Psychic Insights: Getting Guidance for Your Life's Questions

Douglas G. Richards

More than twelve years ago I received my first reading from a psychic. I had been studying Edgar Cayce and parapsychology for years, but had never actually had a reading. My reasons for getting a reading were a mixture of curiosity and looking for insights into my life and myself. But could today's psychics match Cayce's ability? I was a little nervous. Perhaps the psychic would uncover secrets that I preferred to keep hidden. There might be frightening predictions about my future, or messages from beyond the grave.

I was relieved to find that the reading process was straightforward and not at all spooky. We simply relaxed in the psychic's living room. After a short prayer and meditation, she began to tell me of my past lives, my talents, and my future. The descriptions of my personality and talents had a ring of truth. The past life information was fascinating but hard to swallow; perhaps I had lived in ancient Rome, but how could I prove it? One item truly impressed me: the psychic said she saw the word RESEARCH on my forehead, flashing on and off. She interpreted that as my future direction. Since research was my primary professional interest, I took this as a very positive sign. I departed feeling encouraged by the information I had received, but wanting to know more about the potential of psychic ability. Soon after, I moved to Virginia Beach, to make research into psychic phenomena a career.

Were other people's experiences with psychics like mine? Were some psychics better than others? Might I be better off using my own intuition, meditation and dreams to guide my decisions? These were some of the questions I wanted to address. As a researcher at Atlantic University, I joined in an ongoing A.R.E. program developed by Mark Thurston and Henry Reed, to explore the process of psychic readings and other intuitive forms of guidance.

The most recent step in this quest occurred in October, when twenty-four people came to Virginia Beach to intensively seek guidance for their life questions and participate in a week-long research project. For several years psychics have shared their talents and insights to improve our understanding of the intuitive process. At the same time, conference participants have discovered the potential of intuitive guidance for life transformation.

The focal point of the week was the opportunity for each participant to obtain readings from two different psychics. The Edgar Cayce readings emphasized that Cayce was not the only person who could provide useful psychic guidance. Others were encouraged to follow in his footsteps. But although Cayce gave psychic readings, he did not encourage people to rely solely on his psychic perceptions. He frequently suggested meditation, dreams, and inspirational writing as sources of valuable attunement and information. For an outer form of guidance, he recommended the study of astrology, though he cautioned that the human will is the paramount factor in one's life path. Our goal was to evaluate the usefulness of all these sources of insight.

For this conference, the participants were co-researchers with us. While they were seeking answers to personal questions, we were seeking ways to identify gifted psychics and develop guidelines for how to evaluate readings. Questionnaires were created to aid the participants in evaluating their life purpose, and to assess the contributions of psychic and other guidance to their goals.

The participants had a busy week. They worked with their own meditation, dreams, and personal inspirational writing. Together they participated in small group discussions and attended a session with music and creative imagery. The conference staff provided lectures on interpreting psychic readings, dreams, and synchronicity. Conferees even received a computer-generated astrology horoscope and attended a talk on astrological interpretation.

 

Preparing for Intuitive Guidance

Before receiving a psychic reading, participants were asked to work with their own intuitive abilities. Meditation, dream work and other exercises were used both to develop and refine questions, and later to aid in interpretation of the readings from the psychics. The intent was for each person to arrive at an optimum combination of inner and outer guidance.

The Cayce readings frequently recommended meditation as inner preparation for receiving guidance. The first step is to set an ideal - a spiritual vision for your life. This could be a single word, like "love," or a phrase like "the Christ spirit." Then it is possible to relax and quietly go within, while remaining focused on your ideal. Sometimes there will be a sudden insight during meditation. At other times, meditation serves as a period for attunement, and the guidance will arrive later through a dream or a reading from a psychic.

Dreams are a second source of intuitive insight. The psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud once called them the "royal road to the unconscious." In our dreams we often rework the events of the day, testing new solutions to the problems that concern us. Parapsychologists (scientists who study psychic ability) have also found dreams to be the most common source of psychic experiences. Dreams of distant happenings or future events occasionally come true.

Often dreams with useful guidance come spontaneously, with no special preparation. One very practical example in my own life came several years ago, when I dreamed that I was making a presentation in front of a group of people, with fancy computer-generated graphics. The audience was enthusiastic, and I felt great in the dream. The next day I looked through advertisements I had received in the mail, and found one for the same kind of computer software I had seen in the dream. I decided to follow this inspiration and order the software. When it arrived, my first project was to put together a presentation for a meeting where I was to speak about my research. A few weeks later I gave the presentation, complete with color graphics - and I won an award for the best presentation at the meeting! Now in this example, it is hard to separate psychic perception of a future event from intuitive inspiration, but it doesn't really matter. By acting on guidance from a dream, I had quite a positive result.

