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Fortune Telling

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A. Basic Information

Fortune-telling has been practiced for millennia. Humans have always yearned to know what the future has in store for us. Who doesn’t want a glimpse — even if only for a few moments — of the cosmic plan to see if our destiny lies in riches or ruin?

Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person’s life, often commercially. It is a form of superstition. Its roots can be traced back to ancient times (http://rationalwiki.org/wiki).

The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination. The difference is that divination is the term used for predictions considered part of a religious ritual, invoking deities or spirits, while the term fortune-telling implies a less serious or formal setting, even one of popular culture, where belief in occult workings behind the prediction is less prominent than the concept of suggestion, spiritual or practical advisory or affirmation. Historically, fortune-telling grows out of folkloristic reception of Renaissance Magic specifically associated with gypsies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki). B. Where Did Fortune Telling Originate?

When early humans began gathering in groups, these groups had shamans with uniquely individual forms of divination. . The Chinese, Aztecs, Vikings, and others had wise men who made predictions with fortune-telling tools (http://www.ehow.com/facts).

C. Types

There are many types of fortune-telling tools, including astrology, runes, tarot cards, and clairvoyance. Other types range from necromancy to seances (the most well-known example) to palmistry.

D. Typical clients

In 1982, Danny Jorgensen, a professor of Religious Studies at the University of South Florida offered a spiritual explanation for the popularity of fortune-telling. He said that people visit psychics or fortune-tellers to gain self-understanding and knowledge which will lead to personal power or success in some aspect of life.

In 1995, Ken Feingold offered a different explanation for why people seek out fortune-tellers:

“We desire to know other people’s actions and to resolve our own conflicts regarding decisions to be made and our participation in social groups and economies. … Divination seems to have emerged from our knowing the inevitability of death. The idea is clear—we know that our time is limited and that we want things in our lives to happen in accord with our wishes. Realizing that our wishes have little power, we have sought technologies for gaining knowledge of the future…gain power over our own lives.”

E. Free will vs. determinism

Many people who believe in fortune-telling do not realize that if they are right, they have answered one of the fundamental questions in philosophy, that of free will vs. determinism. Most people would prefer to believe that they control their own actions and make their own decisions in life; but anyone’s ability to know the future proves them wrong. Either there is “a future” to know (or at least glimpse knowledge of) — and therefore our future is predetermined, or the future is unknowable and uncertain. Logically, you can’t control your own destiny if the future is knowable.

Ultimately, the reasons a person consults a diviner or fortune teller are mediated by cultural expectations and by personal desires, and until a statistically rigorous study of the phenomenon have been conducted, the question of why people consult fortune-tellers is wide open for opinion-making.

This group hopes to understand more the concept or idea of fortune-telling and its impact to the so called “believers” based on the point of view of the fortune-teller.


1.Tell us about your personal information.

a. Your name
b. Age
c. Civil Status
d. Number of children
e. Your address

2.How many years have you been doing fortune telling?

3.Is this your only source of income?

4.Where have you learned fortune telling?

5.Do you have basis in foretelling the future? Did you formally study it?

6.When did you realize that you have the skill in fortune-telling particularly in palm reading and card reading?

7. Is your belief one of your bases? your religion?

8.Do you believe in God? Do you pray?

9.Personally, do you really believe that what you have seen in the palm or read in the cards will really happen? Are you certain of the things you see in the future?

10.If the things you foretold will not happen, does this mean you failed?

11.Do you think fortune-telling has relevance / significance to a certain person? to the society?

12.Do you think fortune telling is helpful to us? in our religion?

Note: All responses can be found in the attached CD showing the group’s actual interview with the subject.


Subject’s Name: McNeil Pitalcorin


Age : 34 years old

Address : Davao City

Religion: None in particular

Family Background : He has a common law wife. They have 10 children.


He began fortune-telling in Manila. He reads palms and do card reading for his clients. He claims that he can tell the attitude, work or career opportunities, luck in love and personal progress of a person. He has been doing this profession for two years in Butuan City and Davao City. He is performing fortune telling at the front of San Pedro Church and Sangguniang Panlungsod Bldg. in Davao City.

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