Psychic reading

Psychic reader booth at a fair.

A psychic reading is a specific attempt to discern information through the use of heightened perceptive abilities; or natural extensions of the basic human senses of sight, sound, touch, taste and instinct. These natural extensions are claimed to be clairvoyance (vision), clairsentience (feeling), Claircognisance (factual knowing) and Clairaudience (hearing) and the resulting statements made during such an attempt.[1] The term is commonly associated with paranormal-based consultation given for a fee in such settings as over the phone, in a home, or at psychic fairs.[2] Though psychic readings are controversial and a focus of skeptical inquiry,[3][4] a popular interest in them persists.[5] Extensive experimentation to replicate psychic results in laboratory conditions have failed to find any precognitive phenomena in humans.[6] Psychic reading is pseudoscience.[7] A cold reading technique allows psychics to produce seemingly specific information about an individual from social cues and broad statements.[8]

Types of psychic reading

There are many types of psychic readings practiced. Although psychic readings might not incorporate the use of any tools, a professional psychic may have one or more specialized areas of expertise. Some of the more common readings include Tarot reading, email psychic reading, palm reading, psychometry, aura readings, or astrological readings.


Main article: Astrology

Astrology is the ancient study of how distant objects in the cosmos such as planets and stars have an effect on our lives. The position of the stars, planets, sun and moon when one is born is believed to have an effect on one's personality, shape how relationships work in one's life and even predict future events such as one's economic success.[9] Astrology does not require psychic ability.

Aura reading

Aura readings involve the observation and interpretation of auras.[10] The aura is a field of subtle, luminous radiation supposedly surrounding a person.[11] Psychics have offered aura readings for many years. They claim to have a unique ability to see or sense individual’s auras, however no evidence has ever been provided to substantiate this claim. The only supporting evidence for this claim lies within the logical fallacy that psychics use when they claim they are one of the special few individuals who can see auras, and that they are unable to provide evidence to prove this claim. Psychics suggest auras are made up of “bioelectromagnetic fields” or other such phenomenon that do not have a legitimate, scientific meaning. Individuals such as James Randi have tried to test claims made about aura reading, and when he includes a few simple regulations to the test, all the claimants abilities disappear. Since the ability to read auras has been so publicly debunked, Robert Bruce, in his book Auric Mechanics and Theory, has updated the conditions or variables that need to be in place for a proper aura reading. Bruce stated that auras cannot be seen if any part of the person emitting the aura is obscured. One must wonder why clothing doesn't seem to inhibit aura readings.

Cartomancy or playing card reading

Main article: Cartomancy

Cartomancy is fortune-telling or divination using a deck of cards.[12] The Tarot is a form of cartomancy that can facilitate inner growth, as the symbolism of the cards can be interpreted to discern inner psychological states and unconscious ‘blockages’, that can prevent an individual from reaching his or her potential.[13]


Main article: Cleromancy

Cleromantic readings usually involve casting small objects and reading them by their position, orientation, and mutual proximity. There are numerous variants used throughout the world.

Distant readings

A distant reading, "traveling clairvoyance", or "remote perception" can be conducted without the reader ever meeting the client.[14] This includes Letters, Telephone, SMS, Email, Chat and Webcam Readings. Distance between the reader and the client does not hinder the clarity of the reading.[15]

Correspondence readings are usually done via letters, later emails and filling in special forms on Psychic websites.[16]

Telephone readings are live readings where both Psychic and Client hear each other by connecting via Premium Rate telephone line. In the last years, with restrictions on premium rate numbers, more common are pre-paid callbacks, in which case Client leaves his/her credit card details over the phone to an operator, after which gets a call on a specified phone number. Telephone readings became most popular with the growth of live advice TV shows as main means of advertising, and is commonly used by Companies rather than individual Psychics, due to high setup costs.

SMS and Chat readings is a quick Question-and-Answer format of Reading allowing exchange of basic information between Psychic and Client.

Webcam Reading, or Video Chat Reading is the newest way of Psychic Reading allowing real time live connection between Psychic and Client. Client has possibility to see and hear Psychic, and can choose to be viewed, seen and/or type during the Reading.

Lithomancy and crystallomancy

Main articles: Lithomancy and Crystallomancy

Lithomancy readings usually involve especially suitable gems or stones that are immersed in water, or tossed as a set and read by mutual proximity.[17] Its origins are unknown, and there are numerous different methodologies used by various cultures throughout the world. A recently more common variant is crystallomancy also known as crystal gazing.[18] Using quartz as a crystal ball[19] it is stereotypically depicted as gypsy fortune telling.


Main article: Numerology

Numerology is defined as the study of the occult meanings of numbers and their influence on human life. It is essentially a reading of an individual based specifically upon numerical values such as their date of birth, letters in their names, etc. Numerology can be used in psychic readings.