In this conference the participants took dreams a step further. It is possible to encourage guidance from dreams by doing what is known as a "dream incubation." The dreamer prepares to receive guidance by carefully formulating a question, and focusing on it prior to going to sleep. This might involve a period of meditation before bedtime or writing a letter to your dreams and putting it under your pillow. In the conference, the participants listened to a lecture on dream incubation the evening before going to bed. Then the dreamers made sure that recording tools - either a pencil and paper or a tape recorder - were handy by the bed. The next morning, the dreamers were led through a session on interpreting dream symbols. Many dreams are symbolic. For example, a stockbroker who received a dream interpretation from Edgar Cayce in 1929 dreamed of a bull following a woman in a red dress. Cayce interpreted the dream symbols to mean, "the red indicating the danger in the bull market." (900-425) Several months later the stock market crashed.

Intuition does not always require altered states of consciousness like meditation or dreams. We often overlook the potential of another common source of guidance, meaningful coincidences, which psychiatrist Carl Jung termed "synchronicity." Often we only need to pay attention to what is going on around us. We find that our lives are filled with coincidences that can stimulate new approaches to problems, and suggest new directions for our efforts. I frequently have found synchronicity to be useful in my own life. Many instances occur while I am traveling. I always stop in airport bookstores, and often find a book I have seen nowhere else that exactly answers my needs. In one case I bought a book at an airport that I ended up using as a text in a graduate-level course on "The Nature of Reality."

At the conference, Mark Thurston discussed the I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of wisdom that can be used as a stimulus for synchronicity. One tosses coins, and the pattern indicates a particular chapter in the I Ching. People often find information in the verses that gives a new and useful perspective on their questions. The I Ching can even be used to suggest possible interpretations for dreams.

Astrology can also be used as a stimulus for intuitive discovery. Astrology is not simply a pattern of stars and planets determined by the time you were born. It is a complex symbolic system that reflects the basic potentials and conflicts of our inner being. The point is not to take the I Ching or astrology as infallible oracles of the future, but to use them to gently stimulate your own intuition.

The insights from all these intuitive sources can be made even more useful if they are discussed in a group. Group meditation can be a powerful force for cooperative attunement. During the discussion, frequently another group member will have insights into symbols that the dreamer missed or into the significance of synchronicity. Our conferees found that the group discussions were a valuable source of additional interpretations.

 

Preparing for a Psychic Reading

We often feel the need for help in making major decisions in life, an outside opinion to complement our own intuitive abilities. What role can a psychic reading play in guiding us? It is tempting to seek a "perfect" psychic, one who has deep insight into our needs and abilities, and has a crystal clear view of the future. Such a psychic could simply make decisions for us.

Yet even Edgar Cayce did not have such an ability. He was able to focus on key talents and possible stumbling blocks. But he emphasized the importance of the individual's will in shaping the future. The Cayce readings occasionally expressed amusement at questions asking for specific predictions:

"Q: Is the prediction true that I will die suddenly, at the age of 80, in Tibet?

"A: If you go to Tibet and live to be 80 you may die there - this depends on many, many, many circumstances. You will not die in Tibet unless you go there, and there's not the prospect now of going there." (2067-3)

What kinds of questions are worth asking a psychic? The participants in the conference worked alone with their meditations and thoughts, and together in groups, to arrive at questions addressing their personal needs effectively. Most questions fit into several categories, suggested by the Cayce readings and by previous work with psychics at other conferences.

Your soul's purpose in this life. The goal of the conference was to facilitate finding guidance for life's questions. For many people their soul's purpose is the ultimate question. It is possible to ask an open-ended question, such as: "What is my mission or soul's purpose in this incarnation?" You may receive more practical guidance if you are more specific, for example, asking how you may best use your talents in the next few years to fulfill your life's purpose.

Your past lives. Reincarnation is a concept some people find helpful in understanding their lives. Edgar Cayce's life readings typically gave details of several past lives having major impact on the person's current life situation. You could ask an open-ended question seeking information on any past life relevant to your present experience. Or you could ask specifically about past life experiences that affect your current life goals. People may be initially disappointed to find that no two psychics agree about the details of their past lives. However, often the basic themes from these past life stories are very helpful in understanding the present. It may be even more useful to try to test the insights from such readings in your own experience, rather than to be too concerned about the "reality" of the lives.

