Discovering your Intuitive Style
Evolution is a subject that has always fascinated me. Early in the world-building process for The Colorado Chapters, I knew I wanted to imagine an evolutionary step for humanity, but I didn’t know just what that step would look like. I researched extraordinary humans – a woman who can withstand deadly cold, or a blind man who has learned to use echolocation to “see” the world around him, for example – but none of these ideas resonated. Then, I read Discover your Psychic Type by Sherrie Dillard, and everything clicked into place.
Sherrie Dillard is a respected professional psychic and medium with a long list of impressive credentials (check out her website at www.sherriedillard.com), and her book became my “rule book” for the changes in humanity I envisioned. Intuition is, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, “the ability to understand something instinctively, without the need for conscious reasoning.” Long considered primarily the domain of women, intuition is, in fact, something all of us experience. We may call it “common sense” or “the obvious,” but it all boils down to the same thing: a conviction we feel, or knowledge we possess, though we can’t explain the why of it. In her book, Dillard presents the idea that “…people approach intuitive development along the path that is most suited to them.” These paths are determined by an individual’s inborn tendencies, and fall into one of four categories: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
The book contains a detailed quiz, which can help you determine your dominant “psychic type” – I recommend photocopying the relevant pages, so you can have your friends and family take the quiz. I found the results to be both affirming (I KNEW my husband was a mental intuitive!) and surprising (I never guessed my daughter was one, as well!). Dillard also believes that developing your intuitive gifts goes hand-in-hand with spiritual growth, and the book contains many excellent exercises and meditations designed for your particular intuitive style.
In my books, each of my characters exhibited only one of the intuitive types, though in reality we’re usually a blend of all four tendencies, with one or two types emerging as dominant. I’m primarily a physical intuitive, like Naomi. I get psychic information via physical sensations, like a “dropping” sensation in my stomach, or a chilly prickle on the back of my neck. When I’m entertaining a bad idea or about to make a hasty decision, I often get what I call a “push-back” in the center of my chest – it literally feels like someone is giving me a shove backwards. And also like Naomi, I’m intensely attuned to nature – I love animals, my home is an ever-expanding jungle of houseplants, and my “church” is the great outdoors, even if it’s just my tiny patch of back yard. Stewardship of the natural world and interest in Earth-based or pagan spiritual traditions are frequently lifelong passions for physical intuitives.
Emotional intuitives also “feel” their way through life, but in a markedly different way. They are our natural-born empaths, and they are often prone to sudden, intense, unexplained feelings. Frequently, these feelings arise from the people around them, and sorting out the origin of the emotions they experience is often an ongoing task for emotional intuitives. Both Jack and Layla are emotional intuitives. An empath without shields is a helpless victim of whatever is going on around him/her, and without self-awareness as both guide and anchor, emotional intuitives tend to become isolated and withdrawn, particularly in our increasingly volatile, polarized world. These days, Pinterest abounds with articles such as, “Seven signs you’re an Empath,” or, “How I found out I was an Empath and NOT mentally ill,” or, “6 reasons why Empaths may struggle with their weight.” (That last one is my favorite, though I can only claim one of the six reasons, dang it all.) This type of intuition is rapidly becoming much more recognized and accepted.
On to the next type: mental intuition. This is my secondary type by just a point or two and when I’m writing, I rely heavily on this tendency. Of all the psychic types, the mental intuitive is, in my opinion, the least recognized. Mental intuitives – like Grace and Piper – don’t fit into society’s pre-conceived notions of “woo-woo.” We see patterns, systems, and trends – I have been accurately predicting fashion trends since I was a teen – and we process psychic information via our intellects. Of all the types, mental intuitives struggle the most to trust the information we receive – we want a rational, logical explanation, of course, and this can stifle our talents. However, when a mental intuitive is fully integrated, when we learn to trust the information that comes to us mysteriously, in unexplained, illogical ways, we have the power to change the world.
Finally, the rarest of intuitive types: the spiritual intuitive. These are the folks with one foot perpetually on another plane, often so “heavenly bound,” they struggle with the details of Earthly living. These are the Veritys of the world, and as my oldest son has observed, Veritys shouldn’t necessarily be trusted. This is certainly NOT meant to imply that spiritual intuitives are charlatans or pretenders; rather, it’s important to understand that they have a perspective on life the rest of us may not perceive. First and foremost, spiritual intuitives serve a Divine agenda, with human concerns falling a distant second to that imperative. They’re connected to the cosmos and the Divine, every day, all the time. Of all the types, spiritual intuitives are the most likely to receive clear messages from beyond, from spirits, ghosts and loved ones who have passed through the veil. They are disproportionately our mediums – like Jack’s sister Cass – our gifted Tarot readers, and our folks actually making a living as psychics and spiritual advisors. As I mentioned before, spiritual intuitives may have a great deal of trouble dealing with mundane reality, particularly with pesky things like bills and rent payments. When you imagine a stereotypical “psychic,” you are most likely picturing a spiritual intuitive.
So there you have, in brief, an overview of the different intuitive types, and how these concepts informed my world-building for The Colorado Chapters. And yes, before you can ask, I truly DO believe humanity is evolving in this direction, but only time will tell. For more information (not to mention an excellent read), please check out Sherrie Dillard’s book, and let me know what psychic type you are – I would LOVE to know!