Unfortunately, all this research has left him more confused and uncertain than ever...
I met with a client recently who was really struggling with his loved one’s passing. When I met with him, he had researched life after death extensively. He’s read books and accounts of near death experiences. He’s spoken to several mediums. And, he has listened to many TED talk debates between scientists.
Unfortunately, all this research has left him more confused and uncertain than ever...
Last week Lily Dale opened for the season. For those of you not familiar, Lily Dale is a Spiritualist community located in Cassadaga, NY known for its mediums. The Lily Dale season lasts from the last week of June through Labor Day. During these nine to twelve weeks, the Lily Dale Assembly (similar to a town board) brings in speakers and lecturers holding classes on metaphysical topics. They offer spiritual healings and they perform public demonstrations of mediumship all for the purpose of introducing and educating people of spiritualism and spiritual topics.
Lily Dale holds a special place in my family’s heart as my grandfather’s uncle, Norman Mootz, was a medium with connections to “the Dale.” As a family, we take the road trip down about once a year. Last week my mom and two aunts made their yearly trek.
Each has their favorite medium that, over the years, they have carefully selected and they see. Additionally, each had their individual hopes and expectations for their reading. Let’s take a look at how they differ and how it affected their readings.
Aunt A. She has a long standing favorite reader. This reader is soft spoken and gentle which brings comfort to my aunt. She goes into the reading with one thing in mind, hearing from her mother. My grandmother has been gone for more than forty years, but the wound is still very raw for my aunt. Each year my aunt goes hoping to hear from for her and obtain some closure. Unfortunately, my grandmother rarely (if ever) makes an appearance. Instead, my grandfather (the loud mouth he is) comes in to dominate the conversation. Such was the case last week. And while this time, her mom was present – she again was disappointed she didn’t hear more from her.
Let’s talk about Aunt B. Unlike the aunt I just spoke about who went in to communicate with her mom, this aunt was less interested in hearing from her loved ones. Instead, she was hoping to receive guidance regarding some challenging circumstances in her life. Unfortunately, she did not receive the information she was hoping for. Instead was informed the future had to play out and she couldn’t control the outcome. I’m not sure who she saw, but it should also be known that some Lily Dale mediums (as Spiritualists) don’t provide predications as loved ones only know what they know.
Finally, my mom. Let me first state that admittedly I only have her perspective. She is the one who shared the experiences of the day. But from what she recounted to me, she had the best experience. Family members she hoped for showed up. Family members she never knew also showed up. Why? She went in without any preconceived notions. There wasn’t one person she wanted to hear from. She didn’t have burning questions with answers she needed to hear. Instead she went in with an open mind and as a result she walked away happy. She was even more pleased when sharing her experience with Aunt B to discover “Ruth,” a family member on her mother’s side she could not place, did in fact exist.
So what are the take-aways? How can you use this example to get a better reading?
During a recent session, after passing a message I could tell the client didn’t like I off-handedly said, “You know I could be wrong.” This is my way of reminding the client that I am not perfect, I do misinterpret information and that he or she has free will, nothing is set in stone.
I share this information with everyone in my spiel before I start reading, so I was a little surprised when she followed my statement up with, “Are you often wrong?”
It was a fair question. A question I know my husband, who does all my booking, gets often from folks inquiring about an appointment. Unfortunately, it is a hard question to answer. And although I know there are readers out there who report an accuracy rate, usually between 92.5% and 98%, on their websites, I’m not one of them. Why? I have no idea how to obtain that number.
I conduct over a thousand individual sessions a year. I don’t know what happens after many of those readings. It makes me wonder if the readers who advertise an accuracy rate, how did they get to that number. Did they simply conduct an exit interview asking in that moment? That doesn’t seem representative of an accuracy rate. Did they follow up with each of their clients? That seems daunting? Or did they opt to take a small sample group and conduct a longitudinal study following that group?
A sample group seems do-able. But then the scientist in me (thank you Allegheny) asks, how many people are in that sample? Is it one or two? Or is a fair sample size of 50 to 100? Again, this begins to become daunting. Is the group representative? Meaning, does it contain a mix of men and women, age ranges, exposure to the spiritual world, ethnic backgrounds, etc. Or is it a small select group of a niche population? The more diverse the group, the more representative that rate is. Lastly, I wonder how many times that small group is followed? Are they asked once after six months? Or are they followed for a longer span of time? The longer they are followed, again the more representative.
