Publicity Stories #5 ~ Radio & TV

I was first interviewed on radio in 1986, a few years prior to the Village Voice feature. WNYC Radio asked me to explain palmistry to their listeners for thirty minutes. I was nervous, but knowing I wouldn’t be seen alleviated my biggest fears. As an NPR affiliate, WNYC generated interest in Boston, Chicago, Albuquerque, Houston, and other cities.

frankie-boyerI’ve had many radio interviews since WNYC. One challenge is that if you have nothing to sell, there’s no way to make $. Even if you have something of value, a lot of people must see it and recognize you. I was interviewed by Frankie Boyer numerous times. Frankie promoted my book during the show. It didn’t translate into book sales. I believed Frankie was the perfect venue for me: syndicated in thirty major cities, Frankie interviewed Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dwyer, John Gray, Dr. Oz, Suzanne Somers, and other thought leaders. Her listeners seemed perfect for palmistry and me. I was wrong. I mostly got inquiries from other media looking for stories. My publicist friend who introduced me to Frankie told me it can take as many as fifty radio interviews before listeners respond.

patti-canovaI prefer smaller venues. My all-time favorite tarot teacher and friend, Patti Canova, hosts a radio show she calls ‘Got a Lite’. How many people are actually listening is hard to know, but shows are recorded and archived online, so fans and friends can hear them anytime. I’ve been on Patti’s show several times. She’s got a loyal following. When Patti says, “Mark is great” or “You need to go see this man”, listeners listen. I got friend requests, likes, follows, links, shares, and a few readings from being on her show. Link to my first show.

anthony-piccoI was interviewed for ninety minutes on a show called ‘Cosmic Tuesdays’ that airs on Monday nights. Anthony Picco, a knowledgeable astrologer with a personable interviewing style, blends the esoteric with the practical in the electronic ether for an earful. Link

bliem-kernTV intimidates me. Appearing on screens has its drawbacks. Viewers can see your awkwardness and self-consciousness. Mistakes are permanent and not easily forgotten (mostly by you). Watching yourself afterwards is sobering. “If only I had done or not done…” I spent my first hour on TV with Bliem Kern on ‘Satellite Psychic’. Bliem’s quirky humor and casual informative style made it easy for me to be myself. We joyfully shared our metaphysical ideas and experience on the air.

 

patti-davisBack in 1994, I read Patti Davis on Lifetime TV, on the same day she came out on the cover of Playboy magazine. We sat apart in ‘the green room’, waiting to go on the show. A frustrated stylist was unsuccessfully trying to put makeup on me while Patti was ignoring me. When the producer walked in, she introduced us. “Patti, I want you to meet Mark. He’ll be reading your hands on the show.” Instantly, Patti was kneeling beside me with her hands in my face. “My family loves this stuff!” We talked about what it was like living with Ron and Nancy Reagan. The first thing the two chatty hosts asked me, “Well Mark, what’s in Patti’s hands that we haven’t already seen?” They made jokes about everything I said. By the middle of the show, I regretted doing it, though I was glad to have met and read Patti.

guru-of-garbageI’d never merged design with metaphysics before now. Combining them turned out better than expected. I was the “Guru of Garbage” on Fox ‘Good Day New York’ and a successful industrial eco-designer who creates new products from recycled materials on Japanese WOWOW TV. My esoteric and environmental worlds were beginning to morph into a new physical and metaphysical awareness.

mark-martha

Martha Stewart threw an exclusive millennium party at the ‘Four Seasons’ in NYC for celebrities, super stars, and other notables. The theme was metaphysics and Martha’s guests could have quickie counseling sessions with master astrologers, palmists, and tarot readers. I got to read the hands of some of my favorite personal heroes. The other palmist and several other readers had published many more books than me, but I had the longest line of celebrities waiting for their reflections.

