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Since the dawn of time, people have sought psychic and spiritual advice. The desire for clarity and insight, the need to make sense of the turmoil of everyday life and find peace with our place in the world is healthy. How do you find Authentic, Ethical Spiritual Guidance?
We are seekers. In the turmoil of our hectic lives, we search out guidance and I have been misdirected so often on the way back to my Divine, whole and healthy nature that I feel a genuine need to share my discoveries, my hesitations and regrets.
My path is one of inquiry and God is my road map. Along the way, I've come across those whose wisdom has been a beam of light when I've fallen into self-doubt or shadow. Along the way, I've met those whose distrust in their own Divine nature has led them into the distractions of the temporal plane. Many become enamored with the magic of personal charisma and many become dependent upon every utterance. A Spiritual visionary moves mountains by moving souls gently back into empowerment. A Spiritual visionary "walks his talk" and quietly does the work of God for the joy of that
In our need to rediscover our true nature, we human beings desperately reach out, and sometimes the hand that grabs ours empties our minds and pocketbooks. Often the teacher becomes the parent-a parent who discourages liberation.
A Master does not think about what he gives. He just gives. A Master has no hidden agenda. He just is. A Master may live on the highest mountain, and the journey may be long and tiring. The Master is worth your efforts.
True teaching is always an epiphany; sometimes a clap of thunderbolt, often only a whisper, easily missed." Teaching may be the pause between the words, the breath, the action. The action. A Master behaves like a Master. Watch carefully. In finding Truth, we release the lies. And in recognizing our aching human nature, we rediscover a Divine light that spills onto the wisdom of a good and true teacher.
No. The universe does not support disempowerment or misappropriated focus. Some psychics crave the attention and operate from the fear that the fear that they may fall from grace. When you sanction the fleeting magnetism of money and disregard the clients ability to nurture and care for his or her own Sacred self, you become a false guru, a fraud whose well-meant intentions become alchemized into the business of business at the expense of a needy, uncomfortable client. When you are driven by money for the sake of self-grandiosity or erroneous security, the universe will never support such a plan.
The interactions of a reading or spiritual counseling session create an unusual relationship between the client and the reader/counselor. It is an objective-intimate relationship, and both qualities of this relationship are important. The reader should be someone whose objectivity and integrity you respect and yet be a person that your are comfortable enough with to be willing to discuss things that are very personal when they are relevant to the reading. It should be EMPOWERING, not CONTROLLING.
Unfortunately, there's a dark side to some of the 'Light' in the Spiritual and New Age world, and it goes beyond concerns over whether or not wearing a crystal is good for you. Wearing a crystal certainly won't harm you, as far as I know - but people can. There are many ways to Prevent Psychic Dependency. Psychic dependency is every bit as threatening as any other form of addiction or psychological co-dependence.
Most of these practitioners, readers and healers ARE honestly concerned for their clients and sincere about their work. But ... when you are down, vulnerable and ‘out of control’ of your own life and you are so wanting to hear a particular answer, it can be easy to become dependant on the psychic that gives it to you ... even if it is the WRONG answer. Even if it goes against your own intuition and logic. TRUTH is always what you need to seek and getting anything less is not fair to your mind or your Spirit and very harmful in the end.
You can't scientifically verify whether someone who claims to be channeling your past lives is right or not. And anyone can put up a shingle calling themselves a psychic counselor. If you are looking to work with a psychic reader, healer or join a "New Age" group, you need to be careful. While there are many great people out there doing good work, there are many others who are well-meaning, but misguided. And a few, just a few, who are total psychic scam artists! Referrals may help weed through the bad ones, but not always.
I have had a few negative experiences with New Age "psychic readers" and "healers" who manipulate vulnerable people ( many, are my own dear clients, today) and try to push their own agenda on them. I live in Chicago, where you'll find plenty of opportunities to be on the receiving end of a psychic reader or healer with unresolved control issues. As someone who has recently "come out of the closet" and decided to give Reiki treatments (a form of "hands-on healing") as part of my services, I have thought very long and hard about what it is that makes a good psychic reader and "healer" and how I could best serve my clients and their agenda, not my own.
