Do you check your horoscope? Or have a lucky charm? Or ever wonder why hockey teams don’t shave during playoff season? These are just a small selection of ways we as humans have tried to predict or control future events or attempted to learn more about ourselves.
I must admit to checking my horoscope when I notice it in a newspaper or magazine, and though even the most ardent practitioner of the arcane arts would say that such things are too general; there have been times when it was more than surprisingly accurate. Almost anyone can tell you what their ‘sign’ is in Western astrology but fewer would be able to tell you why. Most astrology is based on the placement of the constellations and planets during the moment of your birth. Humans have been looking up into the stars since the dawn of time and using them to predict events; throughout history most rulers kept at least one court astrologer. The ushering in the Year of the Pig earlier in the month during the Chinese New Year celebrations was celebrated by nearly one fifth of the world’s population, which is based on a different set of rules for interpreting the heavens. Vedic, also known as Hindu, astrology also has nearly a billion followers and yet another set of interpretations. If you are interested in learning more about discovering different forms of astrology, the library has a great selection of books including, The Secret Language of Astrology: the illustrated key to unlocking the secrets of the Stars by Roy Gillett.
If astrology doesn’t speak to you, then perhaps you can find your fortune in reading the Tarot. A standard deck has 78 cards, each of which has a specific meaning. Any modern deck of cards is derived from the minor arcana from a tarot deck, so when you play poker or solitaire you are really engaging in a centuries old tradition. Today there are decks of every shape and variety to suite your own taste; I recently ordered a Game of Thrones deck as a birthday gift for a friend but rules for interpreting the cards are the same. Brodie Resource Library has a three volume, Encyclopedia of Tarot for the true devotee but there are a number of fun books to get you started including Tarot for Teens by M.J. Abadie.
There is an old saying about knowing something “like the back of your hand,” which actually is referring to the art of palmistry. While fads of reading the lumps on one’s head, “Phrenology,” or the shape of a person’s face, “craniometry,” seemed to occur after the Victorian age, the study of palmistry, or the study of the lines on a hand, has been recorded in history for several thousand years. Beginning in Asia, palmistry has spread throughout the world, so a good starter filled with the basics is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Palmistry by Robert Gile and Lisa Lenard.
Besides these there are hundreds of methods to explore the unknown and perhaps increase your luck, including Numerology, working with Crystals, casting Runes, re-arranging your home and life according to the rules of Feng Shui, and Tea Leaf Reading. The library carries books on all these topics and many more as well. It is not surprising given the anxiety in the modern world that there has been an upswing of interest in all forms of ‘fortune-telling’, both for fun and for profit.
For a sampler study in the mystical arts, the Mary J L Black Library is presenting “Mystic Musings with Katherine Keeping” on Tuesdays this spring. Katherine will be looking at tea leaf reading, and working with Tarot for more information check out the online TBPL library events calendar or give MJLB a call at 807-345-8275, extension 7300.
Lori Kauzlarick- www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!