Some time ago, in another world, another life, I spent three years working as a professional psychic for a 900 phone line.
Telling people that always gets an entertaining response.
The questions I got asked on the phone teetered back and forth between sorrowful and ridiculous. I got asked for lottery numbers pretty often. Yeah. Right. "If I could do that, would I be sittin' here, talkin' to you? NO! I'd be in a tricked out motor-home, going from state to state, winning those suckers one after another."
For some reason, they never seemed to quite understand that.
Another one I got all the time was "Am I pregnant?"
Really? You're going to spend $2.95 a minute... talking to a psychic... instead of spending $10 on a pregnancy test? Really? I always answered that question the same way: "Have you been having intercourse?"
Always seemed like the best place to start, to me.
The whole "psychic" thing, to me, is one of the most misunderstood concepts in all of reality. First of all, when you call a 900 line and talk to a "psychic," chances are, you're not after a psychic. You're after a diviner. A fortune teller. Divination and being psychic share only very subtle traits, and it is very easy to do either without the other.
I've addressed divination in another series of writings (which I'll gladly share with anyone interested; just send me an email). I want to talk about being psychic.
It's not at all what people think.
I've talked repeatedly about the Emerald Tablet: as above, so below. As your spirit goes, so goes your body, and vice versa. It's the mechanism that makes what we call Magick possible. If you are trying to accomplish certain things of a spiritual nature, mirroring those intentions with physical rituals establishes a pattern that the spirit can (and will) follow; likewise, if you're trying to make physical changes, meditation and visualization can set a spiritual example for your body to follow.
How does being psychic fit in? It's quite simple, really: "psychic abilities" are nothing more than your spiritual muscles. When you visualize something in an effort to manifest it, when you meditate to calm your body and relax, what you're doing is, at it's root, a spiritual workout. You're making your "soul muscles" stronger, which paves the way for physical strength.
People who draw a hard line between their mundane lives and their spiritual lives find that this process doesn't work very well... and why should it? You can't pull the engine out of your car and expect either part to go anywhere without the other, now, can you? It's the same thing: your body is the chassis, and your soul, your spirit is the engine. Separating your spiritual work from your physical work is just as silly.
Psychic abilities, then, are like a higher reflection of things like your opposable thumb, your blink reflex, and your endocrine system. Some of them are voluntary, things you can stop, focus on, and "make happen." Some are involuntary, and happen on their own, whether provoked by stress, or some other outside interaction.
The best way, in my experience and opinion, to work those spiritual muscles... is to recognize them. Notice when a "hunch" helps you avoid a problem or leads you to some temporal victory. When you get a "bad feeling" about something, avoid it, and find out you were right... that's not random. It's not chance. It's your higher awareness, saying "Hey! Wake up!"
When you listen... when you honor and respect BOTH halves of yourself... that Inner Bell, those psychic reflexes, they get stronger. Eventually, you reach a point where you can "make" it happen, simply by focusing your senses and opening your mind.
In the end, then, everyone is "psychic." Not everyone, however, practices, and those that don't may not even be aware of what they're capable of; many people go their whole lives blatantly denying the existence of such things, or calling them "evil." I feel badly for such people- they go through their whole existence, half dead.
For those who are curious... I quit doing readings for a living for two reasons. First, the bulk of the people I worked with were complete frauds, and it made me sick to have to listen to them. Second, given that I genuinely tried to help the people I talked to... it got pretty stressful, opening myself up over and over, every day, to the horror and pain of strangers. I wasn't advanced enough, then, to be any good at grounding or renergizing myself, and life got very difficult for a while because of it.
I've found doing readings for others without requiring payment is a lot more rewarding, anyway.