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The Problem With Fortune-Telling

September 7, 2023 Insights
The Problem With Fortune-Telling

May, a professional astrologer, delves into the common misunderstandings people often have about the field of astrology. Upon revealing their profession, many equate astrologers with fortune-tellers. This prevalent cognitive distortion leads to several misconceptions and confusion about what astrologers truly do.

The Hollywood Image vs. Reality

The stereotypical image conjured when one thinks of fortune-telling often involves an individual being informed about every detail of their life, from birth to death – much like a captivating Hollywood film plot. However, how practical is such a reading? May argues that providing such a detailed roadmap is not only irrelevant for someone in the prime of their life but also lacks contextual significance. Without context, predicting future events can cause more harm than good, leading to unnecessary anxiety disorders or obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

The Pitfalls of Predictive Astrology

If an astrologer accurately predicts an event in a person’s life, such as a trip in November, what value does it truly hold for the client? The realization merely validates the astrologer’s abilities, much like looking into a crystal ball or reading tarot cards. Such predictions can, at times, reinforce a client’s low self-esteem or insecurities, especially if they center around negative outcomes.

The realm of astrology has been marred by opportunists who capitalize on individuals’ fears. For instance, knowing one is about to face a setback, some astrologers might encourage clients to buy certain objects, like a crystal or wooden horse, with promises of averting impending misfortune. This often leads to cognitive distortions and a misguided reliance on material objects for life’s challenges.

The Philosophical Dilemma

A significant point of contention arises when determining the malleability of the future. Can future events, once predicted, be altered? And if one acts to change a negative outcome based on a prediction, does it invalidate the initial forecast? Such questions lead to intricate philosophical debates that often leave individuals questioning the very essence of fortune.

Astrology: A Tool for Empowerment

Despite the challenges and misconceptions surrounding astrology, May emphasizes its empowering potential. Through astrology, one can gain insights into underlying issues affecting their performance in various life spheres. By focusing on the present and addressing the roots of current challenges, astrology provides a holistic approach to solving problems. For instance, if someone’s work performance is dwindling due to personal distress, tackling the root emotional issue can inadvertently address the professional concern.

Rather than acting as a mere fortune teller, a good astrologer helps clients align their decisions with their life goals. Predictions then serve not as rigid markers, but as flexible guidelines that aid informed decision-making.

Finding the Right Balance in Predictions

While May steers away from whole-life readings, he acknowledges the value of short-term predictions, particularly within a six-month timeframe. Such predictions are more actionable and relevant, providing clients with concrete steps to shape their immediate future. However, context remains paramount; understanding the reason behind seeking a prediction is crucial for its effectiveness.

Astrology Versus Fortune Telling: A Deeper Dive

Astrology and fortune telling have, for ages, been lumped into the same category by many, often misunderstood as mere attempts to predict the future. However, as the transcript from Mason’s video on the problem with fortune-telling suggests, there’s a deeper layer to understanding how these practices function, especially in the realm of predictive astrology.

The Psychological Element

It’s not uncommon for individuals to visit fortune tellers during times of uncertainty or personal turmoil. The same goes for astrologers. But what drives this need?

1. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders: Some people have a compulsive need to know the future due to underlying psychological conditions. Obsessive thoughts about future events, often driven by anxiety disorders, can push someone to constantly seek reassurance, even from fortune tellers or astrologers.

2. Cognitive Distortions: Humans are prone to cognitive distortions—ways our mind convinces us of a reality that isn’t accurate. An example of this is when someone believes that knowing a negative outcome in advance can help them prevent it, leading to an obsessive cycle of trying to predict every possible future scenario.

3. Seeking Control in Uncertainty: At the heart of many visits to an astrologer or fortune teller is a person’s desire to gain some control over their life. When unpredictable events shake our world, the idea of someone or something (like tarot cards or a crystal ball) offering insight becomes a tempting solution.

The Trap of Fortune Tellers and Predictive Tools

While fortune tellers might utilize tools like crystal balls or tarot cards, their approach can often feed into a person’s cognitive distortions.

1. The Validation Loop: When a prediction from a fortune teller or even an astrologer comes true, it can reinforce a person’s belief in their ability to accurately predict future events. This can lead to an over-reliance on such practices, ignoring the broader context of life.

2. The Dangers of Over-Prediction: Over-predicting can lead to a range of issues, from anxiety to substance use as a coping mechanism. It can even lead some down the path of gambling, thinking they can predict outcomes.

3. Self-esteem and Predictions: Relying heavily on fortune tellers or predictions can erode one’s self-esteem. If the predictions are negative, it can leave a person feeling powerless over their life, further deepening feelings of low self-esteem.

The Value of Context in Astrology

Unlike some forms of fortune telling, a skilled astrologer, like Mason, doesn’t just predict. They contextualize. They provide insights based on the current positioning of celestial bodies, offering a broader perspective. The future, after all, isn’t just a linear path from A to B. It’s shaped by past events, current decisions, and countless variables.

By focusing on the present context, astrologers can provide clarity on current challenges, which in turn can inform future decisions. Instead of predicting information with a strict outcome, they empower individuals to take control of their lives and shape their future based on informed insights.

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