toronto psychic?
November 25, 2006 10:14 AM   Subscribe

A good psychic in Toronto?

I've never been to psychic, and not had a huge interest, but due to some recent chilling events, someone suggested i see one... any one know of a good psychic in this city? thanks!
posted by butterball to Religion & Philosophy (27 answers total)
Response by poster: yeah yeah i know. but as i said, some weird shits been going on.....
posted by butterball at 10:27 AM on November 25, 2006

My prediction is that this thread is going to end... badly?

But here goes... I don't think psychics are an industry that's really "rated" by their user base. It's not like finding a good gym or salon... they are all fake, all swindlers, and if weren't for the fleeting "entertainment value" they really should all be shut down by the city.

That said just walk into one. I don't know how it is in Toronto, but they are pretty common here in Chicago. If you're gullible, or a True Believer (tm) then you'll come out amazed, floored, and flabbergasted by all the generic things they tell you about yourself that you already know.

Be aware that this is a service industry so any psychic worth their salt will try to upsell you on anything from healing crystals to pay-as-you-go phone readings. I've seen people who were suckered into spending hundreds of dollars on phone calls to their psychic as a way to keep up to the minute tabs on their immediate, bland future. (I see that you will get hungry around noontime, you should eat something, maybe a sandwich.)

Okay, here's my last appeal to common sense: maybe you should save all the hundreds of dollars you're going to spend on psychics and buy a subscription to Skeptic?
posted by wfrgms at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2006 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: im not going to get into personal details with you people, but i am a skeptic, and it is a curiosity thing. so just stop with the rants, i know its stupid, but i have my reasons. i dont need you to tell me anything. my question may be stupid, but im not. thanks for trying to show me the way though. really appreciate that.
posted by butterball at 10:51 AM on November 25, 2006

Oh, jeez--I spent too long previewing my rant, and now it won't work.

Maybe you could ask the person who recommended you see a psychic if there's any particular psychic that s/he would recommend?
posted by box at 10:53 AM on November 25, 2006

my question may be stupid, but im not.

Love it.

Look, maybe you should specify what you mean by a "good" psychic? One that has demonstratively predicted the future? One that is, as many of them are, a pretty good low rent therapist? One that has lots of doodads and atmospherics?
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:58 AM on November 25, 2006

Response by poster: just someone that seems to have known what they shouldnt. thats it thats all. not a therapist.
posted by butterball at 11:05 AM on November 25, 2006

If someone knew something that you think they shouldn't, then a) they guessed, b) they researched you, or c) you mentioned it. In all cases all it takes is someone good at reading people to zero in on any partial information they have.
posted by todbot at 11:11 AM on November 25, 2006

butterball, If you're just curious then it shouldn't matter if go to a "good" (implying proficient?) psychic. Just go to any random one you find - they all use the same techniques of cold reading to make you think they are telling you information which they shouldn't know... Some are probably better at this act than others, but you'll have your "curiosity" satisfied all the same.

However, your claim that "some weird shits been going on" tells me that you want a psychic for more than just curiosity's sake...
posted by wfrgms at 11:12 AM on November 25, 2006

just someone that seems to have known what they shouldnt.

Now we're getting somewhere. A. C. Doyle noted that "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

Either they don't really know it, or that the improbable "shouldn't" is false.
posted by cmiller at 11:17 AM on November 25, 2006

Response by poster: no one told me or guessed anything. so get off it. its all in my own head. makes me curious about psychics. thats all. i would give you all the sweet details, but to do that i would be divulging information that affects people that read this. so anyways, it was a simple question, some people belive in this shit, im asking if anyone knows of a psychic that someone claimed blew their mind. i have a therpaist already, im not looking for another. i dont want my future predicted, im just straight up curious if they can actually tell me what i already know. if you feel the need to bash me, go for it, but its a simple question... by good i just mean a psychic that someone has had a run in with that actually seemed like it was legit to someone. jeez. why bother responding if you you just want to bash me. its not a big deal. its a question.
posted by butterball at 11:24 AM on November 25, 2006

Maybe I should post this in MetaTalk.

I'm completely skeptical myself, but that's besides the point of the question. If somebody asks a question it seems to me that one or two snarky responses are to be expected. If you already see that people have taken that route, it's better to be helpful or not say anything.

Did the poster really need that many unhelpful responses?

PS I have a subscription to Skeptic myself. It's a great mag.
posted by Telf at 11:32 AM on November 25, 2006

I saw this post when there were 0 questions and I prepared to let slip a salvo of pointed "psychics are bullshit" statements when I realized that it wasn't what the poster wanted. She wasn't asking about the logical reality regarding the skills of psychics or lack thereof, she was asking where to find one in a city I don't live in.

I did not have an answer, so I did not post. AskMe might have a better signal to noise ratio of others followed this example.

Poster: Perhaps check the phone book. As there really isn't any measurable criteria to which a psychic can be accurately rated that will be readily available to you, find one that is close and moderately priced.

[sorry for the derail]
posted by quin at 11:47 AM on November 25, 2006

Wow, the snark's really migrating from the blue to the green these days.

Anyways. I don't know, because I've never been to one, but:
a) there's a billion in Chinatown/Kensington Market;
b) you'll probably have more luck with this question in the Toronto Livejournal Community than here.
posted by heatherann at 11:47 AM on November 25, 2006

For anyone else thinking visiting psychics, besides cold reading mentioned above, I also recommend reading up on confirmation bias. Between the two, a casual participant can become convinced of the veracity of a psychic. Or start playing poker, you'll learn the same techniques.
posted by todbot at 11:55 AM on November 25, 2006

Have you thought of doing it yourself? Runes & Tarot Cards have quite a strict set of meanings that you can use to think about your issues. If you have problems with skeptics, you can say that you are using them as a tool to consider your problem because they contain useful advice for viewing the world.
posted by b33j at 12:15 PM on November 25, 2006

I'll see your Toronto LJ Community and raise you a Toronto Occult LJ Community. I reckon you'll get more answers there.

