The first time I was given a psychic reading, I was 12 years old and on vacation with my family in Seaside Heights (yes, where the hit reality show Jersey Shore was filmed). I was desperately searching for confirmation that my middle school crush loved me back, so I took the $10 (£7.60) my parents gave me for a henna tattoo straight to one of the psychics sitting in the small stalls along the boardwalk. I received plenty of information on that visit, including that the letter "T" was romantically significant to my life — a huge letdown to my preteen self, since my crush's name started with an N.
Sure, that Jersey Shore psychic experience was a little disappointing. But it didn't put me off the practice forever, especially not once I discovered that there are plenty of psychics who I could visit without having to make a trip to a seedy boardwalk. In fact, many offer their services virtually — a blessing, especially during COVID-19 times.
"Spiritual energy is not confined to time and space, so sessions can occur in person or online," Live the Light, psychic empath and advisor at Keen.com, tells Refinery29. "That deep connection can be felt across cities, states, even countries. There are no limits when spirit is involved."
You can book your own psychic for a phone call or online chat to get answers to your most pressing questions. But there are many different types out there, so it's worth doing your research to figure out exactly what you want out of your reading.
"It's important to read their online profiles and determine if they specialise in the area you want to focus on," Live the Light explains. "For example, if you're interested in relationships, connect with a love psychic. If you want to tap into spirit, consider a psychic medium."
Once you've found a psychic who meets your criteria, have questions prepared. But flexibility is key too, Live the Light says. "They may touch on things that you never considered asking about. However, that may produce some surprising and enlightening results," she explains.
"Types of readings vary per advisor," Love Expert Sara, a psychic for Keen.com who has given over 95,000 readings, tells Refinery29. "Most, but not all, are using tarot cards or some sort of divination tool. Others use no tools at all and use a combination of clairvoyance, remote viewing, clairaudience, and claircognisance."
To define those terms: Clairvoyance is the ability to perceive psychic abilities using imagery; clairaudience is the ability to perceive by hearing; and claircognisance is the ability to perceive by knowing. Remote viewing, according to Gaia, is "the ability to acquire accurate information about a distant or non-local place, person or event without using your physical senses."
There are reasons not to go see a psychic, of course. Reputable psychics will usually refuse to give legal advice, stock predictions, and medical advice. (If they don't, be wary — they should.) Some also stay away from predicting grim health issues, like death or sickness. "Even though most psychics are equipped in many ways to help clients in severe distress, sometimes a therapist or doctor is needed," Love Expert Sara explains.
But that doesn't mean you should expect all positive news, either. "One of the major misconceptions is that readings are supposed to make people feel better or give them something to look forward to," Live the Light says. "While that can happen, it's not always the case. The actual purpose of a reading is to empower people by revealing the truth in their life." If you're not ready to hear something negative or unexpected, you may want to postpone your reading or not get one at all.