So during my morning catch-up with the world I came across an article -(slightly bias, but an opinion piece so hay-ho)- about well known psychic Sally Morgan having a bit of a bad time of it at her show in Middlesbrough. Now for those of you unfamiliar with Sally Morgan, she's a fairly controversial figure, and has been the focus of many skeptics for years, despite having some of the best feedback in the industry. However, this article is not actually about Sally Morgan, it's about people's expectations and assumptions about psychics.
1) "If you're psychic you must know everything that's going to happen." Erm, no. most psychics (and there are many different kinds) are presented with certain pieces of information when they go looking for them. I don't take myself too seriously so still laugh when I get caught out by an unexpected circumstance and someone pipes up with the old "ahhhh you should have seen that coming..." joke. But the simple retort is that I couldn't have, not unless I did do a reading for "will my car break down today?"
2) "Real psychics should be able to tell you exactly how certain situations will play out." Again, no. Ever seen The Butterfly Effect? It illustrates perfectly why this is impossible. Basically a psychic reading can give you more insight into a situation, it can tell you key influences on a situation, but it can't tell you how to react and what decisions to make. Every decision you, and everyone else involved with a given situation makes, (including the one to have a reading in the first place), will change the future outcome. The analogy I often use is that having a reading is like the map in a car journey. It can tell you what junctions you'll come to, what towns you'll pass through and how far away you are, but it's up to you to decide what route to take.
3) "If a psychic has a 'just for entertainment' disclaimer, it's because they're not really psychic." Nope, it's because we're not perfect and people will sue for just about anything these days. Let's get one thing straight, even the best psychic in the world makes mistakes. For some reason people think psychics should be bang on all the time, I have never understood this. I mean, have you never made a mistake at work? Well psychics are human too and occasionally we get stuff wrong, and that is why we have disclaimers. They are also a legal requirement for conducting readings via certain media.
Now, I'm not telling you that all psychics are great... there are some atrocious ones out there! However, the same can be said for all professions. If you've never had a reading before and are looking at getting one, your best bet is to get a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.