Martha’s producer called me later to schedule a palmistry segment for CBS ‘Martha Stewart Living’ for April 2001. Martha’s TV studio had state of the art technology, great food, and a lot of hip well paid young professionals running around making sure all things are perfect at all times. I’d heard Martha was a cold task-master, but in person, she was charming and gracious. She has high expectations and truly wants to offer her viewers the most elegant and sensible solutions to whatever crafts, activities, and challenges she’s choosing to illuminate at the moment. In hindsight, I wished I’d done a better job explaining palmistry to her viewers. You can read more about my reading of Martha’s hands here and watch my favorite minute of my segment on her show here.

mark-meredith-joy-debbie-and-star

After appearing on Martha’s show, I was nervous that people would recognize me on the street. Fortunately, I don’t think many New Yorkers watch her show. The next call I got was from the producer of ABC ‘The View’. She was planning ‘The View from Beyond’ and was lining up a week’s worth of the best esoteric readers she could find. She wanted me to be the guest palmist and promised that I could present palmistry in whatever way I chose. My problem was that while Martha Stewart’s show was taped and edited, ‘The View’ was live. I could be put on the defensive or get stuck with an awkward question I couldn’t answer and be embarrassed. She assured me the show would go smoothly. It actually went really well until Star Jones inadvertently put me on the defensive. “Well Mark; tell me something the audience doesn’t know about me.” Click here to see the look in her eyes as I respond to her question.

I’d never watched ‘Martha Stewart Living’ or ‘The View’ before they called me. I had no idea how many people watched those shows, but assumed the largest audiences for daytime network TV were suburban housewives and unemployed people. Many more strangers recognized me from my appearance on ‘The View’ than from Martha’s show.

mark-joanna-and-cassie-as-a-newborn2The next call I received was from a producer at AOL in collaboration with Huffington Post. They produced a popular video series called ‘You’ve Got’ which was promoted on AOL. A substantial crew of videographers, lighting experts, and stylists showed up at our little east village apartment with a ton of video equipment. A whole afternoon was spent shooting a 2 ½ minute segment entitled ‘You’ve Got Mark Seltman and Joanna Brotman’. The video was all about how I chose to marry Joanna because of her hands and how reading hands has affected our marriage. This short segment got well over a million views within hours of posting.

Since that time, I’ve been approached by a variety of Cable TV producers with reality TV show ideas. I haven’t said ‘yes’ to anything. I do believe the timing is right for the right metaphysical show. Everyone is searching for answers and many people are turning to metaphysics with questions.  I’d love to participate in something meaningful, but everything I’ve seen so far has been more like a ‘circus’ or ‘dog and pony show’. I have no desire to become the Jerry Springer or Maury Povich of metaphysics.

Publicity Stories #4 ~ Books

Since I began practicing palmistry professionally in the late ‘70’s, people have asked, “Have you written a book?” or “Why haven’t you written a book?” or “When are you going to write your book?” or “How can I learn to read hands?” I’d reply, “I’m working on it”. I had no interest in writing another palmistry cookbook, wasting trees, or ending up on some obscure bottom shelf in bookstores along with the worst selling astrology, tarot, and occult divination books. In my opinion, the literature of palmistry is the number one reason palmistry is misunderstood and unpopular. I’ve read almost everything ever written on the subject. I can think of one palmistry book that was actually fun to read ‘Confessions: Memoirs of a Modern Seer’ (collection of sensational personal palmistry stories). Not a ‘how to’ book, Cheiro’s melodramatic content and theatrical writing style made it impossible to navigate the blurry boundaries between truth and fiction.

your-life-is-in-your-hands-copy

Reading Cheiro inspired me to write ‘Your Life is in Your Hands’ in 1990. I decided to share my personal experience as an expert palmist and throw in enough ‘how to’ to inspire readers to want to learn more. I printed a few hundred copies and gave them to friends, family, and peers in the metaphysical world. My creation received plenty of praise, along with a healthy dose of criticism. Readers were excited to learn more about their hands, but confused about what to do next. I know from personal experience that it’s easier to learn from teachers than books. I had no desire to teach again. I decided to let go of writing books until I could figure out how to do it better.

Most palmistry books are cookbooks full of unrelated ingredients and unreliable recipes passed down for generations. The illustrations and the content are an unappetizing smorgasbord of poorly mixed details. This detail means this and that detail means that. The truth is that every detail must be examined in the context of the whole and all other details at the same time. All questions are in every detail and all details are in every answer. The danger in interpreting details out of context is in substituting one form of pre-determinism for another by reducing individuality to formulas. Sadly, that’s why so many palmistry books are like junk food for the mind.

