What Is a Psychic Reading?

Sam Headshot Contributing expert: Dr. Sam Youssef, Ph.D. - Updated: Feb 16, 2023


What comes to mind when you hear “psychic?” Simply put: The word describes the ability to perceive information using extrasensory perceptions outside the natural basics of smell, taste, touch, sight, and hearing. These senses occur within one’s mind (psyche) and go beyond what can be perceived physically.


A psychic reading is when someone discerns information using these extrasensory faculties using a variety of techniques and tools. In this article, we’ll cover the basics and make sure you know all about the different types of readings, how much they cost, how to prepare for one, as well as other important things to consider.

Types of Psychic Readings

While psychics usually offer guidance in all areas of life, many choose to categorize their services to address specific topics. If you’re wanting advice and guidance within your finances, you could benefit from scheduling a money-specific reading. Setting a specific intention for your reading can help you and your psychic stay focused on your area of greatest concern. Some common reading categories include:

Types of Psychic Readings
Money Get advice on your specific financial situation, what to look out for, and what may be coming your way.
Love Relationships can be complex, but you can find guidance and encouragement through a reading on your love life.
Career Everyone can use a little help with their work life balance and a psychic can offer advice on the best career paths for you.
Dreams Sometimes dreams are strange and confusing, but with a little interpretation you could gain a different perspective on the symbolism and meaning of your dreams.
Spirit guides Tap into what many believe is an ever-present source of wisdom with the guidance of a psychic practitioner.
Tarot Many psychics use tarot cards as a tool to help them gain further insight into the story of your life through the deep questions you carry with you.

How Does a Psychic Reading Work?

For many people, their first interaction with a psychic practitioner is online through tarot and psychic readings. Thanks to digital technology, many psychics have taken to the internet to reach more people and expand their services. There are reputable psychic websites that act as a directory for clients to search for the practitioners that they feel the most comfort and connection with.

How do psychics work?

Once you’ve done your research and found a psychic you’re ready to work with, it’s time to schedule an introductory video chat or phone call. Readings are usually priced on a per-minute basis for psychics working through a large website, while private psychics may offer a selection of packages to choose from. You’ll purchase the service for a specific time, make the proper preparations for the reading you chose, and start your psychic connection on a call.

How does tarot work?

TarotCard - the Lovers

Some psychic practitioners work solely with tarot decks and advertise themselves as tarot readers, while others use tarot to enhance and add to their readings. If you specifically book a tarot reading, the psychic will likely ask you for a specific question (or questions) that they will concentrate on as they shuffle their deck. Each reader has their own unique deck and style of reading, offering rich symbolism and storytelling within their interpretations of the cards. Once they’re satisfied with the shuffle, your question will be answered through a simple or elaborate spread of one or multiple cards.

What do psychics ask for when preparing for your session?

Most psychic practitioners need basic personal information about you and your life in order to access knowledge through their intuitive process. What exactly you need to tell them varies depending on the type of reading you’re receiving. The psychic preparation process is different for each practitioner and is tailored to best enable them to help you. 

Some basic information your psychic may ask for is your name and maybe your date of birth. At the very least, they will want to know what exactly you’re hoping to discover during your reading. If you’re going to a psychic who utilizes astrology, they’ll likely ask you not only for your birthday but where you were born and at what time as this information is essential for astral readings, while tarot readers may ask that you come prepared with a very specific question for them to help you answer.

How much does a psychic reading cost?

Think of psychic readings like any other service you would pay for. A quick and simple reading will cost less than a very long and detailed one. Depending on what kind of psychic practitioner you’re working with, they’ll likely have packages to choose from at a range of prices or may offer per-minute pricing. Below is a comparison of pricing between a few different popular psychic reading websites.

Psychic Reading Costs
Website Introductory Offers Lowest Price Highest Price
Keen $1.99 for first 10 minutes $1.99 per minute $9.99 per minute
AskNow First 5 minutes free $1.00 per minute $13.00 per minute
Kasamba First 3 minutes free, plus 70% off first reading $1.99 per minute $30.00 per minute

Types of Psychics

People who identify as psychics often possess many extrasensory abilities. Some may even combine multiple techniques and tools within their readings to enrich and expand on their intuitive offerings. Here are some examples of types of psychics you may encounter:

Types of Psychics
Tarot readers Usually using a deck of the standard 78 tarot cards, a tarot reader will answer your question through their unique way of interacting with and interpreting the symbols and pictures on each card they pull for you
Astrologers The study of celestial bodies and their relation to the date, place, and time of your birth helps an astrologer discern information about your life past, present, and future
Palm readers With an evaluation of the lines on the palms of your hands, a palm reader is said to be able to predict your future and interpret your character
Dream interpreters A dream interpreter is someone who is well-versed in the assigned symbolic meaning for certain images and scenarios that can come up within your dreams
Intuitive empaths Often called clairvoyants, an intuitive psychic often relies on seeing images, “hearing” a specific message, feeling another’s emotion, or knowing something all within the context of not knowing beforehand
Mediums Acting as a bridge between the spirits of the dead and the living, a medium is someone who delivers messages from your loved ones who are no longer alive
Numerologists Based on the premise of an inherent meaning within numbers and specifically those most relevant in your life, a numerologist can reveal relationships between numbers and coinciding life events

Tips on Getting the Most Out of Your Psychic Reading

As most psychic readings are set within a time-limited environment, it’s important to come prepared. Taking time to collect your thoughts, questions, and concerns beforehand will help you make the most of the timeframe you have with your psychic. Here are our tips for having the best psychic reading possible:

  • 1. Come with an open heart and mind.

    It’s likely you may be tackling challenging subject matters during a reading. If you’re looking for answers within your past, present, or future you may have to talk about difficult topics and be ready to hear an outside perspective on your life. Set your boundaries and also prepare yourself to listen openly.

  • 2. Prepare your mind.

    Meditate on or write down all that you’re wanting to get out of the experience the day before your reading. Clearing your mind and setting your intention will help you get clear on what you’re looking for and prepare you for new insights.

  • 3. Bring notes and take notes.

    Consider bringing a notebook with you during your reading with some specific questions to ask your psychic. It can also come in handy to take notes on all the information you don’t want to forget.

Things to Consider Before Consulting a Psychic

There are many authentic and caring psychic practitioners who love to help people, but it’s important to exercise caution and do your research before booking a reading. There are people who are very good at convincing you they’re psychic, when in reality they’re looking to swindle you out of your money. Demands for large amounts of cash, claims of fake curses, and even identity theft have been reported. Check out our articles on warning signs and scams to educate yourself before booking your reading.