Most of Yu Fuqiang's assets fit on the small plastic sheet he spreads on the sidewalk. But in a country changing so fast that one year rarely resembles the last, the 72-year-old's most valuable resource is something intangible, something that people are willing to pay for: a peek at the future.He is a fortune teller who works in an alley in Xinmin, a dirt-road town hugging the Min River in southwest China. A business card displayed at his feet lists his services: "Selection of Baby Names, Feng Shui Consultation, Fortune-Telling, Conflict Resolution, Marriage and Relationship Counseling."He also removes moles and freckles, which canalter a person's fortune, he explains. "Sit, sit," Yu said, appraising me through glasses perched on the end of his nose.
fortune tellers thrive in today's China, seemingly at odds with a
nation intoxicated by modernization.
But their role is something more
than mystical. They serve as part management consultant, part couples
counselor and part shrink. In a country addled by new pressures and
choices -- to find a better job, a better mate, a better you -- many
seek advice from those they can afford, even on the sidewalk.
They can be found in cities
as well, ministering to office workers on the streets of Beijing.
Political wags like to whisper that high-ranking Communist Party
officials turn to fortune tellers to help divine the party's inner
"When were you born?" Yu
asked me, using the year, month, day and hour of my birth to deduce my
destiny. He picked up a yellowed volume at his feet and hunted through
China has an uneasy
relationship with its fortune tellers. For years, the Communist Party
railed against "superstitions" as a sign of backwardness. Still, Yu,
who inherited his craft from his uncle, has practiced for 50 years,
except during the Cultural Revolution when Red Guard zealots forced him
"Chinese Scientists are
Against Fortune Telling," declared a headline in the state-run Xinhua
news agency a decade ago. The story, which cited a survey indicating
that more than 1 in 3 Chinese people believed in fortune telling, up 7
percent from three years earlier, concluded withthe wa......
Throughout history, and even in modern daily life, there have existed individuals (or solitary practitioners), or even entire groups of people, whose purpose it was to aid others in their most important decisions. Techniques for accomplishing such a feat included tarot, astrology, rune casting, scrying and any number of other methods. These techniques were used by ancient lords and leaders for guidance to predict the best strategies for war, taking a wife, or when certain rituals ought to be performed.These days, people seeking out those specializing in divination may not be responsible for armies, but theproblems for which they seek help can feel just as daunting.In general, one cannot address the art that is divination without addressing the faith or faiths with which it is so closely associated in the public mind: Paganism and Wicca.
what leads to practicing these unique faiths is dissatisfaction with
the demands, hypocrisies and intolerance occasionally exhibited by
certain non-representative members of some mainstream religions.
general, the central tenets of these faiths are harming nobody else,
and freedom to believe what one wishes.
Back to divination and
reading: a psychotherapist will have a patient sit down and tell them
their problems. A priest will have a worshipper sit in a confession
booth and unload their troubles. A barkeeper will sit behind a counter
and listen to a customer ramble on and on about how the worldhas
wronged them and the bartender may give advice. Seeking guidance in an
environment of comfort and wisdom is precisely divination.
When one goes into any
given establishment for the purpose of getting a reading, regardless of
the method, it is usually for one of two reasons.
The first is that the
patron has come with an open mind, confused and/or on some level
afraid, searching for confidence and purpose they cannot seem to find
within themselves through the aid of another, not unlike a counselor or
Unfortunately, the other
type of tarot-goer tends to presume much about divination: that the
readers considers themselves psychics who can guess intimate or even
general details about a client's life just by looking at some tea
leaves or looking into a bowl of water. This generalization tends to
spawn from a sensationalized image of such practitioners, and an
Most people know what sign of the Zodiac they were born under. This is also known as a Star or Sun sign and these are: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These signs are also actual star constellations in the sky and whatever sign the Sun is in when you are born is your Star or Sun sign. The Sun is not actually “in” that sign but appears to be from our viewpoint on Earth.These constellations appear to follow each other in a track across the sky which is called the Zodiac belt and they take a year to complete the circuit. The Sun takes approximately a month to “travel through” each of thetwelve signs.The Moon and planets also roughly follow this path hence the terms – Moon in Capricorn or Venus in Aquarius for example.
The Moon orbits the Earth in just over 28 days or about a month and spends only 2 – 3 days in each sign. The planets vary in their orbit times, Mercury the closest to the Sun orbits in only 88 days. Pluto, the farthest from the Sun completes its orbit in 248 years.
sign, Aries, starts on the first day of Spring. This is also the Vernal
Equinox when the days and nights are equal in length and the Sun
(viewed from our perspective) is now moving into the Northern
hemisphere for our summer. The fourth sign, Cancer, marks the Summer
solstice (around June 21) when we have our maximum hours of daylight.
The beginning of Libra marks the Autumn Equinox and the beginning of
Autumn. Capricorn, the tenth sign,begins at the Winter Solstice which
is when the hours of darkness are at their greatest – midwinter.
Our Natal or birth chart is
calculated using our birth date, time of birth (if known) and place of
birth. This chart will show the placements of all the planets at the
time of birth (a sort of snapshot of the heavens) and an experienced
Astrologer can use this chart to help you understand who you are, where
you are going, where you have come from, your character, your
personality, emotional responses, potentials, strengths, weaknesses and
much, much more.
A birth chart (I am sure
that if you are reading this, you will have seen a chart before) is
divided into twelve sections called houses. There are four angles (at
9, 6, 3 and 12 on a clock face) dividing the chart into quadrants. The
beginning (the cusp) of the first house (the Ascendant, at 9o’cloc......
When I first entered Sacred Source at 73 Brock St. the scent of eucalyptus was the first noticeable aroma. Filled with spiritual books and figurines, the store created a calm and tranquil atmosphere.Entering a small room slightly to the side of this new age store, I was about to experience my first tarot card reading. Sitting across from me was Kellye Crockett, a tarot card reader at the Sacred Source. Across a black table lay 10 cards in a specific layout.“Very interesting,” Crockett said, after a dramaticpause. Having drawn an implausible amount of threes from the deck, Crockett explained the majority of my cards were unusually well drawn.
for me, these lucky threes were soon followed by a card depicting a
dead man wallowing in a pool of blood and resting uncomfortably on top
of 10 rather sharp swords—the card called the X of swords.
said this card represents challenge, but my challenges were over and
so, for me, this would signal a new phase.
A tarot reading like the
one I went to is not an uncommon phenomenon in Kingston if Crockett’s
full appointment book is any indication.
Crockett works full time as
a tarot-card reader, having recently added another day to her practice
due to the high demand for appointments. That, however, isn’tnearly
enough for the high demand of clientele. Crockett and her tarot cards
have both made their way to television, projecting themselves on The
Oracle, a show on TVCOGECO on channel 13.
“The lines are always busy—people love the show,” Crockett said.
Tarot cards are often used
to help people find spiritual growth and peace, while providing more
skeptical clients with pure amusement, Crockett said.
Individuals who get their
cards read—called quernets by the experts—aren’t just elderly women who
believe in witchcraft. Many members of the Queen’s community—students,
staff and even professors—are regular clients at the Scared Source,
Crockett’s own involvement in tarot reading comes as no surprise.
“I wasraised in Prince......