(Of course, even there you should probably be prepared to explain what counts as a "good" psychic in your eyes if you want the answers to be helpful.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:20 PM on November 25, 2006

In all cases all it takes is someone good at reading people to zero in on any partial information they have.

Which could be enough to actually be somewhat effective in a role.

Suppose that amongst a large number of charlatans, there really is a small group of people who are very good at reading people and whose hunches about sequences of events and human nature are equally good. Suppose there isn't anything "supernatural" about their gifts at all -- maybe they're just more than two standard deviations to the right of the average human being in this kind of thing -- but those gifts are still often effective in helping people. Heck, suppose whatever you want to suspend enough disbelief to answer the question in at least a hypothetical manner, which has been done here for such questions as "How long could we survive on earth without the sun?"

How would you locate the small group of people likely to be helpful amongst the charlatans?

I think the big problem with this question is that even taking enough of those suppositions (whether you think they're reasonable or not) to believe there's something like a psychic, it's still very hard to answer. You're going to have to rely on other people for referals. And not only is intense skepticism going to be a problem in getting a good referral, credulity is going to be a much bigger problem, leading you to get lots of false leads.
posted by weston at 1:00 PM on November 25, 2006

I'm a skeptic, but that's not what you are asking... You might post your query to people who have invested a lot of time and education in the matter.

For example, you could go to the Society for Psychical Research and follow some of their links. Some of the links lead to a network of people (including PhDs) who study exceptional human experiences; the Perceptual Studies division of the University of Virginia Health System; the Parapsychology unit at the University of Edinburgh; a woman in the UK who did a PhD thesis in parapsychology from University of Surrey; a network of people (including an astronaut, a diplomat, and others) who study the link between science and spirituality; and another group who studies after-death phenomena.

An email to some of these might get you a good referral or information that you are seeking.

I hope you find what you are looking for.
posted by Houstonian at 1:13 PM on November 25, 2006

And, please don't feel too weird about asking this question. Seems a lot of us are skeptical about psychics, and yet quite a few of us have seen ghosts...
posted by Houstonian at 1:19 PM on November 25, 2006

Mod note: a few comments removed, please take metacommentary to metatalk and stop derailing here, thanks
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:30 PM on November 25, 2006

Thinking a little bit more about the problem of sorting out hypothetically gifted people from a mass of charlatans, I've come up with a few ideas.

One is that this problem really could be seen as somewhat similar to the problem of finding above-average professionals of any stripe. How do you find, say, a good dermatologist? Well, recently when I was asking for recommendations, one guy gave me a name and said "other dermatologists go to this guy." And there's often a mechanic in town to whom some other mechanics will send you if you've got a specific or intractible problem. So maybe the question "Where do the psychics go when they want to see a psychic?" could be helpful. There's still some problems with that: completely dishonest charlatans might send you to the biggest charlatan they can think of to keep the game going. Completely deluded people probably might not be able to tell the difference between someone genuinely gifted and someone who's a good performer. But non-crazy people who believe somewhat in the idea of something like a psychic gift might be aware of people who they think are more gifted than others.

Another idea is that you might want to look in the accepted, less-controversial professions where people who might gifted with the human psyche would go. Psychology-related disciplines. You could ask around those circles to either see if there's someone everyone thinks is gifted (who do the psychologists go to?), or even just to see who has even the slightest genuine belief in phenomena beyond the current reach of testability.

It's also possible that someone with, say, Bobby-Fischer-like insight into the human psyche might also end up with Bobby-Fisher-like oddities and handicaps. So one wonders if one might find these people on the edge between functionality and mental illness. On the other hand, asking borderline crazy people for psychic advice has some clear issues which will again expose you to the high false positive problem.

Just some thoughts.
posted by weston at 1:42 PM on November 25, 2006

I told a mefite who was looking for one in Chicago to go to a new age store and ask for a recommendation there. Do NOT go to the the storefronts with the neon in the windows.
posted by brujita at 2:39 PM on November 25, 2006

How would you locate the small group of people likely to be helpful amongst the charlatans?

Provided they're actually helpful, then you'd find these people in any other way you find good products and services ... via demonstrated, repeatable results that in turn result in popular endorsements.

In other words, how do find a good restaurant? A good auto mechanic? A good dentist? Answer: Other people tell you about the ones they find.

Provided there's something really to what you're saying -- that there really are non-supernatural people that can be described as "psychic" that can offer real, measurable, valuable advice that is consistently repeatable -- market forces would rapidly separate the wheat from the chaff.

Because this hasn't happened in history, I argue that it hasn't ever existed, or exists to a non-measurable, anecdotal degree.
posted by frogan at 3:19 PM on November 25, 2006

I'll second the recommendation to ask in the LJ community. I've seen a few recomment me a psychic threads there and the responses included recommendations for specific psychics. Check the memories or search the journal for past threads, as well.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:53 PM on November 25, 2006

I have a legitimate method for separating the bona fide psychics from the many charlatans. Even without any prior notice, a real psychic will be expecting your visit.
posted by found missing at 3:58 PM on November 25, 2006

cmiller: A. C. Doyle noted that "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle also believed in psychics.
posted by RobotHero at 6:14 PM on November 25, 2006

I would suggest contacting Tamara James, through The Occult Shop. 416.656.6564
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:42 PM on November 25, 2006

« Older A good mom (book) is hard to find   |   Traveling off-season in Europe: guide me through... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.