Satan 5: Connect the Dots.

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There's a lot to be said about the importance of showmanship, but it’s not everything you require. If you are to become a true sorcerer, then you must possess a polymathic awareness of minutia from which you may draw at a moment's notice. There are several reasons that this is so.

The biggest reason is because the majority of sitters you'll deceive care for little else outside their own sphere of influence, and when they do give attention to anything other than themselves, they typically see only what’s an arm’s length in front of them. This means that when they seek your assistance in the role of mental masturbator or sighted prophet, you can use your vast knowledge to reveal unrealized patterns. Less-aware sitters will watch your performance and sincerely believe in your psychic abilities. More-aware sitters will think you worldly and appreciate the nuance and subtlety that you bring to the deception. Skeptical sitters will see you for who you are, but be thankful for the stimulating conversation.

I believe that finding patterns is possibly the very definition of what it means to be a fortune-teller. I see what does or doesn't fit. I identify who wants what, and quickly pare any situation down to its essentials. In time, so too will you develop the skill to discern hypocrisy and inconsistency. And with your knowledge and understanding of current events, local to international news, social dynamics, gender wars, political minefields, celebrity drama, and even health and science, you'll see what's invisible to others. Employ this awareness during a performance, and depending on your sitter's awareness you'll come out looking like the second coming of Nostradamus.

Although, having said all that, if you ever hope to move beyond mere showmanship and the cheapest variety of fortune-telling, you'll need to able to speak intelligently on a wide variety of topics. Although your sitters' concerns will typically be limited to a small category (work, money, love, relationships, and personal advice), the variety within those categories is enormous. Even if your sitters don't really believe that you have a sixth sense, they will still expect you to be more perceptive than themselves, and nothing will break their confidence faster than if you're unable to speak from at least a surface knowledge of their concerns. 

Other than ignorance of the sitters' concerns, the worst thing you can do is misinterpret your sitters' concerns. For example, female sitters will usually consult female fortune-tellers because they've learned from experience that male fortune-tellers are frequently ignorant of the realities within which most women exist. In this situation, if you are a warlock then it behooves you to be aware of issues that preoccupy the minds of women.

Beyond repetitive love and relationship questions—I promise you'll get very good at playing the love doctor in no time flat—you'll meet sitters from all social strata including business leaders, government officials, physicians, and more. The type of questions they ask will be routine, but because these questions originate from within their individual lives, the questions will be colored by their experiences. Even if you aren't a venture capitalist, you've still got to know the vocabulary of angel investors, raising working capital, fiscal years, first through fourth quarter, and the difference between short and long-term investment. 

If you’re a warlock, then it’s critically important to understand that a female sitter fears losing her independence, doesn't want to make a mistake on a relationship that could cost her reputation and dignity, wants to be judged for her whole self and not a single aspect, and frequently feels marginalized by her male colleagues. If you want to get a fast-track to understanding women, then watch romantic comedies every weekend for a few months. If you have eyes to see, then you’ll observe the same themes repeating in each movie. Hollywood isn’t a multi-billion dollar industry by accident, so believe me when I tell you that there’s a reason for the frequency of the same themes and types of characters in these movies.

Finally, you've got to maintain perspective. When you deceive a sitter, the quality of your performance will depend on your ability to show the sitter how he or she has failed to see beyond his or her own perspective. Some sitters won’t enjoy your efforts, but the majority of your sitters will appreciate you turning their attention toward their blind spots. Whether they’ll actually do anything about it is uncertain at best, but they’ll surely be grateful for your effort to temporarily transport them out of their limited circumstances.

For all these reasons, it's important for you the fortune-teller to curate a diverse reading list. Deepen your knowledge of your personal areas of expertise and absolutely indulge in what you love, but remember to play both sides and force yourself to read media produced by people with whom you disagree. This doesn't mean that you have to accept as true people and things that displease you, but it does mean you're doing yourself a disservice if you can't discuss their perspective. 

Blinding yourself to other perspectives is a fatal error that's only going to reinforce your own personal bias, carry into your performances, and directly impact whether your sitter becomes a customer for life or just has a good laugh at your expense.