It's hard. Ego gets in the way. You think you know best. How many times have you given advice to a friend, because you thought you knew better? How many times did you get frustrated because your friend did the opposite of what you suggested? Maybe you were right that time, but I'll bet there were plenty of other times your friend was right.
The problem with becoming a healer, psychic counselor, or teacher, then, is knowing the difference between guiding your student or client, and pushing your own agenda on them. Unfortunately, many healers, counselors, and teachers don't know the difference between their agenda and yours. Worse, many of them get sucked up into the identity of being the "psychic" or the "healer." They get sucked into thinking they are a guru, instead of a facilitator.
This happened to me with an "energy healer" I saw when I was very young. This woman used a combination of Reiki, massage and reflexology in her sessions. It was a wonderful, decadent, luxurious treatment. Most of the time I left feeling great. But then "it" happened: She decided to become my psychic therapist. And my personal psychic hotline. Which, by the way, I did not need, as I had my own gifts that I was aware of! It's hard to see your own situation, though, psychic or not, as we are too close to our own situation, sometimes.
I hadn't hired her to be a psychic therapist. I really just wanted the Reiki and the massage to treat my Lupus symptoms. But I was new to this Reiki stuff and wowed at her "ability." It seemed so magical to me, I thought she must obviously be really powerful, spiritually, in order to be able to do it.
I found out less than a year after I stopped seeing her that ANYONE can learn to do Reiki; that all it takes is a simple attunement to have the "power" for life. It can take a day, or a weekend. Not years. Of course, she never bothered to tell me that. I was under the impression that she had gone on a long spiritual meditation retreat for years in order to learn to "channel" the energy.
So our sessions devolved from bodywork to this bizarre form of primal therapy. I know she was trying to help. Often, she did help. But, without any apparent training in therapy or counseling, she soon started crossing a line. I'm not sure when that point came. But I had warning signs early on: I'd announce to her that I had plans to do something, like travel or move, and she would announce to me in return: "OH NO, Stephanie, YOU'RE not going to do THAT." Her reasoning? Her psychic abilities supposedly "told" her so. Never mind my personal choice or need to go through the process on my own. Never mind that I was paying her a decent amount of money every week and that traveling or moving would hurt her income.
I can't say that seeing this woman harmed my life. It wasn't like there was a horrible thing that happened that made me vow to never see another healer again. Instead, what happened was that slowly I gave my power up to this woman. I was unhappy in my career, and confused as to where to go next. It was easier for me to let this "intuitive" tell me what was going to happen in my life (never mind that her predictions were most always wrong) than decide for myself what I wanted to do. She told me what to do. She didn't empower me to make choices for myself.
One of the problems is that an energy healing treatment, or even a massage, can make you feel very vulnerable, and you may not be as objective after a session as you would normally, due to the "spacy" feeling you may have from the treatment. This led me to be much more open to allowing this woman to direct my life, instead of directing it myself. Other forms of New Age therapies can also provide similar openings for unscrupulous practitioners. You have to be careful.
I've taken classes with teachers who manipulate private, personal, emotional information to create shame and/or feelings of dependency on students. A "cult" often acts by breaking down your defenses...making you upset about something terrible in your life, e.g., to get you crying, and then the group swoops in to make you feel better...creating a new dependency on the group. I've seen these techniques used in something as seemingly innocuous as a "women's support group."
This particular "women's support group" hooked people into the group through a free sample session that was more like a cult initiation. Once the sample session started, the "facilitator" (a psychologist) immediately told us to go through this very painful exercise of writing about someone we were hurt about, with no warning prior to the class that we would be exposing very personal, private material to strangers. The exercises were created in such a way for the maximum emotional impact. We then had to share our feelings from this very painful exercise to a very large group of strangers.
