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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » Cold Reading-Is It Realy Helpful? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Yaniv Deautsch
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I just saw this great movie:Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf? which somehow made me think about cold reading.

What so helpful about cold reading?
What's the point of hearing things about yourself?
Is it realy making sense telling people only good things about themselves like they are a perfect person?
How about making people cry?
Tearing them a part and beilding them again?
I know how to give reading but how about giving readings that help?
Is any reading is good?
Is it possible to be a succseful cold reader without giving any predictions at all,
saying insted that the future is in their hands Etc...

Yaniv Deautsch
mysticz
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While there is nothing particularly helpful about "cold reading" per se, I believe a well-developed psychic reading can be both an entertaining and a rewarding experience for both the recipient and the performer.

You see, cold reading as defined by many magicians and skeptical thinkers (?) is pretty much a waste of time for everyone involved. For many magicians, a "cold reading" experience is all about how much the performer can impress the spectator/sitter with his amazing talent and all encompassing knowledge about the sitter. In other words, the performer is the focus. And all too often this experience concludes with the magician thinking he has awed the masses and the sitter thinking he has had his time wasted by a jerk.

In a well-honed psychic reading, the sitter is the focus and his/her concerns are of utmost importance. The reader is merely the intuitive conduit of personalized information gleaned through a credible process of divination.

A wise reader will place a positive slant to his reading (after all, this is a form of psychic "entertainment"), but the information delivered needn't be all flowers and sunshine. Helpful advice about perceived client problems and concerns is certainly part of the reading experience. A good reading should leave the client feeling satisfied that his/her concerns have been adequately discussed, and that he/she is hopefully optimistic about what the future may bring.

The byproduct of a successful reading is the client's lasting impression of the reader's powerful psychic insight during and after the reading.

But in the end, it really is all about the sitter. And you shouldn't forget this.

Joe Z.
Joe Zabel
"Psychic Sorcery"

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

-- Shakespeare's Hamlet I.v. 174-175
Darmoe
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Thanks again Joe... some great insights!

I address this question a great deal and one of the first things we, as "magicians" must do to better understand the "power" behind being a Reader, is STOP THINKING LIKE A MAGICIAN... Again I'll stress that Nelson, Hull, Minch and countless others that pioneered Mentalism for us, stress this. Unfortunately, few of us listen and adhere to it.

The other thing I bring out in this address is the logic as to why people seek out a Reader... Though the numbers are high when we are talking about curiosity seekers, etc. There is another reality that lends to us (the Reader) the steady client... NEED!

Many people, especially men (believe it or not) do not want to patronize other modes of counselors e.g. the pros like priests, rabbi, psychologist, etc. because of the ego based stigma it delivers e.g. shows that you are a weak person that can't handle life. You'll see a lot of this in regions where male supremecy and the Machismo image is promoted as part of regional culture.

For people in this mind-set; they know they need to talk and get perspective from someone but wont go to a pro, the common counselor becomes the barber, taxi driver, bartender and psychic.

I can't speak for anyone else, but because of my background and a personal technique I use, I know that my Readings give the client information that helps inspire thought... a mode of thought that should help them start doing things a little differently and thus, heal their lives. Granted, you have those co-dependent typse that, in time, you simply have to cut loose (especially if they aren't willing to do what you suggest to heal their lives.)

Like the prostitutes of the world, we too have a legit purpose that can bring about valuable relief to others. There are no victims in what we do, merely volunteers... but then, that's the truth in all aspects of life, isn't it?
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
Brash
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Most of us would probably agree that an individual has control over his/her future should he choose to exercise it. When giving a reading we are planting "seeds". Our words carry a stronger weight for many people than those of more "conventional" counsellors, because we can "see" a better future.

Telling a client that he/she will see his career improve through hard work, or even a change CAN help. It gives the client a light at the end of the tunnel which is now a reality, rather than an abstract (which is how a psychiatrist might present it). That extra certainty may be all it takes to motivate the client to take action and "fulfill" your prophecy.

Similarly, nothing bothers me more than hearing about irresponsible negative readings which can do irreprable damage to a person.
Darmoe
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I agree whole-heartedly Brian...

