He was impatient, his eyes slipping and his skin glistening with sweat.
"Help me," he said. "They cursed me."
At first, only the lights were on and off. Then, a picture, in the corner of the eye. Now something touched his fingers and caressed his arm. The situation was getting worse.
"I was with a Catholic priest," the man said. "But he couldn't help me. Can you help me? "
Yes, I could. I knew very well what to do.
I was fortunate. Every Sunday, I would climb the stairs of an old house in Sidney, sit in the attic and see the future. I read Tarot papers and performed horoscopes.
When I was a teenager, I read a book called Positive Magic. A guide to witches, where the idea was that if you wanted something and had pure intentions, you just told the universe and your desire would be fulfilled. Although none of the things I wanted (fame, fortune, loved one) ever came, things followed each other and I learned how to read Tarot cards. Back then, the science studio and the papers were fun at the holidays.
Everything changed when during a lunch break, I read the letters to a colleague. She chose the pregnancy paper, which made us laugh that she had long planned to have the ovaries removed.
A week later, he said, "What did the doctor tell me this morning?"
She was pregnant and I was officially fortunate.
Because I wanted to improve my talent, I joined a fortune-teller course where I learned to say the first thing that came to my mind. "The first thoughts are the most telepathic, there is no rational mind yet," said the teacher.
I also learned that things are connected and that everything is a symbol of something else. Suddenly, I saw signs and warnings everywhere.
To test my skills, I volunteered to read the fortunes of a church congregation. They left me a flower on the table and I sorted out and read the floral fate on the microphone. Nervously, I chose a flower wrapped in foil. The petals were wrinkled and crushed. I felt nothing, so I described the symbolism.
"You feel violated and crushed," I said.
Then a woman spoke to me and told me she was a victim of domestic violence. He asked me what he had to do.
I was only 19 years old and didn't know what to say, but my reputation took off.
The universe told me that I was not given science through second year results. I dropped out of school and got into theater. Also, I signed up for a one-year course at the Sydney Astrological Center.
The course began with the meanings of the zodiac, from Aries to Aquarius. Then the excellent; the sun (what do you do), the moon (what you bring to life) and the planets. Then we learned how to calculate planetary positions and predict horoscopes.
Although astrologers use Nasa data for their calculations, the horoscope is not a map of paradise. The Babylonians, who invented astrology, believed that the sun revolved around the Earth; Modern astrologers still use graphics where the Earth is centered, as if Copernicus never existed. This is just one of the problems in this field.
Astrological meanings derive from a principle called sympathetic magic, where things resemble one another. Mars looks red, so it rules red things, like blood. How can you get blood? Cutting and killing, so Mars rules medicine and war.
Predictions are made by combining meanings with the movements of planets. Suppose, Saturn, the planet of limitations will enter its first home - your life will be limited. You will have more responsibility than before. Or they will stop you from taking on more responsibility. You will probably meet a cool, critical man. However, it is the right time to start a diet.
Astrology is a giant game.
I adored it, even though I was losing interest in other mystical practices. In part, I didn't have time because I worked in theater and in a Catholic hospital as a stenographer.
Finally, I was accepted into a music branch and my days were filled with lectures and the nights were filled with rehearsals. I had no money on my hands because I could only work during the holidays. When I saw an announcement that a fortune teller was required, I ran.
My skills impressed the man at the counter and I got hired.
We were looking for $ 50 an hour, a pretty high amount of time and I wanted to provide a quality service. I printed out the horoscope and spread out the letters and started interpreting immediately, without asking for signs from the client.
Most of the time I didn't say a word. Apparently, people just want to complain for an hour to someone they don't know.
The problems I encountered from people who could afford a fortune-seeking $ 50 an hour were limited: problems in love, at work, with change. I had heard these stories so often that I could find a client's problem as they walked in the door. Heartbroken young boys thought it was easier to talk to a fortune teller than to society. I once told a guy, “Don't go back to that girl. Not worth it, ”the moment he entered. His friend fell off the stairs in amazement.
I also learned that intelligence and education do not protect you from superstition. I had lots of clients working in stock markets, marketing, politicians, dealing with unpredictable issues.
Uncertainty drives people to astrology, not ignorance, so I'm not surprised by all the 20 or so year olds who believe in horoscopes. They grew up with Harry Potter and when they graduated, the economy was more fragile than ever. They are therefore ideal clients.
The magic faded as I listened to people who believed spiritually in my abilities. Some old clients swore that I had made accurate predictions down to the details, which was not true at all. I realized that my predictions were in collaboration with the client. I knitted a story and later, the customer memory added new elements. I tested this theory with a friend who boasted to me a fortune-teller who had visited. He had recorded the meeting and I asked him to listen.
The fortune teller had not said any of the things my friend claimed to have said. None. All her work was done by her imagination.
However, sometimes I am extremely accurate. One Sunday, I went to a party as soon as I got out of work. One student there said he didn't know what branch to follow - photography, graphic design or industrial design?
"Go for pictures," I said.
She saw me with puzzled eyes. “How did you know?” She asked me and explained that photography was her biggest passion in life, but her parents wouldn't let her.
I couldn't say, "Because I have three eyes," so I reflected for a moment. There it hit me. "You sound happier when you say 'pictures'," I said. My teacher was right - the signals we get before consciousness comes into play are correct.
Maybe I didn't have supernatural abilities, but that doesn't matter. It was just fun, after all. Until the cursed husband met me. The one who had gone to a Catholic priest.
"Go to the hospital," I said. "Now."
That week, I had printed letters to a neurologist specializing in brain disease. Some of the letters described symptoms like those of the man before me.
"Are you calling me crazy?" He said, with his fist.
"No," I said. "But the Catholic priests are very capable. If he can't help you, you have nothing to do with a curse. "
Here he got more angry.
"You're deceitful!" He shouted at me and went downstairs to look for the money.
This meeting shocked me. Shortly afterwards, I collected the books and the papers I gave up.
On a case-by-case basis, I can predict something. Here's one: The capital being invested in astrology applications will build an extremely accurate forecasting system because people are predictable. As people follow the tips, the app's predictive capabilities will intensify, creating a tight electronic loop. But it will be very popular - if you sell it beautifully, people will buy it.
By Felicity Carter for The Guardian