Many people confuse the terms ‘Psychic’ and ‘Spiritual’, frequently using them to mean the same thing. However, “Psychic” refers to the mind, while “Spiritual” is connected with Divinity and Otherworldly matters and events. There is some overlap, but in this article we will be looking at Psychic intuition to mean to do with the mind and personality and how it can be worked with consciously to improve your intuitive skills.
The route into the mind is mainly through the senses, and we looked at exercises to heighten this connection in the previous article. What we did not discuss was the ways that big business has evolved to take advantage of this to cause false intuitive impressions and instinctive actions. This began with the use of depth psychology in advertising – particularly in the USA – on broadcast, billboard, and other visual media. By inducing altered states of mind through lighting, careful positioning of products, and use of archetypes, supermarkets and other mass outlets can greatly increase the chance of ‘impulse buys’. People react unconsciously to these influences, which act in ways similar to intuition, making them feel in some way that they have to have certain items, only to say “Why the heck did I buy this?!” when they get home. To learn more about these methods and how to defend against them click on the “Psychic Protection for the Festive Season” link at the bottom of this article.
When used correctly intuition, built on subconsciously recognising signs and patterns in the environment, can be extremely effective. Frequently these influences result in significant dreams which provide the answer to problems that people were working on. The fields of Sport, science, and mathematics have all been influenced for the better by this type of intuition aiding in making Jack Nicklaus's golf swing better, understanding how nerve impulses worked, and aiding in breakthroughs in number theory. This dream connection between the conscious and subconscious mind is why Freud, the pioneer of psychoanalysis, called dreams "The royal Road to the Subconscious" and it is used as part of many psychotherapeutic approaches.
Accessing this level of psychic ability through the conscious mind can be done in a number of ways. Most Pagans are familiar with the divination systems of Tarot, Runes, and tea leaf reading. These occupy the conscious mind with images and patterns, much like the ones from dreams, leaving the unconscious mind to attach meanings to them. This distraction of the conscious mind means that the subconscious can also access long-buried information about the people or situation being 'read' without interference or over-thinking. I was explaining this to someone the other day who told me how accurate someone who used the Tarot had been when doing some readings for a group of friends, most of whom she had known for some time. The only exception was one woman in the group who most of them knew, but the reader didn't and "She had a really hard time getting a handle on her" according to the person I was talking to. I explained that in this instance the Tarot reader was not only getting most of her information from the familiar body language of the people she was reading for; But also subconsciously using all the information she had stored about them and deducing things based on past experience. With the person she didn't know this was not possible as everybody's body language is slightly different and no-one had told the reader anything about this particular person. Whatever she was picking up subconsciously was probably being blocked by her conscious mind trying to interpret the cards instead of letting the intuition flow.
"Flow really is the best option in this instance" I said "No matter how odd or banal the symbols or interpretation of the cards is, my experience is that it is usually right. Suddenly being faced with someone outside of the usual group your friend read for probably caused her to think rather than just go with what she felt. Both the conscious and unconscious mind need be in harmony to work effectively"
The best way to develop this type of connection is to practice some type of meditation, either with any divining tools that you use, or one of the more traditional styles of mindfulness, such as focusing on the breath can be very useful in attuning both aspects of the mind to aid the flow of information. Contemplation of a mandala - repeating geometric patterns formed around a central point and usually circular in nature- can also be helpful to inducing the state of mind where intuition can arise naturally. Associated with Hinduism, or Tibetan Buddhism, the complex design of the mandala has the effect of overloading the conscious mind, enabling a receptive state ideal for the subconscious to manifest its abilities.
One Tarot reader I knew had a mandala in the reading area of her shop right above the chair the client sat in. When she felt "stuck", or the cards appeared to have no coherent theme running through them, she would contemplate this until she felt the subtle shift in consciousness that meant that both aspects of her mind were integrated. When she looked at the cards again the pattern or theme would stand out and/or key symbols would become obvious. To the client it just looked as if she was tuning in to the situation - which she was in a way.
Successful entrepreneurs use a similar method to 'sense' what the next big trend or product will be by integrating their conscious and unconscious knowledge of what the market is doing. Either by overloading the subconscious mind with information about their chosen field, or by being so aware of the movements within one particular industry or field that their cryptomnesia* overflows from their subconscious to their conscious mind and they act on that intuitive feeling.
The subconscious also receives impressions from the Aether (Astral and Spiritual realms) that may transcend time and space, as well as give great insight into people and situations which is what many people mean when they speak of intuition. However, it is important to understand all aspects of the intuitive state because only then can you turn it from a 'wild talent' into a useful part of your life and spiritual practice.
*Literally "secret memory" where the knowledge and patterns stored in the subconscious mind are experienced by the conscious mind as something new and original.