By the end of reading their written exercises, many women in the group were openly crying. Then: the sale. Converts from the previous class started to chip in about how utterly transformed they were by the group. How we must sign up for the class now! How the class will heal this pain we were experiencing!
This combination of making you vulnerable and then applying peer pressure is a powerful tool, and one you do not want to fall for. It takes your power away and gives it to the teacher or group.
I knew enough not to sign up for the women's group, but I wasn't so lucky with the energy healer. Even strong people are vulnerable sometimes. Fortunately, I eventually left the energy healer after having a huge argument with her over something we disagreed on in our "therapy" after the bodywork. I do my OWN healing work now :)
Unfortunately, I've had friends who haven't been as lucky. One of them, a former dear friend of mine, joined a New Age "cult" (though I'm sure they don't call themselves that). There are particular variations on this brand of cult and many groups that do similar work under different names, One of the hallmarks of my friend's group is that it made current members "pass" an initiation by going out and pressuring other people to join. My friend, who used to be very intelligent and thought for herself, suddenly had nothing new to say except maxims from the cult. Whenever I had a problem, she couldn't just listen or support me - it was "obvious" that I needed to join her cult to solve it.
The pressure from her became so intense I was forced to drop the friendship entirely.
A consulting client of mine had similar experiences with this same cult almost 20 years ago. She relayed a story of a woman with asthma who was denied her medication during a group session as members yelled at her that the asthma was "all in her head." The woman died.
Such tragedies aren't common, fortunately. But your mental and emotional health can be put in danger just as much as your physical health. Many people who run these organizations for profit are counting on the psychological vulnerabilities of their members. Particularly, if you have deep wounds from your past, such as sexual abuse or other traumas, you should be aware that a skilled, unscrupulous person can manipulate those horrible feelings inside of you to create a dependency. It is therefore up to you to guard your pain; not to become closed off or in denial, but to open yourself up only to those you trust.
So how do you know who to trust? You can't necessarily be guaranteed that a referral will provide you with the best source; my "energy healer" was a referral from a friend of mine. In all cases the best person to trust is yourself. Listen to yourself. Trust your intuition. What does your heart say?
By going into any healing relationship with a firm foundation of personal trust, you can be protected by the one person who has your best interests in mind: yourself. As long as you don't put your healer or teacher up on a pedestal, you have the strength and the power to know when it's time to stay and when it's time to leave.
Do not ever doubt yourself when it comes to this. It is tempting, when you start to question your healer, to think that you are doing this as a form of self-sabotage. You know what? Better to sabotage yourself on occasion than to stay in an unhealthy relationship with a manipulative healer.
Despite these warnings, there are plenty of caring, loving healers and teachers who can help you along your path. They are everywhere and the good news is that you can try different healers and teachers until you find the one that works best for you. Expect the best and you'll find it. You deserve nothing less.
While I am a big supporter of New Age philosophy and many ( NOT ALL) of its methods, I also come to it with a healthy skepticism. You should too (who knows, it may save your life!). I've come up with a few things to look out for when getting involved with a healer, teacher, or group. You should also listen to your own heart - if something bothers you, you are probably right.
1. Is the reader/teacher/healer trying to push an agenda on you that you are not comfortable with? I.e., is your healer trying to push "ideals" of sexual non-monogamy on you even though you value monogamous relationships?
2. When you first get a reading, meet a teacher or go to a class, are students asked to perform an exercise that brings up very painful, personal information that leaves you feeling vulnerable, and then uses group pressure to intensify and then "resolve" this pain?
3. Is your reader/healer/teacher using personal information about you to attack you in subtle ways? I.e., I had a teacher once use a clients personal information, gotten in a private therapy session, to humiliate him in a public class.
4. Is your reader/teacher/healer expressing appropriate boundaries? This is a very important clue. Your private therapist should not become your "buddy" in real life. You should not date your therapist, reader, healer or teacher, and they should not be making sexual moves on you. Notice whether your healer or teacher has seemingly bizarre relationships or suspect boundaries with others in their lives.
