Why People Become Addicted to Fortune Telling

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December 2, 2015

A Cuban woman consults her health problem with a fortune teller, practitioner of a Afro-Cuban religion, in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba, August 4, 2008. The Palo religion (Las Reglas de Congo) belongs to the group of syncretic religions which developed in Cuba amongst the black slaves, originally brought from Congo during the colonial period. Palo, having its roots in spiritual concepts of the indigenous people in Africa, worships the spirits and natural powers but can often give them faces and names known from the Christian dogma. Although there have been strong religious restrictions during the decades of the Cuban Revolution, the majority of Cubans still consult their problems with practitioners of some Afro Cuban religion.

We’ve all heard of Ms. Cleo and how she proclaimed to be able to tell the future. Many believed she was just a scam, but none-the-less found her to be quite entertaining, which garnered her a household name.

The idea of having someone who doesn’t have a clue of who you are, and can possibly predict what is going on in your life and how your future looks, is enough to drive people to the table for an interesting read, whether the results are on point or not. Vogue editor Patricia Garcia shared some pretty good stories of people (including herself) her turned to fortune tellers. One story of her friend Alyssa who visited a psychic just out of curiosity, and it turned out the reading was so accurate she kept coming back for more.

In the beginning, Alyssa only had readings every couple of months, mainly to get a sense of where her life was heading, explained Garcia. “At first it’s just fun to hear about yourself,” Alyssa said. But after a tough breakup, she found herself going back more and more. “I wanted answers on why things had happened and whether or not we were going to get back together.” When the psychic did not deliver promising news, she started seeing a few others to corroborate or “cross-check” her prediction. After a few years, Alyssa began dating someone new and her fortune-telling habit slowed. But after that relationship abruptly ended, she quickly sought out her tarot reader’s advice once again. “She told me there was a woman involved in his life,” she said. “So I’m pretty positive he was cheating on me.”

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