Palm reading

Main article: Palmistry

Palmistry is another popular method of psychic readings, involving characterization and foretelling of one's future through the study of the lines, shapes, wrinkles and curves on the palm. Palmistry does not require psychic ability, as it generally uses cold reading abilities and previous knowledge of the subject.


Psychometry is a form of psychic reading in which the reader claims to obtain details about another through physical contact with their possessions.[20] Psychometry readers often ask the subject for their favorite and most meaningful objects, such as wedding rings, glasses, car keys, etc., for the reading. The belief is that objects which are in close proximity to a person for extended periods of time hold some of that person's energy; energy which can be detected. This method has been used to try to locate missing persons.[21] Psychometry can be also performed in groups where like-minded people will try to read from objects.

Rune reading

Main article: Runic magic

Runes are an ancient alphabet used for divining the future.[22] The runes are cast on a mat or cloth to discern future events or path a problem or issue will take.[23] Runes are also considered magic and are used for spells and incantations by some witches and other practitioners of divination.[23]

Tarot reading

Tarot cards have been greatly popularized, but can be often regarded solely as entertainment. Traditional decks are available in chain bookstores. New decks also frequently appear in New Age bookstores. Though not requiring psychic abilities, Tarot cards can be used as a psychic or cold reading tool and Tarot readings are common at psychic fairs.[5][24]

Challenges to Psychic Readings

Skeptics have challenged the veracity of the claims of psychic readings, largely through disclosure of the methods. Psychologist Richard Wiseman's 2011 book Paranormality: Why We See What Isn't There noted the tricks of the trade, and Wiseman noted in a podcast appearance that the disclosure generated negative feedback from the psychic community.[25]

See also


  1. Reading - Key Words Frequently Used in Parapsychology, Parapsychological Association (2010-04-14)
  2. Nobel, Carmen (April 10, 2008). "Vision Quest". The Boston Globe.
  3. Stollznow, Karen (2010-04-12). "A Psychometry Reading The Naked Skeptic". Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  4. "psychic". The Skeptic's Dictionary - Retrieved 2012-07-13.
  5. 1 2 Haskett, Wendy (August 15, 1987). "Psychic Fairs Aim for Aura of Fun in Mind Reading". Los Angeles Times.
  6. Ritchie, Stuart J.; Wiseman, Richard; French, Christopher C. (March 14, 2012). "Failing the Future: Three Unsuccessful Attempts to Replicate Bem's 'Retroactive Facilitation of Recall' Effect". PLoS ONE. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033423.
  7. Truzzi, Marcello; Williams, William A. (2000). Encyclopedia of pseudoscience. New York: Facts on File. ISBN 0-8160-5080-5.
  8. Dutton, Denis (1988). "The cold reading technique". Experientia. 44 (4): 326–332. doi:10.1007/BF01961271. PMID 3360083. Retrieved June 30, 2009.
  10. Whitworth, Belinda (2003). New Age Encyclopedia: A Mind Body Spirit Reference Guide (Revised edition). New Page Books. p. 34. ISBN 1-56414-640-5.
  11. Jack, Alex (1990) [1976]. The New Age Dictionary Second Edition. Tokyo and New York: Japan Publications, Inc. p. 14.
  12. Huson, Paul (2004). Mystical Origins of the Tarot: From Ancient Roots to Modern Usage. Vermont: Destiny Books. ISBN 0-89281-190-0.
  13. Farley, Helen (2009). Cultural History of the Tarot: From entertainment to esotericism. I.B. TAURIS. p. 157.
  14. Beloff, John (1997) [1993]. Parapsychology: A Concise History (reprint ed.). Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 24–25. ISBN 978-0-312-17376-0.
  15. "Psychic Readings". Psychic Medium Cassandra Blizzard.
  16. "Online Psychic Readings". Psychic Source. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
  17. Besterman, Theodore (2005) [1924]. Crystal-Gazing. Cosimo Classics. p. 6. ISBN 1-59605-388-7.
  18. Besterman, p.3
  19. Kole, Andre; Holley, Terry; Gomes, Alan W. (1998). Astrology and Psychic Phenomenon. Zondervan. p. 75. ISBN 0-310-48921-0.
  20. Spence, Lewis Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology, Part 2, Kessinger Publishing, LLC (February 1, 2003), p.754. ISBN 0-7661-2817-2
  21. Kessler, Robert; Schachtman, Tom (1993). Whoever Fights Monsters: My Twenty Years Tracking Serial Killers for the FBI. St. Martin's Paperbacks. p. 270. ISBN 0-312-95044-6.
  22. "Runic Alphabet Writing System". Encyclopaedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  23. 1 2 "Runes and their meanings". Paranormality. Archived from the original on 7 April 2016. Retrieved 29 May 2016.
  24. Dullea, Georgia (October 31, 1993). "Tarot Goes 'Po Mo'". New York Times.
  25. Skepticality (5 July 2011). "Paranormality". Retrieved 27 June 2015.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 10/31/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.