In another life, I was an astrologer. I drew horoscopes and wrote an astrology column for a couple of newspapers. I was pretty good, or so people told me. I may have been better than good, but I didn’t like it.

I was at my best reading for strangers. The less I knew about the person for whom I was reading, the better reading I could give.

I also sometimes would read Tarot, but cards made me uncomfortable. In a horoscope, you only see what you look for. Almost never does something jump off the page and scream at you. Tarot is different. Not only do you not always see what you expect, you will see things you wish you hadn’t.


Like death. That first time it happened, I almost jumped out of the chair with shock. I knew –100% — that the man smiling across from me would die in six years. He was young, just 32. He had already had a serious heart attack, but seemed to have recovered and was living a careful, but normal life. Not employed … he wasn’t up to a daily grind … but he was raising his boys and enjoying life. Laughing in my living room while the kids played outside.

“Read for me?” he had asked. I acquiesced.


So, I did a progressive reading for him. That’s where you use the “summary” card of each spread as the foundation card of the next reading. In the seventh layout, I saw him dead.

“I’m too tired to do this any more,” I said. “It’s just gibberish,” and I gathered up the cards and refused to say more. He died exactly when I’d seen. I could not go to the funeral. I couldn’t even explain why not.

I tried reading again after a while, but I started to see things. Secrets. Stuff I didn’t want to know and certainly would never tell. I learned things about people that changed the way I felt about them.

You can run, but you cannot hide. The client always knows when you aren’t telling them something. We have “tells.” Our pupils dilate. We become pale. Our muscles stiffen. We shift in our seat. They know.

I quit reading.

I don’t believe in telling people when they are going to die. Someone told me many years ago that I would die when I was  68. The birthday came and went, but it was one nervous birthday!

The stuff the fortune teller’s say are bells you can’t un-ring. I’m not against this stuff on principle, but I think “seeing the future” tends to do more harm than good. We do not see what will be, only what might be and we either put the best or the worse interpretations on it. Neither is true and neither helps us deal with what life actually tosses our way.

Categories: humor, Personal, Photography, Reality, Supernatural

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

32 replies

  1. I have 2 tarot decks but never really dedicated serious time to learning how to read them – possibly a little scared of the ‘self-fullfilling prophecy’ part. or seeing things i’d rather not ( even the ones i probably already ‘know’ but largely ignore) 😉

    I took a 3 month p/t course in Horoscope preparing and read for personal interest but never did one for anyone else.

    I might send you the chart i drew for myself one day and maybe you can figure me out a little more? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. I’d never tell anyone they were going to die. Wouldn’t you perhaps fudge it by falling back on other interpretations of the death card?


  3. Familiar with it, but haven’t done much of anything with it for quite some time. Was learning from a friend who got into it when we both moved from ND down to Mpls. (She has since passed after unfriending us.) What was useful was some insights we got when Don and I were blending our families.. A total of 10 children….) sort of like bringing influences to bear on the multiple personalities……. and making sense of them~!!! Don was much better at it than I was. probably still is if he bothered…


    • Some people have a knack for it. I learned from books, but it came easily to me. Tarot cards, not so much and palm reading, not at all. Each of these things uses a different part of the brain. Astrology is rather mathematical compared to everything else. If you are very organized and logical, it’s usually easier. But then there’s that invisible “something” that makes us feel some affinity for a particular thing. You can’t account for that 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The fortune telling creeps you out but not the dolls? Lol. I’m kidding, I think it would freak me out too. I have only been once. Thankfully the woman said something dumb like, “you came from a good family”, it was then I stopped listening to her.


    • Because I did it myself, I knew what to listen for. The problem is that there is truth — and then there is what happens which may be part of that truth, but not necessarily what you imagined. Imagination is not included in the reading 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  5. There was a time when I too studied astrology. I was alarmed at how accurate it was for a reading of my mother. There are something we aren’t meant to know, so I left it at that.


