When I was 11 years old I taught myself palmistry. It was a cheap trick for the School Fair where I dressed up as a fortune teller, and told my schoolmates their “future”. However, when I was a teen I began exploring other forms of fortune telling, and by the age of 31 I could read tarot cards, oracle cards, pendulums, runes, etc etc.
If it could tell my future I not only knew how to do it, but owned all the paraphernalia required to do so.
It would be a regular occurrence that my friends would visit me and after a while the tarot deck would come out and we’d start asking any and every question we could think of about any and every situation:
When will I get the job?
When will I find love?
When will I accomplish this goal?
In fact, sometimes there’d be a franctic phonecall or message from a friend, asking for a quick reading regarding something or another in the midle of the night!
At the time it never really occurred to me that we were all obsessing over something intangible, something that wasn’t yet real. At the time, in my mind it was all very real, our paths were set out, though I did believe those paths were flexible – nothing is so much as set in stone, but more written on it in washable sharpie, and through my tools I could read that writing and share it.
My friends and I all wanted to know what the cards or crystals would say, wanted to know what our futures held. Despite the fact we all had great careers, friendships, relationships, we all were still obsessed with the future.
The fortune telling industry is huge, whether it’s a tarot deck or a visit to a psychic, the industry is world wide, transcends religious beliefs and makes millions. But now, as someone who no longer practices divination, whose cards and crystals are now mere decoration, I am curious:
Why do people visits clairvoyants, or read their horoscopes?
Why are we obsessed with our future?
Curiosity & Fun
This of course is an easy answer. Who doesn’t want to know if they’ll ever win the lottery? A lot of people consider divination and horoscopes a bit of fun and something to chat about during lunch, and teenagers use it to know if their crush will ever love them back, and to scare each other at slumber parties.
Afterall, it’s harmless right? If it comes true, it’s a funny coincidence, and if it doesn’t, well, it was all just a bit of fun in the first place!
Hope & Relief
Hope is like an addiction, something people hold on to even if it’s seemingly impossible, and divination feeds it. Divination will tell you when you will find your true love, it will give you the hope you need to get through the day, to keep on trying, that your goals and dreams can and will come true.
However, it can also be the opposite which is just as cathartic. Divination won’t just tell you what you want or need to hear, but also sometimes the harsher truths such as that you will never see that person again, that you won’t get that job.
Just as much as Divination can give you hope, it can also help you let go of the things you need to.
Part of the reason I practised divination was due to needing to be in control: I had to know when I would get that job, when I’d find love, and when I would accomplish my goal. For me, it was about being emotionally prepared for every eventuality that life might throw at me – the thought of entering into my future blindly was a horrifying thought, and I suspect many others who read their horoscopes, or see a psychic are the same.
By knowing out future, it means we have control of it – we know what path we are walking, what to be prepared for. I call it Future Anxiety, the “not being in control of what the future holds”, and divination helps relieve it. Even if it doesn’t come to pass, there’s not a sense of disappointment, but a sense of “Well, at least I’m ready for it next time!”
With all that said, you must be wondering why I stopped using my tarot cards and divination? Well that’s easy – I found my love, I accomplished my life long goal of moving to Scotland, and well, the job will come in its own time. Two out of three was enough for me, and relieved my Future Anxiety enough that it was no longer necessary to fixate on what was happening next. Did my divination predict these things accurately? That’s my little secret!
Now, I don’t know if divination is real or not, and as mentioned above I no longer practice is at all. I don’t know if there are paths we are destined to walk along or if it’s self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s not something any of us could ever know or prove, but whether it gives us hope or perhaps a sense of control, or perhaps even a bit of a giggle, who am I to say what is best for any of us as long as we’re happy.
Have you ever been to a Psychic? Do you wish you knew your future? Let me know in the comments!