Friday, July 13, 2007


by Mahros Abaño

When I was in elementary, I used to spend my afternoons at the local public library near the town hall. In it there was this collection of occult books entitled, Encyclopedia of the Occult, the Esoteric and the Supernatural (Stein & Day, New York, 1980). It is a fantastic set of books, 10 in all, filled with stories of all things about ghosts, witchcraft, and all things extraordinary that for a 9-year-old kid will find truly magnificent. I guess my love for the weird was fueled with those trips to the library to finish the entire volume.

One of my favorites among the collection is the volume on psychics and fortunetellers. Of course, this was the first time I’ve heard of Nostradamus or Jeanne Dixon (She claimed to predict the assassination of John F. Kennedy), among others. I find it odd that people can predict the future based on looking at tea leaves, crystal balls, tarot cards or even blank space. As with the ghosts and other supernatural phenomena, it was an exciting read because of the way these psychics presented their predictions. And from my catbird seat, it is all that, a lovely read. Then again, some people are more fanatical about it than I am.

To those living under a rock for years, a psychic is defined by as, “a person apparently sensitive to nonphysical forces,” while psychic phenomena is defined as, “phenomena that appear to contradict physical laws and suggest the possibility of causation by mental processes (” A fortune teller is “one that professes to foretell future events (”

Outside the realm of the dusty pages, the psychic phenomena, in my opinion, is all just a set of generalized idea about the complex nature of man weaved into a spectacular yarn of equally-generalized ideas supplanted by the fertile imaginations of the fortuneteller and the person being “read” his or her “future”.

I love talking about myself and hearing about myself as much as the next person and from what I realized, that is the basic premise of this practice, i.e., psychic readings. Case in point, let’s begin with the popular daily horoscopes. The idea of this is that each person according to his date of birth is under a specific sign of the zodiac, which is basically a group of stars. It is one of the oldest practices of looking into someone’s future or even a person’s attitude according to the position of the stars.

In a world filled with billions of people (not counting China because they use the Chinese horoscope, ha ha), how many are under the sign of Libra such as myself? Millions, I suppose. So, I googled my horoscope at and this was my horoscope for May 25, 2007:

“The truth shall set you free. The problem is, you're not sure you can handle it. Take heart: You're stronger than you know. After you see the reality of the situation, you'll realize your fear was larger than necessary.”

This is somewhat general. I mean, how does that person know that a particular Libran, let’s say myself, is suffering from a particular setback since from the last time I heard, these astute people from are not my friends? So the answer will be, no. Hence, the use of the painfully overwrought, “The truth shall set you free,” maxim to emphasize whatever it is that I might be having issues with whether it would be I am not coming to terms of what to have for dinner or if will I eventually break off my relationship with Brad Pitt since that hag Angelina Jolie is coming between us.

Now, some really firm believer would say that my horoscope means that this is a “sign,” a favorite term among believers of this practice, that I should bring myself to the warm and enlightening embrace of the believers of psychics. Given the fact that it was pointed out that, “fear was larger than necessary,” it may be surmised that I fear what I don’t understand that is why I am criticizing it, which is a moot point by the way. Or the truth that all of these “predictions” are mere play of words and that I should not fear being kicked in the ass by the people who believe in all of this.

Since reading about it is fun, experiencing the phenomena for me is the next step. So one weekend, my friends told me their “suking” psychic is having a “reading” and I agreed to have a “reading” as well. I have been infinitely curious about the whole thing. Not to be converted but to see what really makes psychics tick or what my reading would be like. Would I be pretty or would I be rich? Que sera sera.

This is not my first time to have my fortune told but this is the first time I would be paying to get my fortune told. I am the biggest cheapskate around so doing this is clearly a big thing for me. I psyched (pun intended!) myself that this is for empirical purposes and to see what the fuss was all about.

It was a big disappointment. The “suking” psychic gave what were to be the most general predictions in my life. An example was the very first thing he told me was I should not take a bath at evenings because an illness would befall my person. How, very motherly of him! My mother always tells me that and it’s free.

Then one of the funny moments during the entire reading was when he told me that I am bound to go to a foreign land through the auspices of a relative or friend from that particular country that I am supposed to be headed. Then he asked me if I have a relative or a friend abroad; when I said no, he made a 180-degree turn by saying that a friend whom I have not been in touch for a while will be the one helping me to get a job abroad. Before the reading was over, another turn happened as he said that the company that I am with right now will send me abroad for a seminar or a training. I’ll say, how convenient!

To level off the tarot reading that I have had, I googled “free tarot reading” and I was directed to and I got the following reading:

“This card indicates physical movement in your short-term outlook--departure, absence, flight, emigration, or a change of residence. A dark young man is involved.”

So what does that tell me? Nothing, it turned out. I am particularly disgusted that I could get the same prediction at the click of the mouse. It doesn’t tell me anything extraordinary as well. At least the one I got online has the impending involvement with a “dark young man.”

Suffice to say that my little experiment proves that we all love a good story and it is more enticing when we are the ones starring in it. In the course of our humdrum existence, the idea of a better, far more exciting life in the future is a guiltless pleasure we all indulge in and we grasp it wherever we may find it, even it was just told to us by a pack of cards and an old man with a bag of tales.

About the author

Mahros Abaño writes because she was absolutely useless in her Home Economics’ classes; she wishes to learn how to knit a tablecloth in the future, preferably before hell freezes over because of global warming. She used to be from Healthcare, and now had returned to her first love - teaching.

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