When I was in Reno I had numerous people coming to me for a "second opinion" because they'd just gone to one of the other area Readers (if you can call them that) that said they were cursed and for $5,000.00 they'd burn candles, etc. to remove the curse... or any number of similar cons.

Now these people are superstitious and you do need to understand their "need" for "something" to help "fix" their situation. When I do follow-up on this kind of situation I will typically sustain the client's beliefs by prescribing some simple "Candle Magick"... I know many will moan over this, but there are some important psychological elements you're not weighing. In the Hispanic and Black communities in particular, there is a very strong, multi-genreational/cultural belief in voodoo and other such magicks... you MUST respect these deeply rooted beliefs and use that perspective to help the client "claim their own power". I draw the line however, in charging them anything more than standard retail for the items needed to "cleanse their home and life" or charging them to burn the candles and do the ritual for them... THAT'S SIMPLY WRONG!

I also give people affirmation and visualization type exercises to do every day... sometimes it's something as simple as looking in the mirror every morning when yuo get up and in the evenings before going to bed and telling that person in the mirror that you Love, Forgive and Accept them exactly as they are... "each day you become a brighter, healthier, more positive individuals that loves life and enjoys it to the fullest..." etc.

HELPING others is the key!
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
fordkross
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You know it's easy to be judgemental. Very hard to be open minded. There are, IMO two paths to reading. First as an entertainment modality. Palm, card or other type of reading at a social event. In this venue, character reading will suffuce most of time, Mainly because, the host is paying not the querent.
However, when the querent is paying, they generally want predictions about their future
More than that they want to talk to some one who listens. Most performers make lousy readers because, they are used to saying, look at me, see how clever I am. A good reader focuses on the querent. Look at them, see how clever they are. It is why, I don't think people looking for readings will be satisfied with the Barnum effect , Wonder Readings or Completely Cold. Of course, this is only my opinion
Now about those who think of readers as swindlers. I woirked psychic fairs for 6 years, All the other readers were shut eyes. I never met a group of nicer, more sincere dedicated people. Many, when clients had financial problems, would run benefits, lend them money in order to help them. I can't imagine psychiatrists or clergy or physicians doing that

Now regarding the person who said charging $5000 to remove a curse is wrong. Not enough money, How much is enough? Or do you feel curses don't exist? Every major religion believes in them in one form or another, Certainly the Catholoc XChuch, the largest religios denomination, performs exoecisms.
They certainly exist in the mind of those who believe in them

Try to keep an open mind
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Marduke Kurios
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Wow. Well said Ford. I totally agree with you, well, except I believe it's very easy for us to be open minded. Just promote it.
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Darmoe
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Don't misunderstand my point Ford (all)...

I fully agree with what you're saying. My problem is that it don't cost $5,000.00 to do such spells... Tops, the 7-day jar candles run around $12.00 (or go to Wal-Mart and get one for a buck)... the herbs, oils, etc. typically used in such a spell wont run much more than another $50.00 maybe as high as $100.00 (unless you are after exceptionally pure, organic, quality.. but I tend to be more practical).

$5k buys a heck of a lot of candles, oils, herbs, etc. That's about what we invested into the starting inventory of our store, when Marcy and I opened Wynnhawks and that gave us tons of merchandise... far more than anyone needs, even for a high Kabalistic or Egyptian rite.

When I work as a Reader in a store my job is to a.) Keep the client's happy and coming back; and b.) Have them get a little something more than just a Reading. I'm careful with the latter, but I ALWAYS recommend books with insights that can help the client deal with whatever it is they're dealing with (including spell books that helps them see how to do things on their own... which helps sell workshops on Candle Magick, etc. ... it's all Dominos...)

You are right on when it comes to the charitable attitude of most shut eye Readers... I probably give away more Readings for those "in need" than I get paid for... I've bought things for clients that they needed for doing certain kinds of work and helped organize those "secret" fund raisers for people that have come into hard times. Though it's "cost me" here and there, the "payment" one gains from this kind of attitude will make one a very wealthy individual whose life is filled with miracles and blessings... especially when faced with the extremes of adversity.
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
saglaser
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I fuylly accept the need to be open-minded regarding individual beliefs. Even a reader who is 100% convinced that the whole idea of curses is pure hokum must be able to work with a client who DOES believe in curses. The placebo effect is a powerful tool, psychologically and physically, and it deserves respect.