Thinking of setting up the experiment makes my head spin!! That’s why it is unlikely I will ever tout an accuracy rate and why I have a hard time answering the question. I honestly don’t know if I am right 50% of the time or 96% of the time or even if it is only 10% of the time. I actually don’t know if anyone can truly know.
In fact, sometimes it is better to be wrong than be right. A reading isn’t meant to tell you want to do. It’s meant to be inspirational, give you hope and get you thinking about what YOU want in your life. It is a glimpse of a snapshot in your life at this moment. As I mentioned at the start of this article, you have free will. With that, it makes it possible that what I see will change.
So, what makes me trust that I’m right, or at least inspirational, most of the time? I have a number of repeat clients. I do keep statistics on that information. In a day, about 2/3rds of my clients are returning. Today is a perfect example. I have six clients. Five are repeats. The last one, is a referral. To be a repeat client or a referral means I must have done something right. It’s why I keep doing what I’m doing.
Because of all of this, I’m not overly concerned with my accuracy rate. It is also why I am somewhat skeptical of people who tout a rate. If you are looking for a reader, ask your friends or family who they have seen and liked. That’s how you will find your best reader.
“You are psychic, you should know…” is a joke many of my clients make. Most of the time, I chuckle and don’t take any offense. My clients aren’t serious. They are making the joke to try and shake off their nerves. Every once in a while, however, someone is sarcastic and snarky while saying it. When they are, I inform them that I don’t play that game which gives the sitter the opportunity to bow out if they don’t want the reading (people are dragged to readings by loved ones!) but more often it nips the attitude in the bud.
But, because I do get that question, I thought in today’s Blog I would talk about being psychic.
When one is psychic, there is the misconception that s/he knows everything. Not only does a psychic NOT know everything, but they also don’t WANT to know everything. Check out this video for more on that topic.
Because a psychic doesn’t know everything, you may find that during a reading they ask you questions. For the skeptic, this is a red flag. Again, if they are psychic, shouldn’t they know?
While I can’t answer why every reader asks questions during a reading, I can tell you why I may ask a question during a reading.
At the beginning of my reading after my spiel, I always ask: Do you have any questions?
This is not me asking, Why are you here? Although some do interpret it that way. In fact, I would rather NOT know why you are there. I would rather NOT know your life story. The less I know, the more authentic the reading will be and you are less likely to think I am just feeding you back what you have already told me.
What I am asking when I ask "Do you have any questions?" is do you understand my process.
And just because I don’t want to know a lot of information, doesn’t mean I don’t ask any questions.
So what type of question do I ask? My most common question is: You have or are X, correct? For example, “you are married, correct?” Or “your father is in Spirit, correct?”
You might think that these questions are meant to dig out personal information. It’s not. In fact, these questions, if asked, are inserted only after I have given you a great deal of information about a situation or person. And the reason I ask the question is this… I’m fairly certain I already know the answer. That’s why it is a statement phrased as a question. BUT, if I’m wrong and am misinterpreting the information, I will confuse the sitter.
For example, say I’m sitting with a person and I receive information about a relationship and that information leads me to believe the person is married. I might ask that person if they are in fact married. If they are, I’m confirming the information and can move on. If they are not, I can describe the person I intuit is their partner more fully. The person I end up describing may be a significant other they have been with for years. Depending on the relationship, that person may even be a friend or sibling they live with. If I had called either of these people spouse, the sitter may have been confused or dismissed the information. When they say no and I describe the person more fully, they then may realize it is another person.
By asking the question, it gives me the opportunity to clarify. It doesn’t mean I don’t know. It just means the information I am interpreting may need more explanation. Remember, interpreting the signs and feelings can sometimes be hard.
So, I ask. But notice how I ask. I specifically ask a yes/no question. The reason it isn’t open-ended? I don’t want you to supply me with too much information. I simply want to make sure I am on the right track and you understand. Why would I need to do this? You’d be surprised how many people smile, nod and like a sponge soak in the information but are completely lost. If they are completely lost and walk away from the reading thinking I’m off my rocker, I’m not doing my job.
