Shoving the Genie Back in the Box
The day is finally over. The last client has left. You are in a psychic stupor—buzzing with energy, unfocused, loosely tethered. I remember coming home from a psychic fair early on in my career, stopping at an intersection and waiting for the light to change. It took me quite a while, including wondering why other cars were driving around me, before I realized I was at a stop sign! And I was driving a very familiar route that I traveled almost every day. Doing psychic readings takes you to a different plane of existence and we need to return to our familiar earthly reality before heading out into the world.
So what do you do? Grab a box of doughnuts, a box of wine, then watch the idiot box while waiting for that blessed delivery guy to hand you that magic box full of cheesy, carb-heavy goodness. Hey, it works! But there’s got to be a healthier option!
What’s the best way to close down the four-dimensional psychic state and return to the three-dimensional container of the real world, other than consuming things that come in boxes?!?
I talked with some of Denver’s best readers and got the scoop on healthy self-care for psychics.
Off to a Good Start
“Self care is an all-day affair,” says medium, Spiritualist Minister, and teacher Charles Cox of Denver-Psychic.com. He reminds us that although energetic boundaries are important, we need to start on the physical level. He recommends a good start to the day with a high protein breakfast. I heartily concur! Charles recommends meat, eggs or dairy. I personally like a tofu scramble, Field Roast vegan sausage, refrigerator oatmeal (oatmeal, yogurt and fruit that sits overnight in the refrigerator), or a generous amount of peanut butter on Ezekiel bread or Mestemacher Bread (both are high in fiber and protein). 20-25 grams of protein in the morning seems to be the optimal amount that carries me through the day. Charles goes on to say, “Missing this step results in an early morning burst of energy (usually from coffee) then a crash. Whether doing a day of back-to-back readings or an all-day class, crashing at 10:30 is a recipe for disaster.”
Ok, now we’re feeling strong and like we can take on the world, or, more importantly, the altered states of consciousness necessary to do readings! What’s next?
Setting Your Space
When they arrive at their reading location, many readers like to energetically set their boundaries or establish sacred space. In particular at fairs or other events where I was in the same room as other readers, earlier in my career I would astrally perform a Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram (LBRP) around myself and my table. I’ve also pulled out my mala and (almost) silently chanted a round or three with it of whatever mantra I was currently working with. Time, experience, and mostly being in familiar spaces with friendly faces lets me skip steps like this now but still maintain an energetic bubble. Medicine woman, empath, and medium Granddaughter Crow confided in me that when arriving at her reading space she lights a candle and incense and energetically sets the space before beginning a day of readings. These rituals can be complex or simple, mysterious or mundane.
Even when you’re out and about, if you’re doing work for clients or yourself, make sure you set the space. Intuitive Coach, Hoodoo practitioner, and cartomancer Sherry Shone uses this super portable technique: “I salt around my car when collecting personal items such as leaves, dirt and rocks for use in altars and gris gris bags.”
For tarot card readers, a down and dirty method to establish your space is to shuffle your cards. Tarot reader, Shamanic practitioner, and author Renna Shesso describes the beauty and power of shuffling: “My first step is to simply shuffle the cards. I prefer a flutter shuffle for this, because I like both the action and the sound, as if the wings of a billion birds are beating into flight, carrying away everything not useful, in and around the deck, including around me. I often use this in between readings, too, to release anything ‘energetic’ left by previous clients.”
Although not as poetic, I will say that I use this technique almost exclusively as my go-to for setting space, shifting between clients, and ending the day. Like Renna, I also use the riffle shuffle. It’s very meditative and allows me to enter that altered state where readings come from. A client was watching me the other day and noted that the sound was very rhythmic—ideal for inducing trance. I’m kinesthetic, not auditory, so I hadn’t thought of that, but she was perfectly right!
Don’t Forget to Take Five
Charles says, “This seems almost too obvious to mention but this is another area when I will fall down. I get caught-up in the energy of readings… I love doing readings, it’s a natural high of sorts.” There’s a fine line when reading—it’s very important to take a moment to regroup between readings, but on the other hand we don’t want to ground out our energy. Charles has found the perfect solution: “I’ve learned I need a short time between readings to get my feet (energetically) back on the ground. I end up feeling better and am able to do so many more readings. And the reading quality shoots sky high. Standing up, stretching or movement of any kind helps me to break the flow, momentarily, so I can refocus, readying myself for more sessions.” I also find that getting up and moving is a great energizer. I like to go outside in the sun, or really in any weather, and walk around the building to connect with nature and move.
