Rev. Melissa Leath

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Psychic Integrity, The Respected Practice of Modern Day Mystics
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Chapter 1 Basic Ethical Principles

Please respect the copyright. You may post small excerpts of this chapter in your blog or other supportive magazines, presentations, etc., by using this statement: “This excerpt is taken from Psychic Integrity, The Respected Practice of Modern Day Mystics, © 2011 Melissa Leath." Thank you for this consideration...M/

What are Ethics?

The concept of ethics is generally described as professional standards of conduct; uprightness and honor: being fair. Ethics are derived from social commonalities. Sometimes they come as a result of what is deemed as usual, or as society’s expected customary response.

Many psychic readers think of ethical behavior as something such as: I will charge you a fair price; I will not share your information with anyone; I will refer you to another professional who may assist you, such as a lawyer or psychologist.

I feel ethics development starts (or should start) many years before working with clients as a reader. Much of it comes as part of your upbringing and the way your parents or families teach you about life and respect. It has to do with your integrity.

The integrity needed for readers comes as they are learning to use their psychic gifts. Many are born with these gifts but may not instantly know how to relate the information to others. The reader may not know about the higher and lower levels of entities relating information to them; it could be coming from a low vibration wanting to trick them or just play around. So discernment of sources is very important.

This all comes with study, practice under mentorship, and trial and error. That is why I have included in this book a whole chapter on unfoldment. Unfoldment means allowing your gift to evolve or grow.

The process of maturing the ability teaches a reader to present the information coming through them in an honest, ethical and reliable manner. Some call it unfoldment because it is unfolding a spiritual gift that already exists, allowing it to expand and become stronger. This is the perfect way to understand what the gift is all about, how it works, to experience it in the long term. (Unfoldment is usually practiced in a circle of potential mediums who sit in a group to train together and allow the gifts to mature.)

Many use the word development since it is bringing about or producing a psychic ability. This word implies purposefully taking classes and being taught through experience. Development seems to be more directed and purposeful in the approach.

Even though these two words (unfoldment and development) are slightly different in meaning, they are commonly used in the psychic trade. I may use the words interchangeably but I realize they are different.

Ethical Statements

Many psychics consider offering advice or dealing with information of a personal nature as a business. Some professional psychics have a code of ethics that govern their business and protect themselves and the interest of their clients. It is important to make this code of ethics known to the general public, in order to instill trust in the services provided.

I’ve researched many materials of psychic readers and psychic organizations, and I have constructed a composite of suitable ethical statements. Below is a sample of pledges that many professional psychics make available to their clients:

I promise to –

  • always serve the best interests of my clients, and conduct my professional activities without intentionally causing harm.
  • treat all my clients with respect, regardless of origin, race, religion, gender, age or sexual preference.
  • honestly present my qualifications, including educational credentials and levels of certification.
  • keep confidential the names of clients, and information shared or discussed surrounding the reading.
  • recommend consultation with a licensed professional for advice of a legal, financial, medical or psychological nature I am not qualified to provide.
  • respect my client’s right to end their reading at any time.
  • I agree with all of these statements. They are definitely necessary for anyone working personally with a client. However, I want to take it a step further. Ethical behavior should be defined by a person’s integrity. The issue is not only how you work with the general public. It is how you live your life, how you are trained, how you learn, how you practice your abilities: being the best you can be for your client.

    Entertainment Purposes. Many readers state that their readings are “for entertainment purposes only”. This caveat has the feel of a three-ring circus. Although many of the readings I give are humorous and lighthearted, I do not consider them entertainment. Psychic work is a much higher calling than entertainment. I take it very seriously and intend it to be of value to my client. It should be an aid in understanding past or present circumstances, in decision making, and looking to future situations.

    I understand some psychics use the phrase “for entertainment purposes” to protect themselves from anyone who might (unscrupulously) accuse them of deceit or fortune-telling. However, if you are like me: wishing to be of service, rather than being entertainment, then I suggest you pursue a minister’s license or counselor’s license. Here is a situation I experienced that supports my claim:

    At one point in my spiritual work, I was investigated by the Ohio State Board of Licensed Counselor’s. They reviewed a brochure of mine which stated that I was a spiritual counselor. I received a letter from that board stating that they were going to pursue legal action if I did not stop calling myself a counselor. Being a licensed minister in the state of Ohio, I knew that I was legally able to use the term “spiritual counselor”. But I had to look up the laws that pertained to my situation in the Ohio Revised Code, make copies of it and send it to the board, proving my case to them.