5. Is your healer or counselor using "psychic predictions" to remove choice from your life? And are you using psychic predictions in place of taking action or making choices in your life? If you are going for a reading or healing session, and you are more excited to be hearing the latest "prediction" for your future, you may be using this as a way to avoid your own power of choice. Please note that a reader, healer or counselor with an agenda may not necessarily have great psychic powers, but may be telling you things she wants you to hear.
6. Is your reader/healer suggesting that you have to use his services? For example, Reiki does not need to be an ongoing process, unless you want it to be. You should not feel obligated or told that your life will fall apart if you don't see a Reiki practitioner every week for the rest of your life!
7. Is your reader/healer/teacher maintaining an aura of "spiritual superiority" over you, claiming that because she went to meditate five years in India or does psychic readings for a living, she "knows" better than you?
8. Is your teacher withholding information on how you can become self-empowered? For example: Learning to do Reiki yourself is a great way to continue treatments without reliance on a practitioner. Developing your own intuition is perhaps more empowering than consulting a psychic once a week.
9. Does your teacher/healer ask you to do anything that makes you uncomfortable or goes against your ethics?
10. Does your teacher/healer have their own guru, which they appear to worship perhaps more than is comfortable for you? Do you disagree with this "guru's" basic teachings? Is the guru often referred to in a way that seems to elevate him to God-like status? For example, is the guru referred to as "Him" instead of just "him"?
11. Are you getting more than you bargained for from a service? Is your intuitive healer
giving you psychic readings as a "value add?" or vise versa? While this may be OK, be sure that you know what you are getting into beforehand, and you are OK with the healer's qualifications and approach.
12. Are you being pressured to sign up before you are ready? Are you being told that you have to put down a large deposit now or you will miss your "chance". Are you being told that if you don't join, it's because of some deficit on your part? (I.e. "You're just being in denial or afraid of change if you don't join!" - which is a great technique to guilt someone into staying in a negative relationship as well.) Beware of hard sells. Remember: There is always another timeslot, always another class, and always someone else you can go to for the same service if necessary.
13. Are current members of the group pressuring you to join? Are you considering going to a free "introductory" meeting because you are sick and tired of a friend pressuring you constantly about it, and you're hoping that if you just go to the meeting your friend will shut up? If so, you may consider that if your friend is pressuring you this much, the hard sell at the free meeting will probably be even harder to resist. My advice is to not go unless you really want to.
14. Does the group run in secrecy? Is it hard to find any information about them on the
Internet? When you ask the person "inviting" you for some materials on the
organization, do they continually dodge your request?
15. Do you have a bad feeling about something? In all cases: Trust your intuition and
listen to it. It's probably right.
THE NUMBER ONE REASON A PERSON CALLS A PSYCHIC IS TO FIND OUT WHAT TO DO NEXT!
This is an absolute and unequivocal fact. This is why so many people get hung up on predictions. They think that if they can know what is going to happen then they can know what to do now! But, did you ever stop to think that what you do now, determines what will happen?
YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF YOUR FUTURE
A psychic can only tell you the many possible futures. Any psychic who claims to know the future 100% is a psychic to stay away from! Just stop and think for a moment. If I told you I was 100% accurate, then wouldn't you wonder why I am doing psychic readings for a living, day after day, and not sunning myself on a beach in Cancun living off of my lotto winnings and my stock market investments?
A really good and ethical psychic will empower you to intuit your own future, to sense your own gut feelings and guides, to see what you haven't wanted to see, and to know what choices you can make for your own higher good. NOT enable your psychic dependency upon them.
These are just some things to watch out for when evaluating New Age services. While I do not believe we should have to certify everyone - it's a free country and people have the basic right to sell whatever services they want, in my opinion - the buyer also has to be aware. By going into New Age services with your choice and power intact, you will attract positive readers, teachers and healers who can provide you with wonderful guidance in your life. And that's the way it should be.