Current concerns in your relationships and emotional life. Many psychics find that the most frequent questions are about relationships. But asking a psychic to make decisions for you is not wise. Once a person asked Cayce, "Would marriage to the body with whom I am going be advisable?" Cayce replied in the reading, "Better ask the body - not here." (3180-2) More productive are questions intended to deepen your understanding of a relationship. For example, you might say, "I am often angry at my sister. What is the source of this anger and how can I transform it into something more positive?" Or, "I am thinking of marrying so-and-so. What are the potentials and pitfalls of pursuing this relationship?"

Career and financial advice. Questions in the career area are often most productive if you have already done substantial preparation in the area, and intend to compare the psychic information with your own insights and take action. You might say, "I am holding a business plan I have prepared. Is this a wise course of action? Suggest ways to improve it."

The future. Occasionally, psychics will make amazingly correct predictions of the future. However, often the times and the specific events are uncertain. In my own experience once, a psychic made an excellent prediction about publication of a book I was writing, but was off by 6 years in the publication date! It is helpful to see the future as open-ended. A psychic may be able to see trends, but your own application of the guidance is the most important factor.

Advice in seeking and interpreting your own inner guidance. Much of the conference was devoted to working with inner sources of guidance such as dreams and meditation. An outside opinion is often helpful in understanding symbolism or unusual experiences. For example, you might ask a psychic, "Please interpret the following dream for me (giving either a few details from the dream, or the night on which it occurred)." Or you might ask for advice on the personal attunement aids that would help you most in meditation, such as specific affirmations, incense, or music.

After providing these suggestions regarding the most productive types of questions, we asked the participants to categorize the questions they actually asked. They had been told to come up with four questions to ask during the reading (naturally, in the course of interacting with the psychic, more questions might arise). Our analysis found that this group, in agreement with the theme of the conference, had the greatest number of questions in the categories "career or work" (21%) and "soul's purpose or soul's talents" (21%). Next came questions on a variety of relationships: romantic, family, and non-family. Taken together, 33% of the questions were relationship questions. The rest fell into much smaller groups, such as "personality characteristics" (8%) and "finances" (5%). These questions are not necessarily typical of people who ask for psychic readings in general, but they were the basis on which our participants were evaluating their readings.

It is important to remember that the quality of a reading does not depend only on the talent of the psychic. Cayce emphasized the importance of your own attitudes and attunement. Before you ever see the psychic, it is important to use all the conscious means you have to explore your questions. Try looking at your dreams to tap your unconscious mind. Then, take what you have learned and formulate questions. Prayer and meditation before a reading can set a positive tone allowing better information to come through.

The person seeking a psychic reading needs to bear in mind that what he/she brings to the reading is at least as important as what the psychic brings to the reading. Some people have more carefully thought out their questions than others. Some come in with greater self-knowledge and openness than others. Some may have very high or very low expectations - a person expecting winning lottery numbers is unlikely to be pleased with any psychic reading.

Similarly, on the part of the psychic, the ability to give a good psychic reading is complex. It is not simply tuning into facts like, "You have an Uncle George with one brown eye and one blue eye." It is the ability to tap helpful information, and interpret it in an uplifting way that will encourage the recipient to apply it productively. The quality of the reading may depend on the health of the psychic, daily stresses, the experience of the psychic with counseling, the temperature of the room, and a variety of other factors. A reading will always be a mixture of psychic impressions combined with the personality, issues, and inner wishes of the psychic.

For example, my wife and I received a psychic reading together shortly after we were married. The psychic was quite insightful about our strengths and weaknesses, and offered helpful guidance about our career paths. Then I was a little taken aback when she said that we would have four children; neither of us were planning on a large family. But the psychic herself had 12 children! For her, four children was a small family. As it turned out we have one child (who was very well described in a reading by another psychic over a year before he was born). It is unlikely that we will have four. This psychic was obviously highly attuned to the possibility of children, and freely recommended them.

Questionnaires were developed to address these specific ideas. At the beginning of the conference, the participants provided information on their previous experience with psychics and intuitive guidance, on their personalities, and on their perception of their life's purpose. After they received their psychic readings, they filled out an evaluation questionnaire. We went beyond simply asking about the overall quality of the readings. We asked about the emotional impact of the readings, about the specificity of the guidance, about the accuracy of the information, and about the psychics' ability to give an inspirational interpretation.

