Reclaiming the word: Psychic

What do you think of when you hear the word Psychic?  What words immediately pop into your head.  If you are like a lot of people you might associate that word with con-artists or neon signs.

For a long time now our culture has represented psychics in a negative light.  People seem to shy away from calling themselves psychic or even using that term – I know I do.  Instead you will see people use the term “intuitive” as a replacement for the term psychic. I have even seen better known figures in the metaphysical field offering classes to enhance your intuition – not psychic development classes.  I use the term intuitive to describe myself on social media – an intuitive clairvoyant.

But am I really an intuitive?

This question has been on my mind a lot recently as I encountered the word intuitive and intuition in the non-woo woo setting.  I started watching a Netflix movie about intuition and it became quickly clear that what they called intuition and what I do are two very different things.  I even encountered an article in a friend’s facebook feed about how intuition is a sign of genius even quoting Albert Einstein’s phrase “the only real valuable thing is intuition”.

Although I think of myself as pretty intelligent, it became clear to me quickly that the genius level thinking that this article talks about has nothing to do with what I do during tarot readings.  Simply put, I am not using my intuition during a tarot reading, I am using my psychic skills.

So how do I define intuition?  My favorite analogy to use on the subject actually comes from an astrology book of all places – Bernadette Brady’s Predictive Astrology: The Eagle and the Lark.  She starts off the book with a little fable about larks and eagles, but I can’t really remember all the details right now and I don’t want to go rummaging through my too large collection of astrology books to find it.  The point she makes is that with predictive astrology, you have to learn the basics and use them repeatedly and for a long time, and then, once you get really good at them, you will be able to spot patterns without really thinking about them and you will “intuitively” know which parts of a person’s chart are important.  She uses intuition the same way the Netflix movie uses it.  Intuition as highly advanced pattern recognition in which your unconscious is able to spot patterns without you consciously thinking about them. That is intuition.

Now what do I do when I read tarot? I do not believe I am spotting patterns.  Instead I am seeing images in my third eye and faintly hearing words and songs inside my head.  This is not intuition – this is not pattern recognition – this is clearly psychic work.  So why do I not call myself a psychic?  Why do I keep using the term intuitive to describe the work I do even though it is clearly not high level unconscious pattern recognition?

I believe we all need to work on becoming more accepting of the term psychic and reclaim it from the negative cultural connotations that it is associated with.  We need to stand up and say I am not an intuitive clairvoyant but a psychic.  Are you with me?

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