More perspectives on the Psychic Realm. My interview with The Varsity Witch.
(Ian) Describe how you first realized that you had psychic abilities.
(Varsity Witch) I teach self-defense to trauma survivors. It’s an empowering and healing process for them. Over time, I noticed that I had a knack for saying just the right thing at just the right time to get a particular effect from a student.
That is, I'd have an irrational desire to say a particular name or to mention something that made no sense. Yet whatever wanted to come out would be just thing to either scare a student stiff (if that's what the moment called for) or else drop her into her fighting spirit (if that were more appropriate).
Students would ask me afterward, "How did you know to say that? I've never told anyone about that!" Truthfully, I'd have no idea, so the joke became that I must be psychic.
When I turned 40, I wanted to do something fun — something that was just for me. So I decided to learn how to read tarot cards. To make a long story short, I soon realized that most of my friends were high-powered psychics! Since I was hanging around them and accepted as an equal, then it seemed logical that I must be psychic, too. So I started offering readings online to test that idea.
(Ian) Why is being a psychic so important to you?
(Varsity Witch) I don't know any other way to be! Even though I didn't realize it at the time, I can look back now and see how this gift colored my childhood. My ability to feel other people's emotions — especially their pain — was a huge factor in my growing up.
I wish I knew then what I know now. Things would have been different had I known how to shield myself, for example. But then again, if things had turned out differently, I might not have the blessings I enjoy now, either.
I guess it's true that you've got to go through some stuff in order to learn some stuff. Still, I suspect there might have been an easier way.
(Ian) Describe your journey into the psychic world.
(Varsity Witch) I was six years old when I saw Star Wars: A New Hope in the movie theater. At the time, everybody was crazy about Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, or Princess Leia. But I took one look at Obi-wan Kenobi and knew that I wanted to be just like him when I grew up: a super-bad warrior who could also do magic!
Eventually, I spent a lot of time weightlifting and training in the martial arts. I even won a national title. Some of my motivations were healthy, some not. But the day came when I realized that I wasn’t getting much from that path anymore. Sure, there would always be another technique I could add to my arsenal, but nothing was leading to that Zen-like self-mastery that everyone kept talking about. Lots of people talked about it, but no one I knew could actually walk their talk.
Eventually, I made my way to a tarot class, as mentioned earlier. I’m not sure how one experience lead to another, but it did. Somehow, I have found a way to feel more at peace and in control of my life by helping others than I ever did when I was pressing 100s of pounds and beating people to a pulp.
(Ian) What spiritual skills do you have?
(Varsity Witch) People like my tarot card readings. I’m particularly good at getting inside someone’s mind and describing their general thought process. That skill is popular with people who are either giddy to start a new relationship or who are brokenhearted about being dumped.
I can also look inside a client’s own life and tell her what she might do (with her physical health, mental habits, emotional healing, and so on) in order to get unstuck and therefore to welcome more joy, happiness, and success into her life.
I love working on my spirit board! (It’s like a Ouija board, but it’s a different brand.) I talk to guides, guardians, ancestors, and deities on my clients' behalf. It's like a telephone interview; I ask questions, then write down the answers.
The spirits are so glad to have someone listen to them that they tend to spill the beans fast. By the time a client hires me, their guides usually have a ton of advice that they want to get across!
One thing I'm learning about is channeling. If communication on a spirit board is like having a conversation by telephone, channeling is like inviting the spirits directly into my head. It's a MUCH more intimate experience.
There are dangers to all of the above, of course, but years of self-defense training have helped make safety a habit. I have good instructors. I take my time and progress slowly. I also practice, practice, practice.
(Ian) Please share any thoughts you have about psychic being a special ability.
(Varsity Witch) Psychic powers are special in the sense that they are a grossly neglected area of human potential. I think that most people are naturally psychic to one degree or another, which means that psychic powers are not special all by themselves.
Rather, it's the commitment to developing them and the ethics with which someone uses those powers that makes a psychic special.
(Ian) How have your abilities changed over time as your own wisdom increased?
(Varsity Witch) When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be a Jedi! I was going to use mind control to get my way and to make my enemies sorry they'd crossed me. I see now that I would have been a tyrant!
Luckily, I didn't start training my psychic powers until later in life, when my machismo had settled down. These days, I only want to help people. I use a lot of divination to help clients find peace and to help them move forward with their lives.
(Ian) What are your thoughts around everybody having a certain degree of psychic power?
(Varsity Witch) I honestly don't think that being psychic is all that special. It's like cooking, singing, or athletics. While it's true that there are some amazingly talented people, most people can cook, sing, or play sports to one extent or another. Natural talent is a factor, to be sure, but persistence and practice seem to be even more important.
For example, when I was coming up through the ranks in the martial arts, I would sometimes get the crap kicked out of me by some new hotshot who would show up, take to the training like a fish to water, but then quit because it all came too easily. Now those hotshots are old, fat, and out of shape. They didn't have to work for it, so they lost it. On the other hand, I worked hard to develop my skill, so I’ve kept in shape.
(Ian) What are your personal spiritual views regarding the psychic realm?
(Varsity Witch) I think the Universe is a much larger and stranger ecosystem than most people realize. How do you explain the bottom of the ocean to someone who's only ever lived in the desert, for example? Having touched and talked to the Unseen World, I know there's a deep ocean of reality beyond what most of us see and believe. How deep does it go? I have no idea.
Significant Psychic Experiences
(Ian) Please share your most noteworthy personal metaphysical experience.