Renna revealed an amazing and simple trick. She says this is “a practice I love and have used for years. It comes from Luisah Teish’s classic book Jambalaya, and isn’t tarot-specific: You can use this anywhere. Like the intentional-shuffling, this one can also be done in between client sessions, in case the energy starts to pile up. I go into the ladies’ room, or to any water source, and — with clear intentions of cleansing and dispersing — I run tap water over my hands, and then flick the water around myself. This is just a light sprinkling of little droplets, head to toe, but I’m envisioning it as a clearing shower. I repeat this as many times as feels appropriate, until Woosh! I feel that I’m fully rinsed off and ready for whatever comes next.” Renna uses this at the end of her shift as well so she’s clear before leaving for the day.
Five Seconds I Mean
Yes, it’s true, sometimes we don’t even have time to stand up and move in between readings, especially when reading at parties or doing short readings at busy fairs. Of course, you can force yourself to stand to greet and shake hands with your next person, and little movements like that can help prevent you from getting physically stuck in one position for hours at a time.
And, as Renna mentioned, shuffling is a great way to clear the deck and the space in between readings. Sherry Shone also recommends this super quick transition trick: “I slam a deck onto a surface in between readings to clear the energy. Loud noises, to me, tend to shake off negative energies.”
Another quick trick for tarot readers is to switch decks. Some readers I know have three to five decks with them and simply grab the next deck in the pile for each new querent, cycling through the pile as many times as needed to get through the day. This doesn’t actually offset the recurrence of the same cards throughout the day, disappointingly and entirely contrary to the laws of statistics, but it does help to release the energy.
Things like candles and incense are usually considered props to create a certain atmosphere, but they have energetic influence on the space. Subtly directing negative energy toward a candle flame can clear up problems with a difficult client. Gazing at a candle flame for even a few seconds is very meditative and can switch you from one client to the next. Sherry Shone says that she lights white and yellow candles after a client reading or house cleansing.
But a lot of psychic fairs don’t allow open flames. I make my own room sprays (find a couple of my recipes here) with water and rosemary essential oil (a little rubbing alcohol can be added so the sprayer doesn’t clog up). Spraying a couple squirts of this in between clients can really help neutralize the energy of the previous reading. Sherry Shone recommends Florida water to clear a space energetically before, between, and after readings.
Charles offers a simple reminder: Breathe. “Deep breathing helps me to stay in the moment. Either before or during a session if I feel myself feeling ungrounded, two or three deep centering breaths bring me back into the present moment. When present I am allowing spirit’s energy to flow which conserves my physical energy, meaning at the end of the day I am not exhausted or depleted.”
Sadly, breathing is not possible for some people when there is an overabundance of smelly stuff in the air. Do be aware and considerate of clients (or other psychics in the room) who are sensitive to scents. For me, although the room sprays work great and generally keep their scent pretty localized, heat based essential oil diffusers are much too powerful a scent, overwhelming everyone in the room. They can also trigger allergies and headaches, and people who come for (and perform) psychic readings tend to be more sensitive than the average person. Also, some people are allergic to incense and/or sage. Follow your tradition and personal routines, but be aware of the needs of the whole room when working a fair or event.
Food and Drink
Sometimes readings are booked back to back for hours at a time. But remember, no one but you is in charge of your schedule! I know a reader who always marks himself out for a lunch break midday. But a lot of us don’t want to eat because it grounds the energy. Another reader I know says she never eats during a day of readings. Everyone’s metabolism is different and you need to follow your body on this. I know a couple readers who keep a jar of nuts in their office. On a busy day with no time to eat, I am often good with grabbing a quick piece of fruit, and I sometimes like to keep nutrition bars on hand for those days I need something more.
I do recommend drinking water. Getting up and walking to the bathroom or kitchen to refill a glass is just about enough of a break in most cases. But if you don’t have time for that, at least have a jug of water at your table. Dehydration can cause a scratchy throat or cough, and shifts our awareness away from the spiritual realm and back to the needs of the physical body. Having a glass of water close to hand is an easy solution. I had one client, standing in line a long time to see me, who brought me a glass of water because her guides told her to! You certainly don’t want to have your clients taking care of you because you neglected taking care of yourself!
Also consider something to replenish electrolytes. One fair I worked I was booked solid for the entire day without a break. I was completely dazed afterward and one of the other readers handed me some kind of gummi candy with electrolytes. I tried them and they were amazing! My body really needed that.
