When Madam Fortune is a Quack
Today's article will be a little different than my usual tarot blog. I'm writing this because something I recently read made me want to comment.
In the Saturday, June 6, 2015 edition of The New York Times, there was an article titled, "A Fortune Teller cost Him Fortune After Fortune," written by Michael Wislon.
The fortune in question is just under one million dollars, and I'm relieved to say that the Madam Fortune in the story was not a tarot reader, at least it is never mentioned in the article that she was. But all the same, we tend to fall under the same umbrella in the public's eye and for this reason it upset me. We have a tough enough time as it is without charlatans making us all look suspect.
After being rejected by a woman that the unnamed man in the article had pursued, he found himself wandering around the city and in front of a Times Square Psychic shop. Madam Fortune as I call her, convinced him that despite his love interest's rejection, they were twin flames, meant to be together, and she promised to make that happen for him by stringing him along with spell after spell. She convinced him that he needed her services.
During the time span of twenty months, the twenty-six year old Times Square psychic mananged to convince an educated, successful thirty-two year old man that the monies she collected from him in an effort to gain the love of his obsession, were needed to purchase special crystals, a time machine (she settled for a $30,000.00 Rolex watch), a diamond ring from Tiffany's, a fake funeral and reincarnation rituals, and finally two bridges made of solid gold serving as the reincarnation portal since in the twenty month interim the young lady of his dreams had actually passed away. Madam Fortune promised to reincarnate his now deceased sweatheart, in the body of a thirty-one year old woman. When he met the new woman, the spirit of his former sweetheart did not seem to be inside her, at which time he became suspicious that madam was a fraud.
I'm pissed at the woman sleezy enough to do this to another human being and I'm pissed at the client who was gullible to a maddening degree.
When any of us go to a doctor or a counselor, it is usually because we are vulnerable to some extent. We have an ailment or a heartache perhaps, and need guidance. Although for sure there are quack doctors and counselors, there is at least a degree of assurance that the provider is licensed and certified and accountable to the state and other organizations. Some quacks get through, but most are dedicated professionals with expertise that comes from experience and training.
When a person seeks the non traditional services of a psychic, card reader, astrologer or other similar individual they have no degree of assurance that anyone is watching over the ethics of the professional. When the young man in the article found Madam Fortune (not her real moniker, I use that for every quack fortune teller I write about) he was at a truly low point in his life and very vulnerable to suggestion. Now I admit that what this young man really may have needed was a good friend to bitch slap him into tomorrow to knock some common sense into him, but for whatever reasons, in his deep depression and desperation, he chose Madam Fortune.
Some Tarot Readers may be certified by a tarot certification board (I am one who is certified and you may read more about that in my bio) but even with the certification, there is no one watching over me or any of us to make sure that we do the right thing. The certification is only an indicator that we are proficient with the cards and possibly belong to a network of other readers for professional comaraderie .
Most of the time, when a client requests my services it's because they want some clarity in regards to a particular issue. It can be a fun question, like future romances, or more practical questions relating to work or a painful breakup, etc. But in all cases, there is a need for an answer, some clarity, and to a degree, that makes them vulnerable. There is potential for them to be taken advantage of.
In choosing a tarot reader, just as you would choose a hairdresser, fitness guru, yoga isntructor, etc, etc, you need to do your homework. Learn as much about the individual as is possible. Referrals on a website don't mean a thing. Anyone can write bogus reviews on their own website. Are their fees for services in keeping with others in their field? If they cost too little, that's as big a red flag as if they charge too much.
Read everything about your tarot reader that is out there, all their online activity. Chances are they appear across various social media. In the case of a store front shop, you've got less advantage because it is often a spontaneous thing with less chance to do your homework. If you're on vacation, you may never see the psychic or reader again, which can be a fun aspect of the experience. But if this individual has an online presence, your can check out their online persona and how they interact with others. Read their blogs. Before requesting a reading don't be afraid to ask questions of them. Read their Code of Ethics, they need to have one.
Anyone of them who insists that you return regularly to follow up on your question is probably self-serving.
If anything, an ethical reader will discourage you from depending too much on the cards. If you keep going back to a reader with the same questions in hopes of hearing a different answer and your tarot reader doesn't call you on it, I will suggest that they are self-serving and you should consider finding a new reader.
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