Fortune-telling, the prediction of future events or the characterization of character using procedures that are not normally thought to have a rational basis. As early as 4000 BCE, evidence suggests that fortune-telling was performed in ancient China, Egypt, Chaldea, and Babylonia. In ancient religion and medicine, prophetic dreams and oracular utterances were extremely important. For millennia, people have been telling fortunes. Humans have always been curious in what the future holds for us.
The scope of fortune-telling is in theory the same as that of divination. The difference is that divination refers to predictions made as part of a religious ritual invoking deities or spirits, whereas fortune-telling refers to a less serious or formal setting even one in popular culture, where the concept of suggestion, spiritual or practical advisory or affirmation takes precedence over belief in occult workings behind the prediction. Fortune-telling has its roots in the folkloristic reception of Renaissance magic which is particularly linked with gypsies.
Astromancy, horary astrology, pendulum reading, spirit board reading, tasseo-graphy (reading tea leaves in a cup), carto-mancy (fortune telling with cards), tarot card reading, crystallomancy (reading of a crystal sphere) and chiromancy are all common methods for fortune telling in Europe and the Americas (palmistry, reading of the palms). The last three have long been associated with the Roma and Sinti people in popular culture.
Another type of fortune telling, known as "reading" or "spiritual consultation," relies on the practitioner giving the client advice and predictions that are supposed to have originated from spirits or visions rather than using specific apparatus or methodologies.
Fortunetelling is not the same as spirit mediumship and involves coin tossing, drawing lines, annotating charts, palm or face readings and relying on lunar calendars to help people "assess compatibility" with a potential spouse or decide whether to take a new job or move to a new house.
"Its mostly used as a decision-making tool for major life events," Matthews remarked. The majority of fortunetellers are men and the popularity of the practice in cities is boosting demand for quick online services.
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