The Psychic Credit

Psychic Credits are character statements which credit the client with some form of psychic or intuitive gift, or at the very least a receptivity to others who possess such gifts. This may be seen as a very specific application of Fine Flattery. It is a very common element, found in all sorts of readings.

As with the Fine Flattery element, it is not good enough to simply praise the client and hope she likes it. "Hey! You're psychic too!" is not the recommended approach. Here is an example of the sort of thing a tarot reader might say:

"This card, the King of Wands, is generally indicative of a perceptive or even a psychic ability of some kind. Of course we all have these gifts, but they do vary from person to person. In your case, it's the second card in the higher triad, which is devoted to your personal profile. This suggests you have very strong and vivid intuitive gifts, and good instincts which will serve you well if you learn to trust them. Since you also have the Eight of Coins in support of the same line, I would say that you have a very fine, almost psychic kind of acumen when it comes to dealing with material goods and financial affairs. You can perceive value in ways that not everyone else can."

Just in case some clarification is required here, the above hypothetical example is full of what I later call the 'Jargon Blitz'. I have no idea what the King of Wands and Eight of Coins are supposed to mean, and phrases like 'higher triad' and 'in support of the same line' are just made-up nonsense. However, they sound good, which is all that really matters.

The Psychic Credit is very widely deployed in many different readings. Rare indeed is the psychic who would inform a client that she lacks this kind of faculty. The Psychic Credit is often accompanied by little "proofs" which can go like this:

"There is an indication that you have quite a well-developed psychic sense in your own right. You're probably the type of person who will be thinking about someone you haven't heard from in a while, and then out of the blue they phone you at that very moment!"

Many clients readily confirm that this kind of thing has happened to them, and it may well have done. However, as sceptics never tire of telling us, it is far from evidence of psychic intuition. You probably think about people you know fairly often, and you probably receive many phone calls. Usually, there's no link and you don't think twice about it. When, by chance, the person in your thoughts does call, it seems surprising and you remember the incident.

Male and female psychic credits

There are many similar anecdotal offerings which can lure clients into crediting themselves with psychic sensitivity. Here is a fairly common one which is offered to female clients:

"You probably have innate psychic sensitivity which plays little tricks on you all the time. The sort of thing where you feel you ought to do your face and smarten up your make-up for no reason, and then suddenly there's a knock on the door and it turns out to be someone you're really glad you looked your best for."

For male clients, the Psychic Credit may be expressed in a slightly different form to exploit typical male ego triggers:

"We all have some psychic acumen, and this is true of you, even though you're very down to earth and pragmatic. You're very shrewd in your dealings with people. You can read people very well, like a sort of sixth-sense that is more developed in you than in most people. You make a very good businessman or negotiator. Your intuitive side means you have a lot more rapport with women than many men, and this is a characteristic which, whether or not you realise it, a lot of women find very appealing about you."

The Psychic Credit is a very dependable cold reading element, and has the obvious additional benefit of bolstering the belief system which supports psychic readings (which we saw is part of The Set Up, 'Establishing the belief system').

4. Sugar Lumps

Sugar Lump statements offer the client a pleasant emotional reward in return for believing in the junk on offer. In general, the Sugar Lump relates to the client's willingness to embrace the psychic 'discipline' involved in the reading, and to benefit from the insights thereby gloriously revealed:

"Your heart is good, and you relate to people in a very warm and loving way. The tarot often relates more to feelings and intuition than to cold facts, and your own very strong intuitive sense could be one reason why the tarot seems to work especially well for you. The impressions I get are much stronger with you than with many of my clients."

It is more or less mandatory to praise the client for being "open-minded" and "receptive to many different kinds of wisdom". This is as sly as it is insidious, since the more the client is disposed to believe in the nonsense being sold, the easier it is to (a) send her away happy and (b) keep her coming back for more.

Sugar Lumps can also be used to weaken resistance to psychic nonsense, or to soften sceptical attitudes. In these cases, the Sugar Lump is modified to point out what a nice, loveable person the client could be, if only she would be less sceptical. It might go something like this:

"I feel in some ways that you have become very defensive, almost as if you're locked up in your own secure little castle. This is a shame, because you're blocking yourself off from a lot of light, and love, that could be yours. There are indications here of a need to learn to take a broader look at life, and to be more open to new ideas - even if they may seem strange at first. You know, you won't come to any harm if you lower your defences a little, and take a peek at the insights on offer. Who knows, you might find a few of the answers you've been looking for!"

This is no more than an emotional punch in the face (albeit very sweetly delivered), exploiting the natural human desire to be accepted and loved. The Sugar Lump may also stress how negative it is to doubt, to question or to disbelieve. In addition, the psychic may be inclined to throw in a little science-trashing just for added effect. It is all good for trade.

5. The Jacques Statement

This element consists of a character statement based on the different phases of life which we all pass through. It is named after Jacques in Shakespeare's 'As You Like It', who gives the famous 'Seven ages of man' speech.

Jacques Statements are derived from common rites of passage, widely-recognised life patterns, and typical problems which we all encounter on the road to mature adulthood. In this context, many cold reading sources refer to a book called 'Passages' written in 1976 by award-winning New York author and journalist Gail Sheehy (see Appendix note 4). This exceptional book analyses what Sheehy has dubbed "the predictable crises of adult life", and remains the pre-eminent reference work for anyone wishing to study this territory for cold reading or any other purpose. My own copy is very well-thumbed.

Here is an example of a Jacques Statement, taken from my own tarot, astrological and clairvoyant readings. It is most appropriate for someone in their mid- to late thirties or early forties:

"If you are honest about it, you often get to wondering what happened to all those dreams you had when you were younger; all those wonderful ambitions you held dear, and plans which once mattered to you. I suspect that deep down, there is a part of you that sometimes wants to just scrap everything, get out of the rut, and start over again - this time doing things your way."

Like many of the elements listed here, the Jacques Statement may seem rather lame on the printed page. However, in the context of a supposedly psychic reading, with the correct presentation and vocal delivery, it can be highly effective. Many clients on the receiving end respond with open-mouthed amazement that the cards (or stars, or handwriting etc.) can so accurately reflect their life and pre-occupations.

The Frustrated Talent

Here is another Jacques Statement which is suitable for a younger adult, say in her early twenties, who is probably still developing her career:

"If you are honest about it, you often feel a sense of frustration that your own ideas and talents and abilities aren't given their full recognition. There have been more than one or two occasions when you had to struggle to get people to let you show what you can do. While you are mature enough to recognise that you have plenty to learn, and are willing to put the time in to learn new skills, you often find other people too set in their ways, and unable to appreciate the contribution you could make - if only they would let you".

This element is applicable to many kinds of psychic readings. I know from experience that it sits very well in a tarot or astrological reading. I am the first to admit that many of the elements listed here are far from guaranteed, and can go wrong (hence the later section on getting out of trouble, 'The Win-Win Game'). However, a well-delivered Jacques Statement rarely meets with anything but wholehearted agreement.

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