What Makes a Good Psychic?


My first psychic reading was during my freshman year in college. A friend told me about a tea leaf reader in town, an Italian woman named Rosa with whom she’d had a reading, and suggested we go see her. I was intrigued and said sure, of course, when?

Rosa introduced me to an entirely new world – a place where people with certain abilities could read you inside out, backward and forward, past, present, future. And she did it with nothing more than the patterns formed on the inside walls of a teacup. Those patterns were her focus. Many of the things she told me unfolded well beyond college and into my later years.

In the decades since, I’ve sampled numerous psychics with varied alleged talents. Psychometrists, clairvoyants, card readers, astrologers, remote viewers, palm readers, mediums, numerologists, clairaudients, precognitives. Yeah, it sounds nutty. But I’m fascinated by the process various types of psychics use to do what they do, and how their particular cultures influence that process. Cuban santeros work differently than Guatemalan seers or Chilean clairvoyants. In nearly every country we’ve visited, I’ve sampled a psychic somewhere in that country.

Some of the psychics with whom I’ve had readings over the years were incredible, the real deal, people whose ability was larger than life. What they said resonated. What they predicted panned out – not 100 percent, no psychic is 100 percent – but close enough so their ability earned my quirky five star rating. Other psychics were mediocre, and some were flat-out awful.

With the awfuls, my criteria is simple. Tell me something in 15 minutes that resonates within my own intuitive intelligence, something I can’t read for myself in astrology or the tarot, which I’ve studied and used for decades. Tell me something that is beyond my capacity to see for myself.

So here are my suggestions for the next time you seek out a psychic:

    If possible, go to someone recommended by a friend whose opinion you trust.

  1. Have your questions in mind. Write them down before you get the reading. At the end of the reading, see how many of the questions the psychic hit. The really good psychics don’t need to hear your questions; they hit them because they pick up on the energy of the questions.
  1. Be open and receptive during the reading. If the reading is in person, don’t sit there with your arms crossed against your chest, your energy field shut down, your defense mechanism in full mode. No one – not even Nostradamus!- can get through that kind of defense system.
  1. Don’t provide information about yourself unless the psychic asks if something he or she said resonates for you. Sometimes, especially with mediums, the psychic needs to know if he/she is picking up on your energy field or that of someone in your environment.
  1. The really good mediums often offer something within the first few minutes of a reading that captures your attention, that tells you that yes, they’re tuning in on you, your life, on people you love who have died. Whose the bald old man who was a really good chess player? Whose the beautiful woman who was community-minded? I see a child who never reached physical life, a miscarriage, a middle sibling…. Like that. The really good mediums are tuned in to those kinds of details.

 In 1992, I had one of the best readings ever, from Millie Gemondo, who had been recommended by our long-time accountant, a skeptic who happened to be from the same West Virginia town. Our reading took place on the same day that Hurricane Andrew was headed to South Florida. Hurricane warnings had gone up along the South Florida coast. Our hurricane shutters were up, we had our supplies, we were hunkered down. And Millie said that Andrew wouldn’t touch us, but would obliterate a town well to the south of us. And that’s exactly what happened. We had what amounted to a thunderstorm and Homestead, a hundred miles south of us, was obliterated.

That night, Millie also told me I would end up with a new publisher and a new agent, and both came to pass within the time frame she had seen. Specifics. For someone who is paying for a reading, specifics are vital. Give me something to chew on, record, jot down. If you call yourself a medium or a psychic or something else, you should be able to give your client more than generalities that he or she might hear at a carnival: long life, love, prosperity.

A Canadian psychic who had been recommended by a friend came to our house at some point in the 1990s and read for my friend and co-author, Phyllis Vega (of Power Tarot) and told her that her husband would die within 5 years, that her son-in-law would die within 7 years, and that, she said, was the end of the reading. Both events transpired as predicted, but c’mon, couldn’t this info have been communicated in a gentler, more humane way?

If I come to you for a reading and pay you for telling me something about my life that I don’t know and can’t uncover through my own abilities, then please give me more than hand gestures and vague BS about finding a new path in life. Please give me specifics. I’m easy to read, I’m an open book, I’m eager to hear whatever you have to say. I don’t hurl up walls.

I understand that some psychics are nervous about their ability, but I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt, to engage you in conversation outside of the reading. Who are you in the privacy of your own being? In my experience, here are my recommendations. A Google search of these folks usually yields  websites and contact info, but when it doesn’t, email us and we’ll provide the info:

Millie Gemondo- psychic & medium

Connie Cannon-psychic

Kathy Adams- psychometrist

Jane Clifford – healer, psychic

Hazel West Burley- medium

Natalie Thomas- medium

Meg Stokes – medium, psychic

Tony Grosso –he has since passed.