 

Evaluating the Guidance Process: Personal Intuition and Psychic Readings

The purpose of the conference was to aid people in obtaining guidance for their life's questions. However, in a one week conference, it is difficult to know if working with these sources of guidance can lead to a major redirection or reconfirmation of one's life purpose. We tried a small before-and-after test, using the Purpose in Life scale, a one-page questionnaire that evaluates the degree to which people feel that they have found a meaningful purpose in life. We were pleased to find a statistically significant 17-point increase. That is, the average score went up from the beginning of the week (99 points) to the end of the week (116 points). As a comparison, in a study we did several years ago with members of Cayce A Search for God study groups, the average score was 109 points. This is impressive evidence that in one week people can gain significant insight from intuitive sources.

Next, we wanted to know which forms of guidance were most helpful, and what factors contributed to their effectiveness. We asked the participants to consider the various sources through which they obtained guidance during the week, and to pretend that they had $100 to distribute among these sources of guidance. They were asked to assign dollars in proportion to the amount of help that they had received from each source. The average amounts are listed in Table 1. Keep in mind that the amount for psychic readings involves a sum for both psychic readings that the person received.

Mark Thurston used this method in research conferences in the 1980s, and this conference confirmed his result: the two psychic readings were by far the most valued source of guidance (at $42.19). The computerized astrology charts were the least helpful, perhaps because they lacked a personal connection. In a conference several years ago, participants received a personal discussion of the horoscope on a cassette tape, and rated it as much more helpful. However, adding together all of the other items which include people working with their own inner intuitive abilities (meditation, dreams, etc.), we arrive at a figure of $53.05. So inner work with our own intuition can be even more important than psychic readings, though we may need to work with diverse forms.

The next step was to explore in detail the factors leading to the very positive evaluation of the psychic readings. We asked the recipients to evaluate the overall quality of each reading, on a 9-point scale ranging from: "1 - Totally displeased; an unsatisfactory and disappointing reading," to "9 - Totally pleased; an absolutely splendid reading." On the average, the psychics did rather well: an average score of 7.2. Not all were equal, however. The best averaged 8.4 and the worst averaged 4.8. Was this due to the quality of the psychics, or to the viewpoint of the people receiving the readings? There was quite a lot of individual variability. Each psychic had some people who thought their reading was excellent, and some who thought it was only average or even worse. Psychic readings are an interaction between people, not an isolated source of wisdom.

For example, one person, "A," gave the following glowing endorsement of her reading from psychic "Susan": "I found it to ring so true and be so inspiring. The suggestions of actions to consider taking, exercises and affirmations, and encouragement to not only use what abilities and talents are known to me but to find new outlets are going to be so beneficial."

However, another person, "B," found Susan's reading for her to be of little value: "I liked her very much but never felt we really connected."

These same two people then gave opposite evaluations of their second psychic "Dorothy." Person A said, "My reading consisted almost totally of the psychic's asking me questions. She would then make a general statement that could be construed from my response or be so vague as to be of no help."

On the other hand, Person B said of Dorothy's reading for her: "She really helped me...She came forth with about six unasked questions of mine and that shocked me...I left the reading feeling very much uplifted. It was a great experience for me."

These sorts of responses demonstrated the difficulty of simply rating the overall quality of a psychic reading. In a previous conference, the participants allowed us to make duplicate tapes of the psychic readings, and we listened carefully to the verbal interactions on the tapes. The styles of the psychics varied a great deal. Some started right in with information, even before the recipient had time to ask the first question, and anticipated the questions. Others started with a conversation, drawing out the person's concerns, much the way a therapist would. Both types often contained useful psychic information, but they appealed to different people. We needed to explore the factors leading to these evaluations.

Clearly the expectations and preferences of the recipients could have a major effect on the ratings, so the next step was to evaluate the evaluators. One way to do this was to discover whether any of the questions the people answered before they received their readings could predict how they would evaluate their psychic readings. We found two strong predictors. The first was belief in the possibility of psychic guidance and experience with previous psychic readings. The more that a person had seriously worked with psychic guidance before, the more likely that person was to give the psychics high ratings. The other predictor was the personality of the person receiving the reading. People who indicated that they were self-critical and concealed their inner worries behind an outward show of confidence were less likely to like their readings. It appeared that people with a low opinion of themselves were also likely to reject positive comments and helpful suggestions from the psychic. These factors were able to explain about 50% of the variability in the evaluations. The other 50% would reflect actual differences in the quality of the psychics. This is important confirmation that what you bring into a reading is equally important to what the psychic brings.

