Lucifer 13: Shut Up and Take my Money!

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There are a lot of things I enjoy about being a fortune-teller, but if I'm going to be honest with you I've got to say that the my absolute favorite part of it is the money and the honest truth is that if there was no money in it I wouldn’t be as interested. What can I say? I’m strongly motivated by material rewards.

But among ethically-minded fortune-tellers who allow themselves to be bothered by such concerns, there's always the worry either that they're taking money from sitters for the wrong reason, or that they shouldn't be taking their sitters' money at all. Hand-wringing critics who worry that their sitters will make irresponsible decisions would have you believe that you shouldn't be a fortune-teller at all, and that people who seek the deception of a fortune-teller should instead be steered toward counselors and other professionals.

I say that unless those critics of fortune-telling are going to pay my bills, feed my family, put clothes on my back, and keep my lights turned on, they can shut their mouths. In an ideal world, everybody would have access to fresh air, clean water, arable land, and free high-speed wi-fi; however, we don't live in an ideal world. The world in which all of us live is now and probably will always be marked by varying degrees of inequality, injustice, and ignorance. I'm not saying that I enjoy living in such a world—because I don't—but I am saying that this is the truth of our reality.

As an extension of this truth, I perceive humans as no different (and sometimes worse) than other animals, and no matter the paved streets, power grids, city plumbing, or factory farming, I am still an animal in a jungle. Though I wear slacks and collared shirts, I have a mane. Though I pour water from a tap and cook food at a stove, I still hunt. Though I earn money, I still devour. My prey is not a cunning beast, but a willing sitter who desires that I capture him or her and eat his or her money alive in exchange for temporary deception. 

Actors and actresses have learned that there is power in the performance of stories, and owing to their audience's beliefs in storytelling survive by way of their dramatic abilities. Priests have learned that there is power in the pretense of divine communication, and for that reason survive by way of collecting tithes from their congregations. And fortune-tellers have learned that there is power in the performance of fortune-telling owing to their sitters' belief in divination.

Countless numbers of people have sought, are seeking, and will continue to seek the services of fortune-tellers not just because of their own belief in fantasy, but also because of others' belief in fantasy. This belief holds immense power, and though any of them could tell you that fortune-telling is of course bogus—when was the last time a fortune-teller won the lottery?—they dare not shine a glaring light on this dark illusion. To do so would not only deprive them of the much needed purgative services of a fortune-teller, but it would also be an affront to the culture in which they were raised. Their parents, grand-parents, great-grand-parents, and even more going back as far as anybody can imagine have very nearly all either tolerated or used fortune-telling. 

To deny a commonly held cultural belief is the highest form of blasphemy. The power of cultural myths enables the fantasy of fortune-telling. No matter what you think about fortune-tellers, the truth is that untold numbers of people are devoted to supporting belief in divination, and if I don't accept their money, they'll seek the services of another fortune-teller who will. 

I am responsible for my own survival, and as the god of my own heaven or hell, I am also responsible for providing food and shelter for those deserving of my love and support. I'm using all the skills, knowledge, and abilities at my disposal to survive and capitalize on the opportunities presented to me. You may not like the fact that I'm an honest entertainer willing to play the role of a fortune-teller, but the world is what it is, I am who I am, and you are who you are. Don't delude yourself into thinking otherwise.