So, you want someone to read your fortune. Say you'll win the lottery. That your dream job will remain secure for the rest of your working years. That your luck will never expire.
Sure, sure. But how?
Dozens of fortune-telling methods are practiced around the world, ranging from watching a rooster peck at a grain, to staring into a fire, to eating the liver of an animal, to finding patterns in melted wax. Almost all routines are designed to loosen up your brain, psychics say.
"Most of these fortune-telling methods are derived from modern psychology," said Horace Iceraven, (real name Sten Lindqvist), a psychic who practices on a boat in New Port Richey. "It helps communicate with the subconscious mind, and the subconscious mind is like the best Sherlock Holmes ever. Your mind has recorded everything you have ever seen, heard, felt, smelled — everything."
We've broken down some of the more popular techniques. You are getting sleepy. Very sleepy. But, uh ... not until after you read this.
Some believe that reading the lines of your hands, aka "Palmistry," holds the key to your future. Palm reading originated in Hindu astrology. The palm allegedly has several tell-tale characteristics, including a heart line, a life line, a head line and bumps, called "mounts." Their size and shape and intersections all reveal something about your life, personality and habits. Skeptics, as with most of these methods, say it's a bunch of hooey.
Many psychics read cards, illustrated with everything from benign images of love to dead folks stabbed in the back. Each card is open to interpretation. "Every one of us reads differently," said Marjorie Amyot, 71, a psychic from South Pasadena who performs readings at her church. "I just have them shuffle the cards and lay them out." Iceraven, 48, was first introduced to tarot cards by his childhood baby sitter. Now he uses a deck he designed himself. "I've had thousands of decks," he said. "Often the more primitive designs are better than something extremely elaborate so you don't have someone trying to force the opinion."
Tasseography, or tea-leaf reading, is kind of like it sounds. A person drinks a cup of tea until half is left, then dumps out the liquid. The psychic studies the leaves to find pictures and patterns. There are standards. "The best kind of tea to use if tea-cup reading is to be followed is undoubtedly China tea," says the book Tea-Cup Reading, and the Art of Fortune Telling by Tea Leaves. "Indian tea and the cheaper mixtures contain so much dust and so many fragments of twigs and stems."
This was a carnival novelty until a woman named Pearl Curran claimed to have contacted a dead woman with a Ouija board in 1913. It's still popular at slumber parties — glow-in-the-dark versions sell at Target for $20.99. Some psychics, like Rita Oom of Plant City, say they can contact the dead all on their own. "I'm a clairvoyant," she said. "I bring in people who passed away. If you ask, I can read photographs and handwriting, and I see things around people."
By staring into a crystal, your vision blurs and frees your subconscious. You can do it with anything that's hard to focus on, Iceraven said, even a push pin stuck into a board at a distance. "What you'll experience often is a fog," he said. "You go into a state of self-hypnosis. It's the same method as hypnotic therapy." He brings a crystal ball to his readings, but it's mostly a distraction for the kids who come to their parents' readings and get bored. He tells them that if they look inside, they can see the Disney Channel.