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    Psychics, Astrologers, And Tarot Card Readers Are Sharing The Secrets And Stories From Their Professions, And Now I'm Both Spooked And Skeptical

    "When my father died, I felt it and went into a trance. He told me he had just passed and was moving on now. I came back in tears, but I know he's in a better place."

    Recently, we asked the professional astrologers, psychics, mediums, tarot card readers, and other spiritual advisers to share their secrets and stories from their jobs. Here's what they had to say.

    A tarot reader pulls their cards out on the table

    1. "I do astrology. I have done numerous compatibility charts for friends. I hate it when I tell them honestly that their new crush or partner isn’t compatible with them and they get mad. Look, I’m just telling you what I see — since you wanted me to — and I really can’t help that you guys aren’t going to make it. Then I’m not so shocked when they don’t."


    An astrologer makes marking on a chart

    2. "A friend of mine reads tarot cards. He says that the present and the future can be changed based on the choices you make. He says the tarot cards are only telling you the likely path based on your current choices, whether it's good or bad. He doesn't charge people for readings. He just enjoys doing them for people. He truly believes it so we respect his belief regardless of ours."


    A deck of tarot cards

    3. "I guess if I have to summarize why I do tarot it's sort of because certain people will never opt for a psychotherapist, despite that being the best tactic to solving many personal mental illnesses. Tarot meets them halfway and then imposes a certain structure and process which, if done right, can lead to some personal awakenings of those who would never choose to go see a medical professional."


    A person shuffling some tarot cards during a reading

    4. "So for a year and a half, I worked at a metaphysical or occult shop in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. I worked as an actual shop employee, professional tarot reader, spiritual adviser, and I made spell candles for people to help turn their situations around. The shop owner used a lot of spells of her own to keep our store busy. Hardly anyone ever left without buying anything, and it was very common for people to spend over $100 and come back two days later to buy even more stuff. A lot of times people didn't really know that they were under a kind of spell that compels you to buy things, especially things you don't need, as soon as you walk in."


    Spell candles lit on a table

    5. "I like to dabble in tarot. Tarot readings are not really meant to tell the future. Each card is a visual representation of a theme, stage, or archetype that we all go through in our lives. Each card can be related to ANY situation in your life. It's useful to gain insight and start looking at the situation in a different way. I do readings for myself to help me think about every choice and outcome that may happen before I make a decision."

    "To me, being 'psychic' is just being super aware of the situation at hand and being able to discern the right choice from the wrong based on your experience, though honestly I have had some very unbelievable experiences. I shuffle the deck after every card is drawn and I pick a random card each time. A few times I can think of, I have drawn the same reading 2–3 times in a row. I chalked it up to maybe not shuffling well enough or something but it's fun to think about."


    A tarot reader holds a card with two people and the sun

    6. "If you are a skilled psychic that can predict the outcome of future events, then your predictions will be rather ordinary and bland for most people. These people are even likely to be labeled as cold readers, since the actual future generally CAN be predicted with basic common sense. People don't WANT to hear that if they try to pursue that cute girl at work, it's gonna result in a few awkward dates and maybe some half-hearted crappy sex. They want to hear that they are star-crossed, soul-bound lovers. Nobody gives a shit about the REAL answer because it's boring and they generally have a good idea what it is already (and often don't want to accept it). People want to feel important."


    A lit-up sign of a psychic

    7. "When I'm reading someone's tarot cards, I will change the reading to suit the person's microexpressions. For instance, if I suggest that the Knight of Swords might represent a particular person in your life and you subtly demur with your eyes, then I'll instead use that card as some 'force' that is moving on you. See how that goes? Whether I'm right at first blush or not is irrelevant because you'll lead me to the proper interpretation. Once I find a point that you strongly agree with, I'll tend to focus the rest of the reading on that. I've described a somewhat manipulative process there, but I don't do it for money. I'm also pretty direct with people who ask me for tarot readings by stating that all I will do for them is interpret the cards — nothing more or less."


    A woman reading a man's cards in a room

    8. "I don’t claim to be psychic, but I do read palms. One time, I read this chick I met at a bar on vacation — it was her bachelorette party. I did the usual big three lines, plus some weirder lines and placements that I hadn’t encountered before. I just went with my gut, and told her so plainly that I was only 'going with my instinct' on what the lines meant. One was that she would marry young, but twice — and the second marriage was going to be to a friend-turned-lover who she’d known from childhood. The second was that they would settle away from home due to religious conflicts with both sides of the family. Obviously I didn’t know her, but I was apparently spot-on because she started screaming and her bridesmaids lost their damn minds. Apparently her and her fiancé — this was her second marriage — grew up next door to each other. I was glad she was so delighted, and she gave me $10 too!!!"


    A person getting their palm read

    9. "I have talked to spirits ever since I was a child. Not ghosts, I've never seen them but I know they exist. Every one of us has a 'version' of ourselves in a spiritual dimension. I go into a trance and talk to them and ask them questions. Sometimes they come to me and warn me of things, other times I must ask. All I need is someone's name and birth date and a personal object (anything really, a button for example) so they can know who I'm talking about. They will then find that person's version in the spirit world and check on their condition or ask around whether there is something negative in store for them."


    A person lying down, but their spirit is in the air

    10. "Don't argue with people. There will always be people who tell you there's no such thing as spirits, or that you have a mentally illness for believing in spirits or spiritual abilities. They don't want to have a conversation — they want to have an argument and get you riled up. Don't argue with them. It's exhausting and you will never change their minds. Just say okay, have a nice day, blessed be if you like, and move on. Don't let them ruin your mood."