  6. I’m really sorry that you don’t enjoy your gift. To me it’s a great gift, which many abuse, but I can tell that’s not the case with you. I know a person IRL who has that gift, and she helped me immensely in the days following my hubby’s death. And maybe it’s true that people take the information as fore-telling or the future being revealed to them, but as you point out, it’s INTERPRETATION of what’s said. I wish I’d known you before you stopped. It sounds like you had some good information to share. And I’d personally love to know when my time is up (theoretically). Give me time to prepare if it’s horrible and long, or time to enjoy things if it’s short (hopefully). But we must do what is best for the peace of our souls and I can’t fault you for stepping away.


    • I got a little too “famous” when I lived in Jerusalem. I always kept a very low profile in the states, but Jerusalem back then was a small town and I was the editor of a newspaper AND the astrology writer and the English-speaking community was relatively small, so we all knew each other. I had a lot of very crazy people showing up. I’m not good at saying “no” anyway, and I was worse back then. It got totally out of hand. I can still read — better a chart than cards. I don’t think I could forget how if I tried. Sometimes, I look at charts and I know things. But I don’t reach out and when someone asks, my instant reaction is to say “No, I don’t do that anymore.”

      I am sure I did help some people, but there were so many and they blur into a carousel of changing faces. I still have all my books, though. You never let go of the books.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. The problem with telling people if one sees their death in a fortune reading (of any type) is that it can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Which is why I also never did it. I read tarot and palms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Palms always interested me, but I didn’t seem to have any natural bent for it. Charts, absolutely. I could always see what they said and I still can. Cards, sometimes. When I let myself go there. It turns out, there are too many people for whom death is the one thing they really WANT to know about. I found it unnerving.


  8. I haven’t read for others for many decades… I never really saw the point of fortune telling as such, but it was a good way to help people find the answers they already knew, but didn’t know they knew. These days, I use them in the same way for myself…and in meditation. Oddly, the one you picture is the only deck I have used for the past thirty years…I haven’t found another that speaks to me in the same way as the Wirth deck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I went in that direction with cards as meditation. Charts are harder for me because as soon as I see one, I read it. It’s so automatic, I can’t really stop.

      The Wirth deck was where I began. It’s a very good deck because it has all the right pieces in it. Sometimes, I miss reading — but mostly, I’m glad I don’t have all those people pushing me to give them answers. I never had answers. THEY had the answers. I just told them where to look.


      • People want answers… and no divination can give them anything they don’t already have at some level of knowing…. except an idea of where to look. Astrology is a rather different approach, offering a useful road map.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It can be. I had a friend who was brilliant. She said it was simple — look at Jupiter and Mars and the houses and you can see the path where work and travels will take you. And she was right, though amusingly not the way i expected. She told me I was going to write dozens of books. I did, but they were all “how to” books for computers and other tech stuff. There I was thinking of my great novelist career 🙂 She also had a pretty good grip on my future love life. She was really accurate. But I had to do HER chart because she reminded me — you can’t do your own. You can, but you can’t make sense of it. You see everything … so much so that it’s almost the same as nothing.


  9. The problem as I see it, is that there are “interpretations” as you mentioned, possibilities. People who are told they will die, often create the reality to match what they suspect is going to happen. Or live in abject fear it might. It colours how they live their daily life. As a “joke” amusement, fun, it’s ok, otherwise it worries me.


  10. Is this true or is this a brilliant piece of flash fiction?


    • This is true. Entirely true. And I’ve left out a good deal of the interesting parts.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maybe for another post?


        • There are a few bits and pieces of it already. The guy I met in Jerusalem who thought he was Jesus and wanted me to be his “Paul.” (Uh, no, but thanks anyway.) The old guy who ONLY wanted to know when he would die so he could meet his wife. The parents who wanted astrological maps for their newborns — I wouldn’t do that for anyone. A child should be allowed to grow up without something like that hanging over them.

          And yet. There were always things that never made sense. A pair of twins, born just moments apart. He was dead of cancer at 36 and she was fine. As another astrologer said to me: “You can only see what is written … but much is NOT written.” That is the true answer. MUCH is not written and I’m pretty sure the unwritten parts are the more important parts.

          Liked by 1 person

  11. Fortune telling creeps me out beyond words. I think the future isn’t our business; we’re going to live there one way or another anyway. It is in opposition to the whole “be here now” philosophy to which I subscribe and which my dogs constantly remind me of.

    Liked by 2 people

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