manipulative, with a venal hidden motive, like fleecing the mark, a reading is just an attempt to use a mix of skills, including knowledge and intuition, to help someone see their life in a different, larger context. It takes you out of the moment-to-moment grind and gives the comfort of remembering that there are forces that you don’t see which are on your side.
There has always been a mystical element to getting guidance, verbiage about tapping into the underworld which is beyond our direct control. The reminder that we are also connected to spirit allows us to face hard times and even to possibly make better choices.
There are always reasons to be skeptical of readers, of course, but there are also reasons to use them for direction or support in emotional times. Falling under their spell is bad, but getting some feedback or mirroring can be good.
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