That being said, though, I doubt very much that the readers who charge $5,000 to remove a curse are either believers or interested primarily in helping their clients. They are most likely to be the con artists and predators.

I think we can safely condemn such practitioners without risking being judgemental about belief systems. Big money is the tip-off to a con game.
dorbolo
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Yaniv,

A very developed discussion of the issues that you raise is provided by Ron Martin in [u]The Tarot Reader's Notebook[/u]. This expert work is someone mis-titled as folks may think it is primarily about Tarot. It is one of the finest works on reading (cold and warm) available. Martin devotes a significant portion of the book to the issue of how reading can help people and specific techniques readers can use to do so. Find it at: http://floraco.safeshopper.com/7/90.htm?105

It would be enlightening to discuss some of these points with you.

In good spirit,

Jon
Yaniv Deautsch
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Jon,thanks but i already have and read this book many many times...

Yaniv Deautsch
shrink
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Quote:
On 2002-07-09 13:31, Darmoe wrote:

I can't speak for anyone else, but because of my background and a personal technique I use, I know that my Readings give the client information that helps inspire thought... a mode of thought that should help them start doing things a little differently and thus, heal their lives. Granted, you have those co-dependent typse that, in time, you simply have to cut loose (especially if they aren't willing to do what you suggest to heal their lives.)




I have no doubt your readings are helpful to your clients, you come across as you really know people and what your talking about. I do completely agree with what you've said in other posts about intuition.

However I was doing a psychic fayre once and the shut eye reader next to me told the sitter that her husband would leave her for another woman within five years, and that she should consider leaving him. Ive also spoke to various females who had bad experiences with shut eye readers. Someone I met had been told she had or was going to get breast cancer and she should get checked out. Of course there was nothing wrong with her but she lived in fear that something was going to happen. That was one of the reasons I got as far away from the psychic fayres because I didn't want to be associated with some of the things I was hearing.

I think cold reading or at least the situation it creates can do a lot of good for the sitter but equally do a lot of harm depending on how vurne
rable the sitter is. And of course how sane the reader is! Smile
Brash
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Many years ago (before I learned about cold reading) I had my palm read by a "shut-eye" reader. The only thing which stuck with me afterward was the reader's insistence that I would never have children. Something which I found quite upsetting at the time.

Needless to say I now have a beautiful daughter to prove him wrong (and she is definitely mine Smile )

Sadly many "shut-eye" readers can become so convinced of their powers that they begin planting negative seeds which harm their clients. Their own need to be "right" may even cause them to "push" the negative prediction harder if it is rejected by the client.
fordkross
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On 2002-07-11 16:53, Brash wrote:
Many years ago (before I learned about cold reading) I had my palm read by a "shut-eye" reader. The only thing which stuck with me afterward was the reader's insistence that I would never have children. Something which I found quite upsetting at the time.

Needless to say I now have a beautiful daughter to prove him wrong (and she is definitely mine Smile )

Sadly many "shut-eye" readers can become so convinced of their powers that they begin planting negative seeds which harm their clients. Their own need to be "right" may even cause them to "push" the negative prediction harder if it is rejected by the client.

Few readers claim infallibility, while I don't defend the readers prediction and it's unlikely one I would have made. My brother, four years ago went to a Dr for chest pains. The diagnosis was bruised ribs. The Dr prescribed pain killers. This went on for eight months. When my brother wanted a second opinion, the Dr protested , stated his credentials, and wanted my brother to see his associate. Fortunately my brother went to another physician, who took one lookat the xray and said "You have a tumor in your lung. The biopsy revealed it to be ling cancer. By the time he went for surgery it had metastisized.
All professions are capable of error
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Brash
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On 2002-07-11 20:06, fordkross wrote:
Few readers claim infallibility, while I don't defend the readers prediction and it's unlikely one I would have made. My brother, four years ago went to a Dr for chest pains. The diagnosis was bruised ribs. The Dr prescribed pain killers. This went on for eight months. When my brother wanted a second opinion, the Dr protested , stated his credentials, and wanted my brother to see his associate. Fortunately my brother went to another physician, who took one lookat the xray and said "You have a tumor in your lung. The biopsy revealed it to be ling cancer. By the time he went for surgery it had metastisized.
All professions are capable of error
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Good point,

