I do my healing and spiritual work in several forums: not only on my own website and through in-person appointments, but through other psychic websites and psychic fairs. It is very clear that most people have only the vaguest idea of what a psychic does – what he/she is SUPPOSED to do – and how to tell a good one!

There are as many ideas on how to choose a good psychic as there are psychics. Some insist that if a psychic doesn’t immediately tell you something he/she could not have known, it’s not a “genuine” psychic. Others tell you to deliberately project incorrect or misrepresentational thoughts at the psychic – if they are “real” they will know that it’s not the truth. Still others tell you that if you call them, it “must be the right one” because the Universe led you there…and another dozen answers in between.

As someone who has both consulted psychics and been the one consulted, I’d like to share with you some insights on how to choose a psychic or “spiritual intuitive” to work with…what kinds of things they can do…and how to use the information when you’ve got it.


Not all psychics are the same – just as not all doctors, all teachers, or all artists are the same. A doctor can be a specialist on your heart, your lungs, or your feet; a teacher can teach math, Spanish, or history; and an artist can work in oils, watercolors, or marble. Just as you wouldn’t tell a math teacher, “well, if you can’t teach me Spanish you’re not a real teacher!” the fact that not all psychics use the same methods or have skills in the same fields does not make one more genuine than another.

Some (but not all) of the methodologies that reputable psychics can use are Tarot or other divinatory card decks, runes, crystals, I Ching, numerology, astrology, palm reading, aura reading, chakra work, angel connections, energy healing, dream interpretation, past life readings, channeling, mediumship, pendulum work, phrenology – and more techniques are coming forward every day.

Once you decide what issues you’d like to address with the intuitive you choose, you will probably be able to hone in on which methods you’d like for him/her to use. It will pay off in the long run for you to familiarize yourself with the various systems named above – there may be one or two that you are especially drawn to, and that knowledge will assist you in focusing your search.

STEP TWO: WE’RE OFF TO FIND THE PSYCHIC…(apologies to Dorothy and the Wizard!)

In these “interesting times,” it is easier to find a psychic – or at least, one who bills him/herself a psychic – than ever before. Chat lines, 900 numbers, websites, local periodicals, you name it – we’re all out there! The sheer number can be confusing and a little daunting.

There are several things that you should look for when choosing your psychic – and we’ve given you a simple way to remember them:

Sharing references
You are in charge of your own destiny
Here, I can fix anything – for a price…
Inappropriate actions

RULE ONE: Professionalism

The psychic you choose should be, and act like, a professional. This does not mean that they necessarily have to make a full time living at such work, but that they should respect others in their field, respect your time and energy as a client, and respect general social behaviors. If you needed a lawyer, whom would you choose? You’d choose one who answered your questions, gave you references if you wanted them, told you exactly what the work would cost you (and how such costs were structured). You’d prefer one who didn’t patronize you or try to intimidate you into using their services. You’d expect to be able to make appointments in a reasonable amount of time, that such appointments would be kept, and that you wouldn’t have to cool your heels for hours after you arrived. You’d expect clear “layman’s explanations” regarding any terms or events you did not understand. You’d expect your business to be kept private, and not discussed with other clients. Overall, you’d expect to be treated with courtesy and respect – not as a supplicant, not as an ignorant simpleton, and not as “money on two feet.”

And that’s what you should expect from your psychic as well.

RULE TWO: Sharing references

If you found the psychic through other than a word-of-mouth situation, it is perfectly legitimate of you to ask for references. As long as there is no breaking of confidences, you should be able to speak with three or four people who have availed themselves of the psychic’s services. Ask questions like: Were you comfortable with this person? Did he/she charge fairly? Was the information you received accurate? Useful? Why or why not? How hard is it to get an appointment? Did he/she try to sell all kinds of “extras” (mojo bags, spell candles, curse-breakers, etc.)? And lastly, would you go back to this person again?

