Lucifer 9: Know Thyself.

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It's not enough for me to understand why I want something—I want to understand where the "want" comes from. As I peel back layer after layer of my personality, I find astonishing things. For example, something I learned about myself is that I have a fetish for knowing other people's intimate affairs. I enjoy learning other people's secrets because it makes me feel superior to them. It's a power trip to feel like I'm the only one who can fix their problems because I get to see how they live and briefly participate in their lurid fantasies.

Yes, it's somewhat depraved, but if I'm going to be honest with myself I have to admit that access to other people's secret faces and the ego trip of being asked to fix their shameful problems is a big part of the attraction. This kind of self-knowledge is something that's made my life not only much less stressful, but much more enjoyable. If I've learned anything from peering into others’ lives, it's that guilty secrets are the worst secrets. That's why I don't keep guilty secrets—I either share them with a rapt audience, or I keep them to myself and eliminate the cause for guilt. Either way, problem solved!

If you're going to be a successful fortune-teller, you must acknowledge the reality of what it means to be human: imperfect, hungry, passionate, and frequently tortured. If you can't or won't acknowledge the the real reason that you’re drawn to fortune-telling, then you're deceiving yourself and that's not a good look for anybody who would use lesser magic to his or her advantage.

There are more noble-minded people than myself who say that fortune-telling can be a productive tool for healing, and perhaps so—I don't dispute that there is power in the ritualized use of Tarot—but if fortune-tellers would be honest with themselves and step outside of the unexamined bubble in which they reside they'd have to confront the fact that fortune-telling is often no better (and sometimes worse) than one's own personal opinion. And for a fortune-teller who fancies him or herself a divine healer, the realization that he or she is frequently leading people in the wrong direction is crushing. 

But if these fortune-tellers could admit at least to themselves that they aren't divine healers or psychic doctors but simply entertainers who aren't responsible for how their duly advised sitters use their services, their lives would instantly become more satisfying. Some of these fortune-tellers are already self-aware of this fact but won't accept it because they believe that their sitters would abandon them, but their fear is baseless: the people who pay money to have their fortunes told will at best understand and accept the warning, or deliberately disbelieve even the most overt declarations that the service is for entertainment only.

Yes, there are laws which prohibit anybody from giving legal, medical, and financial advice, but these laws aren't specifically for fortune-tellers—they're for everybody. So as long as you respect the rule of law and let your sitters make an informed choice, then it's only your sitters' fault if they make life decisions based on what you said during an entertaining performance. Isn't that liberating?

So whether you're new to fortune-telling or you've been around for awhile, at least have the decency to be honest with yourself about why you want to be a fortune-teller. If you dig sufficiently deep and for a sufficient duration of time, I'm certain you're going to find an explanation that you didn't know was there. Once you find and truly understand your motivation to temporarily deceive both yourself and others, it'll open a whole new perspective, and one that you'll be very glad you found!