At this point you may be thinking that perhaps people who believe in psychic guidance will believe any vague statement that the psychic makes. Then all we would be studying is how gullible people are. Psychologists call this the "Barnum Effect," named after P. T. Barnum, the showman who said, "A good circus has something for everyone," and "There's a sucker born every minute." Psychologists have studied the Barnum Effect by putting together a set of vague personality statements that sound a little bit like a psychic reading. One example is, "At times you are extroverted, affable, sociable, while at other times you are introverted, wary, reserved." This would apply to almost everyone! To study gullibility, they ask people to rate how closely these statements personally describe them.

We did the same thing, including a set of Barnum-type statements in our initial personality questionnaire. After the people rated their psychic readings, we checked to see whether their rating could be explained simply by their tendency to accept or reject vague statements. The relationship was not statistically significant, but there was actually a slight tendency for people to reject vague statements. To put it another way, our group seemed good at detecting vague personality descriptions, and tended to downrate psychics who provided this sort of information. Far from being gullible, they tended to be "critical consumers." They wanted personally specific information. Most readings were given very positive scores, but the occasional critical comments addressed this issue directly, for example, "There was an overall flatness and vagueness and almost nothing she said resonated within me as being authentic."

The presence of "evidential" statements in a reading was a major factor that contributed to a high rating for a psychic. Evidential statements are those pieces of information that the psychic could only have obtained by psychic means. A statement like, "You have some unresolved anger toward your mother," is not evidential. A statement like, "Your mother's favorite dress was purple with little red and gold flowers," would be very evidential.

We had reactions from the participants commenting on evidential statements, for example, "Very specific here with details which have been in my mind but could never have been deduced from my current situation or our conversation."

We asked the participants to estimate the number of evidential statements. The psychic with the lowest overall rating had an average of 2.8 evidential statements per reading, while the one with the highest rating had an average of 6. But this is not many evidential statements for an hour-long reading. Other factors must be important.

What else did the psychic do that caused the readings to be seen as so valuable for guidance? The highest ratings were not given for the amount of information or how specific it was. Rather, the emotional impact of the reading, and the inspirational interpretation of the information were the key factors. A reading simply giving psychically-derived facts was not as useful as one that made an emotional connection with the person. The facts had to be there, but people were really looking for inspiration and guidance. The most highly rated readings received comments like this:

"The session left me absolutely reeling. Everything she said...resonated inside of me as being real, true, authentic...She said things that completed puzzles I had been struggling to finish...She validated things I had suspected about my soul's tasks for this lifetime, and her insight has given me the courage to move ahead."

To summarize the results of the research: The participants felt the entire process to be valuable, weighting the psychic readings and the inner sources roughly equally. They departed from the conference with a significant change in their sense of purpose. We, the researchers, gained insight into the process of psychic guidance, confirming the presence of several factors that go into a successful reading, coming both from the psychic and from the person receiving the reading.

 

Advice for Working With Psychic Readings

From working with psychics, in this conference and other research projects, I have come up with seven suggestions that may be helpful if you choose to seek psychic guidance.

First, find a psychic with a good reputation. Ask friends who have had readings from the psychic. Don't choose one based on the largest advertisement in the newspaper, or assume that the one who charges the most is the best. You wouldn't buy a used car that way! A.R.E. maintains a list of psychics who have participated in research conferences that can be obtained from Customer Service. But remember the wide range of evaluations of these psychics, and that the quality of the reading depends as much on the recipient as it does on the psychic. There are no "perfect" psychics.

Second, beware of the frauds. I have found these to be very rare; most psychics sincerely want to help people. But if you find a psychic who wants money up front for a series of readings, won't let you tape record the reading, or tells you that you are under psychic attack and that only they can help you, go elsewhere. And remember that if the psychic does things that look like magic tricks (like tying your money in a handkerchief and making it disappear), it probably is only magic tricks.