In fairness to some modern palmistry authors, there are a few books I recommend. I devoted this blog post to the subject. I’m adding the science of fingerprints. ‘Life Prints’ by Richard Unger and other books by dermatoglyphic protégé’s are among the only original palmistry thinking in the past century. The most recent book I read was ‘The Art and Science of Hand Reading’ by Ellen Goldberg & Dorian Bergen. It’s the best “William Benham” upgrade I’ve come across. It’s fun to read if you love reading encyclopedias. As a textbook, it should be required reading for all western palmistry students.

Over the years, free-lance authors asked me to co-author esoteric books with them. I declined because I never felt the right chemistry with anyone. I’m happy to contribute to someone’s effort, but not to their speculation. I take my own calculated risks. When I examined Maurice Sendak’s hands, I asked him if he’d like to collaborate with me on a children’s palmistry book. I knew it would be an automatic winner. I visualized palmistry as finally out of the closet and seen as a valid portal to self and other. He declined, saying it was an interesting idea, but he was too old to work on anyone else’s project.

I’d been in books before like “Who’s who in the East” (for my industrial design work) where publishers honor you, and then encourage you to purchase expensive beautifully bound books and give them to your family, friends, and for promotional purposes. It’s risk free for them and very profitable when you pay to play.

psychic-ny

It wasn’t until 1995 when I met Patricia Collins that I decided to be featured in a book again. Patricia was searching for the best esoteric readers in NYC. I was one of them. I recommended several friends, peers, and colleagues who are also in the book. Most major players know each other as metaphysics is a small world. Local books are best for local business, like newspapers and magazines. They generally have a shelf life of a year or two. You’ll find them on Amazon after that. If the content and artwork is laudable, you can increase your shelf life by speaking and promoting yourself on social networks.

I got a lot of calls from ‘Psychic New York’ the first year and still get occasional calls twenty years later. Although my prices have doubled, no one questions my cost.
esoteric-guide-to-ny

In 2002, I was interviewed by another New York author. ‘Esoteric Guide to New York’ was similar to ‘Psychic New York’ with more new age practitioners and shorter blurbs. I liked my write-up. They called me “The Mozart of palm readers”. I got a lot of business from that venue and still get sporadic readings from infrequent queries, although I get more from ‘Psychic New York’, even though it’s even more dated.

The 100 Top Psychics and Astrolgers in America

Many authors self-appoint themselves as experts and talented researchers. We assume that if it looks valid in print, it probably is. That’s not true. I believe the goal of this author was to find 100 popular readers with enough of a following that the author could sell an additional 10,000 books. She assumed readers would buy a bunch for family, friends, and to promote themselves. I told her that I was a counselor who uses symbolism, not ‘a psychic’.  She promised to give me my own category. My interview felt shallow.

It should be a big deal to be one of 100 in America, right? When the book came out, I wasn’t pleased with the quality of the printing or the content. I ended up not buying any books and only owning the free copy she promised with the interview. I think the other readers may have felt similarly. If you don’t promote the venue you’re in, it won’t fly. I didn’t. My one percent is sitting on a shelf somewhere gathering dust at the moment.

Real Palmistry

Around June of 2012, I decided to try again. Everyone was writing e-books. That made a lot of sense to me. I created ‘Real Palmistry’. I included content from ‘Your Life is in Your Hands’ (subtitle of all my books), plus I added over twenty years’ experience to the mix. It would be full color, provide plenty of thought-provoking links, and cost consumers only $4. I could promote it on social networks, pay for e-releases, and do radio interviews. I spent a few hundred dollars sending out press releases and was amazed at the stunning lack of response. Markets for e-books seemed saturated. A burgeoning glut of authors was ‘out there’ touting their book as the next best thing since the bible.

