The fate of the Burmese junta is written in the stars. That, at least, is what the Burmese junta believes. For one of the odder and most revealing aspects of the brutal military gang that rules Burma is its faith in astrology.When the junta moved the capital from Rangoon to a malarial town deep in the jungle, it did so because an astrologer employed by Senior General Than Shwe had warned him of an impending catastrophe that could only be averted by moving the seat of government.The same astrologer asserted that the most auspicious moment for the move would be November 6, 2005, at 6.37 in the morning. Sure enough, at that precise hour on the ordained day, the bullet-proof limousinesof Burma’s generals started to roll towards their new home on the road to Mandalay.
intensely superstitious rulers have long been guided by a belief in
portents and prophecies, cosmology, numerology and magic.
The time and
date of the ceremony marking independence from Britain was also chosen
according to astrological dictates: 4.20am on January 4, 1948. General
Ne Win was the mysticism-obsessed dictator who seized power in 1962 and
steered Burma from prosperity to penury; in 1989 he introduced the
45-kyat and 90-kyat banknotes, for the simple but mind-bending reason
that these were divisible by and added up to nine, his lucky number. He
believed this move would also ensure he would live to the lucky age of
90. Ne Win, who insisted on walking backwards over bridges at night and
other rituals to avoid bad luck, died in 2002, at theage of 92, which
was either good luck or bad luck, depending on how you look at it. Even
the decision to change the name of Burma to Myanmar was prompted by Ne
Win’s soothsayer, and announced on May 27 (since 2 + 7 = 9).
Kipling once wrote: “This
is Burma, and it will be quite unlike any land you know.” In its
enduring fascination with superstition, Burma’s dictators seem like a
throwback to another age. Each of the leading clans in the junta has a
family astrologer. The army has its own zodiacal experts, but it is a
dangerous job: astrologers who make negative predictions are liable to
arrest and imprisonment.
The junta’s belief in
astrology in part reflects the capricious weirdness of a peculiarly
nasty regime, insulated from the rest of the world and divorced from
reality. But the generals also follow a long tyrannicaltrad......
When a psychic reveals whether you will live happily ever after, think of Judy Mayer before you dismiss it all as a bunch of baloney. Even though Mayer's good fortune wasn't forecast in a crystal ball, she has more than six million reasons to put her faith in the wisdom of tarot card readings. The Winnipegger won $6.8 million in last Wednesday's Lotto 6-49 draw using five of six numbers she obtained during areading in 2005. "She didn't tell me I was going to win a subst...Reading the numbers: Numerology
His name is Brian and, like many of us, he is seeking answers about his life. One recent Monday afternoon, he called Alison Baughman, of Akron, via her Internet radio show "Visible By Numbers" and asked for help.He told her his birthday is April 10, 1975. She did a few calculations and told him that he has had a difficult childhood, but that it has taught him compassion and empathy.Baughman indicated to Brian that he gives unconditional love to people who aren't always pleasant to ...Birth Date can affect personality
Never mind how careful you are behind the wheel or how long you've been driving, the signs of the zodiac may be bigger factors behind your ability to avoid car crashes - or why you have too many. According to a study by InsuranceHotline.com, a Web site that quotes drivers on insurance rates, astrological signs are a significant factor in predicting car accidents. The study, which looked at 100,000 North American drivers' records from the past six years, putsLibras (born September...The I-Ching explained
The ability to predict the outcome of an event through a vision or dream, otherwise known as a premonition, is among the most ancient and widespread of human activities. It crosses so many different cultures involving so many different time periods that it might even be be considered synonymous with the word human. From tribal shamanistic predictions of the success of a hunt, to a person foreseeing a plane crash, premonitions are seen in all levels of society and still happen abundantly in the m...What is Tarot ?
Jim Wickson: Tarot (also known as Tarock, Tarokk, Taroky, Taroc, Tarok, Tarocchi and similar names) is a family of trick taking card games played with an enlarged deck of 78 cards which include an extra court card for each of the four regular suits, a permanent trump suit of 21 cards, and a kind of "wild card" called "the Fool" or "Excuse." Although seen primarily by many as a means of fortune telling or divination, the Tarot deck was created in northern Italy during the 15th century for playing...How to explain destiny
Anthony North: We"ve all heard of destiny, but what is it? Is it some guiding force within the universe looking after us, or is it a total fantasy? As often happens, ideas on the subject fall into one camp or the other. But maybe most sense lies in the middle ground. If we were to adopt this position, then we"d have to accept that a "force" DOES have an effect upon our lives, but rather than being some omnipotent supernatural influence, it could be grounded in things we have a fair idea about. W...The Four Elements of Tarot
Fortune-tellers, mediums and spiritual healers marched on Downing Street on Friday to protest against new laws they fear will lead to them being "persecuted and prosecuted". Organisers say that replacing the Fraudulent Mediums Act of 1951 with new consumer protection rules will remove key legal protection for "genuine" mediums. They think sceptics might bring malicious prosecutions to force spiritualists to prove in court that they can heal people, see into the future...