The Ethics of Reading For a Third Party

Many seasoned readers will tell you that it's unethical to read for a third party -- anyone outside the reading, beyond the reader and client. Yet, if you've opened your doors to clients or family/friends for readings, you'll know that one of the first questions on many clients' minds is something like, "What is my ex-girlfriend doing this weekend?" or "Is my boyfriend cheating on me?"

The reason this is deemed unethical is because the third person hasn't offered up their energy for an intuitive reading.

However, if you're an intuitive person, you'll know that you read people's energy all day without their written consent. You can most likely tell if the mailman is having a bad day, if a co-worker is returning from a happy weekend with family, or if your mother is annoyed at you over the phone for something that happened 2 weeks ago. And I'm certain you don't tell any of these people, "I'm so sorry that I mistakenly read your energy today." Ethics in energy-reading starts long before a third-party question pops up in a reading.

Energy will affect you regardless of whether you ask for it or not, and you will automatically gather information about it. It's what you do with that information and how you perceive it that really defines its ethical use.

For instance, I wouldn't ask my guide to send me a vision of what a client's ex-girlfriend is doing at this very moment. It's not useful. I could, but I have no way to confirm if it's true, so I can't validate its accuracy. If the client is affected by the energy of another person versus their actions, I can pick up on that energy and get a feeling about how the client is affected. But, because this third person isn't sitting in front of me, giving me visual or verbal cues, saying, "I'm open to having my energy read," and confirming my interpretation, the intuitive information is potentially, in fact, most likely... garbled.

So, instead of telling my client, "I can't answer that question, because it's unethical," and possibly making them feel like a bad person for asking or wondering, when really all they want is to know how this person is going to affect them in that moment, I usually say:

"You shouldn't worry about what your ex-girlfriend is doing right at this very moment, because you're above that situation, you've moved beyond it," or:

"I will try to pick up on this person's energy and how it affects you, but please note that it may not be entirely accurate, as this person hasn't requested to be read by me, and this information will be filtered through you."

And, here's an example of the information I pick up -- a client from 3 years ago once asked how her husband currently felt about her. I, of course, encouraged her to communicate more with her husband, to gather that information herself intuitively, or to ask him. But I also had a vision of him in a living room, slamming his fists on the wall, putting his hand on his forehead, looking frustrated. I saw him pacing, in a blur at times, from moving so quickly. Witnessing this, I felt scared, uncertain of what he would do next.

I told the client that I felt his energy was really unstable. I described the vision that I saw, and she confirmed it.

Now, if he had come to me for a reading, I might see him as a nice, easy-going guy who loves to play soccer with his kids. I might see that he has a short temper some days, but that it doesn't really interfere with his happy-go-lucky attitude.

But, from his wife's point of view, I only saw how his energy was affecting her and how she was perceiving him at that time. So, I try to explain this to my client at the beginning of the reading, if this type of question is asked.

It isn't really the ethics that I'm concerned about, it's the accuracy of the information being filtered through the client.

And here is what it looks like to me, intuitively: When a client asks for a reading, when they ask the very first question, it's like we're sitting facing each other, and our energy fields meld. The client has his or her own energy "bubble," I have mine, and they meet in the middle like a Venn diagram. I can view their world through my own bubble, through their bubble, through both together, or completely outside all bubbles (objectively). The information is always skewed through these filters, which makes it both powerful and unreliable. When I let my client into my bubble, I'm naturally protective of him or her and want to give them positive information that will help them.

That's why communication is so important in readings. That's why readers often say, "I feel this might be true...," and why they ask questions like, "Does this resonate with you?" Sometimes our readings can be so incredibly on point that we pick up on what a client is wearing or so skewed that we think our vision of a dog should mean something to a client, when it actually doesn't. Usually those readings go something like, "Ok, the beagle doesn't mean anything to you... let me tell you what else I see: it's a farm in the country, with white linens hanging on a clothesline. The dog is my childhood dog. Her name was Sandy." And the client says, "Oh! That was my grandmother's name, and that was her farmhouse, and I've been asking for her help with this exact problem that we're discussing."

And that's when you know that, in the intuitive realm, having an open mind and working through the information you're receiving is far more important than dwelling on ethics. If you're open to people being a mix of good and bad, if you can understand that reading energy isn't an exact science and filtered through the lenses of the client, that your main goal is to help a client lead a positive life and feel empowered to make positive changes in their lives, you can trust that the energy and information you receive is meant to assist you on that path; that, essentially, the ethical piece will take care of itself.

TarotGretchen Pearl