    While many psychics are already reputable and really do not need to be validated by licensure, I see that there is a definite need for considering some sort of established education with its credential. Pursuing further education would provide public confidence in their abilities to assisting clients with their life problems. It is a logical direction for anyone who works with the public in a caring and dedicated manner. Each person is encouraged to look into their local and state government laws for guidance in this area.

    Attitude of Responsibility

    As a young child, you display an attitude of dependence, and rightfully so. All the things you learn require acceptance, trusting that your parents, older siblings, and people of authority are correctly guiding you.

    You trust and accept. As you grow older and become a teenager, you instinctively change your attitude to one of independence. It can be difficult to know when to trust, when to show your knowledge, or lack of it. This display of independence, or challenge of authority, can often get you into trouble.

    This change of attitude continues until you are mature enough to know when it is alright to challenge and when you are expected to be dependent. By the time you become an adult, you have gained knowledge and proper respect for those of greater knowledge. You know when to trust in your own abilities, and when to seek help and guidance.

    Becoming spiritually mature requires a giant leap of faith. Along with that faith comes the realization that you are capable of making good, sound decisions. Having a responsible attitude is to know you are ready for spirit to move you toward the right decisions.

    Growing in spirituality and psychic abilities requires the same learning process as growing from childhood to the teen years and on to adulthood. By the time you have matured to adulthood (spiritually speaking), you have learned how to trust in your own abilities.

    With knowledge comes responsibility. Being spiritually mature involves great responsibility. Psychic readers are responsible for the information they share with their clients. To assist their clients properly, they need to be educated and mature enough in their spirituality to be a responsible source of information and service.

    There is no excuse for wrong action. You aren’t the child you used to be. You have been given access to wisdom; you must use it correctly. Now is the time to adopt the attitude of responsibility. By your attitude, you assume a position. An attitude of responsibility implies that you are capable of adult action. As you grow in spirituality and develop your intuition and psychic ability, you realize the importance of your gift. This gift is meant to be used in love and to uplift everyone with whom you are connected.

    If asked to provide information during a session, strive to connect with the highest vibrational spirit energies to assist you. During this process, you may not receive a viable and trustworthy connection. Sometimes the connection is weak or nonexistent. When you realize this, be truthful and do not make up answers that are not there. You are the only one who can control the integrity of your spiritual gift. Simply state that you are not receiving anything. When the time is right, the answer will be there; it cannot be forced. There is honor in every tradition, and this age-old tradition is no exception.

    Unethical Soliciting

    During the time I sat in unfoldment class many years ago, I began to notice something. It happened one day while I was standing in line at the grocery store. I was minding my own business – or so I thought. I realized the woman standing in front of me had had a horrid fight with her husband. She had stormed out of the house and ended up at the grocery. I was astonished at the strong feeling of anger and frustration coming from her. My heart was filled with sympathy for her. I felt so badly for her, but I didn’t know what to do. What could I say to help her?

    All of a sudden, I realized I was invading her private space! I was connecting to information in her vibrations without her knowledge or permission. I was in the middle of her life drama. It was not a good feeling.

    While at church, I watched other, more advanced mediums. One or two were very popular because they were always psychically tuned in. Being tuned in means they were always receiving information about people and situations. If someone came near to say hello, the psychic would dig into the individual’s personal business, psychically. You could always get information from them. They heard spirit all the time.

    “Your guides are telling me...” “The angels don’t want you to....” These mediums were always in the middle of everyone’s business. It felt like an invasion of privacy to me.

    If you know someone like that, you may notice how they try to tune in to things constantly, or while around someone they don’t know very well. When a medium is dealing in the spirit vibration all the time, they are not dealing properly in the physical dimension.

    There must be a happy medium (forgive the pun!) between the spiritual and physical dimensions. After constant contact with spirit energy, the spirit medium may not be able to make any decisions on their own. They have to ask spirit for even mundane advice. That could be because the medium is not confident in their gifts. So, they constantly try to prove their ability.

    Delving into another’s energy fields without permission had not been addressed or explained in the teachings I received. However, I eventually realized that the only time a spirit medium should be in someone’s vibration is after the person or client has asked or has given permission.

    Setting Guidelines

    I decided to set certain guidelines for my spirit guides to use while communicating with me. I spoke very openly and earnestly with my wonderful group of guiding forces. I told them I do not want to know every detail of everyone’s business. During the course of a regular day, I do not want to be bombarded with information about this person and that person. Also, the only time I want to be in connection with others’ vibrations is during a consultation or reading.

