Careful What You Wish For: On Spirits, Courage, and the Scientific Method

It never gets old for me, and I don’t think it ever will.

That look. The look in someone’s eyes when they’re with me for a reading and they encounter proof of the unknown. It could be mention of some special dish their grandmother made, a traumatic incident in high school, or the kind of dog they had when they were 6 years old...but whatever it is that I bring forth is definite, tangible evidence that I’m anything but a fortune teller, and that I’m tapping into something far larger and more mysterious than they could ever imagine.

It freaks me out as much as it does everyone else, some more than others. I am just getting used to having these gifts and receiving the information and communications I do...there’s definitely a scary learning curve, especially if you’re self-taught like I am. Bottom line is, I have the ability to help others so I have a moral obligation to do so. As noble as it might sound, there is no other path for me.

I say it a lot, but it bears repeating: the intention I have before every reading is to bring forth messages of connection, direction, and clarity. Connection with the spirits and energies around us, both living and unliving, both human and nonhuman...direction in your life, and spiritual, physical, and emotional paths...and finally, clarity. Clarity to better see how to connect and find direction.

No matter our physical, spiritual, emotional, and mental paths, we can all benefit from connection, direction, and clarity. Through all of that, I ultimately aim to empower people and help liberate them from those energies and spirits - both human and nonhuman, both living and unliving - that are around us and within us that hold us back from reaching our full potential.

So, no...I’m not a fortune teller. I can’t tell you the winning lottery numbers this week, and you’d be surprised how many people ask if I can.

But I’m almost guaranteed to tell you something about yourself and your life that there’s no way I should know. While that might sound scary, it isn’ might hear painful truths in a reading with me, but those truths are only being shared with me in hopes of your betterment. I will never take credit for what I do, as I act only as a channel or conduit to the information that’s being shared with me. I do not have unlimited access to anyone’s life or information, but if the external powers to you who look after you want me to know something, they’re going to share it with me.

It’s incredible for people to finally see confirmation in a reading with me that there are external forces and spirits and energies all around us...once people see that the Unseen World is real, it’s a liberation all in of itself. And as humans are curious, the more comfortable people who receive readings from me will ask me about my gifts. I totally get the curiosity, and am happy to answer as best I can, as that helps me in my journey to understanding myself better. People will ask questions like how long have I had it, or most often I’m asked how I knew it was psychic powers. Basically, how did I figure out it was psychic powers and not just being off my rocker.

The short answer?

The Scientific Method.

Before I get into that, let me tell you that I don’t adhere with much of the New Age attitude about intuition. It seems a popular assumption in New Age circles that every human is intuitive. I don’t believe that’s the case. Or at least, I would compare it to playing basketball, or the violin.

Everyone is born with the ability to dribble a basketball, right? Some people are born natural NBA stars, some people can practice at dribbling and play well enough to get into the NBA, and some people will never be able to do anything but dribble a basketball. You could use the same analogy with musicianship - everyone can drag a bow across a violin, and some people will only do that, while others will be natural orchestral material, while others will practice well enough to get into the orchestra.

With that being said, the advice I give others when they want to try and figure out if they have any sort of psychic gift, is this: use the Scientific Method.

In short, the Scientific Method is basically having a hypothesis, testing it out, and comparing your results to your hypothesis. Imagine you are a scientist, trying to prove a theory. If you suspect you have psychic abilities, just like a scientist you have a theory about such-and-such, and you perform tests to see if reality corroborates your theory. Basically, hypothesis...testing and experimenting...and finally, reviewing your results.

While it sounds simple, that requires one ingredient more important than any level of intuitive ability: courage. Courage to be wrong...courage to be right...courage to step outside of your comfort zone…courage to step outside of society’s comfort zone...courage to encounter spirits and forces that make you question reality as you know it. These are all things you have to worry about, but one thing is for sure: if you commit to a life of this work, you are guaranteed to brush up against forces that will both scare and confuse you. know you’re doing real work when you find yourself scared and confused.

