Psychic Gravity: improving reading accuracy

One of the most potent factors in bringing about an accurate reading is gravity. I don’t mean the earth’s gravitational force but another equally intractable natural law. I am talking about the gravitational pull of serious concerns. When you approach any oracle with a real problem - something of genuine personal significance and consequence - the psychic weight of that issue unfailingly attracts an accurate response from the oracle.

This is the gravity of a true question. Something that truly matters to the querent. Why does the gravity of a concern influence accuracy? Well, you could say that when the stakes are high God is close by. Another way of looking at it is to say that a frivolous question doesn't have the energy behind it to fuel the ‘engine’ of divination. The numinous data connection has trouble getting established in such low-energy conditions. Consequently you may well get a nonsensical answer when you approach even the most accurate divination system with a frivolous issue. As one of my tutors once wryly remarked “sometimes sitters just get the reading they deserve”.

Similarly, you could stick your hand in a jar of fortune cookies when there is true need and happen to find the most profound reading of your life printed in broken english on a tiny scrap of paper. This is undoubtedly the result of the psychic gravity of a serious issue. And the dynamic is recognised as a critical factor by serious diviners in most systems.

Do not confuse gravity for melodrama, however. You may think your ex-boyfriend’s snotty text is the end of civilisation as we know it but that doesn't mean it has any true psychic gravity. I tell you this as a professional reader who has been pressured into reading about many a snotty text; passive aggressive facebook posts; and the other inconsequential minutiae and pettiness that pepper our personal lives.

Psychic gravity has to do with what truly matters.

This does not imply one should perform (or receive) a reading in a highly agitated state either. Typically, a great degree of emotional agitation tends to interfere with divination. And often the result can simply be a mirroring of your anxiety rather than an accurate depiction of events. It’s at times like these that the cards can be cruel.

How then should we find the balance between gravity and agitation?

The mind is ideally oriented as one might be in quiet prayer. The prayerful, contemplative heart approaches divination with a certain sense of constructive resignation and faith. We are simply coming for advice on how best to proceed - not because we demand to hear a certain answer. The fixation to hear a certain thing can, and often does, blind the oracular eye. And while few souls can truly be said to be detached from outcome since we always want things to turn out for the best, we can learn to momentarily loosen our grip.

Only in that quiet space can the honest voice of truth be heard. And in spite of occasionally being a little bitter to the taste, it really is the best medicine.


When the cards make no sense.

In the early part of my career as reader I believed that it was my job to read the cards and tell the sitter exactly what they meant. I believed if I was a good reader I would be able to interpret the cards perfectly for them and then they would have all the answers when we were done. And then as time wore on I began to realise that there are in fact always two interpretations happening during any reading. I was interpreting the cards in the context of the question while the client was interpreting what I say in the context of their experience. My interpretation was also getting interpreted, I realised. Initially this frustrated me horribly. I’d hear clients refer to things I had said in previous readings which I’m sure I never said. Perhaps clients misunderstand the real meaning of the reading, I began to worry? I’d become neurotic about using precise language and making sure to spell out every single thing, carefully summarising a reading at the end to help drive the ‘true’ meaning home. But finally it dawned on me that this has always been a natural, healthy part of divination. In fact, now I’d argue, the client’s interpretation works with your interpretation (whether you like it or not) and is vital to the success of the session.

When you realise this you begin to grip the reading less tightly. The anxiety to get all answers from the spread or to make the cards ‘fit’ the situation perfectly begins to relax as you realise that in some sense you are collaborating with the client. You begin listening to the client with both your ears and your heart. This is not to say you are letting the client read themselves. It just means you are aware of the fact that they are also actively working to make sense of the messages you give them and fit them to their own experience. Perversely, this tendency for the sitter to make information fit their situation is the number one criticism used to debunk psychic phenomena. Yet, being conscious of this can help improve the quality of your readings in a very radical way.

For instance, usually you will see a card pattern and know exactly what it means based on your knowledge of the cards and your own intuitive abilities. This is why you have been practising and studying your craft so many years, after all! You can then relay that information with confidence to your client. But to believe that this is the only thing that can and should happen in a card reading is a big mistake. There will always be times (no matter how skilled you are) when a card pattern appears that makes no sense whatsoever. This could fill one with a sense of inadequacy or panic as a reader. It could lead you to freeze, fumble, or worse, free associate wildly - activating that troublesome psychic ability: clairnonsense.

Should a reader be able to interpret every single card pattern that lands in front of her? I say no. The reason is straightforward: you will not and cannot understand every aspect of a client’s life or situation. You may be profoundly intuitive (or psychic) but you will never be omniscient. When a card pattern of this nature appears it’s your chance to loosen up. Relax, stop trying to understand or interpret everything. Be honest and say to the client “I’m not sure what this trio of cards is referring to yet” And then simply talk about the cards as you understand them in that pattern - without making any effort to ‘fit’ it or provide an interpretation yet. You are simply describing what these cards are usually about. The client will automatically begin interpreting what you say. Nine times out of ten you will hear a gasp of recognition. Listen to their responses and you can now begin blending the information with your intuition and the pattern based on what the client has to say (verbally or nonverbally). I call this opening up the reading. And it recognises the inherent wisdom of the client. Reading is about developing sensitivity on all levels - not just the psychic level. You are also reading body language, tone of voice and a myriad of the other signs. Doing so doesn't mean you are cynically cold reading a client. It just means you are paying attention.