    A psychic with a deck of cards

    11. "One day, an older woman came into the occult shop I worked at. She approached the counter and told me we were out of a certain kind of oil she needed. I went to go check for myself and this woman, and annoyed that I wanted to check for her, followed me all the way to the drawers where we kept this oil. I then grabbed the master bottle we use to pour from and filled a tiny vial for her."

    "As I poured the oil, she said, 'And make sure you get some of the herbs in there!' Annoyed, I told her, 'I know what I'm doing.' As soon as those words left my mouth, the tiny bottle flew out of my force. And before that bottle even hit the ground, this woman said, 'No, I know what I'm doing. Get me another bottle.' I swear on everything this woman used telekinesis to rip the bottle from my hand. I swiftly filled another bottle, didn't bother to put any herbs in it on purpose, and set the bottle down in front of her. She grabbed it and I made sure someone else checked her out. Evil exists — some people have great powers and use it purely to bully others. This woman did."


    A spell table with herbs and oils

    12. "As a psychic, I've received warnings. A friend was about to go on a trip and a spirit told me not to let her go, so upon waking I told her— sure enough, there was a bus crash. Another friend told me she was very sick in a dream, and turned out she was developing Hodgkin's lymphoma. No, they are never wrong. I've been told very specific things too, such as my sister being pregnant with a girl. I told her to get tested, and of course, it was a girl. When my father died, I felt it and went into a trance. I looked for him and he told me he had just passed and was moving on now. I came back in tears, but I know for a fact, that he's in a better place."


    A fortune teller with a crystal ball

    13. "Any good tarot reader should always let the person who's receiving the reading shuffle the deck. This is supposedly a necessary step so that they can 'imprint' their question on the deck, but the reason I ask others to shuffle is so they don't assume I'm stacking the deck."


    A deck of tarot cards

    14. "I used to consider myself as gifted of sorts in that I could sometimes predict some future events and outcomes. My wildest and most tragic prediction ended with an ex. We were in a long-distance, long-term relationship and we had to travel back and forth to be with each other. One evening in particular, I remember talking with her about the state of 'us.' Being so far apart and unwilling to commit to marriage at the time, we discussed separation. I wasn't okay with it, but she was. She asked me to focus and concentrate on my future and where I saw myself, and she asked me to do the same for her. What I ended up seeing for her was bad, and I felt bad in the moment for telling her."

    "I remember seeing the numbers 3 and 4 rolling around in my head over and over. I remember a vehicle accident. I remember telling her over and over again, '3 and 4, 33, 33, 3 and 4... You'll never make it to 3 and 4.' Then she flat out asked me, 'So you're saying I won't live to be 34?' I responded with something like, 'I don't really know, I just see numbers and a vehicle accident.' I couldn't recall exactly what, I only saw wheels and debris. Eventually, I just piped up and said, 'If you leave here, you'll never make it to 3 and 4.' I didn't put much more thought into it and our relationship proceeded for about another three months before we finally did break up and the subject never came up again. It's been nearly seven to eight years since we last spoke, and I found out last week, a day before her 34th birthday, she was killed in an ATV accident.'


    A reader holding someone's hands

    15. "As a tarot card reader, the best readings I've given were to complete strangers. I casually read for loved ones all the time, but the less I know, the better. It prevents easy bias in my readings and it really helps me utilize my abilities."


    A reader doing the Celtic Cross with tarot cards

    16. "Many, many times people would walk into the occult store I worked at with stories about how they were cursed with bad luck or demon possession and how they needed a spell to fix it. Almost always people were just 'victims' of their own chaotic decision-making. A great example is this one woman who would come every single week asking for a spell candle to control her husband who was trying to divorce her. She would tell us the same story over and over: Her husband joined a church and he had run off for quite some time without telling her where he was going. Myself and my other coworkers kept making spell candles for this woman, but by the 10th or 11th time she'd come back, we knew that she wasn't telling the whole truth about her marriage, why her husband was filing for divorce, and why he now had full custody of their children. Needless to say, she was the problem."


    A witchy looking shop

    17. "Master reiki healer and channeler here. Twice, while doing distance reiki, I’ve woken my sister up. Each time I was a 20-minute drive away from her while doing her healing. When I got home, she was awake, which is unusual for her; this was late and she goes to bed early. Both times, she said she suddenly got very hot, and it woke her up. When I asked her the time this happened, both hot-flash instances occurred exactly when I was channeling the reiki. The third time I gave her a treatment I bubbled her (imagined her inside of a thin bubble) so I wouldn’t disturb her. When I asked the next day if she had woken up at all the previous night, she said she hadn’t. Gotta say, since it was the first time I tried it, I was surprised it worked!"


    A reiki healer puts their hands above a person

    18. "I've been reading tarot for about 10 years. What I wish more people knew about tarot is that if you are not open to receiving the message, I can't do my job — literally. So if you feel forced to get a reading or you want to get one to prove it's 'not real' you're wasting my time and yours. Consent is everything — I want you to be comfortable."


    19. And lastly: "I worked as an astrologer and tarot card reader in the Carolinas. I would refer more people to a therapist than I did readings. It's sad how many people need real help for real trauma but don't have the resources or support to find it. Many people go to a psychic or astrologer when they're deeply hurting. Anyone practicing should always have a few local expert resources at hand. In my experience, these esoteric tools should be used in addition or in tandem with professional help. Never as the sole answer."


    Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.