On Being an Empath

by Savannah Olsen

When most people think of psychics, they visualize red velvet curtains, crystal balls, head wraps, and children seeing & communicating with ghosts. Somehow drama makes it more relevant. Would the tv show “Long Island Medium” be as successful if Theresa Caputo was softer spoken, with shorter nails, and milder hair? I can’t quite say for, but there is always an association with psychic abilities and drama that go together. And so without lightning bolts and bold revelations, many people think they don’t have any sixth sense at all.

Your life is probably pretty normal. You have been using your intuitive abilities since you were a child, whether you have been aware of it or not. You are perhaps not protecting yourself from psychics vampires, attacks or drains.

Being a compassionate and sensitive soul is draining. Frequently the struggle with anxiety, depression, or mood swings can be an inability to handle the co-mingling of interconnectedness. You are feelings everyone’s stuff, not just your own. That can at times be dark and scary.

The first key to your psychic salvation is going to be found by picking apart what is me and what is other. This requires you to get awfully familiar with your own emotional baggage and the finer nooks of your psyche.

Psychic vs Psycho

In most mystical traditions the Moon rules psychic energy and the deep unconscious. She is the divine feminine. She rules cycles, our oceans, our emotions and the ability to change abruptly. If you are a woman, you have probably noticed during your “moon time” (mensuration) that deep emotions are brought to the surface, stronger than normal, and enhance issues that you are not as bothered by outside of your time. The same energy is at work when the moon is full. It is why we use the word “lunatic” - it gets a little crazy. The moon brings forth the unconscious.

Since moon energy rules psychic senses AND the unconscious, when it’s forces are at work, sometimes we are picking up intuitive information and sometimes we are being triggered. Classic example: “Is (s)he cheating on me or am I imagining things?”  I have experienced individuals who thought were psychic, but they were actually a bit psycho. Or those who thought they were crazy but instead were getting powerful, intuitive information. 

What do you do? Take a deep breath. Step back into your consciousness as an observer and then ask yourself...”Right now am I being triggered or am I picking up an intuitive message?” “Am I seeing clearly or is something bringing me back to an event I have already experienced?” This would be an excellent time to pick up any tools you have and ask for your guides to help you see the truth. Or have a friend with no bias help you get grounded.

If you want to listen to your psychic senses, you need to be really comfortable with the word crazy. My best readings usually are preceded with me saying “This is going to sounds crazy but...” The information is not going to make sense. My cards have shown me things that I just didn’t think were possible, but my experience doing intuitive work has shown me otherwise. Often the “crazy” is stepping outside of old beliefs about reality, for the person in front of you, for yourself. Magic if you will.

How many times have you reflected on your life and said “3 years ago no way would I have thought I would be doing *insert thing*” or “I never thought I would be with this person” etc. There is no place for logic and reason when it comes to the moon, intuitive messages, or women (hah!) All 3 need to be sat with, validated and given space to grow even if it does not appease your analytical self.

There are 4 main ways our intuition speaks to us. They are known as the “Claire’s” but also conveniently mimic the symptoms of psychosis: Seeing things no one else can see, hearing things no one else can hear, knowing things no one else can know and feel things no one else can feel. If you’re feeling more on the psycho rather than the psychic end of the spectrum, cut back on the psychoactive drugs and get grounded: i.e., more in touch with reality. “Clair” translates to clear which is why I can’t emphasize enough that doing emotional work is imperative to use your intuition. Give yourself time to gain experience and refine your craft.

Clairvoyance - Clear seeing - Receiving visions or seeing intuitive information. 

Clairaudient - Clear hearing - Receiving intuitive information through hearing.

Claircognizance - Clear knowing - Receiving information as a thought or a knowing. “I knew that was going to happen.” 

Claireempathy/Clairsentience - Clear feeling - Receiving intuitive information through sensing a feeling (claireempathy) or by taking on the feeling yourself as if it were your own (clairsentience.)

