Evaluating a Potential Psychic

by Laura Bryannan

The Spring 1991 issue of the Mountain Luminary contains an important discussion in an article entitled "Spiritualism" by Aart Jurriaanse. Mr. Jurriaanse explores the age-old interest people have had with phenomena from "the other side," and the use of mediums, trance channels and clairvoyants as a tool in spiritual development. He makes an important distinction between what one might call the higher and lower forms of spiritual exploration.

The use of readers and healers with mediumistic and clairvoyant abilities can provide meaningful insight into areas where we are stuck in our process. The information conveyed can range from the level of spiritual trivia (yes, Grandma is happy now that she's passed on) all the way to identifying long-standing patterns that need to be healed in order to move forward (you've ran a 2,000 year theme of betrayal in your past lives due to a major boo-boo way back there).

Similar to any other consumer decision, one must remember the phrase caveat emptor, or "let the buyer beware," when seeking out a psychic to work with on any particular issue. The range of ability and reading style is phenomenal, and each style has it's own particular limitations. One should interview a prospective psychic as thoroughly as one would interview a therapist or counsellor before deciding to work with them. The first question to ask is always, "How do you get the information you relate to your clients?" The answer to this question can provide you with an idea as to how accurate the reading will be. A psychic who does not know, or who refuses to tell you this information is a psychic to avoid!

At the bottom of the accuracy list are readers who talk to the beings hanging around you to get answers to the questions you ask. Problems exist whether the psychic is talking to these beings clairvoyantly, or whether the psychic is a trance medium channeling these beings. (By trance medium, I mean a psychic who puts aside his or her own consciousness and allows another being to possess their body--a very stupid thing to do, but more on that later.) Jurriaanse notes an important point: "Most of the disembodied 'spirits' contacted through the ordinary trance medium are inhabitants of the astral [or emotional] world. As a rule they are the undeveloped who can contribute little or nothing at all towards the intelligent understanding of conditions of their side of the curtain. They themselves may not even fully realize their own illusory condition."

I'll share an example from my own experience to illustrate this problem. Many years ago I consulted a psychic who read in this way. She described a being near me who, by her description, was obviously my father's mother who had passed on. At one point the psychic went on and on about my sister--how I should watch out for her, that she was doing things that were dangerous, etc. I was certainly concerned by this information and hoped the things she said would not come to pass. It wasn't until months later-- when nothing ever happened to my sister--that I remembered that my Grandma had always thought my sister was a problem, and it became clear that even on the other side she was still ragging about her!

When a person dies, they do not automatically become a wise, beneficent being. They tend to have the same fears and hang-ups as they did when they were alive. Another important point is this: The beings that are hanging around in the astral and mental planes are generally stuck there for some reason or another; their development as a soul has been interrupted. Beings that are progressing properly are not, as a general rule, available for psychics and mediums to contact. So, to consult these stuck beings is to ask advice from a soul that has messed up! Its interesting to note that many folks out there are higher in spiritual development than the beings they are trying to get accurate information from!

Trance channelling became highly popular many years ago, due mostly to Shirley MacLaine's TV movie "Out on a Limb." Thank goodness the fad has died down somewhat since then. Jurriaanse notes that, "As far as the medium is concerned, this must be regarded as a dangerous practice, because he temporarily renounces all control of his vehicle and stands aside, allowing any astral entity to avail itself of this material instrument without guarantee that the body will again be vacated to the original occupant. It therefore does happen occasionally that the astral occupant abuses this privilege by retaining possession for a prolonged time, or even for the duration of that life, resulting in a 'possessed' personality."

So, if the psychic you are talking to works in this way--by letting another being possess their body (and this goes for automatic handwriting too)--you have cause for concern. Many of these psychics claim that the beings possessing them are saints and ascended masters. No way, Jose! None of the highest spiritual beings will do this to a human; it is definitely against the rules to possess a body, for any reason. The psychic who is telling you they are possessed by a saint or ascended master is being lied to by the possessing being(s). These beings, again, are usually astral or mental souls who are getting their ya-yas off by dabbling in the physical world without having to incarnate again. They can have their cake and eat it too, so to speak, at the ultimate expense of the medium channelling them.

Many of the teachings of possessing beings--Seth, Ramtha and Lazarus, for example--sound wonderfully enlightened and uplifting. However, there are always subtle inaccuracies in the information they convey, if one wants to look closely. And, if you look into the lives of the people channelling these beings, you'll find that they usually do not reflect any benefit from the experience, as one might expect if these were truly "enlightened" souls they were channelling. Check up on the life of Jane Roberts (who channelled Seth) and you'll see what I mean. I, personally, have yet to meet a trance channel who didn't eventually get possessed by the supposedly wise, loving being they were channelling.

The bottom line is this: when you're talking to a being willing to possess a body, you're talking to a being that not only is stuck in its own spiritual process, but is also either ignorant or afraid enough (or malicious enough) to jump into a human body for warmth, comfort (or power). Is this who you want to get advice from???

P.S. if you confront a trance medium with the above information expect to hear a vehement denial. Remember that they have a vested interest in believing that the beings bopping in and out of their body are helping them, not hurting them. They need to believe that they have the upper hand--that they are not permanently possessed. The beings in their body will say anything to them in order to stay there; how better to do this than to tell them that they are enlightened souls with information to convey that will greatly help humanity?

