black witch: “faker faker – how to spot a con”

July 8, 2011

This mini guide is basically for those who want to seek out a psychic parlor to get a reading and not want to be jipped. I made these tips when I was the president of my university’s Pagan Student Union. Now while I do personally suggest people simply learning divination on their own since it’s a lot cheaper and not that difficult, some folks would like to still go to a diviner for guidance. Here are the tips.

Words by Black Witch

Faker faker #1: Conduct of diviner
Does the diviner act like a normal person or a car salesman desperate to make a deal? Some cons will bear down on you like a hawk or even try to give you some info about yourself that you probably already knew or that you gave away. For example, she may note that you’re a traveler or a big spender. You may think that’s novel but you could be using a very fancy and expensive phone or letting off that you like to be adventurous. A diviner is a normal person, just like you, and should act so. If they act the least bit odd, walk out.

Faker faker #2: You seem to have to keep paying for more information
You originally walked in for a mini tarot reading for $5 and now you got yourself a full tarot reading with a special palm love reading, astrology job reading, a special good luck kit and what the weather is going to look like in the next month before you head to Sri Lanka, though you have no travel plans whatsoever. Total: $350 and counting. A diviner shouldn’t be pressuring you to pay for more than what you want. Sometimes you just have to be assertive and tell them that you just want the reading you asked for and that’s it but they will try to lure you with cliffhangers (“Oh! But I see this mysterious someone that could be coming into your life. S/he may be the one maybe, I could look further with a palm reading—but that’s aside the point…”); don’t take them. It’s just more sensationalism to get you out your money. A good diviner usually does a reading without side commentary. All divination is, honestly, is to give sound advice. Nothing outrageous, just normal advice.

Faker faker #3: Gotta give up something “Cursed”
Somebody you love or you are gonna die! Quick! Fork over that heirloom diamond ring your mother passed down to you — It’s cursed! Seems like the pricier it is, the more cursed it is. Capitalism sure can be a downer sometimes. However, be rest assured that most likely the stuff you own doesn’t have a hateful spirit or something bound to it. If the diviner is trying to give you a serious scare story for something in particular, chances are it’s expensive and can be pawned for a lot of money. I think you should call the cops on this one, this is racketeering.

Faker faker #4: Tricked into casting a spell/you’re “cursed”
Your ancestors somehow slapped Abe Lincoln and stomped on a dodo, now you’re paying the price as their kin. To correct the past, you have to buy $400 leather shoes from Nordstrom (can’t be from anywhere else), spit in them every day at 4 AM for a week and bathe in lye for a month. If what they ask you to do sounds against your religious beliefs, downright insane, illegal or something you would laugh at someone else for doing, you shouldn’t do it either. They’re pumping money out of you somehow and screwing you over in the process. The truth: Most people aren’t cursed, just a run of bad luck. People don’t really jinx each other that much. If the diviner says you’re cursed and want you to do unethical and pricy stuff to nix it, you’re probably not. Proceed with running and calling cops.

I’m not sure if many, if any, saw the old website or even read that part (it was all super glitchy) so I figured why not put it up here where it can be seen more? I wrote this after teaching Divination 101 classes for PSU after talking about it as a whole and noticing a lot of people have no exact clue how not to get hoodwinked.

In addition, I had on the “Truths and Myths about Pagans” page a small FAQ about diviners:

Firstly, I personally can see how divination can be turned into a cash cow. All you need is something people can’t entirely explain but believe works, desperate folks in need of guidance and those same people to have nice amounts of money (gullibility works fine too) and then you have religion—I mean a cash cow.

There are cons in pretty much any field. Quack doctors, lawyers, priests, scientists—you name it, someone did it. Divination is no different and there’s plenty about. Cons, like Ms. Cleo, usually prey on people who they believe are in so much distraught they don’t think sensibly about the advice they’re given or money they’re about to fork over. Often a con uses what they see, what you say and fear tactics (“oh, so and so is going to die if you don’t…”) to get your cash.

So there you have it, a mini-guide on how to get your divination done and not to have your pockets done in. I still recommend my readers to learn divination themselves but if you don’t want to, at least now, there is a guide that can tell you what to look for and what not to go for. I’ve never gotten a reading in a psychic parlour before – I’ve been in them but mainly to mess with the pseudo-diviners for kicks – but many I know have and it’s unbelievable – and downright funny for some of them – how they got the wool put over their eyes and so soundly at that. Still got questions? Just throw them in the comments or email me (thisblackwitch@hotmail.com) or fill out an Ask Black Witch form or any other way to talk to me. As always, I answer them all.

Tommorow is two things: The Black Weblog Awards live ceremony (which, sadly I won’t be physically there for, but electronically through Skype) which will be broadcasted at the Black Weblog Awards site and the pre-orders for this blog’s very first book Black Witch: Life from the Black Pagan Perspective, vol. 1 starts. The book will drop on Sept. 9th through Lulu publishing so if you want to pre-order, go to the Black Witch Shoppe page for info.

Oh and if you wanna get on the bus to the Afro-Punk Festival, AP Member Faraji Toure still has his Kickstarter going to get a nice big bus to go to the Afro-Punk Festival. Here’s the Kickstarter so kick it and get going!