Whitley Strieber– doesn’t do readings but is the most knowledgeable person on the planet about ET interaction/encounters

Carol Bowman – your best resource for past life regressions, 

Renie Wiley – she has passed, but is probably available in the afterlife for readings!

Adele Aldridge for the I Ching

Mike Perry – great resource on synchronicity

Daz- another good resource on synchronicity

Phyllis Vega – tarot

Dennie Gooding – psychic








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8 Responses to What Makes a Good Psychic?

  1. Laurence Zankowski says:


    Thank you for this gift. I have tried to work with the I Ching, maybe i am not ready. As to tarot, it was you who got me back into the cards.( the cancer surgeries interferred with them)

    So, on to info gathering, healing and peace in my heart.

    Be well


  2. c.j. says:

    Thank you for the mention, MacGregors! Due to health restrictions, I am no longer able to offer readings, although I often spontaneously receive information for a person who is simply visiting me on a social call. Throughout the years of doing readings, I had my own specific method, as I’m sure each medium does. I never advertised, but instead worked by referrals only. However, when a person called to make an appt, I asked the person to NOT give me the name of the referring client, because i knew if they had my number and were calling for an appt, a client had sent them. I also asked the client to only give me his or her first name, not the entire name. I did not want there to be any questions about my being able to gather facts about the client before they arrived. This became especially true when the computers were common. Once here, I told the client I would be doing the reading in two parts. In the initial part, I asked the client to not say a word; that I would be focused on incoming messages and if they spoke, it would interrupt the “flow”. I told them they could write notes or even tape the reading, cough, move, but to please not acknowledge ANYTHING that was being said….that after that part of the reading,when I opened my eyes, THEN they would be free to asked questions and/or speak. I never knew in advance how long the first part would last.

    It could be anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour or more, depending. Going in, and during the initial part, I NEVER asked the client any questions at all. To me, and JUST to me, that isn’t kosher. When the first part of the reading was finished and the client was free to speak, they often told me their questions had already been answered! I myself had an astonishing incident with a friend who is a medium, “Tommy”. There were several of us gathered at Tommy’s and Sharon’s home just for a get-together, not for a spiritual reason. In the middle of a conversation about boats, of all things, Tommy suddenly looked at me and said, “Connie, there’s a man who wants you to know he is here. He says his name is EARL. He’s wearing overalls and there’s a big red-brown dog with him. He’s in the woods somewhere. There’s a shadowy figure beside him but that person isn’t clear. He does closely resemble Earl, but he isn’t talking to me.” I nearly fainted, Guys! Earl was my Dad’s brother, and they looked enough alike to have been twins. (The shadow)

    The big red-brown dog was “Rusty”. my Uncle Earl’s Red Setter that was always with him. I had not heard from Uncle Earl in several years and didn’t know he had passed, so it was both exciting and also a little sad. Still, I was soooooooooo grateful that my Uncle Earl was with me and connected with Tommy to tell me! I was later able to confirm from family that uncle Earl had died and that Rusty died as well. Tommy is one of those mediums who is just a good ole boy, and info comes thru him at almost any time no matter what he may be doing….just as that night, all of us were talking about boats! I know this is a lengthy comment, but seems relevant to the post and I’m truly happy to read it!

  3. Wow Trish! I see you listed me in your list. I love to do I Ching readings, mostly for myself and sometimes for my daughter. Recently some one posted on my I Ching blog a reading they got for a very specific question, asking two different questions for basically the same issue. The I Ching is always subjective for the person asking the question. So not knowing the person asking I could not possibly give advice for the reading. The I Ching is symbol based – symbols contained within symbols. In that way interpreting a reading is a lot like interpreting a dream. I could go on and on about this but that would be a whole chapter. Perhaps I should write that for my next book. Hey! Thanks for the inspiration. You made my day.

  4. lauren raine says:

    Interesting post, thank you! I’ve also visited psychics and mediums over the years, and some have been because I very much felt I needed a reading for a bigger picture.

    I’m appalled that anyone would do a reading in which they said that loved ones would die at a certain time. That is just completely irresponsible. When I was a professional Tarot reader, I never said anything that was directly negative, because I was very aware of the power of suggestion. Sometimes I would talk about “challenges” in the cards, and then look for ways the cards suggested to work with them. But I consider a reader who gives negative readings absolutely irresponsible.

    My problem in being a reader, much as I loved to read and the Tarot, was that people are at different levels of understanding and growth and suggestibility. I often felt that what I saw was what people could not hear – they just wanted to hear “when they were going to get married”, or if their boyfriend was cheating, or if they would make money. Guess I got a bit disillusioned and stopped reading except for friends……

    • Rob and Trish says:

      I hear you, Lauren. I run into the same thing when I read charts or tarot cards. I try to keep my readings positive and upbeat, but sometimes, it’s hard because many people are looking for stuff that just isn’t there.