One of the reasons that you need more than one or two conversations is to see whether the psychic harps on the same themes all the time – if they are always talking about failing relationships, or dark futures, or devious connections, then more than likely there’s a fair amount of that in the psychic’s life, and it is coloring their views. Conversely, if all a psychic ever gives is “sweetness and light” with no shadings of challenge or growth, then they either cannot or will not see that life has both blessings AND tests. Life is not a fairy tale – it’s not happily ever after every time. Honesty, tempered with tact and neutrality, is the mark of a clear channel psychic.

Three or four conversations like this should give you a fairly accurate view of the psychic in question.

RULE THREE: You are in charge of your life – no one else.

There’s a famous old acronym – FEAR = False Evidence Appearing Real. No psychic should try to convince you that they see your death, you are cursed, that you have bad luck, that events in your life are totally out of your control and that someone else (most likely, the psychic) must help you out of your dire predicament. If someone starts feeding you information that makes you doubt yourself, your life, or your state of mind, LEAVE.

On the other hand, if the psychic does not give you “everything is sweetness and light,” but points out difficulties and challenges ahead, that may be what they truly see – and therefore appropriate to tell you. They may even go farther and suggest several ways for you to direct your life and actions to make the best of such situations, or point out the likely unfolding if you take this path or that. Take his or her advice the way you would anyone else’s – see if it resonates to you, feels right. If it does, then act upon it. If it feels neutral or “off,” then you are free to ignore it or put it on the shelf for a period of time. That, my friends, is what free will is all about!

With every rule, of course, there is an exception: if you really DON’T like what you hear, but it keeps nibbling at you both during and after the session, could be that you are being pointed in one of those directions that provides growth – and, as when being confronted by some useful but vile-tasting medicine, it might be to your advantage to screw up your nose and take it. Reconsider the session information seriously after a week or two, try to be objective about it, and listen to your own intuition. You may find that it has settled into something you want to act upon.

RULE FOUR: Charges

Psychics can charge as little as $10 and as much as – well, as the traffic will bear: internationally famous psychics can charge in the thousands of dollars. But generally, psychics will run somewhere between $10-$150 for a set price, or may charge “by the minute” – for instance, $1 per minute figures out to $60 per hour, and the psychic only charges for the time in session with you.

Because you have requested a service from the psychic in question, they do deserve to get paid, if they are at all courteous, reasonable and relatively on target. Notice I say “relatively” – no one is 100% accurate, because we are all human. But if they are clearly doing their best for you, remember that they are offering a service – just like a doctor, a plumber, or a master chef. As in any other profession, for a psychic to ask for fair compensation is not wrong. Think of it as merely exchanging your energy (payment) for the psychic’s (his/her abilities, time and focus on you).

RULE FIVE: Here, I Can Fix Anything…For A Price

Here we come to those soi-disant (“so-called”) psychics who prey on those who do not feel in charge of their own lives. Countless times we have heard of someone paying thousands of dollars to have a hex lifted, to chase away an evil spirit, to get rid of a rival, to force another person to fall in love with them, to cause misfortune to a perceived enemy, or for magic numbers that will win the Irish Sweepstakes. The reasons are endless – and, sad to say, there are those who are in the psychic business solely for the money and the power. (That is true in any profession, but in one as little understood as psychic work, the opportunities to bilk the innocent are enormous.)

If, my friends, you come away from this discussion with one piece of information fixed in your minds, make it this – YOU are the ones who can heal your own lives, your own challenges, and your own karma. No one else. Nor, Karmically, do you have the right to “force” another’s will – to fall in love with you, to give you money, to do anything. You are only in charge of your own life. (Most of us have our hands full with that anyway!) And, by extension, the psychic who promises to fix your life with candles, mojo bags, hex powder, floor washes or the like, is assuming that your free will is theirs for the taking.

Prove them wrong!