Third, be alert to the archetype of the Trickster -- apparently absurd material in your reading that may push you toward transformation. This is not the same as a person deliberately trying to trick you. The Trickster is not a person. An archetype is a universal pattern of consciousness. Archetypes appear in mythologies all over the world. The Trickster is Coyote of the Navajo and Loki of the Norse and Hermes of the Greeks. It is an element in our own consciousness that confounds the cosmic order and pushes us toward transformation. Often seemingly absurd advice will come through during a reading, perhaps leading you to question the ability of the psychic. Its purpose may be to provoke your own thinking and intuitive processes.

The Trickster archetype is evident even in the Cayce readings. Several people asked him for readings to help them find buried treasure and oil, and Cayce obliged. There were often long series of readings, with many specific statements, but they never seemed to lead to the oil or treasure. Instead, they gave accurate geological information and described landmarks, without giving the true location of the valuables being sought. Cayce's source could simply have refused to give them information at all. Instead the readings led them far astray. This often happened when Cayce's subconscious mind detected selfish motivation. His psychic source led them to the point of absurdity, calling attention to their motives. This may be a far more effective means of transformation than simply telling people that they're selfish. The Cayce readings amply proved the psychic connection, but it was up to the people receiving the readings to come to the gradual realization that they needed to change their attitudes. Even a reading that seems at first hearing to be filled with errors may have wisdom if considered carefully. Perhaps the statements that strike you most negatively are those elements of yourself that you need to work on. Perhaps the message is to work with inner guidance before seeking the help of a psychic.

Fourth, keep in mind that the future is not fixed. Psychics often seem to pick up on probable or possible futures, rather than "the" future. For example, I sought a reading from a psychic a few years ago when I was in need of a job. She told me she sensed that a job might be available in a university directly south of Virginia Beach, in North Carolina. She said the job would be easy for me to get because the person holding the job would be leaving suddenly and the school would have no one available to teach. Since it was already summer, they would have no time to advertise for the fall semester. I had no idea if this was true, but I decided to try to apply the guidance. I remembered that I had a friend at a university south of here, but we hadn't seen each other in over a year. I called him on the phone that night, and he said, "I'm glad you called tonight. I'm packing to leave tomorrow for a year teaching at another school." I told him I was looking for a job. He said, "That's great, because they haven't even tried to find someone to replace me here. You're qualified for the job. Just send your resume, I'll recommend you, and I'm sure they'll hire you." This was an amazing psychic "hit." However, when I found out what the job entailed (including three hours of commuting each day), I decided I wasn't interested. This was an opportunity, but it was my choice whether or not to take it.

Fifth, get a reading from more than one psychic and compare the readings. Remember that psychic readings include the beliefs and wishes of the psychic, as well as information for the person receiving the reading. Themes that appear in more than one reading may be the most reliable.

Sixth, ask a trusted friend to listen to the tapes of the readings and offer a second opinion. Friends may be able to suggest a viewpoint that open up a whole new interpretation. In our conference, people who engaged in group discussions and shared their readings often had additional insights.

Finally, apply the information. As an example, once I had some research results I wanted to publish, and had a list of possible journals. Some I thought would be unlikely to publish the controversial work that I had done. I asked a psychic to tell me, not simply where to publish (I had already done my homework and had a list of journals), but to tell me what I would have to do to be published in each of the journals. For one journal that I had considered a long shot, the psychic told me it would be relatively easy to get published. I gave it a try, and after some discussion with the editor and revision of my article, it was accepted for publication. I probably would not have even tried if it had not been for the psychic encouragement. Test the guidance you receive in your own experience, whether it is from a psychic or your personal intuition. Discover what is most helpful for you.

Edgar Cayce often advised people to apply his guidance before he would provide any more. In response to repeated questions, he sometimes answered with a gentle reminder that we would all do well to heed:

"Q: Any advice on the subject?

A: It isn't advice the entity needs, but activity on the subject." (416-14)

Table 1. Average "dollars" assigned to sources of guidance.

Source of Guidance Average "Dollars"

Two Psychic Readings 42.19

Meditation 11.46

Small Group Discussion 11.40

Synchronicity 11.13

Music/Creative imagery 6.92

Dreams 6.56

Journaling/writing 5.58

Astrology 5.52

Bio for Douglas G. Richards

Douglas G. Richards, Ph.D., is a faculty member at Atlantic University and is Director of Research at Meridian Institute. He has spent eleven years exploring psychic abilities in projects with the A.R.E. membership. He is the author of the new book, The Psychic Quest: Understanding Your Psychic Potential, to be published by Dutton/Signet in March, 1998.