Can you teach Psychics?

Being sensitive to energy in the world is hard, especially because if you identify as a sensitive person, you are surrounded by those who seem to be unaware of their own energy and what energies they expend. Often times a sensitive, or psychic, is aware but not fully aware; they have a vague sense or feeling that something is different, or off, or even good - but can’t quite put their finger on what exactly it is that they are sensing. This causes a great deal of confusion for the psychic, which compounds the feeling and can often leave them feeling overwhelmed. So the psychic shuts down their awareness, rather than feeling overwhelmed or unsafe by the undefined energy - and there in lies the core problem for the sensitive person. The only options seem to be to shut down and turn off, or to be overwhelmed and confused. 

To me, this is a problem of language and craft. The dysfunctional or crippled psychic simply doesn’t have a language to define with any certainty the energies that they find themselves aware of. By language I not only mean words, but also symbols and pictures. Our primary form of communication in the world is so much more complex than simply words. So this isn’t about learning terminology and technical tools alone - it’s about retraining the sensitivities within yourself to embody the awareness in a way that is safe and understandable. Words are important, but so are mental image pictures, which are constructs to understand layers of energy in a single space. So this is why training is so important - you can read things in a book, have an intellectual understanding of them, but that doesn’t make them real to your body’s experience of the world. This is the benefit to a psychic class or training with a live teacher in a guided format. You not only get information, language and tools to start defining your experience of energy, but you get to practice and have the experience of being psychic and aware in a safe and structured space that leaves room for mistakes, errors, and uncertainty so you can hone your craft. It makes the information and tools real in your body and life experience. 

This problem we face in our sensitivities and psychic awareness - and making the experience of energy awareness real in our bodies and life - is actually quite particular to our age. Other people, in past times and places, had a keen and robust understanding of energy, and their relationship to it. Their mythologies, histories, and education included the more “etheric” experience of things, of the world, of themselves. In all of our technological advancements of the modern age, something within us and in our education has been lost, many of us are seeking it, and even more of us aren’t even aware that we are seeking it. So here we are, fumbling and bumbling in our quest to find some piece of ourselves that science and technology tells us doesn’t even exist. It’s a no wonder sensitive people feel a little crazy!

It’s easy to imagine that in the past, those who were sensitive, had an awareness of energy, were psychic, and interested in a finer understanding and exploration of energy and things of a psychic nature were shored up by their community - the Church, the clan, established rituals, symbols, and tradition. But today almost nobody feels grounded and safe exploring these things - they have been relegated to ethereal “grandmother-y” bookstores peddling angel cards and crystals, new-agey platitudes of “love and light”, “positive thinking”, “new age-y stuff” - and none of it seems, to the modern person, particularly real, beneficial, or worth their time and attention. But for one who is seeking to bring forth their creativity and be sensitive in the world it means living with other’s doubt and contradictions, doing something that nobody seems to care whether you do or not, and finding for yourself a sense of grounding and reality in what you experience, sense, see, and know. It’s about trusting yourself even when nobody else does. It’s about finding your own awareness, truth, and creating your own life experience - other’s judgements be damned!

Many people peddle the notion that being “psychic” or aware of energy is a gift randomly built into certain “special” people. It is said by those who claim to have “the gift” that either you have it or you don’t. They claim that being psychic is being part of a lineage of seers, soothsayers, Bruhas, or witches, or having been blessed by some external diety or being. I do not find this to be true; rather I find that one’s psychic awareness is like an internal guidance system, a network of fine sensors built into our bodies and our spirits. Everyone has them, even if they aren’t turned on. Everyone has them, even if they are not interested in turning them on. I liken it to swimming - if you toss someone into a pool or a lake, all people will respond differently. Some people are born, natural swimmers - they will laugh and enjoy the experience, choosing to explore the depths below. Some people are terrified of water and will seize up; freezing their ability to function. Most people will make do and find their way to the edge of the pool and crawl out on their own. The stratified difference between these people is not an “ability” to swim - anyone CAN do it; the difference is comfort with the task, learned tools, a sense of personal safety doing it, and desire to stay in the water or get out. In terms of your own sensitivities and psychic awareness - what is your response? Do you care? Do you want more or different for yourself? Once identified, your way forward is clear. 

Being psychic involves skills that can be learned, just like any craft or art. It is a bit like learning a language, the language of spirit. The conventional wisdom of course is that while a craft can be taught (knitting, paper arts, drawing) art-making is a magical gift bestowed from the Gods to a select and privileged few. This is not at all true. Becoming psychic is no different than become an artist - the fundamental first step is learning to accept yourself, making your work personal by following your inner voice, and learning tools and a craft to express yourself to the world. It is true that some people are born with a more finely tuned instrument; however these qualities can be nurtured as we see in art schools around the world and scores of wonderful and amazing teachers who teach their students not how to make art, but rather how to bring their art out of themselves. Just as art is made every hour of every day, in every community and place around the world, being psychic is a very ordinary activity in every sphere and realm of life. Of course, we don’t call it that today, because the very word “psychic” has been co-opted for centuries by charlatans and gypsies who have a goal to swindle and take advantage of those increasing numbers among us who have no sense of self or self-awareness. We have a incorrect sense that the “seers” among us are "chosen" and have no flaws and weaknesses, when in my experience those who are most sensitive, most psychic, and most creative have the biggest flaws and weaknesses of all. They simply are aware of them, and own them like a well of constant resource to draw upon. Something about being a functional and healed psychic has to do with overcoming things; the self and all it’s foibles and circumstances, the world and all it’s prejudices, others and their doubt and fear. There’s something about being psychic that, when owned by the self, allows for them to see things as they are meant to be seen. 

The functional psychic is satisfied that the best he or she can do in any given moment is the best that he or she can do in that given moment. This fundamental acceptance of the self is so revolutionary in our culture of achievement and winning; we as human beings for some reason have abandoned our personal psychic, creative, and self-actualization process in favor of platitudes, life coaches, regurgitating Rumi quotes, intellectualizing, and assuming new external identities that for some reason are based on an un-real perfection that we can never actually achieve. The schism within us created by this abandoning of our personal truth and personal reality is what disconnects us from our feelings and sensitivities. This schism is what creates the stifled, crippled, or broken psychic. 

To the psychic as I know it, the job is to constantly be working on your craft. Just like an artist, your path will be lined with failed readings, mistaken awarenesses, misunderstood energies. If you’re lucky, you’ll be ostracized and criticized within your chosen communities and the world writ large. A teacher once told me that if everyone is mad at you, you know you’re doing something right, because you’re challenging the group-think and status quo and making people uncomfortable - which is what a seer and a psychic, and not coincidentally, a true artist does. If you’re doing something wrong, you know you’re doing something right. The psychic sees things as they are, has visions for the future, and wants to actively create in the world. This is a challenging and challenged role in a society obsessed with not changing and not letting go. 

Finally, it is a danger that one uses training in opening up their awareness, their sensitivities, and various psychic abilities to separate themselves from the world - to become “special” or “above it all” rather than to use it to further integrate into their own lives and world. Beware of these individuals, for they seek to use their awareness of energy to control the world around them (and those in it), rather that using it to create magic for themselves and those around them. Being psychic is more like surfing; sometimes you catch the wave and you feel the high of riding it effortlessly, but most of the time you miss it completely, or get something in between. At its core, being psychic is actually about being more in the world; as Carl Jung said, “You can’t reach the heavens without roots in hell.” Beware those who seek to live in heaven alone, for the human experience includes both the heavenly and hellish - and those who turn a blind eye to one or the other are condemned to a half-life in their life; a wasteland that misses the entire point of the human experience.