If you have to open up the reading in this way with ALL of the cards in the reading then its just going to sound like you are fishing and you probably shouldn't be reading for others yet. And you do not want to begin a reading this way either. I am a firm believer in providing evidence of psychic ability to a client. Especially at the start of the reading I want to provide the client information that I have no way of knowing. This instills confidence and gives the reading a huge energetic boost. So, always start with those patterns that do make most sense. This way you can build on what is clear already if you have to open up the reading a little later on. It should be done with nuance and discretion. Do not underestimate the power of this kind of collaborative interpretation, however. And know that no matter what you say its always going to be reinterpreted by the client anyway. What you want is to be conscious of the dynamic so that it can be turned into a constructive part of the process. If it is done with integrity and transparency it can help illuminate the dark corner of a reading in such a way that your client walks away with the most precious resource in times of trouble: answers.


The Sphinx Gate: a tarot spread

Yes, that's right -The Sphinx Gate is a tarot spread inspired by the 1984 cult classic: The NeverEnding Story. Deal with it!

The NeverEnding Story has a special place in my heart. I watched it obsessively as a kid, and I continue to watch it every so often as an adult. It still manages to thrill me. I believe there is some real magic to be found in this kids' movie.

This spread is based on the tests that the hero Atreyu must pass through to reach the Southern Oracle who holds the secret - the key - to his quest. As such, the spread is read to discover the secret to completing YOUR quest. This could be a spiritual quest, or some important goal that is at the forefront of your mind but somehow still alludes you. It could be your life's purpose. Or your ideal mate. Fantasia can be taken as a representation of all our childhood hopes and dreams, systematically being devoured by grinding myopic attitudes at large in our culture (the Nothing). This could be a fitting allegory for depression, among other things. And like Atreyu we must complete our quest..

The spread has been designed to create that same sense of tension and revelation as you move through the two gates; the Sphinx Gate of self-worth and the frightening Magic Mirror Gate, until you are finally are given the secret to completing your quest by the Southern Oracle.

Are you ready?!

*****[4]*******[3]***** <------ The Southern Oracle

*********[2]***********<-------The Magic Mirror Gate

*********[1]*********** <------ The Sphinx Gate of self-worth


A) The Falkor Card
B)The Gmork Card

1)The Sphinx Gate of self-worth: what do I REALLY think of myself?
2)The Mirror Gate: who am I REALLY?

3)The secret you need to know to complete YOUR quest.
4)What you need to DO with that knowledge, now!

How to read the spread:

The cards are shuffled then placed face-down and revealed step by step (starting with card #1) moving first through the two gates to finally meet the Southern Oracle at the top of the spread. I will explain when card A and B are read in a moment... Before flipping over card 1 and then card 2 to pass through the Sphinx Gate of self-worth and the Terrifying Mirror Gate, you should pause for a moment, close your eyes and ask yourself the gate questions:

1) Sphinx Gate of Self-Worth: what do I REALLY think of myself?
2) Mirror Gate: who am I REALLY?

Close your eyes and ask each question above to yourself with a sincere and inquisitive heart and feel your way into its meaning. Then when you are ready, after each question - flip over each gate card in turn to reveal the truth.
If the truth freaks you out do not despair! Immediately turn over the Falkor card (A). Falcor is Atreyu's luck dragon and always believes in Atreyu because he knows his true potential - as such he represents what the Greeks called the Agatha Daimon (the good guardian angel). The Falkor card in the spread represents your ideal self, your highest potential - what you CAN become. This card should ALWAYS be interpreted its most empowering light. If the truth revealed by either gate is disheartening allow the Falkor card to balance your vision of yourself, so you can integrate the knowledge of your total being and thus grow stronger in your quest.

Similarly, if the either gate reveals something wonderful - well done! You should affirm the good in yourself with this discovery. You should not grow complacent however, because we are always being tested and the Nothing grows stronger! Which means that if either of the two gates reveals something good you should flip over the dreaded Gmork card (B). The Gmork is the agent of the Nothing bent on destroying Fantasia (your dreams). The Gmork card shows you where you could potentially stumble in your quest, your weaknesses or your blind spot. It represents what the Greeks called the Caco, or Evil, Daimon - this is the shadow self. The parts which are hidden, denied or toxic. By bringing any positive revelation given by the gates into balance with the message of the Gmork card you can achieve greater balance and personal power.
Finally, having been tested by the the two gates you stand before the Southern Oracle! You should flip over card 3 and 4 to discover what the SECRET to successfully completing your quest is, and very importantly, what you should DO with this knowledge. Card 4 therefor should be interpreted as a concrete action you should decide on (right now) and TAKE using the knowledge you have gained from this spread.

In conclusion:

If done with a heroic heart the revelation given by the Southern Oracle cards will build on the discoveries of the two gates. There should be a real 'Aha' moment at the end. This doesn't necessarily mean what has been discovered, or what must still be done, will be easy! No true quest is easy - even Atreyu almost fails and sees Fantasia nearly entirely consumed by the Nothing. However, like Atreyu you must not give up and the knowledge you have gained will ultimately empower you to successfully complete your quest IN SPITE of any difficulties. The Nothing can be defeated and your dreams can always still come true. This is the path the true hero must walk.

Happy questing dear tarot friends and may your luck dragon always find you!


In Memory of Dr E

The online hoodoo community is reeling after the devastating news that Dr E has passed so unexpectedly. Eddy was a colleague and a friend - my heart goes out to his family and partner at this, the saddest of times. I'll always remember Eddy for his tirelessness work in AIRR and in the extended spiritual community; his fearless integrity and his sense of humour.

Eternal Light and Progress to you, dear friend.