The word psychic means anything associated with the ‘psyche’, this word dates back to ancient times when a Goddess called Psychic governed all that is invisible but still part of human existence.
Those who believe in the psychic world believe that most people, if not everyone has some psychic ability, but whether or not the psychic world is real is down to the believer. The sceptic will say it cannot be scientifically proven and it is for crazy people, the believer simply believes, yet the sceptic is correct about one thing, there is no concrete scientific proof.
Unfortunately because psychic and occult energies cannot be scientifically proven and are by law considered entertainment this allows for many con artists to take advantage of those merely relying on their faith.
How did it all begin?
From mankind's earliest recorded times, man is been trying to find a sense of security, power over his fate and that of others, by attempting to find supernatural keys to unlock the pages of the future.
In ancient Babylon circa 2000 BC, the first systems of studying the inter linked sciences of astronomy and astrology were developed to help man make sense and order out of the confusing Universe around him and look for clues to futurity. The first zodiac dates back to the time of Sargon of Akkad, 2270 BC - 2215 BC, who was one of the first emperors ever and is thought to be the much-reviled figure, mentioned in the Book of Genesis, as Nimrod.
Consulting the Oracle
The first and most famous psychic seer of classical antiquity was the mysterious Oracle at Delphi, who prophesied for one thousand years. This figure grew up out of a prehistoric shrine to the goddess Gaia in the 8th century BC. A succession of priestesses took this role and was known as the Pythia, a figure swathed in legend and awe, even in her own times. From her temple at Delphi, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, the Pythia, or sibyl sat alone in a chamber, seated on her tripod throne, above a fissure in the earth. For divine inspiration she inhaled the vapours that rose up from this pit and the mists from a warm spring that ran beneath her chamber. It was believed that Apollo having slain Python, had dropped his body into this crack in the ground, from which the fumes of decomposition wafted. The sibyl would be overcome by these fumes, and reach a higher plateau of the mind, a trance, allowing Apollo to possess her and speak through her. These fumes are now thought to have been ethylene gas, which acts as a euphoric and speeds up the nervous system. The men of might bowed down before the Pythia, known to be the mouthpiece of Apollo, intoning her proclamations on the fates of kings and nations. She was renowned across the globe for her accuracy and even mighty Roman Caesars consulted her; the Greeks themselves ran their major national policies around her predictions. She must've known her stuff! Her influence was so great that the fabled, King Croesus of Lydia visited her to ensure his plan to attack Persia would be successful. Herodotus records that the Pythia told Croesus, 'If you cross the river, you will destroy a great empire.'
Croesus crossed that river, confident that he had a guarantee from Apollo, he did, his empire fell! The Oracle pronounced her last known prediction in 393 AD. There remain today 500 recorded prophecies of the Oracle.
During the war between the Carthaginian military commander Hannibal and the Romans in 133 BC, a volcano created a new island. In a famous prophecy the Oracle predicted both the Roman victory and the sudden creation of the island:
When Trojan race (the Romans) the victory shall win
From Punic (Hannibal) foe, lo! Wonders shall begin;
Unearthly fires from out the sea shall flash,
Whirlwinds toss stones aloft, and thunder crash,
An isle unnamed, unknown, shall stand upright,
The weak shall beat the stronger in the fight.
The Roman Emperor Nero, famed for his very unnatural ways and severe personality problems, had just murdered his mother when the Oracle told him, Your presence here outrages the god you seek. Go back, matricide! The number 73 marks the hour of your downfall!' It seems our world leaders today could do with a return of the Oracle and her guidance.
Nostradamus was another great seer of worldwide renown for whom time has established an enduring reputation. He is credited with having prophesied most of our major landmarks of recent history, including Hitler's rise and the recent Balkan war. Born in 1503 in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, in the south of France, he went on to study astronomy, linked as it then was with astrology, arithmetic, music and geometry at Avignon university. He then became an apothecary, which was an all-encompassing role of chemist, formulator of medicines and herbal tonics, midwife and surgeon, all based in his own shop. After marrying and having two children, his wife and children promptly died of the plague and Nostradamus set about doing what few would, aiding a physician in treating plague victims during a large outbreak of the pestilence in Marseille. Later he would fight the plague alone, treating those he could in his hometown and surrounding areas.
All these brushes with the Black Death certainly had an effect on Nostradamus, whose interest turned from healing to the psychic and prophetic, as in 1550 he published his first almanac of prophecies. It was an instant hit with the public which delighted Nostradamus, who kept the almanacs coming thick and fast from then on. In all he published 6,338 prophecies, written in quatrains (four line verses). Nostradamus sat alone in the deepest hours of the night, echoing the Pythia of old, he seated himself on a tripod and stared into flames or water to induce a state of altered consciousness and some say he took a pinch of nutmeg or hallucinogenic herbs, to aid his psychic visions and open the windows to the future to him. He soon became feted by the great and good, charting their astrological futures and making psychic predictions for them.
His most famous work was called the 'Les Propheties,’ The Prophecies, which Nostradamus described as divinely inspired by an Angelic spirit, who opened for him the vaults of what would soon be and in far ages to come. A single quatrain conveys an event or epoch. These prophecies have astonished and perplexed all who read them since their first publication. Some of them give astonishing detail of names, geographical locations and events while other prophecies are so jumbled that they might mean anything. Nostradamus was deeply worried about the Inquisition who tortured and executed whomever they wished on the slightest pretext, witchcraft or heresy being their two favourite excuses, if anyone looked at them in a funny way. Fearful that he might be arrested by these fanatical and tyrannical despots, Nostradamus wrote his prophecies in ways that might disguise their immediate meanings, and deflect any accusations of occultism or sorcery, which would have meant his execution, avowing that posterity would understand his meanings. Although Nostradamus could prophesy the future with astounding accuracy on occasion his worries for himself were unfounded and he was asked to court by Marie de Medici where he was given high office as court physician and astrologer and counselor to the King.
In the 19th century the spiritualist movement across the Anglo Saxon world took prominence, with the bereaved believing they could be guided by mediums in touch with the life beyond death, who could guide them. Daniel Douglas Home was infamous during the mid nineteenth century for his abilities to levitate himself and commune with the deceased. This trend was satirised affectionately in the 1945 classic film comedy, 'Blithe Spirit,’ in which a couple encounter Madame Arcati, played with delicious aplomb by Margaret Rutherford. Madame Arcati is a medium who gets everyone into trouble when her spirit guide catches a cold and she channels a jealous first wife. The film is a fond tribute to these women mediums and a stunningly funny parody of spiritualism as perceived in the mid 20th century by Noel Coward.
Also see: Psychic Readings with Lenny & Kenny