My advice is this: feel concern for such people, but don't work with them. Possessing beings take a lot of energy out of their hosts. Eventually trance mediums become weakened and the possessing beings must seek their energy elsewhere--usually from the clients of the trance medium! I don't know how many times I've had someone tell me something like, "Well I went to this medium last week and I've been so tired since then, I don't know what's going on." The obvious answer is, "You've just been vampired!" This is one situation where garlic won't help you!

And finally, never, never, never do this type of thing yourself or let anyone teach you how to do it. Generally, the people teaching trance mediumship are trance mediums (possessed people). They are not the ones who can give you an objective critique of the situation. It's like asking a crack-head whether it would be okay for you to try a little hit. Trance channelling sounds very alluring and mysterious, but note the following analogy a colleague had concerning this issue: You would never let a stranger sit on your lap, and you defiantly would never kiss a stranger or make love to them. And yet, the idea of letting a strange being do the much more intimate act of possessing your body doesn't faze some folks. Go figure!

OK, enough on that issue. Lets get back to psychic readers, and take a step up the accuracy scale. There are psychics who are able to clairvoyantly consult your own emotional, mental and soul bodies and receive from them the answers to the questions you are asking. This level of reading is more accurate because, generally, your own bodies know you better than any other beings who may happen to be hanging around. This kind of reading is particularly useful for more mundane kinds of questions involving work, love, everyday life, etc. Your bodies can tell the psychic where they're headed, and what they feel is in their way of getting there. The one downside to this type of reading is that sometimes your bodies will pass along what they want instead of what's so, and then you end up with a reading that is more "wish fulfillment" than reality.

A step above this, accuracy-wise, are psychics and healers who read your aura or energy field. Such readers look for stuck, toxic, or mis-routed energy, and many have been trained to help heal the problem in the process. Some of these folks can even look clairvoyantly at the energy and see what event(s) originally caused the problem. Because the psychic is looking directly at your energy, with no intermediary, any inaccuracy comes only with misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what he/she is seeing. This potential problem is usually side-stepped by the reader conversing with the client and, between the two of them, working out any kinks in the interpretation.

Finally, we get to psychics who are able to read the Akashic Records (Edgar Cayce was one of these), or who are able to clairvoyantly converse with beings and teachers on the highest planes of creation. As Jurriaanse says, "Natural clairvoyants or clairaudients function under much safer conditions than trance mediums, because they retain full mental control during all phases of their work." This is the way true Ascended Masters work with humans; the psychic stays conscious throughout the entire process, conversing mentally with his or her chosen guides and teachers.

These kinds of readers can provide a wealth of useful information regarding past life patterns, soul strengths and weaknesses, the issues chosen by your soul to work on in this life, etc. These are the kinds of questions you're most likely to get accurate information on when working with a psychic at this level. To try to get mundane information from them is often frustrating. The Masters are looking at such broad patterns in the warp and woof of your soul's history, that a question like, "Should I move to San Francisco?" often results in an answer along the lines of, "Ultimately the work of your soul will get done no matter where you are."

It is also true that certain beings (angels, for instance) have little empathy for our silly (to them, anyway!) concerns. They may love us, but they really can't get too excited about whether we take one job or another. So, if the bulk of your questions concern the material world and your life in it, it's usually best to discuss the issue with your own bodies, or seek a reader who works at that level in order to get the most accurate information.

Ultimately, only you can be the judge of whether a reading you receive--whether it be from a psychic, an astrologer or tarot reader, or clairvoyant healer--is accurate or not. Trust your gut level instincts. Usually, when a reader says something that is right on, your body will respond with a subtle "Yes," even if it's information you didn't know before, or information that upsets you. Remember that readers of all kinds are, first and foremost, humans; they have good days and bad days, and they can make mistakes. Don't be afraid to disregard something that doesn't ring true simply because your reader said it was so.

It's also important to remember that we all have free will, and that many psychics are capable of reading your energy only as it is at this time. If you receive a warning, it is never carved in stone that the events will come to pass. You always have the opportunity to change your behavior and alter the future for the better.

The most vital reason to investigate the methodology of your potential psychic reader before you work with them is the fact that it is often very hard to take a reading "with a grain of salt." Even if we decide ahead of time to ignore any information that does not ring true for us, the information stays there anyway, influencing us in ways we might not be aware of. It's much better to be choosy about who you work with right off the bat, than risk having your thoughts poisoned by false or misleading information that may take weeks (or longer) to clean out of your system.

So, dear readers, if you're interested in investigating other realms of existence, do so with care. Ask your friends if they've ever worked with someone they felt gave an accurate reading; stay with the tried and true if you can. If you must branch into unknown territory, don't be afraid to ask questions and expect up-front answers. This type of exploration, done with proper awareness and caution, can provide breakthroughs that may have taken years to gain in a more traditional counselling situation. Let's hear it for shortcuts! Ain't life wonderful?

Mountain Luminary. Subscription office: P.O. Box 1187, Mountain View, AR 72560. 501/585-2260 or 501/368-4468.

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Last Updated: 27 may 98
Laura Bryannan