Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Five Important Reasons to Worry about Divination

For crucial safety reasons, here are some things you need to know about the practice and perils of predicting the future, and what seeking foreknowledge of future events might mean for you.

1. Deceit sleeps with greed. When choosing an augur, prognosticator, oracle, or prophet, remember that for every human need there is a scam artist to profit from it. Consider this before placing your hopes and fears in the hands of that palm-reader who arrived in town with the carnival. How much would you pay to know the future? Everybody knows that there's money to be made here.

2. A prophecy never lies; it is only its meaning which deceives. Do you know the motivations of that helpful person offering you a vision of your future? What if he has his own agenda? What if he's steering your life in order to get revenge, prestige, or who knows what else? Or suppose he's being completely honest: what if you misunderstand what he tells you?

3. You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it. Positive fortunes are nice, and many people get them in their readings. What about those not-so-nice predictions? Can you change things and avoid the fate that's seen for you? Classic tales of divination show the hapless fortune-seeker running from her fate, only to bring it closer with every change she tries to make.

4. Your dearest wish will come true. Suppose you have a goal. You're working your way toward it and you seem to be making progress. Then the fortune-teller says you'll get it. Then what? Must you continue working, or do you stop and wait for it to arrive? Does it somehow seem less enticing once the uncertainty is gone? Maybe now you'd rather have something else.

5. When fate throws its dagger, you may catch it by the blade or by the handle. How will you meet your fate? With grace or with awkwardness, joy or terror, acceptance or rejection? This is something to think about when you decide whether you really want to know what fate has planned for you.

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