Those are the questions I ask. There are a few questions I don’t ask, but depending on who is reading you, are completely valid.
Readers ask questions because they want you, the sitter, to get the best reading possible. They each also have unique methodologies and skill sets. In fact, many readers have developed skills in many of the intuitive arts from astrology, mediumship, numerology, palm reading, runes, psychic and tarot. Having all these skills, it is not uncommon for them to pull upon all the tools in their toolkit to give you a reading. For a better idea of what to expect, research the tools the reader uses, it may help you understand why they are asking the question.
My father and step-mother live just north of Orlando. Not living near their only granddaughter, they are always itching to see her. As a result, each winter my husband, daughter and I go down to Florida to visit. It’s the perfect time… it’s not overly hot there and it’s usually cold and snowy here. A win-win.
While visiting Orlando this year, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before. There are A LOT of psychics down there. Perhaps I noticed because I have been pondering extending my business into the Florida market. Or, because it is my industry. But I’m not kidding when I say I saw AT LEAST 25 unique psychic storefronts in strip malls throughout our travels around Florida.
I was happy to see the profession so strongly represented. But it struck me as odd as well. Here is why:
Lots of questions for me to ponder. Especially after a visit from my mother who is spending the winter on the Gulf Coast of Florida near Clearwater who not only noticed, but mentioned the SAME thing.
After consideration and a little bit of research, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
Overall, I’m torn over how I feel about all these shops. I love that individuals are operating so openly as it helps normalize intuition. I just hope and pray they are on the up and up to reinforce the positive nature of intuition and not leave a bad taste in a person’s mouth.
Additionally, if asked… I personally would not get a reading in one of these establishments, but that’s me. If I was to get a reading while visiting my folks in Orlando, I’d take the drive to Cassadaga or Elysian Fields or do a little research on the best medium in town. I tend to be fussy and look for the experience… I’m not sure these places would be that warm and fuzzy space I’d hope for. Then again, I could be surprised. <I’m not going to find out.>
In my last Blog, What it Takes to Become a Professional Medium, I spoke about the tactics I believe assisted me in having a successful business. It is my belief that by applying these tactics and sticking to it, anyone desiring moderate success in their business will achieve it.
And I wish for that success for my colleagues and students for I’m not going to lie, my work is incredible! Having the ability to touch individuals’ hearts and souls is amazing, I wish everyone had the opportunity to do that. But, I also realize that not everyone is cut out for that. Just like not everyone can be an all-star athlete or president, not everyone has the talent or ability to become a professional medium.
Unfortunately, over the last year I have seen several individuals take the leap from practicing mediumship to doing it semi-professionally, meaning it’s not a full-time job but they are charging money for a session, that in my opinion shouldn’t be.
Feeling guilty for holding this opinion, I did a lot of soul searching. I’ve asked myself, “Am I threatened? Do I worry they will take business away from me?” To which I can honestly say I’m not. I’ve also asked as many of these individuals have been students, “Do I have an ego, and do I want to keep people down to lift myself up?” And again, I can honestly say no. Then I asked, “Am I worried they will reflect poorly on me?” To this, I had to answer YES. Why?
The reason I worry it will reflect poorly on me is due to the feedback I’ve been hearing. I’ve heard:
Every time I hear feedback from individuals like this it makes me cringe. Why? Because these unprofessional and second-rate readers water down the field and cast a negative light on the profession. Many already hold the opinion that psychic mediums are con-artists. These individuals, even though I know are coming from the right place, perpetuate that belief. Which makes me sad.
Feeling this way, there are times I really want to say something to these individuals. Which I struggle with because I honestly believe that a person’s path will take them where they need to be. Is it my place to intervene? Or do they need to have the experience of reading professionally, even if it means being knocked down, to learn a lesson?
Unfortunately, I’m not God… so I don’t know. So, unless asked specifically, I have been keeping my mouth shut.
But here are some of my thoughts for those readers who reading this worry that I might be talking about them AND for anyone who has had a reading with second-rate reader.
If you are a reader just beginning to read professionally, be aware of your personal beliefs and attitudes. They do affect the reading. You as the reader are NOT always going to like the advice you may be giving an individual. And remember the reading is NOT about you. It’s about your client. If you find your reading is full of personal anecdotes, you really need to check in with yourself and your ego.
