Palm Readers

I was wandering through Walsall the other day (don’t ask) when I noticed that in the middle of the weekend market there was a booth for Palm Reading. The sign promised a shockingly accurate telling of past, present and future by a true Romani.  This intrigued me though I couldn’t help but making the terrifying association with this woman:

Well, how can one resist? I’ve never had my palm read and I wondered how accurate she could be. There was also a cue building up of various women who all nodded in conclusion that this woman was “very good.”

I waited for what felt like and eternity before it was finally my turn to go in and see her. She was small woman, probably in her 70s with a table full of crystals and candles. She also had a small heater set up to keep her warm. She seemed nice and quoted me 15 pounds for a half reading and 25 for a full reading. I only had 15, so that was that.

She took my hand and placed a crystal orb on my palm. This effectively served as a magnifying glass (though cooler looking) as she scrutinized my wrinkles and creases.

The below is what the conversation looked like:

Lady: Which one of your parents do you not talk to often?

Me: (pauses)  I guess my dad

Lady: Well, you should call him.  He misses you.

Me: Ok. (FYI – my dad passed away eight years ago.  She didn’t pick up on this)

Lady:  You have a big fortune coming to you, but you’ll need to do lots of work first.  I see that you work with lots of papers. What do you do for work?

Me:  I work in film sales.

Lady: (not listening) I see lots of papers.

Me: Ok.

Lady: You have an ex boyfriend.

Me: Er, yes.

Lady:  He misses you and cares about you still.  He will call you and you will think about me being right.

Me: Ok. (We had actually been talking all week, but whatever).

Lady:  He was making promises to you that he didn’t keep.

Me: (No response.  This was not true)

Lady: Did he ever introduce you to his family?

Me:  Yes. I met his dad.

Lady: Did you ever introduce him to your family

Me.  No.

Lady:  That was very bad of you.

Me: …ok.

Lady: You need to stop flip flopping with your decisions.  You left school too early.  That was bad.

Me:  Oh?  (I completed my BFA in Film years ago.  I have no desire to go back).

Lady: Who has been talking to you about property?

Me:  No one.

Lady: You have been thinking about property.

Me:  (No I haven’t) sure.

Lady:  You won’t be at your flat for much longer.

Me: No (our break clause in our lease is up in January.  No surprises there).

Lady: You shouldn’t have so many people coming in and out of your flat

Me: ?

Lady: Men coming in and out is no way to find love

Me: (stunned silence)

Lady:  And stay away from married men.  If they have a ring on their finger it means ‘don’t touch’.

Me: Rings are bad.

Lady:  Is there another boy that you’re really good friends with?

Me: I guess my flatmate…

Lady:  He has deep feelings for you.  You be careful around him.

Me: Ok. (my flatmate and his lovely girlfriend live with me.  He’s more like a brother than anything.)

Lady: You should stop wearing such dark clothes.  They don’t suit your complexion. Pastels are nicer.

Me: …

Lady: You should call your parents more.  They miss you.

Me: Will do.

Lady:  One of your parents lost a relative really recently…

Me: Uh, I don’t think so.

Lady: No grandparents?

Me: They died at least ten years ago.

Lady: Ten years is still recent.  Their souls are still around.

Me: Ok.

Lady: I know you don’t think you’ll have kids and get married, but you will.  Your intentions are good, but you won’t be the nicest mother…

Me:…………

Lady:  You’re visiting Walsall.

Me: Uh huh.

Lady:  You’re visiting family.  They don’t want you to leave.

Me: (I was actually trying to research ancestors…so no, I wasn’t visiting anyone).

Lady: You drive?

Me:  Yes, but I haven’t for a long time.

Lady:  That is very bad of you.  You should take it up again.

Me: Ok

Lady:  You’ll be going overseas soon.

Me:  Yes

Lady:  You’ve been thinking about getting into law.

Me:  No.

Lady: I don’t mean being a police officer.  I mean being a lawyer.

Me:  No I haven’t.

Lady: (nodding) the gypsies see you getting into law.

Me: (no comment).

Lady: You shouldn’t cut your hair again.

Me: (stopped answering most of her questions)

This is where things naturally died down.  She mentioned that she has 4 houses.  I’m not surprised.

Everything that she said was based on what she saw in front of her: a 25 year old North American female.  From this one can assume that I have many questions about romantic partners, education and my career.  You can assume that I probably don’t see my family very often, that my grandparents are deceased, that I’ll be going overseas, that I’ve had at least one ex boyfriend and that I may or may not drive.

The things that she was specific about (like my apparent desire to be a lawyer) were completely wrong.  The closest thing I can associate this whole experience to is to being stuck in a one way conversation with that grandmother or aunt that no one likes because she’s really mean and judgemental.

I basically just paid 15 quid to an old lady to call me an uneducated whore and a bad daughter (and future bad mother).

Awesome.

T-FLY

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About adventuresintheoccult

Hello, my name is Thorn Globlinfly. I am the bringer of riches and wealth. I live in brambles and blackberry bushes. I am only seen at midday under a quiet, cloudless sky. I wear purple and green like berries and leaves. I have gentle green wings like a butterfly. I will also be looking at the Occult as a skeptic. Whee!
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6 Responses to Palm Readers

  1. Dragonknight Witchman says:

    Good job remaining calm and recalling everything you can from the “reading”, (when “making shit up” became “reading” I don’t know). I have a couple of booklets on mentalism, which is mind reading for magic tricks. A lot of the questions she focuses on are highlighted in a survey of people who were asked what were the key 5 questions in their lives. In your age group she pretty much stuck to script… of course I also love how whenever you pointed out that she was wrong she informed you that actually you were wrong because “the gypsies” see you doing it.

  2. She Who Knows says:

    Great Post. Thanks for making my work day pass a little faster…

  3. Lisa A. says:

    I’m a Roma woman. I can assure you. If she advertised as being Romani, she probably was not. That is not something we ever do with businesses. In fact, it is only a very small minority of the Kalderash vitsa (tribe) that practice readings & fortune tellings, and the trade is dying. The chances that you would walk into such a business truly owned and operated by Romani is very small. Most of these are owned by gadje (non-Romani people).
    We very rarely openly discuss our ethnicity. Plastering it on a sign is a big no-no for us.

  4. Lisa A. says:

    P.S. I am confused about the title of this blog “Adventures in the Occult” & it’s relation to this post. Most Romani are Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or Muslim. Our ancestors were Hindu, as we migrated from India to Europe over 1000 years ago. We are not and have never been, as a people, Pagan, Wiccan, or involved in the Occult. We do not practice magic, nor do we cast spells on people. Some knuckle-head gadje misinterpreted our language and skills such as palm reading centuries ago & the stereotype stuck, but it’s wrong. Just want to clarify that to people.

    • Hi Lisa,

      Thank you for clarifying. It’s interesting how it has stuck as a stereotype, especially in Hollywood. Films like Drag me to Hell is a prime example of pop culture depicting the Romani culture as having supernatural abilities.

      The blog is an exploration of practices, beliefs and actions considered to be “occult” (Occult generally means “hidden” and has taken on a more sinister connotation in recent history).

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