What is Psychic Ability?

An Introduction to the Tarot

Choosing the Right Tarot Card Reader

Hydromancy or Water Scrying

Not an Exact Science

Developing a Code of Ethics

What is Psychic Ability?

It is a curious thing, but whenever the word "psychic " is mentioned, almost everyone will react. Some will be enthusiastic, others sceptical, admiring, fearful, scornful even angry, but most people will be, at least, interested in psychic phenomena.

So what, exactly, does the word 'psychic' mean? The word comes from the Greek psychikos meaning 'of the mind'. We use it as an adjective to describe the ability to perceive things that cannot be perceived with the five physical senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. We also use it as a noun to describe a person who exercises psychic ability.

People have always reacted to those with psychic abilities. Such people have, over the years, been exalted, feared, persecuted or derided as the role and social status of psychics changed. But they were never ignored. Psychic ability has been called everything from 'a gift from the gods' to 'the work of the devil'. Attempts to explain psychic phenomena have included 'drug induced', 'con artist tricks', 'witchcraft' and 'black magic'.

Psychics have been known by many names and came in many forms - prophet, seer, oracle, soothsayer, medicine man, shaman, fortune teller, wise woman and witch doctor, to name but a few. Divination practices in the ancient world included studying the habits of birds, natural phenomena, animal entrails, lightning patterns and the dream interpretation. Mankind's insatiable curiosity and burning desire to see "beyond the veil " has provided much work for those with true psychic abilities - and for tricksters and con artists alike.

"Let No Man Enter This Place, Save His Hands Be Pure ", One has only to read this inscription over the entrance to the temple of Apollo containing the Oracle of Delphi, to witness the regard in which the ancient Greeks held the priests and priestesses within. Their oracular advice and prophecies were seen as direct messages from the gods, and they, as divine messengers were considered most holy. Soothsayers in ancient Rome were also highly respected for their skills and though regarded as unusual, were nevertheless recognized and accepted. Many wealthy families employed a personal astrologer or regularly consulted a seer.

As the early Christian Church struggled to maintain its hold in Europe, it sought to stamp out or defame the older religions. People with natural intuition and psychic abilities were 'obviously' in league with the devil and therefore to be feared and, eventually, persecuted. The whole idea of psychic phenomena or psychic ability was shrouded in fear and superstition for centuries. Later, as western civilization entered its scientific age, psychics were ridiculed and accused of being charlatans, but at least they were no longer persecuted as heretics. So much for our "Age of Reason "!

About one hundred years ago, psychic and spiritualist societies began to be formed. They conducted experiments, which often had remarkable - though little publicized results. There were very few properly run tests using scientific methods. It is only within the last fifty years or so, that psychic phenomena has begun to be investigated seriously, and people have felt free to show an open interest in such things. Recently, major advances have been made in the study of the human mind and its mysterious powers. The existence of telepathy and extra sensory perception, (ESP), has been proved conclusively by researchers such as Dr Rhine of Duke University in the USA. The ability to look into the future has not, as yet, been fully explained, but the results of tests using foolproof scientific methods have been so conclusive, that science can no longer ignore or offhandedly dismiss the subject.

Yes, most of us are interested in psychic phenomena, but not everyone is blessed with ESP or the psychic abilities to experience it first hand. Or are they? I believe that everyone has the potential for psychic ability. Our physical senses allow us to perceive the world about us. In fact ALL of the information we receive about our surroundings and about other people comes to us through these senses. Psychic ability is, to put it simply, another sense - a sixth sense - which we all possess to some degree, but which in most people, has not been developed enough to use properly, or even at all. There are, however, people in whom this sixth sense is developed quite strongly. We call these people psychics.

So, as you can see, there is nothing scary about psychic ability. There is no devil worship involved, and just like any other sense, it is neither good nor evil - simply another way of gathering information. Psychics can help us to see that which cannot be seen and to hear that which cannot be heard using the other five senses. A good psychic can help you to make some sense of those otherwise inexplicable feelings that there is something amiss, when everything seems, on the surface at least, to be a bed of roses. Most importantly, psychics can help provide clarity and insight so that you are better equipped to solve life's problems.

By Sylvia Richards July 4th 2009

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About the Author: Sylvia Richards is a well known natural psychic who can provide you with a psychic reading using Tarot cards by email. To know more about Sylvia and how to book an email reading, please visit