To the new reader, DO NOT argue with a client and insist that you are right and they are wrong. Even if you are sure a situation will work out a particular way, remember the client has free will. If they choose to apply what you are saying one way, you can encourage them to think of it in another way, but DO NOT argue with them. It will leave a bad taste in their mouth. And for the client, remember that no matter how much a reader insists upon something they are saying, ultimately you know yourself better. And more importantly, you have free will. In life, it is not the steps we make or the paths we take in life that are destined, it is the lessons we learn. Lessons can be learned in a multitude of ways.
If you are practicing as a medium, I encourage you to offer evidence to prove the existence of your client’s loved one. Don’t just say I have your grandfather and leave it. Describe the loved one. Their appearance, their voice, their personality, anything that loved one can provide you. My recommendation is 12-15 items. This is more than enough for the client to feel confident and trust you. If you don’t provide this, you could be telling them anything and they have nothing to assure you two really have connected. My advice to the client, be open to what the reader is saying. Their interpretation might not be exact. Remember that communication with the Spirit realm is a little like playing the telephone game.
If it is apparent that a client is not happy with the direction a session is going. Stop. Don’t continue to try to convince them you are right. Stop and offer to end the session and not charge them. Assure them it has nothing to do with them, but that you two may not be connecting. If you are the client and you are unhappy with the direction the reading is going, stop the reader and let them know you would like to end the reading. Don’t wait until the end, at that point the reader has spent their time with you and may not have realized you weren’t getting what they were saying. At this point it is frustrating to both of you. Stop them.
NOT A DESTINATION
For the new reader, remember that becoming a professional medium is NOT the end destination. You still have a lot of spiritual growth to do. I recommend you continue to take classes, read books, expand your mind. The more you learn, the better you can become. For the client, find out about the reader’s continued growth. If it appears they have stopped training, then they may have plateaued.
That’s my thoughts. Hope this helps both the new reader and the client.
I had a reading about a month ago. The tarot reader was very good and touched on a lot of things that were on my mind. In the time since when predications are seemingly coming true, I am forced to consider the following – Where these events really going to happen or because I heard things a certain why am I, inadvertently, making things happen?
As a professional reader, I know that the future is a moving target and very few of life’s events are “in the stars.” Rather, I know that we are guided to and through various circumstances to help us learn “lessons.” The lessons are what destiny is made of, not the path. It is why I always tell my clients, “If there is something I am saying you don’t like, let your guides know. YOUR future is in YOUR hands.”
In the reading I had, there were a lot of predications… and warnings. What was lacking, as I think is in most readings, was the why. Which is ok, I get it. If we knew the why, we wouldn’t have to be here on earth any longer.
But I digress, back to the point of this blog: self-fulfilling prophecies.
So you see, during the reading, I was advised to beware of a few individuals. She, in great detail mind you, described a woman a little older than myself. This woman would have dark hair and dark eyes with an olive complexion. This woman was in very close physical proximity to me. The reader believed due to the fact the woman looked like me and was so close to my surroundings that she was a family member. The second individual she described was a loud, balding, heavyset man with dark eyes. She felt he was further removed and didn’t quite understand why he could cause me grief, but he could. Finally, she described a middle-aged woman with dark hair who appeared bubbly and unassuming, but was 1a greater threat than I gave her credit.
Of course, I immediately (right or wrong) jumped to conclusions as to who these individuals could be.
Prior to this reading, I had some concerns about these individuals, but other than I fleeting thought I didn’t concern myself much figuring anything that was felt was a reflection of them not me. After the reading, however, concern became all consuming. And my brain began to ponder, what are they plotting? How could they hurt me? And most importantly, what did I do to them??
And then signs started popping up that perhaps these individuals were of concern and that they were sending, intentionally or not, negative energy my way.
The first sign came the week I got back. My husband was making idle conversation with an acquaintance of ours during which, the man, whom we didn’t know our acquaintance knew, popped up in conversation. Out of the blue! Odd!!
Also out of the blue, my mother emails me to discuss one of the woman I identified. She asked if she was giving me a hard time or affecting me in any way. The hairs on the back of my neck stood up as I gave her the low-down. And of course, because my mom is a little psychic, I took this as another sign.
