Psychic Aptitude Cards
When I was a kid, I got to play with a deck of Zener cards, thanks to a very open-minded school system. Ever since, I've been looking for an alternative that didn’t feel quite so... sterile. That’s not to knock Zener’s work -- his set of five geometric symbols has become ubiquitous in the field of ESP testing. Certainly, they were integral to early experiments run at the Rhine Institute. But, with great respect for what Karl Zener and J.B. Rhine accomplished, I have always been seeking a deck better suited to how I experience the transmission of psychic information.
Nothing came close. So, you know me -- I designed a deck myself.
Working from the notion that psychic impressions speak in the nuanced language of dream rather than starkly simplistic pictograms, I designed a six-card sequence that integrates color, language, and image in a way that better represents the abstract and associative manifestation of psychic data. With these cards, if a reader receives the word “Black,” that is a clear hit. If instead they get images of a night sky, darkness, or the hushed sense of wonder that star-gazing tends to inspire in many contemplative souls, these too can be counted at least as partial hits. More than that, repeated experiments with the cards can help a reader learn their unique mental language where psychic impressions are concerned.
Psychic perceptions play out entirely in the realm of the mind. Therefore, they are unavoidably subjective. It is not only impossible but counterproductive to attempt to divorce psychic perceptions from the psychology of the perceiver. Put another way, you can't take the psychology out of the psychic. Perceptions are indelibly colored by the receiver’s mental symbol-set and interior associations, as well as their changing state of mind from session to session. Both the mechanics and manifestation of psychic abilities are intensely personal -- and subsequently, difficult to quantify when researchers are seeking only one-for-one associations with any given pictogram or simplified symbol.
Even with the pared-down images of the Zener cards, no symbol is truly simple. A circle to one person does not inspire the same layers of thought, emotion, and association as it does to another. That is why I dispensed with the circles and lines and squares entirely, and sought to design something that works with those nuances rather than attempting to circumvent them. Each of the cards in this psychic aptitude deck are intended to have multiple layers of association, but all of them point back toward the core of the card – and both hits and misses tell us something useful about our unique experience of psychic perceptions.
Consider: some of us gaze into the darkened vault of heaven and experience a giddy, timeless surge of wonder. Others gaze into the dark and feel isolation, a crushing sense of their own insignificance, even fear. If certain feelings or associations are consistent with each card, while they may not at first appear to be true “hits” in the sense that a laboratory researcher might count towards psychic aptitude, they nevertheless indicate that information is being transmitted. This can teach the psychic reader how to better recognize and interpret their perceptions in the future.