A few months ago I had the pleasure of hearing psychic medium Tiffany Johnson on a radio program and instantly found her upbeat energy and simple way of approaching her field very refreshing. I’ve grown so used to “radio and television psychics” being too big for their britches, but Tiffany certainly wasn’t! She was down to earth and practical in her thoughts and advice for those that were looking to develop their abilities in the way that she did. Then she mentioned she had a new book coming out (she already has one previous book, “Seeds of Thought: A Comprehensive Guide to the New Age” in publication). This new book would be specifically on psychic work and psychic development. I instantly went and pre-ordered it from Amazon since I was impressed with her radio spot. And sure enough, her book was quite impressive as well!
“Picture Yourself Developing Your Psychic Abilities” is a book aimed more for the layman or novice to the new age and psychic world. If you’re someone with some time around the metaphysical already you’ll find that the majority of the book will be nothing more than review for you, but it’s an enjoyable read all the same. Tiffany writes with a very open, warm and simple tone, making sure to keep things at a level where anyone that has picked up the book will be able to read, listen and relate to. Many books on psychic development that try to come from a scientific standpoint easily lose a lot of people in the first few chapters, so if you’re looking for an easy new age approach to understanding the basics of everything from smudging and space clearing to understanding the purpose of spirit guides, then this really is the book for you.
The first two chapters explain in simple but detailed terms what a psychic is, how psychics are seen by society and a great breakdown of the essentials in psychic history. Chapters 3 and 4 explain “the Clairs” (clairvoyance, clairaudience, clairgustance, and clairsentience) as well as the physical tools often used in the psychic field including the I-Ching, tarot and pendulums. Chapter 5 is a great breakdown of many other key elements of the new age and psychic world including auras and the chakras. Chapter 6 is dedicated to explaining angels, spirit guides and animal totems. Chapters 7 and 8 deal with protection techniques including prayer and smudging as well as giving some final preparations for getting down to business with a look at studying the field and how to deal with potentially negative messages from spirit. It’s at this point, Chapter 9, where we get down to the exercises and learning to work with psychic reading. Chapter 10 wraps it all up by touching on some of the other hot psychic topics such as reincarnation, psychic vampires and a great section for parents that might be dealing with a psychic child.
While, for me, the only chapter that I really paid great attention to was Chapter 9, I found that the book as a whole was really enjoyable, simple to read and understand, and is structured in a way that makes it a great reference book as well. The book also comes with a 60 minute DVD that consists of four sections; Clearing Space where Tiffany shows you how to clear the energy in a space through a few different techniques, Tarot where Tiffany demonstrates tarot reading, Sample Reading where you can watch Tiffany give a brief psychic reading and then give a little explanation of how she did it, and then Frequently Asked Questions where Tiffany takes on some of the common questions asked of her and most psychics by those that are outside of the field.
Overall this is a great book and a great DVD to compliment it. There were a few things that I took issue with within the book. The first being that the book is touted as being a book to help you learn to develop psychic abilities and learn psychic reading techniques but this is more of an afterthought it seems. The book is full of great information on everything from Edgar Cayce to what it means to have a wolf as a totem animal, but the actual exercise and work to help develop your personal skills number around 5 or 6. They are great exercises though and are exercises that anyone can work with and gain some results I’m sure, but it would have been nice to see more than that in a book of nearly 200 pages.
My other issue may just be a personal one, but it comes with her comments about what a psychic truly is. She says (p.43) “Please remember that true psychics don’t need an apparatus to gain insight.” And (p. 43) “…there is a semantics error when a Tarot reader calls himself a psychic.” It’s important to also note these comments are made in the first paragraph of the chapter on psychic tools. It’s also interesting that she makes these comments given that she herself reads tarot but also identifies as a psychic. In the back of the book in the glossary Tiffany defines a psychic as (p. 182) “someone who is able, through one of the four psychic abilities, to gain information beyond using one (or more) of the five senses.” So what she is saying is that someone that is psychic gains their information strictly from one or more of the “clairs”, not from a set of cards or a pendulum. I have a problem with this as a psychic and an intuitive tarot reader. I don’t read cards “by the book” and many readers who self-identify as psychics but use cards do not read that way either; many who fall in this category use tarot or oracle cards as psychic triggers. For me the cards often trigger my “clairs” though over the 20-something years of working with my abilities I’ve come to a point where as I shuffle the cards for someone or watch them shuffle in front of me, I will begin to pick up on things with my “clairs” beforehand as it gets me “in the zone”, so to speak. This is because I do work without the cards and have those abilities but I still use cards which doesn’t make me any less psychic. I just wonder if this sentiment could turn some people off, especially given where it’s presented.
“Picture Yourself Developing Your Psychic Abilities” is a great book overall, even with my own couple of quibbles. I will definitely be recommending this book to students and clients in the future for getting started with working with their intuition and psychic self. It’s worth picking up, even if you’re old hat at this because I do feel that her exercises are very solid and can be quite helpful and handy for yourself as well as helping friends, family, students and clients alike.