(I want to extend a caveat here – there are many honest, talented and dedicated Wiccans and other practicing pagans who work with candle rituals, herbs, etc. These good folk are not included in this caution, for the reputable ones will generally show you how to work with such things while teaching you how to engage your will in the matter – not assume that they are going to do everything for you while you pour coins in their purses. In this case, the objects they suggest for use are merely your tools. Your will is still what makes them work.)

RULE SIX: Inappropriate Actions

We’ve gone over some of the lesser of these: psychics trying to sell you services you don’t need, trying to convince you that they, and ONLY they, know the answers to your life’s challenges. But there are other actions, of a darker and more sinister kind. As another reputable psychic says, a muddy channel will carry muddy water -- and as psychics “channel” information to you, make sure they are not muddied by fundamentalist thinking, an overwhelming ego, negative energies regarding their own lives – or just plain amoral greed.

When we talk about inappropriate actions, they can be considered anything where the psychic tries to insinuate his/herself into your life, your finances or your personal information. Examples:

· The psychic tries to convince you that certain monies, items of jewelry or other items of worth are “cursed” and the only way to “clear” them is for the psychic to take them over for a period (these can include wills, deeds or other legal papers!)
· The psychic tries to convince you of some kind of Karmic connection they have with you, and therefore you MUST become their student, or support them, or otherwise wrap your life around theirs.
· The psychic tries to convince you that your ways of thinking, religion, beliefs, etc. are damning and that you MUST change them on peril of your soul, and he/she has the only answer that will save you.
· The psychic takes advantage of your instability regarding a relationship and “makes moves” on you – this is sexual predation, pure and simple.

You can see where we’re heading...metaphysicians and spiritual intuitives of any repute know that, first and foremost, we are all entitled to our free will. None may take it from us without incurring some serious Karmic debt. So if someone tries to convince you that you’re on the road to perdition, and they’re the only vehicle to take you away from all this – go away, indeed. But from them, under your own power, and immediately.

RULE SEVEN: Connections

Connections are what using a psychic is all about – connections with your own inner guides, connections with the paths you need for growth, connections with people and things you can trust. The inner connection you forge with a reputable psychic is a valuable one, and one that, in the very best of circumstances, will be of benefit to the psychic as well.

Even if you do everything we’ve discussed above, the last, most important key to choosing your psychic is – how do you feel? If there is a sense of either neutrality – being open to what they say, but not being “invested” in them before the meeting – or a feeling of downright “yes, this is a person I want to connect my energies with” – then it’s a safe bet that your experience with them will good for you. If, at any time before you sit down with them, you feel a twinge of “ehhhh…maybe not” then HONOR that intuition! Keep looking – there are enough of us out there for you to hit the bull’s eye on trust.

And now, take that connection one step further…if you feel that you’ve been treated fairly by the psychic you’ve chosen – if you feel the information to have been rational, relevant and useful to you – then make connections with your friends. Let them know that you have a psychic you trust and find reputable. Face it: we intuitives aren’t exactly able to advertise on prime time television or radio – and even cable has been taken up by people like the Psychic Friends Network, and other Cleo-types. The best way for us to continue our work is for positive word-of-mouth report to come from our clients. This helps build the bridges of trust all the way around.

This is not, by any means, the last word on how to choose a psychic – or even the best one. There are other good articles on the Internet, and we highly recommend for you to do a search to read what others have to say on the subject. In the meantime, if you have further questions or comments on the issue, we’d love to hear from you! Be sure to send your observations to corbie@firethroughspirit.com, and head the subject line PSYCHICS 101.

Author's Bio: 

Corbie Mitleid has been reading since 1973. She travels coast to coast and into Canada as a full time intuitive counselor. She is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader (through the Tarot Certification Board of America); Certified Psychic (through the American Association of Professional Psychics); member of the American Tarot Association and the Professional Association of Intuitive Consultants; Board member of the National Psychics Guild and ordained minister of the Sanctuary of the Beloved (Order of Melchizedek). A trained medium, Corbie is a featured channel in COURAGEOUS SOULS: Do We Plan Our Life Challenges Before Birth? by Robert Schwartz.