Psychics have had a long and illustrious history. Almost as soon as civilization got itself together, elders, wise men and shamans became the focus for many communities. In later years, even royalty and powerful rulers would go on to appoint seers and psychics, and often their rule and the affairs of state were governed by the musings of these powerful soothsayers. However, as time has gone by, the needs of the public have changed, due to social and intellectual trends, and psychics have had to either change with them or be cast aside as redundant. The traditional image of a psychic is of a gypsy woman sitting in a tent and peering into her crystal ball for signs of a tall, dark stranger. If you have never used a psychic before and that is what you are expecting, then you may be in for something of a surprise.
We Are All Born With Psychic Muscles
Perhaps one of the greatest differences in the psychic world is the way that practitioners see themselves. In the past, seers and clairvoyants were revered as oracles whose words could influence whether a county went to war or what steps someone might take to rid themselves of evil spirits. Psychics were seen as almost otherworldly beings that had some supernatural link to the divine forces that governed people’s lives. Their word was practically law and anyone who questioned it was perceived to be meddling with forces they didn’t understand.
Today, psychics paint a much more humble picture of themselves. Just as we are all born with muscles, but only a few go on to become athletes, many psychics believe that we are all born with abilities, but only a few of us discover how to use these ‘psychic muscles’ to their best potential.
The idea that a psychic can somehow conjure answers to problems out of thin air has also had its day. In the 21st Century, you are far more likely to hear a Tarot reader or a clairvoyant tell you that you hold the answers to your problems within yourself. The purpose of a psychic is merely to guide you through the realms of you subconscious and unlock that store of information.
This attitude may be borne out of modern man’s evolving desire to take responsibility for his own actions. In the past, religious, spiritual and superstitious beliefs were so strong that virtually every tweet of a bird was interpreted as a sign of the displeasure of some ethereal being. Man felt that he was not one of the architects of his own destiny but, rather, a mere pawn in some universal, orchestrated game. Even as recently as the 19th Century, Christians were far more likely to believe that an event would be ascribed to the will of God, rather than having anything to do with our own actions.
Just as religions started to acknowledge the idea of Free Will, so too psychics have felt the need to adapt, in order to be able to offer their services to their fellow man. 21st Century psychics are less likely to predict a definite outcome to a situation than they are to encourage a querent to examine his or her role in the events that have brought it to bear.
Part of Society
Modern-day psychics are keen to point out that they are as human as you or I, whereas their historical counterparts were eager to set themselves apart from the crowd. 19th Century séances regularly saw psychics lapsing into dramatic trances or ‘speaking in tongues’. Often, to set the mood, incense and ambient lighting were used. Today, you are far more likely to have an in-depth conversation with a psychic before a session begins. Modern psychics believe that it is important to establish a bond between them and their clients, both on an emotional and subconscious level. As a result, there is little point in a ‘psychic’ wearing a gypsy headscarf and dripping with gold in an attempt to create an impression of holding any kind of position of power over the questioner. A 21st Century clairvoyant would prefer to be seen as accessible and as ‘normal’ as possible, for without the basic ability to communicate freely, there can be little room for them to use their empathic or intuitive abilities.
While the tools of the psychic trade remain relatively unchanged, there is far less mystery surrounding them. In days gone by, crystal balls, Tarot decks and Rune stones were seen as arcane and mysterious artefacts that held supernatural powers of their own. Contemporary psychics are more likely to explain that these items are inanimate objects with no extraordinary abilities. They are merely that person’s chosen tool to allow them to engage with their higher selves. Scryers may still use crystal balls and Tarot readers may still use elaborately decorated cards, but they are seen more as practical instruments than magical relics.
As the trend for public and private séances has changed, so too has the environment of the modern psychic. While some still pack theaters or are booked for private functions, most psychic activity takes place over the Internet and the telephone. Psychics, clairvoyants, mediums and Tarot readers have moved with the times and found themselves a comfortable niche in cyberspace, with many offering phone readings or services through their websites. The days where a psychic and his client had to meet face to face are gone. However, a side effect is that many psychics report that they are having to learn more advanced techniques to project their abilities across long distances and forge bonds with querents.
It is true that many psychics today do still use crystal balls, but these are no longer shrouded in mystery. The 19th Century make have taught later psychics a valuable lesson. During that era there was a certain amount of fervor and hysteria surrounding the supernatural. However, just as quickly as it rose, it vanished again, leaving psychics the subjects of ridicule and derision. By becoming part of society, rather than setting themselves apart from it, psychics have made their profession far more accessible to the 21st Century client. While some may mourn the passing of the theatrical side of supernatural services, far more are ready to embrace it because of the absence of smoke and mirrors.