(Varsity Witch) My girlfriend and I had been at an event in which the hostess was channeling an ancient goddess. It was an exceptional experience in its own right but later, when my girlfriend and I were out to dinner, that same goddess showed up! One second I was talking to my girlfriend, and the next minute I was definitely not.
Someone else was looking at me from behind my girlfriend’s eyes.
The encounter didn’t last long and, to an outsider looking at us, nothing extraordinary happened. From my point of view, however, that was an intense conversation.
I later learned about some of the finer points between possession (against one's will) and channeling (with permission). At the time, though, I was spooked!
Reactions to Psychics
(Ian) When do you avoid telling people that you're psychic?
(Varsity Witch) Most of the time. The majority of people I meet either either scoff at the idea or else they are dead-set against it.
At least on the surface. Interestingly, I find that some of the people who consult with psychics would never admit to doing so. But there they are, anyway!
I find that keeping that part of my life quiet helps me maneuver through society a lot easier.
(Ian) When do you like to be very open about being a psychic?
(Varsity Witch) When I'm hanging around with other psychics! Most of my in-person friends are psychics. We treat is as a matter of course and swap ideas like some people might swap recipes. We also read for one another all the time. To us, it's as natural as inviting someone over for coffee.
(Ian) What do you most want the public to know about you?
(Varsity Witch) As much as I enjoy helping people by reading their tarot cards and talking to their guides for them, this is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
My big goal right now is to earn a master's degree in counseling. I want to help people with PTSD overcome their shell shock and return to a normal (or better!) life as quickly as possible. I expect that my psychic gifts will play a part in that healing, but they won't be enough all by themselves.
Really, I'd like people to know about my goal of helping combat veterans, rape survivors, and other people living with the emotional aftershocks of trauma. Every purchase through my website helps move me that much closer to making that dream come true.
(Ian) What star sign are you and what makes you typical of your star sign?
(Varsity Witch) I'm a Sagittarius. I honestly don't know! Most of my friends talk about the Zodiac like it's the alphabet. ("Of course you know your signs. They're like the ABC's!") I really ought to learn more about them.
(Ian) What is your general approach when you read for people?
(Varsity Witch) I like to talk to people first, whether by email or video chat. I want to make sure I understand their concerns and what kind of outcome they're looking for. People will often ask me for one thing but then realize they actually want something else.
A classic example would be the broken-hearted woman who's wondering when her cheating ex is going to come to his senses and crawl back to her so she can live happily ever after.
I typically ask this client what “happily ever after” looks like. Typically, she'll list some outlandish things but, very shortly, she'll also list some things that are actually quite attainable. I’ll do a tarot spread to look at what it might take to bring those things into her life.
Shockingly (or not), that lousy, cheating ex almost never fits into the equation. What does come up is some work the client can do on herself (and for herself) that will attract the right circumstances and relationship as surely as a flower attracts butterflies.
(Ian) What can you share about your most fascinating reading to date?
(Varsity Witch) I was doing a reading for a woman who had questions about her career.
I went to the spirit board to look for clues and wound up talking with her grandfather, whom I assumed had long since crossed over. He gave me several messages, which I dutifully passed along to my client. It turned out that her grandfather was not dead after all, but was in a coma. The family had an expectation that he was withering away and would likely never wake up again.
Some of the messages made sense to my client immediately, while some did not. That’s typical. It usually happens that some messages only make sense later. What made this particular reading so memorable for me was the experience of talking with someone who wasn’t quite dead yet. There was a feeling of overwhelming love for my client that came through loud and clear. I’m happy to say she even noticed when she read my report.
(Ian) What do you most want people to know about your services?
(Varsity Witch) I think a good psychic reading is about more than just the answers you get. It's about the total experience, including the sense of knowing that the psychic cares about you as a person — that you're not just another dollar sign.
I've worked on a psychic hotline where people paid by the minute. Clients wanted their answers immediately, with no waiting or discussion. Most often, they already knew what they wanted to hear. All they really wanted was for me to say, "Yes, you're right."
It was like working at a fast-food restaurant. People would come in, place their order, and then expect to get a ton of information for just a few pennies. It was impersonal at best and I always felt like I needed a shower afterward.
In contrast, my grandfather owned a fine dining restaurant. "Make every person that comes through that door feel special,” he said. “Make sure they know you're crafting the perfect meal for them, just they way they like it. They won't mind paying and they won’t mind waiting because the anticipation — that dreaming about the perfect dinner — will be part of the pleasure."
That's the way I try to run my psychic business. I won’t just drop answers like a bored teenager asking "Do you want to add fries for a dollar?"
I talk to people first and listen to their concerns. I repeat back what I think I heard in order to make sure I'm understanding the issue that's bothering them. I help them craft the perfect question, then create a plan to deliver the finest answer. An ideal reading might involve several tarot spreads, shamanic journeying, spirit communication, or something else. Maybe all of the above!
That's another thing I like to do — to double-check my answers. I'm pretty confident about my results with any divination method but, when I can, I like to double- or triple-check my answers with other methods, too. If the Tarot is saying one thing and the spirits are saying something similar, then my clients can feel confident that they've got the answers they need.
(Ian) How should new clients connect with you?
(Varsity Witch) The easiest way to reach me is always by email. I check that frequently, but I keep my phone turned off most of the time. (My girlfriend hates that, LOL!) It's distracting.
I have a website that's a work in progress: varsitywitch.com. People can read about me, get a sense of what I'm like and what I stand for, and either order services or just contact me to ask questions.