Space for Just You to Be You
Animal communicator, empath, and Reiki Teacher Lizanne Flynn of The Animals’ iView reminds us that sometimes we can encounter shadow energy or the intensity of an uncompromising all-too-human perspective. In order to stay proactive and mitigate uncomfortable energies, she offers the following comparison. “I use the analogy of trying on someone else’s coat. You switch coats with another and put theirs on. You note the color, how it closes, and how it fits. You understand it’s a coat and its purpose, yet you clearly know it’s not your coat. Being an intuitive means willingness to step into someone else’s life and emotions just for a bit. To connect. To validate from a deep place of compassion. The more I can do so from a place of neutrality and a ‘it’s their coat’ perspective, the less impact sharing their energy has on me. Because I’ve left space for just me to be me. That really counts after a long day.”
Psychic work is all about connecting, but connecting over and over with vastly different people during the course of the day is exhausting. Many readers find that by connecting to Spirit, and through the universality of Spirit turning to the individual facets of the human faces in front of us, we can not only maintain healthier boundaries, but rise above the limiting and misleading personal junk that the individual brings to the reading, connecting only with the unique truth they need from their time with you. A couple years ago I wrote a column for Biddy Tarot on my technique for doing this.
Close of Day, Closing the Space
Many of the techniques suggested for use between clients are also great ways to end the day. Renna Shesso does an end of day shuffle of her cards, then puts the deck in order, “mentally laying it to rest.” I find that the act of returning my deck to the bag and tying the drawstrings in a bow helps me bring the day to a close.
Granddaughter Crow warns, “Whatever I do… DO NOT go out in public, my antennas are still up.” Whereas the general population might like a FAC or dinner with friends to unwind, most psychic readers find this exhausting and need to head straight home.
The drive home is a decompression chamber for many readers. Sherry Shone has a ritual where she drives home saying her favorite chant or prayer over and over like a mantra. Granddaughter Crow also uses her commute to let go of the day. “As I drive home, I say out loud, ‘Thank you. Now, I give you each back to yourself and to the universe. Go in peace.’ This works for the most part; but, let’s be honest… there are those reads that stick with ya more than others. At which point, I tell myself, ‘Their story is none of my business – I return it to them will love and respect.’ That always seems to work – it is though I am telling myself that it would be nosy for me to continue to think about it.”
I live close to the office and am lucky enough to walk home, but the busier the day, the more likely I am to take the long way and extend my short walk by a few blocks. The exercise, fresh air, and mind emptying quiet of the walk is restorative. Clairvoyant and pet psychic Carol Pollard, one of the Isis Books store readers, mentioned that she enjoys walking the dog after a busy day of reading.
Granddaughter Crow also mentioned eating protein at the end of the day. Personally, I find that food cravings after a particularly busy day tend to be at their height. Having prepared food on hand at home helps, like cheese and crackers, refrigerator oatmeal, or leftover lentils and rice (I’ll cook a batch and divide into single serving containers). Having something tasty, filling, and immediately available helps prevent me from cooking New York style—calling for delivery! But there’s more to grounding than eating.
Carol suggested taking a bath or shower with Epsom salts. Almost everyone agreed with this practice! Sherry Shone says that she also takes a salt bath or shower once she comes home. Granddaughter Crow also recommended relaxing in an Epsom salt bath.
Sherry Shone also recommends the following alternative to a full shower or bath. “I walk outside, after arriving home and before touching anything, and go out to the patio and wipe myself down with rose 1800 water or my own blend of ‘away’ wash that’s made with peppers, saltpetre and ammonia (and other things).”
Granddaughter Crow advises grounding and centering through various spiritual practices. “Additionally,” she says, “a LBRP helps to release residual energies and provides protection and healthy boundaries.” Carol meditates for two hours after a busy day of psychic readings.
Turned Off and Zoned Out
Once you’ve walked it off, washed it off, released, and refueled, most psychic readers find that something mindless closes the day. Any commercial-free entertainment, such as movies or TV shows rented from the library or streamed via Netflix or similar gets my vote. No-brain-power-needed video games help as well. Granddaughter Crow adds an important element to this: emotional release. “At times, I find that a good cry or a lot of laughter helps to release excess emotional energy.”
To conclude, Granddaughter Crow suggests a ritual we all love: “When all else fails, a glass of wine helps!”
Thanks to our Psychics!
Find Out More
If you’re interested in what these readers have to say, please check out the Denver Tarot Meetup–we’re featuring several of them in the months to come!
This Tuesday! April 11, 2017. “The Bigger Picture – Looking Beyond Your Limits” with Charles Cox
Tuesday April 25, 2017. “Auto-Graph: The Autobiographical Graph of Your Life” with Sherry Shone
Tuesday, May 23, 2017. “Relevant, Modern and Groovy: Tarot Art in the 1960s and ’70s” with Renna Shesso
Tuesday, June 13, 2017. “Reading for Others and the General Public” with Granddaughter Crow