In the yellow pages of most big-city telephone directories, listed within finger-walking distance of psychic readers, is a category for design engineers that specialize in structural design for the work environment. They determine the placement height for office computer or typewriter, or the seat design that will offer the most comfort in a new automobile.
As a new psychic reader, you won't need to rush out and hire a person of this type, but some thought given to the props and physical environment you'll use would be worthwhile.
Of course, if you plan to restrict your readings pretty much to private parties, or work in a cooperative restaurant or club, the environment is more or less out of your control.
But if you will be doing readings in your home, or you're going to open a store-front office, you'll need a table, chairs, and some props that can make your job easier.
These ideas, developed and proven-in-use in over a quarter of a century of private readings, will work for you. Few of the ideas have previously been revealed. The suggestion about the table, for example, is almost 180 degrees out of phase with the commonly accepted practice for tables that are used for psychic readings.
Once you determine you will do private reading at your home, give some thought as to what room can best be used, particularly with respect to the realistic needs of other occupants of the house. Will your readings be in the evening, or afternoon, or both?
You can use the den, a spare bedroom, the dining room, the kitchen, or a screened or glassed-in porch, just about any place where you won't suddenly find yourself surrounded by people slyly, or openly, peering at your client. For a successful reading, you want the client to feel comfortable, be at ease. If she suddenly becomes the center of attention for your son's high-school basketball team or for a group of your daughter's friends planning a slumber party, her attention won't totally be on the reading.
Contrary to the image perpetuated by Hollywood, you don't have to decorate the area with devil masks or life-sized oil paintings of Dracula. You don't need burning incense, or mummified hands. The client expects a psychic reading, not a stage production. And Hollywood-style decorations will make most clients uncomfortable.
Table. Most psychic readers use some sort of a table. Many use a card table, draped with a heavy cloth. Instead of the standard dining-room or kitchen table, or the cloth-draped card table, invest in a clear, glass topped table. It will offer a number of advantages, whether you read Tarot cards, palms, or receive psychic impressions, sitting with one hand over your eyes.
Place the client to your left. This will allow you to sit so you can put your left hand up, whenever you choose, to cover your eyes. You actually can cover your eyes, or you can sit and look down through the clear table top. The glass top will allow you to see her hands in her lap, watch the movement of her feet, and see any telltale shifting of her weight, as she leans forward or away. Her hands and her body movement will tell you much about her reactions to your words, allow you to target specific areas of interest.
Many women clients carry large top-opening purses. The client who places her bag at her feet probably is more trusting, while the one who keeps it in her lap tends to be more careful ... or she may have a tape recorder in it. If the bag, is open, you can see some of the contents through the table top.
If not, hand the woman a piece of notepaper, asking her if she has a pencil or a pen. Most women carry one in their bag. As soon as she opens the bag and finds a pen, courteously take the opened bag from her, explaining you will place it out of the way at her feet.
You can determine many things from a glimpse at the contents of a woman's purse. She may smoke, carry prescription or nonprescription drugs; you may see a photograph or a checkbook with a name or address; she may have a work ID or car keys with an automotive emblem.
Most psychics prefer their readings not be taped, but explain to the client that you have no aversion to her taking notes. "Rather than attempting to make a verbatim copy of everything you hear," you can tell her, just write down key words or phrases. Those points that interest you. This is an invaluable stratagem. Even with your eyes tightly closed, you'll be able to hear each time something you have said captures her attention. By squinting though the fingers of your left hand, you even can watch her write.
Consider the advantage you would have if, as you talk, she jots down the word "money, or "health," or "trip., or "marriage, or mother." You could target back into these areas, make your reading more specific and personal.
Instead of looking through the table, take advantage of the reflective top of the table, which can be put to subtle use in a number of ways, including card readings.
Chairs. Although any type of suitable chairs may be used, it's worth the money to obtain matching swivel-type chairs, something that would be appropriate for the table. For a period of several days after you obtain the chairs, drip water on the swivel mechanism of the chair that will be used by the client, or sitter. The slight rust build-up that will occur will cause the chair to squeak and chatter, each time the client changes position. It won't be enough to be annoying, but it will alert you to any sudden change in position of the client, indicating, perhaps, increased interest. You won t have to watch the client for information; you can listen to her.
The Book. You'll find that fifty per cent or more of your readings are done for persons for whom you have read before, or are done for individuals recommended to you by previous clients. Their names and addresses of all your clients are important to you.
Somewhere in the room in which you do your readings, keep a large, expensive looking ledger type open book. Explain to each sitter that it is your mailing list, and ask if the person would like to fill it out. You can do this while you are making the individual feel comfortable, getting her to relax. The book should have columns for name, address, zodiac sign.
Frequently, a person will make an appointment using the name, say, Phebe Haines, but will use Mrs. Robert S. Haines in her mailing address. Without making it too obvious, you often can glimpse her writing, and learn something about her birthday and her husband's name.
Timer. Psychic readings are generally done on the basis of units of time, with the longer readings costing more. You might have a price schedule for a 20-minute reading, a 30-minute reading, a 45minute reading, and an hour reading. The most popular time frames are the 30-minute and the one hour readings.
You can time the reading with a pocket watch or a clock. But a better idea is to purchase a spring-wound oven timer. You can set it for the appropriate number of minutes as you begin the reading, placing it on the table. Neither you nor the client will have to make calculations, subtracting or adding minutes to the time on your watches or on the clock.
When the bell on the timer indicates the time has elapsed, reach out and turn it off, but continue to talk for a minute or so, giving the client an obvious few minutes of reading time for free. It leaves you in control, but makes a nice way to end the reading.
Ornate Wooden Boxes. While the man known as the King of the Cold Readers stoutly refuses to use trick devices or paraphernalia that so endears itself to stage magicians, he does recommend two other items. Depending upon your reading style, you may discover they have utility use. Both are intricately carved, ornate wooden boxes. His are expensive, but seem appropriate.
One is simply an empty box in which he keeps his Tarot cards, index cards, and other items he might use in a reading. Fastened inside the lid of the box, although the client can't see them, are a hundred year calendar and a list of social-security numbers (see Chapter 12). At one time, before he committed them to memory, he also used the lid to conceal a list of the Zodiac signs and the dates they represent, and a corresponding list of birthstones.
The hundred-year calendar provides him with a powerful throw-away line, once he has determined the client's date of birth. He simply determines the day of the week on which the individual was born, using the calendar. Then, having determined, say, it was a Monday, he will weave into his reading the line, "You can be stubborn, at times, a Monday's child." A surprising number of clients know, or have been told, the day of the week on which they were born, and will react positively to 'Monday's child' or 'Thursday's child.'
'full of grace'; and Wednesday's child, 'full of woe.' The child of Thursday had 'far to go'; Friday's child was 'loving and giving'; Saturday's 'worked hard for its living'; and Sunday's child was 'bonny and blithe, good and gay'.)
He uses a second ornate box. It, too, is carved. It's a music box. He has found it useful in relaxing the client during the opening moments of the reading. He simply opens the box and lets it play for a few seconds. At the end of the reading, he stands and gently opens the box again, signaling that the reading is over. For him, it has proven effective, and melds well with his reading style.
Promotional Flier. Not all readers will want or use promotional fliers, but if you elect to use one, consider having your flier printed so the back is blank. Instead of providing the client a blank sheet of paper on which she can make notes of key words or phrases from your reading, give her one of your fliers, indicating she can use the back. Her handwritten notes about the reading will assure she keeps your flier. And, should she review her reading with a friend, your name and telephone number will be immediately available to her, if the friend should request them.
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