Over the years, I have sketched at many local expos including about four years with the psychic expo and have worked internationally over the internet. I even did a short stint as a phone psychic but when I discovered that 95 percent of the clients were obsessed with predictions about their love lives, usually along the lines of ‘will he come back to me?’ I made a quick exit. It was like watching a very predictable romance movie over and over again!
I have struggled on and off over the years with the ethical issues surrounding prediction. The power of suggestion can have a profound impact on people and even positive predictions can create havok in a person’s life if they become obsessed with a specific prediction coming true. Prediction junkies won’t make a decision until they have spoken to a psychic which is ridiculous because only some predictions actually come true and life is all about learning to make better decisions after you make not so good ones.
I always tell my clients that a good reading is one where the reader doesn’t tell you anything you don’t already know or feel deep inside yourself on an intuitive level. Clients need to screen readings. Never put a psychic up on pedestal, because you should be the true authority in your own life. Your life is your own creation. You can use a psychic to help you clarify your thoughts and feeling or inspire you but don’t let them shape your life for you and never become a reading addict! I tend to avoid psychics myself.
During a reading, keep checking in with yourself- does it feel right, does it make sense, does it sound right? If it doesn’t make sense let the reader know, maybe you can work together as a team to clarify the meaning of the messages. Sometimes, the meaning won’t make sense until later however, so be content to gently push some parts of the reading aside and put them on hold, pending later clarity.
In my last year of Naturopathy, I began working with a psychologist who helped me structure the sessions a little better and set clearer boundaries between myself and the client. He taught me to check in with the client for validation, rather than doing the entire reading ‘blind’. Asking ‘Can you relate to what I’m saying” helps me navigate through the dialogue I’m having with Spirit with more ease and grace.
When a client say yes or nods in response to this question, I can continue along this path with confidence. I don’t like a client to give me too much information because it influences me and stops the session from being what I call a ‘clean read’. A simple nod and smile is usually all I need but with a client who is experienced in receiving readings, they tend to know just how much to reveal to shape an excellent reading and the teamwork between us can be really dynamic!
If the client cannot relate to what I’m saying, I have to pull up and reconsider my interpretation of the information I’m receiving from Spirit, as well as the way I’m delivering the message. I have to ask myself many questions, such as ‘Does this symbol have a literal or symbolic meaning?’, ‘What aspect of the colour is relevant to the client?’, ‘Is this reference appropriate to past, present or future?’, ‘Is this pattern chronic or acute?’, ‘Am I using a word the client understands and can relate to?’ and so on.
To help me interpret colour meanings, I cross-reference them with body positions, to narrow down the possible choices of interpretation. For example, if pale pink was next to the hands, I would know they are probably a stay-at-home mum or it may be a reference to their role as parent, especially if the child is still a baby. If pale pink is next to the head I know they are thinking like a child, feeling vulnerable, playing the victim or feeling helpless. People in this state want someone bigger and stronger to come along and rescue them.
Over the years, the style of sketching in terms of layout, detail and artwork has undergone many transformations. Spirit has put me through rigorous colour training.
In the first few years, the sketches contained a lot of abstract art revealing hidden images of numbers, wings, landscapes and animals that suddenly would leap out at you, when you looked from the correct perspective. I remember a beautiful sketch in my first year and when I sat back at the end, I suddenly saw white swans, peering out from behind her arms and legs. They seemed to be everywhere. Not surprisingly, we had been talking about self-esteem and feeling rejected by others. After seeing the swans I was able to use the story of the ugly duckling to get some of the message across to her.
Fairy tails are a wonderful way to convey ideas. Recently I had a client who had the image of a frog prince as her spirit guide. The image I kept seeing was of a frog with a crown like the king in the children’s movie Shrek 2. I was able to use this imagery to explain that she had a gift for seeing the underlying beauty in others without judging a book by its cover. I was also able to warn against the danger of trying to rescue every frog prince with a kiss, because some frogs really are frogs (or even toads!) and real princes don’t recognise a princess unless she behaves with a little reserve and decorum. Needless to say, the young lady has a tendency to become sexually or romantically engaged with young men who appeal to the healer in her.
I don’t seem to get this abstract imagery as much any more. When I ask Spirit about why this is so, they say the artwork has simply changed and a different ‘format’ is being used.
I’ve gone through periods of time where the sketches where incredibly detailed, where I was giving too much and charging a pittance for long hours of counseling. My inner child won’t let me get away with that these days, because it really does stop being fun if I work too hard, and its very difficult to sketch without my inner child’s enthusiasm. Between us we make the perfect team!
I also go through phases where I seem to use certain colours more than others, because Spirit is teaching me about the different facets of these particular colours. Every new client teaches me a new way of seeing and understanding a colour, because every client and their story is absolutely unique. Being able to share their story and journey is a wonderful privelege. It’s a rare honour to be able to share so deeply in other peoples lives in such a fun, positive way.
When I first began sketching, I realized that clients were afraid that I would see all their ‘dark, ugly stuff’. What I am more likely to see is the inner beauty within each person that they themselves are having difficulty seeing. During a reading, the sketch, guides and I work together as a team to become a mirror for the client so they can see themselves more clearly. We reflect back their beauty and help them own it. We reflect back the ugliness and help them see it with more compassion and honesty.
Even when I do see this ‘dark ugly stuff’, I understand what difficult experiences have helped to create these wounds and its very rare for me to have any judgmental feelings during a sketch. Being an empath, my work is strongly based on building rapport with clients by attempting to understand their world through their eyes. Even more than this, Spirit is in charge of the message and I have to pass through what I’m getting even if I don’t agree with it.
As I’ve become more confident, I’ve also become more honest and confrontational with clients. I’ve learned that people pay me to be honest, they don’t pay me to tiptoe vaguely around the issue to avoid hurting their feelings. The empathic ability helps me know if I’m getting too close to personal boundaries so I can usually be blunt without being offensive. Humour works wonderfully if I have to hold a mirror up to help them see some of their less attractive personality traits and behaviour.
My husband worked with me for a year and was amazed at the gales of laughter erupting from the room throughout many of the sketches, and yet nearly every client would emerge looking raw and showing signs of having cried. This is the best kind of reading. It’s like two friends getting together and sharing a coffee over the joys and pains of life. I don’t actually drink coffee but you get my drift.
My inner child smiles when she realizes the client is open hearted and open-minded because they are fun to work with. I don’t enjoy working with overly guarded people who are cold and stiff. I understand they may be afraid or cynical but its not much fun when the bulk of the job is finding a way past the walls of Jerico before I can even begin to do my real job properly. (Why on earth do they bother coming?) Most people who start off like this gradually warm up and melt beautifully but I have had a handful of people over the past ten years that I haven’t been able to get through to. Happily, these situations are rare and for the most part, the work is deeply rewarding.
When I was child, I wanted to be an actress, artist and an author. Some adults around me scoffed and tried to help me see the harsh realities of the real world because they didn’t want me to get hurt. In the ‘real world’, you can’t make money doing any of these things and I wasn’t being at all sensible. From my perspective, why on earth would you spend all day doing something unless you loved it? I was determined to do what I loved.
I have achieved my childhood dream because I am living the essence of it. I love what I do because I get to perform, draw and convey ideas using the power of language. I didn’t need to literally become an author, actress or artist in the traditional sense. I simply needed to engage with the essence of what I love to do and allow everything else to fall beautifully into place.