Then there was all the unlucky occurrences that began to surround me. I smashed BOTH my work laptops. My cell phone case chipped. The one time I took my tarot cards and timer out of my office, I forgot them at home. That same day, I stopped for tea at the local Tim Hortons. Not only did I get the wrong drink, but it spilled on me THREE times. The examples go on and on.
The more the instances continued, the more paranoid I got. Any little thing set me off and I was beginning to convince myself that there has bad juju coming my way.
As I spiraled, I finally I stopped myself and took a step back. What was I thinking? And more importantly, what was I allowing.
You see, I don’t really believe that anyone can have an impact on me without me realizing it (which I obviously was). As I tell my students, the only bad juju that affects you is that which you allow. And it obviously wasn’t my guides or Spirit trying to get my attention, because while these were annoyances they weren’t a two-by-four across the head to get me to change direction.
And it all started when I had the reading. The reading brought to the surface an unconscious fear. Once at the surface it manifested itself. For in trying to prevent the negativity from these individuals, I was looking for evidence to support that position. If you look hard enough, you can find anything; and I did, resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think I’d know better!
Since I have made that realization, a lot of the “bad luck” has stopped. This further supports my hypothesis that I was the culprit all along.
Do I blame the reader? No. She just presented the information, and the individuals she described may very well be sending negative energy my way. But, it’s not what she said, it’s what I did with the information. I allowed it to be a chink in my armor as opposed to using it to strengthen my resolve and protective bubble. You better believe THAT has changed.
When I open my reading room door to greet my client, it is always nice to see the familiar face of returning clients. This is evidence to me that I have done a good job.
It is just as exciting to see an unfamiliar face as well. For these fresh, new faces, I always ask if they have had a reading before. Why? I’m curious and I like to know where someone is coming from.
It is exciting for me when I have someone who has never had a reading before. There is an excitement in them that is unmatched. For people who have had readings before, there are many who have had fabulous ones and I hope I live up to their expectations. And then there are those who have had readings before, but were disappointed. For these individuals, my heart always breaks. They are searching for something. That desire, that need, has gone unfulfilled. Yet, they are unwilling to give up. Hence them sitting in my seat. No pressure, right?? It is for these clients, and my profession, that I want to shine and prove there are good readers out there.
Because unfortunately, there ARE bad readers out there. If you remember Miss Cleo, you know there are readers whose sole purpose is to make money. These individuals will often have a ‘script’ and ask everyone, “Who is Mary or Margaret?” or “What about John?”
Fortunately, these bad readers are few and far between. Most readers are in the profession for the right reason, they want to help people. The majority of readers I know have huge hearts and truly care for their clients. That doesn’t mean they are always good and accurate readers.
If you have a so-so reading here are some things to consider.
Experience: As more and more individuals are discovering their intuition, more and more individuals are taking classes to assist them in developing their psychic or mediumship skills. After taking a class, two, or a whole program that “certifies” them as a psychic medium, many have the heart-felt desire to help individuals with their new found “gift.” These newly minted psychics and mediums hang up their shingle and open for business providing readings.
Unfortunately, a class, two or even a whole program doesn’t always prepare the individual to offer high quality, professional readings. They may have a skill, but not a talent. Let’s liken this to photographers. With a camera on every phone, anyone can look through the back of a camera lens and take a photo. My two year old does all the time! But, these snapshots don’t capture the beauty of a moment like a photographer would. Same thing with readers. It is a talent, and not always something that can be taught.
Fortunately, the longer someone has been doing readings, the more skilled they become – just like the photographer who knows where to look for that perfect shot. Does that mean that the person who has been doing readings for 30 years is always better than the person who has been doing it six months? No. There are some very talented newbies. But, chances are if someone has been around for a while, they have some talent.
Grace: If you have had a reading, you know that they can be emotional. I’d project that at least 85% of my clients tear up if not break into tears at some point during a session. Navigating these emotions and creating an environment of love is part of a reader’s job. And a good reading (at least in my opinion) should be healing. This takes some finesse.