I've had similar experiences with the medical profession. Professional arrogance is a dangerous thing in any field.
shrink
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On 2002-07-12 00:38, Brash wrote:
Fortunately my brother went to another physician, who took one lookat the xray and said "You have a tumor in your lung. The biopsy revealed it to be ling cancer. By the time he went for surgery it had metastisized.
All professions are capable of error
from



Psychic readers are not professionals espescially the shut eye variety. And have no right to advise on legal,relationship or medical matters. I believe readings performed by readers trained in other backgrounds such as counselling could be of benefit to the sitter. However there are readers out there who could and may well do cause a lot of damage. The "psychic" fraternity does attract more than its fair share of nutters who aren't nessesarily frauds as they beleive they have special gifts. The sad thing is the punters who beleive will take their advice.

Please note I' am not saying all readers are this bad but there is a fair number who do fall into this catagory. Anyone with a tarot deck can book a table at a psychic fayre.
Darmoe
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We've stepped into an area I've given a great deal of thought and "reaction" to... medical prognosis, etc.

Some here have known for a while and others, in more recent times have become aware of one of my favorite tools to use in a Reading e.g. Louise L. Hay's book "You Can Heal Your Life". Though a book I've been working on for the past couple of years goes into greater details about how I use this data, this thread has inspired me to make comment.

In literal Cold Reading work, if you find out a person's Astrology you can become privy to certain common ailments/maladies they are prone/subject to. Now, someone in their 20s is less apt to relate to these correlations than someone in their 40s... the older we get, the more we tend to "fit" into our Astrological niche... this said, the Hay correspondences concerning known Health issues and probably psychological thinking that causes these manifestations comes into play.

As Herb Dewy points out in "The King of Cold Readers" you don't state the obvious e.g. someone with really straight and "perfect" teeth isn't told they wore braces but rather, that their parents made sure they had good health care in younger life, etc. Same rule applies here... If a person's astrology suggests stomach/digestive problems you find the Hay explanation and then, in the course of the Reading, you word in the "healing affirmation" and feed the client positive thoughts that aid in correcting such conditions.

This is not diagnostic, as noted above but at the same time, I've had clients come back and thank me for helping them see and think about themselves differently, crediting my insights to "healing them"...

Obviously you can use these same tools, along with some slight pumping (questions of concern, as if you see something around the subject) and state (accordingly) "I'm not positive, but I feel like you need to watch your Kidneys (or whatever) a bit closer... maybe get a check-up and make certain you're drinking enough water... something just feels wrong here..."

Hope you can see where I'm going with this... might help to get Louise's book along with an Astrology book that deals with common health issues for each sign.

Best of luck!
"I firmly believe that of all the Arts and Crafts of Mentalism, there is nothing more satisfying than one who is a first-class Reader. It is the ultimate in Mentalism..." - Tony Corinda * 13 Steps To Mentalism
McCritical
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Quote:
On 2002-07-09 03:51, Yaniv Deautsch wrote:
What so helpful about cold reading?
What's the point of hearing things about yourself?
Is it possible to be a succseful cold reader without giving any predictions at all...
Yaniv Deautsch


There are a great many uses for "cold reading" outside of performing as a mentalist or a psychic, specifically with telling an observer a few things about themselves that they didn't consider apparent to strangers (without offering any glimpse into their future).

It can offer great comedy relief, and it can be used to a performer's advantage as a brilliant diversionary tactic during the execution of some other stunt.

The best cold reading advice comes from Dale Carnagie (whom I'm paraphrasing) and that is to "take a GENUINE interest in the other person." A person usually offers more information than they really expect the other person to hear--with that in mind, a good listener can usually work miracles with that quality alone. At the very least, it can only help build a bond with you and your audience.
dorbolo
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Quote:
On 2002-07-11 02:42, Yaniv Deautsch wrote:
Jon,thanks but i already have and read this book (The Tarot Reader's Notebook) many many times...


Yaniv,

Ok. So, do you think that Martin effectively answers your questions about the helpfulness of readings?
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