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Drop the Tarot Deck and No One Will Get Hurt
In many parts of the United States, fortune telling is illegal. It is considered a gateway crime that leads to drug abuse, prostitution, and urinating in public. It also leads to gypsies moving in and fleecing the gullible.
Here in Denver, it has only been legal to earn a living as a fortune teller for the last eight years. For fifty years (1950 to 2000), fortune telling was a crime that you could be tossed in jail for. The reason for the law, part of the anti-gypsy laws, was
simple: to prevent fraud from being committed.
It was presumed that if you collected a fee for doing a divination that you were committing fraud. The only way around the law was to be a minister in a religious body that was exempt from paying taxes. But not much attention was paid to the law, it was enforced sporadically. The last attempt was made in 2000, an action that led to its repeal.
As educated individuals, we know that the correct answer to the question "Does fortune telling work?" is No. Science tells us that it can't possibly work. This is despite the fact that almost half the population of the United States believes that astrology works. There are also believers in palm reading, clairvoyance, runes, spirit mediums, and Tarot.
Confession time: I have been a psychic Tarot reader, as well as an astrologer, for many years. I use the cards and astrological symbols as a convenient set of tools to plumb the depths of the human mind. I help people figure out ways to overcome their problems. For me, the tools of divination are a set of tools for spiritual and personal development; occasionally, I use them to entertain people also.
In my defense, I would like to say that I am more of a hobbyist than a professional. But I am not above charging for my services. Collecting a fee is occasionally the only way to be able to control your time. After all, everyone loves a free psychic reading.
And in that time, I have come across a strange form of addict: the divination addict, those people who can not make a decision without consulting a psychic, their horoscope, or the Tarot and runes. I understand how fraud can be committed; these people would be easy to bilk if my ethics didn't get in the way.
It surprised me the first time that I encountered a divination addict. He was a friend of mine. I watched as he went from the occasional reading to not being able to make a decision without consulting the cards. Fortunately for him, he was reading for himself; I would hate to think how much he would have paid if someone else had been doing the readings for him.
The problem with being a divination addict is not that you believe in the occult. Nor is it the willingness to pay for services rendered. The problem lies in giving up part or all the control over the decisions that you make to pieces of colorful paste card or to unseen and disputable spirits and their material world conduct, the lowly psychic.
First off, it is hard to tell if a psychic is real or not. There is a technique called "cold reading" where a psychic just tosses stuff out at random to see if anything strikes a chord with you. Real psychics use the technique when they are not getting anything. Few psychics who make their living at doing readings will admit that the cards are cold and that they are receiving nothing to tell you.
Even worse is the fact that those people who are willing to commit fraud have figured out this technique. And they will spice things up by telling you it is your dead grandmother. The gullible are quite willing to pay for this contact and advice. The hoaxes and cons go downhill from there.
One type of scam involves a curse and its pricy removal by the psychic. I will not go into detail about the method; I will only note that law enforcement are well aware of people who gave up their life saving over to people running this type of scam.
At the root of all these scams is divination addiction. Without victims burdened with the addiction, the con would not work.
How bad can the addiction get? Bad, real bad.
A lover of mine, who was working as a potter, once told me a story about a lady that she encountered. She had just delivered an assortment of pottery to a store when this woman walked in. Looking over the pottery, the lady said that she wished she had her pendulum with her, so that she could decide what color to buy.
When you can not decide what color of pottery to buy without consulting some device, you have an addiction to divination.
What is the best way to overcome an addiction to divination? I am not sure. I told my friend to go cold turkey, to resist the urge to consult the cards no matter how important the situation seemed at the time. It worked for him, though occasionally he does
Besides the addict types, there are many people consulting psychics who have already made up their mind about what decision to make. They are not asking for new information, just permission to do what they intend to. They would like the universe to rubberstamp their decisions, much like people who claim that god want them to run for political office.
By consulting a psychic, they absolve themselves of any bad feelings they have over their actions. After all, the higher powers though the medium of the psychic reader told them that their decision was right. Personally, I refuse to do readings for anyone that I suspect is in this category; do not place the responsibility for your actions on me.
Ultimately, whether it is addiction or an unwillingness to assume responsibility for one's decisions, I must echo the cops: Drop the Tarot deck and no one will get hurt.
- Number of posts : 545
Registration date : 2008-09-15
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