    To open to outside vibrations, I say a prayer of protection and invocation that puts me into a special vibration and state of universal knowledge. (This is what I call being “in spirit”.) I told my guides to use this as a prompt to open a connection with me.

    I make sure that if there is something important concerning my safety, for example, I will receive the correct vibrational connection. But by no means should I be left open to others’ vibrations all day long. (Refer to chapter The Unfoldment Process for methods to open and close the connection.)

    After some practice, I was able to open and close my own vibrational tunnel when I wanted or needed to. To this day, I still do not nose around uninvited in others’ vibrations.

    Occasionally someone will ask what I’m picking up on a certain event or person. I tell them honestly that I wasn’t tuned in. I am content not treading in unsolicited territory. I believe the gift of intuition is to be used as a loving tool of counsel and confirmation. Readers working with their clients in a spiritual counseling session should be doing the same.

    A Matter of Excellence

    In John Gardner’s book, Excellence, he stresses something more than high standards. He explores several ideas I feel are worthy of mentioning here, dealing with integrity and self-development. Self-knowledge: He says that if we falter, it is through the heart and spirit that we fail. But the discovery of talent is only one side of self-development. The other side is self-knowledge. Find time to be alone. Find yourself; know what your soul feels like.

    Motivation: It’s very easy to get caught in the rut of taking the easy way out when dealing with the integrity of living. A person who is self-motivated often must use a degree of physical energy to push himself forward in a certain project to attain greatness.

    Gardner points out the importance of finding your own capacity to learn and grow by overcoming life’s challenges. Always nourish yourself as an independent being. Honor your own values and those of others.

    Meaning, purpose and commitment: There is not just one meaning or purpose to life. There are many reasons for living. Some reasons for living are discovered early in life, some are found later. Some are highly emotional in nature, some are intellectual, some spiritual, and some societal. But each reason involves a relationship of obligations and rewards.

    Meaning, purpose and commitment become blended as you come across each reason for life. Many other layers of yourself unfold: Who am I? Why am I here? What commitments do I have to myself and others? Excellence comes by understanding, and a willingness to embrace, the idea of integrity.

    Mistrust in the Trade

    While looking at some of the writings in the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature, I found a very good account of why readers historically had difficulty in maintaining respect in their field.

    In Old England (during the time of King Henry VIII), laws were passed providing severe punishments for fortune-telling. The laws spoke mainly of “Egypsyans,” referring to gypsies. Anyone using palmistry, fortune-telling or any other “deception,” as the law put it, and stayed in the area for one month, was known automatically to be a felon. This particular law is the reason for many speculations.

    Family groups of gypsies have long been known to use spirit powers and gifts in their work. But they were also known for being a traveling band. The Old English law would certainly explain why a group of gypsies would have to travel and not stay put too long in one area. I imagine their itinerant lifestyle came about as a result of the law, not the other way around.

    As society continued and these laws were imposed on psychics and mediums, I feel the term “psychic” began its downward spiral into negative connotation. It created doubt and suspicion within the land, and the general public, unfortunately, believed the worst. In 1824, a law in Great Britain stated that fortune-tellers and mediums may be prosecuted. Any person pretending to tell fortunes or to deceive any of His Majesty’s subjects would be called a rogue and vagabond. This person could be put to hard labor for up to three months.

    Let’s take a look at some of the early laws in the United States. There have been many attempts to discredit mediums and fortune-tellers as fakes. During The Fortune Telling Hearings before the Subcommittee on Judiciary of the Committee on the District of Columbia, in 1926, a congressional bill (H.R. 8989) was introduced by Sol Bloom, representative in Congress from the state of New York, that made fortune telling illegal. It stated that anyone pretending to tell fortunes or using fraud to obtain payment would be considered a disorderly person, fined $250, and imprisoned for six months. Eventually, this bill failed. But the discussion and attention the proceedings received created a stigma that has shaded the profession of psychics ever since.

    Integrity is needed. The direction we have decided to pursue, assisting others in their lives, has been called into question for some time now. It is of utmost importance that we cultivate our intentions to ensure that our reputation is clear: we are here to help, not hurt. There needs to be more than just a standard of normal behavior; more than ethics, we need to use integrity to define our practice. We may have to do more, not less, to balance out the damage done over the years.

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    2011-2018 Copyright, Melissa Leath