Sometimes the local Spiritualist Church invites me to be a guest speaker, on any topic I’m guided by Spirit to address. They are Christian, but open-minded enough to understand and respect my focus on Deity as Goddess and to pray, themselves, to ‘Father and Mother’, knowing that God is either or both (as well as beyond all categories). Afterwards I usually do some quick, public psychic readings for individuals in the congregation. I don’t normally attend the church on other occasions, but yesterday Spouse and I went along because Joan, a locally famous clairvoyant, was going to be there giving brief messages for people. A psychic medium myself, I seldom have the opportunity to be on the receiving end.
Due to time constraints, the messages were indeed brief and not for every person present, so I was thrilled when she stopped in front of me and asked, ‘Who’s Florence?’ I told her, ‘That’s my Nana.’ Then she asked, ‘Who was it who learned piano?’ and I said, ‘That’s Mum.’
‘They’re both here,’ she said, ‘Sending you lots of love.’ She asked who loved fishing, and who was a member of a Masonic Lodge (she could see him dressed up in the costume). They were my stepfather and my Dad, respectively. She then said she was getting the name ‘Keith or Kath’. I hesitantly suggested my Aunty Kathleen, but added that she never called herself Kath, in fact hated that abbreviation of her name. It was much later that I realised it was more likely a close family friend called Keith, who boarded with us for years when I was a schoolgirl and died shortly before my Mum did.
The spirits told her that I love reading, that I read lots and lots of books, and mentioned the word ‘library’. I was always a bookworm, and I was a librarian for 18 years.
She mentioned someone called Bill. Spouse and I both knew it had to be my previous husband, who died in 1995. ‘What’s he got to say for himself?’ I asked. She said, ‘He’s saying he likes your new curtains.’ Yes, we have recently got new curtains. I laughed, ‘That’d be Bill.’ I recognised it as his way of making a little joke to confirm that he’s the one who pops in now and again when I feel a presence. He’s not the only one who does that, but there are times when I get a strong feeling it’s him. Now I know for sure. I could just hear him saying something like that, with a cheeky chuckle.
She didn’t get so much for Spouse, but did ask if he had a daughter. (Yes, he has.) She said, ‘I’m seeing a woman who’s connected to your daughter. I can see her holding the little girl’s hand. Again, both Spouse and I knew this must be his first wife, who died last year. ‘She is sending lots of love to you and your daughter,’ Joan told him.
None of this was particularly dramatic. Mostly it was simply a message that these people who have passed on were sending their love. Yet it was exciting in a way to be told so, and certainly warming. With hindsight I notice that in each case she was given either a name or some very specific information that would identify the person exactly. For instance, his love of fly-fishing was one of the defining things about my stepfather, the thing that would of course be included if anyone told you about him.
She knew nothing about me or my circumstances, and the messages were delivered very quickly; she wasn’t probing or anything — yet she was correct about the new curtains, the love of reading, and the library connection, all very specific things that you wouldn’t get if you were faking.
Not that I suspected her of faking. Her reputation is excellent. But a few months ago one of my writers’ group said she has trouble believing in psychics because she has read how easy it is to do ‘cold calling’, a technique for faking the ability by being sufficiently vague to start with and watching the client’s body language. She tried it on me in front of the group for a few minutes to demonstrate, and was jubilant when my facial expression confirmed one of her guesses.
The rest of the group wanted to get on with writing, so I cut short the experiment there. Afterwards, as at least one other person there had had a reading from me, I wished I‘d said, ‘Tell her how I do it‘ — because I use Tarot cards and a crystal ball, and when I use the crystal ball I don’t scry, I touch it and close my eyes. In other words, I’m not watching the client’s body language at all. When I use the cards, they are pre-shuffled and spread in an untidy heap from which clients are invited to let themselves be drawn to the right ones. That is, they themselves select the cards. And, although the cards have room for interpretation, they do have particular meanings which can’t be too far departed from.
The sceptical writer did assure me she wasn’t alleging that I did cold calling; she was just saying it made it hard for her to trust psychics. It hurt a little all the same. It was very, very close to saying she thought I might be doing that (or else that I must be fooling myself). Hard to justify what I do, though, when I’m the one doing it. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, i.e. it’s the clients who can verify my ability — or not. That’s why it was good to notice that Joan could not have been faking. She didn’t fish around, she jumped straight in with details that weren’t a bit vague and couldn’t have been guessed. They were accurate for the people she was talking to, in very specific ways. And, like me, she had her eyes shut a lot of the time whilst tuning in.
Yes, there are fakes out there. Don’t let that blind you to the fact that some of us are genuine.