By: Aynne McAvoy

     Recently, I saw a sign advertising a psychic fair.  However, it said Physic Fair.  I got quite a chuckle out of that.

     Psychics. What are they?  How would you choose one, should you decide to consult one?  How do you tell one from another?

     In olden days, you would travel far, and perhaps do quite a bit of climbing to consult an oracle. The oracles of a couple thousand years ago made a pretty good living, although some of the living quarters kind of left something to be desired; caves and such.

     In more recent times, perhaps you might travel to Europe and consult a medium there.  Kings, Queens, presidents, leaders of companies and countries have consulted seers.  Nostradamus is one of the most famous, who was an astrologer as well as a psychic who had visions.  Sadly because of the times that he lived in, much of what he wrote about may never truly be interpreted, because of the jig saw puzzle he was forced to make of his prophecies.

     A psychic is born with the gift, and one usually begins to work on it sometime in late childhood and into adulthood.  By contrast, an astrologer has to learn their craft.  It doesn't come automatically, and requires many hours of painstaking studies. To have a genuine astrology chart done by a real astrologer is quite expensive, but highly accurate.  It is based on your time of birth, date of birth and location of birth.  The horoscopes you read in the paper are about as far from accurate for you personally as you can get.  Read them for fun only. 

     By the same token, someone using the Tarot or other divinatory cards has also had to learn different layouts, meanings, and formats.  There is also the use of stone throwing, rune readings, stick throwing, among many other forms of divination.    Again, one is not born with that ability, but it has to be learned.

     However, mediumship, one form of psychic ability, is an ability that one is born with as well. One can be a psychic without being a medium, but usually if one is a medium, one is also a psychic.

     A famous present time medium is John Edwards, who has his own TV show.  I believe he has done a lot to enlighten the average person on what a medium is and does.

     There is also a gift called psychometry, where the psychic holds an item and gives various information about the owner's past, present and future from this item.  This again, is something that one is born with, however I believe this can be cultivated as well.

     You will not find most psychics or mediums wearing any kind of robes or headdresses, as often portrayed in the movies.  (For some unknown reason!).  Instead, we all look pretty ordinary, usually donned  in business attire when working with our clients.  You won't find dark mysterious rooms either.  Most of our offices are well lit, with a variety of interior decorating modes.  Of course, you may find a lit candle or two, perhaps some incense burning, or soft music. All of that relaxes everyone participating in the reading, but by no means has any significance other than the client having  a pleasant experience.  One finds the same items in upscale day spas!

    The cost of an appointment with a psychic is widely varied, and depends greatly on the status of the psychic. If he or she is well known with a good reputation, the cost is more likely to be higher than a relatively unknown.  Most of us had to work our way up slowly, relying heavily on word of mouth to promote our reliability and accuracy.  Word of mouth is the best form of advertising in this business.

     Business... Did I say business?  Yes, indeed.   A good reputable psychic has a D.B.A. (Doing Business As). They may be listed with the Chamber of Commerce.  They often have a large client base and work out of an office.  These same psychics will often work various psychic fairs and whole life expos as well.  You can find their listing in the yellow pages of the phone book.

     On the other side of the coin, we have the phone psychics, with the 900 numbers.  I have worked for these psychic lines, in my early days in this business.  I wasn't impressed with what went on with these organizations.  I was given strict instructions to get the name and address of every caller, for the purposes of recontacting them later.  I was also given instructions to keep the caller on the line just as long as possible.  There were other instructions too, not one of which I paid any attention to.  Because I refused to keep someone on the line longer than necessary, and get their mailing information, I was punished with fewer and fewer calls coming in my line.  Needless to say, I didn't last long and was left with a very bad taste in my mouth for this form of my craft.  I knew a group of people personally once that were the 'owners' of a psychic line. None of them were remotely psychic, nor did they know any of the people working for them. The object was to make money.  They often told me of how well they lived during this period of time, from the proceeds of these lines.  Their standard of living was very high indeed.

     What doesn't come out about these phone lines is that many people calling are already in financial trouble, and when callers phone in, they add up hundreds and thousands of dollars on their phone bills.  They lose their phones, they go deeper in debt, and help to pay for someone's new fancy boat or expensive vacation.  Sad, isn't it?

     I would highly recommend staying far away from the 900 phone lines.  The arrest of Miss Cleo was just the tip of the iceberg.

     Instead, ask for referrals from your friends or family.  Check the phone book.  Check the chamber of commerce, and Better Business Bureau.  Go to a local psychic fair and choose someone to read for you that lives near where you do, incase you want to consult them again.

     Most important, listen to your own intuition when discerning a life's question. Your own higher self has the answers and is just waiting for you to discover that!