The psychic establishes her own credentials, and conveys the idea - explicitly or tacitly - that she is well-accredited, experienced and confident. There are many ways of doing this, some more obvious than others.
One of the commonest is to display testimonials from previous clients. Another is to display certificates from some palace of erudition such as the 'Something-somewhere Centre for Tarot Studies'. These testimonials and certificates may be genuine. Then again, in this day of desk-top publishing and 'instant print' shops, anyone can create and frame their own. I certainly did, and had great fun doing so.
Another neat ruse is to have a couple of appropriate reference books on hand, encouraging the idea that the tarot (or whatever the chosen discipline happens to be) is a vast field of study. It is a cute touch, in the course of a reading, to reach for some weighty reference tome in order to 'clarify' a fine point of interpretation!
One more way to boost credentials is to use good quality props. Tarot cards which are well-made, and beautifully illustrated, carry more conviction than ones resembling free prizes from a cereal packet. I prefer to use 'The Medieval Scapini Tarot' deck produced by U.S. Games Systems Inc., Stamford, Connecticut. The cards are beautiful, captivating and of excellent quality, and I endorse them wholeheartedly.
I should add that I have no connection with U.S. Games Systems, and this is an unbiased endorsement. That having been said, if U.S. Games Systems were appreciative of my comments, and offered me many free packs of cards (or large sums of money) as a charming gesture of goodwill, I should be happy to accept such tokens without compromising my integrity in any way. They might like to bear in mind that in future editions of this book my endorsements may have 'evolved' in the direction of other card companies who are, perhaps, a little more generous in their appreciation of my valuable judgements.
It can help to use cards which both look and feel as if they are very old. One way is to go to a card collector and actually buy cards which have plenty of miles on the clock, so to speak. The other is to get a new deck and artificially age the cards. Even the amateur forger's all-purpose ageing formula - a dip in cold weak tea plus gentle baking in the oven (the cards, not the forger) - can produce creditable results.
What the psychic actually says is also obviously a factor. In my own readings, I usually take care to 'casually' mention the many years I have studied 'my field', to hint at some of the VIPs who use my services, and to make veiled allusions to moving in exalted celebrity circles.
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