One of the most common questions (concerns, really) that I hear is from people who are looking for their first reading, but don't know what to expect.
The hardest part is putting into words. Most often the first question is "how accurate are you?" That's tough to answer when you believe in choices more than in predictions. It has cost me more readings than I can remember, but I always tell people right up front about my philosophy about advice and choices so they don't get all mad halfway through a reading because I can't predict exactly what their ex-lover is thinking or will do six months from now. But don't worry, I'm not going down that road again. The post about Alice, Twilight choices and more are still in the archives.
The truth is, there is no good representations about psychic readings out there in the general public. Seems like everyone expects the old tv commercials about the psychic friends network or miss cleo or something. Not all psychics work like that. We all have our own unique styles, our own specialties. Mine is email. I can do my best readings working from my computer keyboard. My teacher does voice recordings and written astrology reports.
Real-time contact IS nice, because it lets the person getting the reading ask questions, clarify things, give immediate feedback to help keep things on track...BUT the down side to that is the way it opens up the session to educated guessing, leading questions from the psychic, reading non-verbal cues and all sorts of things that can lead away from real intuitive work and make the reading more vulnerable to manipulation, be unintentional, or even intentional fraud.
So if you are wondering what to expect from your first ever reading, my best advice is to talk to the psychic, be it in person, on the phone or an e-mail exchange. You'll quickly get a sense of whether the psychic is a good personality match for you.
Most of us psychics want you to be comfortable...makes our job a lot easier, believe me. Nothing blurs intuition like fear and anger (it leads to the dark side, Luke ;)
There is a bit of buyer beware, certainly, but also there are many psychic readers who choose to do this kind of work out of a sincere desire to help people and to serve the good things they believe in. When you think of it that way, they are no different than any other clergy...with the same variety and human vulnerabilities. But I approach psychic work from this foundation. I'm not christian, but I do want to help and I do serve what I believe in. I follow the ethics of Reiki practice: honesty and respect...respect shown through privacy, and never doing readings on someone who does not give me permission to do so (that means I won't read about what other people think, feel, may possibly do, unless I have actual physical permission from them or a VERY very clear sense of permission on a spiritual/ethearic level.)
That's the philosophical part. On the physical level, my readings work this way:
We talk a little about what kind of reading you want...the number of cards, how long it will take, the cost...get all the business stuff done up front, clear as a bell and out of the way. The process is the same whether we use Tarot cards or playing cards (cartomancy)
Next we talk about your questions, concerns what you hope to learn from the reading. Then we set that aside to listen to what the reading has to say...
The cards are shuffled and put face up on the table. Even in e-mail readings, I shuffle the cards after reading your question, the shuffling ensures that you get a unique reading, just for you.
We go over the general patterns in the cards.
Then we go through each card, one by one, and how it relates to it's position in the spread..."past lessons", "advice" or what have you.
Finally we summarize the cards and move on to the 'cold reading' portion. In that part, I tell you any impressions that come through independent of the cards. That part might have to do with the question or the cards...or it may not. This gives the important ideas another chance to get through, no matter what our hopes and expectations are.
Then you ask questions in a reply e-mail, or, if we are working 'live', then you can ask questions at any point. I don't mind questions...it isn't a problem to get off on a tangent. I think those spontaneous tangents are most likely the whole point of the reading...if the direct route, logic, or looking at the problem directly was the best thing to do, we wouldn't need psychic readings, would we? The whole point of intuitive work is to look indirectly, to follow our, well, intuition.
And that's it! Easy. No drama. No dire predictions of doom. At most there is a heads up of a big choice, or a caution of things to take steps to avoid. Forewarned is forearmed, not a threat or a demand for you to get more readings.
In fact, it is totally up to you when and IF you ever get another reading, with me or anyone else.
Wishing you a day of comfort and confidence in those you work with...especially psychics.