Readings categorised by type

There are many different types of psychic readings. Two of the most popular are:

Tarot. Readings supposedly based on the interpretation of tarot cards and their symbolic meanings.

Astrology. Based on the deliriously absurd creed that studying planets and other heavenly bodies can reveal influences on one's personality or future experience.

In these cases, the person giving the reading may not necessarily claim to be psychic as such. They may claim to have studied what they claim is a valid divinatory science, much as one might study medicine. Other examples in this category would include:

Palmistry. Based on the lines and other aspects of the palm of the hand.

Graphology. Based on a sample of handwriting. (Graphology should not be confused with handwriting analysis, which is a legitimate, well-accredited forensic science. Handwriting analysis is used, for example, to determine whether two samples of handwriting are from the same person).

Other types of readings are defined in terms of the specific psychic gift claimed by the person giving the reading. Among the more common ones are:

Mediumship. Based on supposed communication with people who have died or, to use the trade jargon, 'passed into spirit'. Also known as 'spiritualism'. Also known as 'exploiting bereaved and vulnerable people for financial gain'.

Clairvoyance. This terms is perhaps the most generally applicable of all, and hence the least easily defined. Clairvoyants claim to see or perceive information via psychic sensitivity to some form of energy, vibrations, or impressions. 'Clairaudience' is the equivalent term for those who claim their impressions come primarily in auditory rather than visual form. 'Clairsentience' is the impressively technical-sounding name which covers both of the above, or 'sensing' information.

Psychometry. Touching an object and claiming thereby to sense information about (a) the owner or (b) events involving that object.

Crystal-ball gazing. Claiming to see or perceive impressions in an orb or similar prop made of crystal glass.

Aura readings. Based on what are said to be coloured human energy fields (wholly fictitious except in the mind of the practitioner) around a person's body.

Intuitive readings. Some psychics prefer to avoid any specific label, and claim only to have a form of loosely-defined intuitive gift, or perspective, which they believe puts them in a position to help people.

This list covers the most popular types of psychic readings, but there are many more besides.

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