Once you have this courage, then you should test your abilities. When I first used the Scientific Method and started obtaining tangible and frightening results, it made me shut it down and shut it out. Thankfully, the Universe has a way of yanking my nose back to the path it should be on, and it did in this case as well -- it quickly made me see that I had a way of helping others, and that I should be using it as such.

The best way to develop your intuition, in my opinion, is to develop a relationship with a divinatory tool: Runes (my preferred method), Tarot Cards, bones, tea leaves, palmistry, etc. Heck, read the clouds if it suits you, but find a tool that helps you with your experiments. Experiment often and never be afraid to fail. In fact, if you decide to wade about in esoteric matters like psychic work, you’d best come to terms with your relationship to fear, in general.

I experimented with reading one-on-one, I experimented with reading couples and families, I experimented with reading groups of at least 15, I experimented with communicating with land spirits, I experimented with communicating with deceased people, I experimented with communicating with pets that have passed on, I experimented with all of my first successes to see if I could.

And by seeing if I could, I actually found that I can.

I had a new “first” a couple weeks ago, and it turns out, just another successful experiment.

A few months ago, I gave a woman a reading and a week or so after she reached out to me with an unusual request. Her cousin had gone missing the year prior and she and her family were sick over it, not knowing where he was or what had become of him. She asked if I would do a reading over him, to possibly find out where he was. The cousin's mom sent me some pictures, a t-shirt, some drawings, and I used them during the reading.

I told her I’d try, that I wouldn’t promise anything, because I’d never done anything like it before, but that wasn’t about to stop me from trying. I wanted the experience, I wanted to see if I could help, but more importantly, if I could help this family find peace, I had to try.

Sad to say, my reading wasn't pleasant. I received a message that he was no longer alive, and he didn't want anyone to really dig into his life too deeply because there was bad business around how he passed.

During the reading, I saw a large culvert and moving water. This was a large culvert, something large enough for a man to walk through. I told the family that I thought he was around that, and maybe check out a Thomas Street, or Thompson Street. Like any of my other readings, I record them as an MP3 and sent it to the family.

That was a couple months ago, but the woman who asked me to do the reading reached out to me yesterday. She sent me an article about a body being found in a hydro plant, and she had a feeling it was him.

The day after sending me the article, she reached out to me to let me know that it was indeed her cousin in the power plant. He was found in a room that hadn't been used in a long time and was essentially abandoned. Not only was he found in this hydro plant...he knew the building well, and get this...according to his son, he used to use a large culvert outside the hydro dam to hide in when the cops were after him, and he used to run up those pipes to hide.

And the Police Captain in charge of the investigation? Captain Thomas.

Just like that look on someone’s face when they’re with me for a reading and they get a glimpse of the Unseen World, I had that look when all these pieces came together. I had been right about him not being alive, I had been right about the culvert, and I’d even been right about Captain Thomas...sort of.

At the end of it all, this was just an experiment that turned out to prove positive. I appreciate beyond words this gift I’ve been granted, and with every one of these experiences where I apply the Scientific Method, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the results of all of them.

Pleasantly frightened, as well.

The other thing I tell people when they express interest in dabbling in these arts: be careful what you wish just might get it. And if you get it, or already have it, be grateful for it, and forever humble. I’m convinced that I’ve had these abilities and gifts and propensities my whole life, but they didn’t really come online until I was about 37, or strong enough to handle them...or until someone or something else thought I was supposed to have them.

If you have the courage and fortitude to step into these choppy and murky waters, you should make sure you can withstand the waves and currents that might push you over.

Develop your intuition, use your Tarot Cards or Runes, and find yourself in places where you can use the Scientific Method. Practice with family and friends you consider safe, try to tell them things you “feel” but have no way of knowing. Try to make castings and readings about your current day or upcoming week. Watch for patterns and look for signs, and develop a relationship with your intuition.

And if you’ve never had a reading with me, if I’ve never seen that look of mystery and awe in your eyes, then I invite you to give me a whirl. I’m more than happy and would be honored to help guide you through the mysteries and hidden currents of the Unseen World…they’re dark, and so full of light.

And the best part about those dark places full of light?

That’s where you find your Freedom.

Josh Simonds