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If there is one question I get more than any other, it might be: “Are your abilities real?”

Hey, I get it! The world of a psychic necessarily comprises things that are unseen or not perceptible to the average person. Psychic ability comes in all varieties, and it works in different ways (read more about this here). You should be a wise consumer when purchasing any service, and psychic guidance is no different.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Psychics have different strengths and areas of expertise. Some use tools, such as Tarot and astrology, and some don’t. It’s important that you match up your needs and expectations with the right practitioner—just like choosing a dentist or a therapist.

For example, I like to help people transition through major life changes, access their innate gifts, and dissolve blocks to success. Because this is my interest, I’ve developed my skills to work on these topics. I’m a whiz at reading past life blocks and clearing them but have no interest (or much skill) in telling you a bunch of things you already know about yourself.

My colleague Barbara, though, is able to relate facts to her clients about their lives: how they grew up, how many brothers and sisters they have, and so on. This is reassuring for her clients because her specialty is contacting transitioned souls. Often her clients are in the grief process, and having that “proof” that she can know things about them helps them trust that the information she channels from their deceased loved-ones will be real.

Another psychic I know works exclusively with the angelic realm and helps people tap into these helpful divine energies. Still another, Sula, guides her clients exclusively with Tarot cards in the area of career and life purpose.

You can see that we all have different interests and ways we’ve put our skills to use. What is a commonality among us, though (and among many other psychics), is that we don’t foretell the future.

Surprised? Yep, though there is a popular idea that psychics can actually tell you the nitty-gritty details of your future—including timing—this isn’t the norm. Why? Because we all have free-will, and thus our future is not set in stone but rather changing minute by minute.

So, know before you work with a psychic what types of skills, objectives, and outcomes you want. Most psychics are clear about what they do and how they use their abilities. If you don’t have an interest in angels, don’t work with an angel intuitive. If you want to hear facts about your life, don’t hire someone like me who doesn’t work that way. Interested in the Tarot or palmistry? Choose a psychic that uses those tools.

To Be or Not To Be?

What psychics do perceive about a client’s future is typically in the realm of what is possible, what is currently present in the aura, or potential outcomes of potential choices. Sometimes we continue along a path that creates what the psychic has seen; other times we choose something else, and the prediction doesn’t “come true.”

Getting a prediction isn’t always helpful. I once had a reading—one of my first, as a young woman in college—from a psychic at a weekend market. She actually used a crystal ball, and she told me that I would marry later in life and have two children that weren’t my own. When I pressed her for when later in life, she reluctantly said, “Probably after the age of 40.”

Well, I can tell you that I got a little fixated on this reading, and for years wouldn’t seriously date a man without children! I was in my twenties—how many men did I come across that age that had children? Not many. I was also stressed about being alone until my late 40s. I was young and “after 40” seemed like a long ways away. I did, in fact, get married at age 33. No kids in sight. Rather to my surprise, we divorced ten years later. (The psychic hadn’t told me about that). When I was 45 I met a man with two teenage boys (the reading had implied the children would be little). The relationship hasn’t been easy, but we’ve chosen to stay together. Not married, though, and probably will never be.

A friend of mine had a different story. Her experience came through a predictive form of astrology. The practitioner told her she would never have her own business. Guess what? She is a successful entrepreneur but struggled for years to disregard that prediction.

The moral of these stories? Telling the future is not necessarily a sign of a skilled psychic advisor. Sometimes hearing a prediction can really hamper your growth! Or sometimes the flavor is right, but the specifics are not. Fixating on predictions can also keep you from just being open to creating what you want in the moment.

My advice is to look for an advisor who walks their talk, is compassionate, abundant, and able to really listen to you. Then you can trust they are “for real.”

Setting Realistic Expectations for Your Reading

So, knowing that a psychic typically won’t have detailed information about what is absolutely going to happen, how do you set a realistic expectation for a reading, and what can you ask about?

You can inquire about anything you want—though there are some topics to avoid—but keep in mind that choice and responsibility for those choices and outcomes is always yours. While karmic agreements and contracts with other souls are often in place, you can actually choose not to honor them (this time around). 

Also, if you are deeply attached to a particular outcome (like, will he/she come back to me?), don’t shop psychic advisors until one tells you what you want to hear. Remember, you have free will, and so does your ex, and it’s unlikely that anyone can tell you exactly how that future will unfold. 

Psychics can be incredibly helpful when you want to understand why a relationship has ended, and they can assist you in seeing ways to move forward. Most psychics are compassionate human beings as well—and have the ability to really listen to you, providing a safe space to share your feelings. They can also provide guidance for next steps in creating the relationship you want and deserve. 

Are you curious about working with a psychic? Calling an advisor on Keen is a great way to experience different reading styles. Take some time with reader profiles and testimonials to choose the best psychic for your needs.