There are some readers who disregard the importance presenting messages delicately and have chosen not to cultivate a finesse. Instead, like a bull in a china shop, messages are delivered in a blunt or flippant manner with disregard for the client’s feelings. I cringe when I hear an individual proudly proclaim they aren’t going to sugar coat anything because the client has to face the truth. If no one else is going to tell them, I will.
Now, this doesn’t mean that a reader should lie to the sitter and tell them what they want to hear. That doesn’t do any good either. But, disregard for their clients’ feelings is unacceptable. Without encouragement, they felt their world was coming to an end.
If this has happened, note that the information may not be as bad as you think. Readers present information in the manner they view the world. If they see the world pessimistically, that is what you are going to get. Think about what they said and how else it could be interpreted.
Ego: As just mentioned, readers see the world through their lens. We have our hopes and dreams. Our favorite places and foods. We readers also have bad days. We get annoyed by our spouses and children. Frustrated with insurance companies, contractors and bad drivers. Unfortunately, when these bad days come, some readers are not good at separating their own issues from the issues their clients face. If a reader is not doing a good job of removing their own thoughts and feelings from a situation, the client is likely to get the reader’s opinion not Spirit’s. For example, there is a colleague of mine that, before I refer anyone to her, I check to see what’s going on in her life. Because when life is good for her, she gives AMAZING readings. They are accurate, funny and inspiring. When she is having personal struggles, particularly in regards to relationships, the readings she gives lack luster and everyone is up to no good.
In these situations, my recommendation is that you trust your own intuition and look for the signs around you. If something doesn’t seem right, if there isn’t evidence to support the assertions, it probably isn’t being translated correctly.
Personality: It should come as no surprise that every reader is different. We are unique individuals, with different experiences and backgrounds. Our training is different. What led us to becoming readers is different. But one thing that is for sure is we are all a little kooky and quirky. Is it a surprise? We talk to Spirit all day.
Because of our quirks, it is important that YOU resonate and are comfortable with us. A statement many clients make that always makes me laugh is: “You’re Dawn Lynn? But you’re so normal looking.” That’s what I strive for – that the client doesn’t see me as much different than themselves. You should look for that in a reader. The more you relate to them as a person, the more likely you will relate to the message they are passing you as it is more likely they will speak your language.
So if you’ve only had a so-so reading, ask yourself… did you feel comfortable with the reader? If not, that’s probably one of the reasons it was only so-so. To get a better reading next time, my recommendation is to look at websites of a few readers then choose the reader that you wouldn’t mind having a drink or coffee with. Why do this? The reader you choose is going to be peering into your soul, talking to your loved ones, and seeing you at your most vulnerable state. If you wouldn’t want to spend the time it takes to have a cup of coffee with any of them, they aren’t the reader for you.
Accuracy: Perhaps you had a reading where the details provided were vague or off the mark. This could be due to experience, as the reader isn’t versed in obtaining detailed information or has a hard time translating it. Or, it could be that the source of the message is being vague and cryptic. For example, I thank the heavens when a loved one steps in and nails the details. Whereas, when a loved one comes in and gives me one word answers I know I have to work a little harder. It is their personalities! In fact, there are even cases that loved ones “lie.” But I liken it to this example. My husband INSISTS he is 6 feet tall. Well, according to the doctor, he is really 5’10” (and shrinking). If he were in Spirit he would insist the same thing, they don’t change. Consider who your loved one was.
Or perhaps you had a reading where predicted outcomes didn’t come to pass. It is important to know that the future is a moving target, and YOU have control over YOUR future. In fact, hearing what is likely to come begins to change what will be. When a reader looks at what is coming, it’s like taking a snapshot and predicting the weather. One can be good at doing that, but that doesn’t mean that something won’t come and change the situation.
Expectations: And, finally, what were your expectations for the reading? Sometimes the expectations are unrealistic. If you are looking for a single phrase or item, you may not get it. Readers aren’t mind readers. Nor are we magic. We are just people like each of you. We translate best we can, and hopefully do a good job of it.
Hope this helps you with a so-so past reading and perhaps get a better one next time around!!
Dawn Lynn is an EveryDay medium. She lives and breathes via her intuition, which as a fourth generation intuitive from a family of Spiritualists came easily. Her abilities became apparent in early childhood and were cultured by a supportive family. Through her Blogs and Vlogs, she wants to help you become the EveryDay medium too.