Always Use Protection

Everything you do is a statement of who you are and who you want to be. The most powerful statement you can make to god, or the universe or whatever is “I am__________” Whatever is happening to you will only be photocopied by that statement and what you say yes and no to. When we metaphorically say yes to people and things that are not conducive to your desires, you are going to end up with more of that. In the past several years I have brought a deep awareness to what I am saying yes to. This goes from who I am engaging with, what I am reading, watching or following on social media. Are my choices a reflection of what I am taking responsibility for creating in my life? Or am I getting sucked into what others want for me, even if that is society itself? Can I live outside of that to take responsibility for my energy and what I desire for my life? 

How is this relevant to psychic senses and intuition? The above practice is a macro example of what you need to do on a micro scale to take responsibility for your energy. If you cannot connect with taking responsibility for your life in a way that says “yes this is me” you won’t be able to do it energetically where you can know “this is not me” - “it is other” whether audibly, emotionally, or visually. 

On an off day, the dear Bree Melanson walked in the store. She lives in California, and I had no idea she was in town. She has a beautiful presence that is immediately uplifting. We sat down. I have a habit of shuffling cards in the store the way some twirl their hair. I pulled three. She knew right away; they weren’t for her. They were about me. They were all about energy drains. I was telling Bree about my experiences, and she gave me the following advice. 

If you are finding a particular pathway for your intuition too difficult ask your angels and guides to redirect it. So for example, if you are finding clairvoyance overwhelming, then ask that you only receive clairaudient messages. Same goes for clairempathy or whatever it is. Swap it out.

This can be extended to the tools you use.  My favorite thing about tarot is that once you get good at it, or at least past the initial overwhelm that comes with a deck of 78 cards, you can be the master of your experience. I can tell my cards, I want my Chariot card to represent a said thing. From then on it will always show up for me in that way when I need it to. Or I can denote it 5 different meanings including the traditional usage and let my intuition and surrounding cards guide me to the right message. I can dictate how I want my pendulum to swing, what means yes, or no and then have it adjust accordingly. You are the boss. 

Another tip that has been passed down to me by several people is picking a bodyguard guide to your experience. If you are seeing, feeling or hearing anything dark that you do not want, you need to pull a regular, on-call guide to remove it. Many are fond of Archangels, but it could be something you have connected with through meditation, a passed family member you trusted or any being you feel would do a good job and have your best intentions. I use a white tiger. Hire this guide in your spiritual world through prayer and call on them when you need help. 

I tend to focus on the above to keep my energy in check, but I also have found the following tips beneficial for support and grounding:

Place a line of sea salt on your doorsteps. Sea salt is one of the oldest protective ingredients. It is like drawing a line of white light on your doorway powered by the force of the ocean/moon. Another superstition I have heard is when you are walking through your front door, especially late at night, to walk in backward as so nothing follows you in. 

Have a salt bath after draining or difficult interactions to help you reset. A favorite tip from psychic Natalie Miles.


Smudging is an essential practice for removing bunk energy. Don’t be stupid and smudge a messy house. How are you going to shift anything with so many blockages? It is thought that the quickest way to lift your spirits is to clean your home. Up the ante by using lemon and/or sage essential oil to your cleaning water. Both lemon and sage are traditionally used for dispelling negative energy and protection. We’re big fans of Vitruvi essential oils. 

On a full moon (known for releasing) pick up some blank paper and start writing down your disappointments, frustrations, sadness or anger. A good starter is “I don’t think it’s fair that....” Keep writing until you are crying and/or have nothing more to write. Then burn it (safely.) We do juice cleanses to get rid of built-up toxins and metals in our body. This is emotional detoxification of sorts. Getting rid of emotions that no longer serve you. The next day, you will hold your head a bit higher, have a bit more spring in your step and can start attracting all the beautiful things you deserve. 

Harness the power of protective crystals. I have a Black Tourmaline on both of the main entrances to my house to protect the energy of my space. People who work closely with many powers such as nurses, massage therapists, or those in retail might find keeping a protective crystal on themselves when they are working helpful. 

When you find you need to interact with someone who you don’t feel right about imagining a thick glass wall between you and the other person. 

In an endless era of oversharing, resist the urge to always “embrace vulnerability” and let everyone have access to your inner world. Keep that which is unique and sacred for those who have earned your trust.

Being an empath is a unique path and will take some experience and practice to master. The key is acknowledging that being sensitive is a double-edged sword which will take some negotiating to refine.