Establishing an intimate atmosphere

The psychic tries to establish a fairly intimate atmosphere for reading. The specifics are largely a matter of personal style. The psychic might use a slightly softer voice than normal, or adopt a very sympathetic and non-confrontational stance to foster rapport. Anything which conveys a sense of welcoming calm is good.

Decoration and 'ambience' may also play a part. Psychics who operate from their own premises may give readings in a room specifically decorated for the purpose, featuring framed prints of a suitably mystical nature, soft lighting or candles, incense, relaxing 'ambient' music (i.e. music with the musical bits taken out) and so on. In effect, they are turning the reading into a theatrical performance, and setting the stage accordingly.

It would be wrong to suggest that all psychics go down this route. Some prefer to cultivate the clean-cut image of a professional business consultancy. To this end, they may use appropriate furnishings (e.g. big leather sofas that threaten to swallow you completely) and the props you find in a typical small office (e.g. out-of-date year planner, broken computer and a jammed photocopier).

No matter how this intimate atmosphere is created, the point is to dissuade the client from being too challenging or assertive. It also promotes the sense of participation in a ritual. Rituals are a time-honoured way of constraining normal mental responses (including the "Wait a minute, this is all nonsense" response) and thereby conditioning behaviour. This is why rituals are found in every religion and military organisation. The more time we invest in a ritual, the harder it becomes to break free of it.

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