Satan 10: Fortune-Tellers Will Never be Out of a Job.

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If you choose to make your skills as a fortune-teller known, then you'll never be out of a job for the sole reason that the occult's taboo reputation is the best advertising you'll never need to buy. A listing in the phone book, an appropriately placed website, and word of mouth will be all the bait you need to get sitters to break down your door and throw money at you.

But don't assume that this means you can get away with looking and behaving just like your sitters. To neglect your costuming and make-up would disarm you of your greatest weapon: your strangeness. It is commonly accepted knowledge that normal people can't do anything special, because the chains of normality have firmly convinced the majority of people that true magic exists only in the margins of society. And perhaps they're right—who ever became a skilled magician by living a normal life?

All the same, this popularly held belief must be used to your advantage, and like it or not but the margins of polite society where the Devil walks secret circles are frequently painted with racist and culturalist myths. For many people, all Native Americans are secret shamans, anybody from Japan is a secret samurai, any dark-skinned person from the entire continent of Africa is a secret witch-doctor, every Muslim is a secret jihadist, and anybody who could possibly have the power to tell fortunes must be an outsider.

There are people who wouldn't have it any other way, and I know this to be true from years of experience. The single most memorable encounter was with a man who wanted to know if I was Roma, Ojibway, or from India. He didn't come right out and say it, but he was looking for somebody born into a magic bloodline. In his mind, white guys like me aren't good enough because only a noble savage could provide the magic he needed. If these misconceptions are things you want to dismantle, then do so, but if the performance has already begun then you shouldn't make any effort to counter your sitters’ misconceptions because you're essentially insulting them and refusing to purge them of the unwanted burden of both their anxiety and their money.

What this means for the fortune-teller is that to provide the most entertaining performance you must not only maintain an elaborate ritual chamber in which your deception will take place, but you must also dress and act as somebody who lives on the margins. Your sitters require that you not only provide the taboo through fortune-telling, you must also be taboo through your dress and manners: exotic tattoos, unusual hairstyles, striking attire, and an affected accent (if it can be done without being pretentious) will all work in your favor. 

If you're a Roma, then ham it up as a stereotyped traveler. If you're Chinese, then work it like you're Lao Tzu. If you're Hatian, draw some inspiration from Marie Laveau. Or if you're a a generic white guy like me, then follow in the aesthetic foot-steps of Aleister Crowley or Anton LaVey. If you don't channel your most natural outsider archetype, you're giving up the greatest part of your power. You owe it to your sitters to put on the best performance you can using all the tools that are available to you, but also to yourself to just have fun and keep a sense of humor about who you are and what you're doing. 

Your sitters desperately need your assistance to purge themselves of stress, fear, and anxiety, and for many sitters this is more easily and less expensively achieved through you than through self-medication with stimulants and depressants, sexual misadventures, or violence and lawlessness. For your sitters, a brief adventure into a future fantasy with a fortune-teller on the margins of society is the fastest and most convenient way remedy the fear and stress of present reality.

For these reasons, there will always be a demand for fortune-tellers, and not just because the need for magic and psychodrama is a part of human nature, but because the taboo will never go out of style. Make use of your sitters' taboos—not only will they thank you for it, but they'll insist on paying for it, too.