Hand Book

I tried selling ‘Real Palmistry’ to the metaphysical community. Many people wrote back and asked ‘when I was going to create a real book?’ Many esoteric people are living in an earlier era. They needed a paperback. I created a print version of ‘Real Palmistry’ and called it ‘Hand Book’. It was black and white, didn’t have links, artwork was straight from the e-book at 72 dpi (poor print quality), and cost $10.95 (three times as much as the e-book). I printed several hundred copies to give away and sell at the back of the room at my speaking engagements. I placed them in local bookstores and cafes on consignment.

Everyone was saying how important reviews were. In a short time, ‘Hand Book’ had more legitimate five-star reviews than any other palmistry book on Amazon. My best reviews were unsolicited. Here’s one of my favorites from someone who really got me. Reviews haven’t produced sales. I’ve sold around a thousand books. Writing has been a satisfying avocation, but not a profitable vocation. I’ve written other books I’d like to publish, but am holding off until I can figure out a better way of putting them out.

round self portrait

On another note, many years ago, I spent two days a week for two years getting to know over 150 serial killers, murderers, and violent criminals in a forensic psychiatric hospital. I examined their hands, cast their astrology, and threw the tarot for them. I decided to transform my incredible experience into a novel. There are eight episodes of ‘How I Lost my Sanity’ on my blog. Here’s the first episode. Click forward for the other seven. I stopped writing when my tale became too dark to publish alongside my non-fiction work.

My Palmistry Astrology and Tarot Practice

recent mark photo

I’m a full time professional palmist, astrologer, and tarot reader. I help clients examine their behaviors, strengths, weaknesses, talents, challenges, and current and major life issues. Many people want to hear one thing, but need to hear another. My job is to determine what a person needs to hear at a particular moment. I help my clients to gain clarity and to know and understand when it’s healthy to compromise and when it’s not. My mission is to give people a helping hand, their own.

There are many doors to knock on in NYC. I offer private consultations, special events, public speaking, small workshops, and creative writing. Much of my favorite work has come from having healthy working relationships with professionals who market public speaking, corporate special events, and private parties. Most of my income is from special events. A lot of valuable information can be shared in five minutes. I can read up to forty- eight people in four hours. I used to work exclusively for a dozen or so event, party, and meeting planners. I was attracted to the spectacular venues, lavish homes, and fantastic wealth. I’ve read many hundreds of mega-wealthy people and celebrities.

After working the party scene for a couple of years, I began feeling annoyed with planners who took too much commission. Some made as much as I did. Many were paranoid and concerned that their clients would go around them to save money (and they do). Vendors like me are not permitted to give our full names or business cards to guests. I never bit the hand that fed me, but I did observe less scrupulous readers slipping cards to guests. When clients from parties track me down (it’s not hard) to quote on a job, I refer them back to the planners when I realize how they got to me.

I work with top magicians, caricaturists, make-up artists, comedians, musicians, clowns, DJ’s, and caterers. I charge a flat fee of $1000 for up to four hours. When I’m busiest, I feel like I’m not charging enough. Magicians can earn $500 per hour. Mentalists may be worth $5,000 ~ $50,000. A magician referred  me for an hour of work. “You can have me for four hours for the same price.” I told the client. “I know”, she replied. “I only need you for cocktail hour, but I hear you’re worth it.”

Most palmists are poverty conscious. They don’t value what they do enough and can’t see past practical matters. Many have day jobs where they work for peanuts. They’re thrilled to make $150/hr. I charge my clients the same or a bit less than planners charge for my services. I used to recommend other palmists and believed I had no competition. I learned many customers shop for price, not quality. Palmists I had referred to planners would sooner or later offer to discount the healthy fee I’d gotten  them and compete with me for my clients.

Fortunately, I have friends as well as business relationships. Most of my favorite clients, their guests, and other vendors love me and I love them. Click and scroll for reviews. I overheard a guest asking a magician “Is this real magic?” He was performing for the line of guests waiting for their five-minute hand reading with me. “No”, he said, “These are tricks. You need to see Mark for real magic.”

I mostly market myself these days. My favorite events are small and exclusive. I love reading people who know who they are and what they want and ask smart questions. They take what works and leave what doesn’t and do what they want. I work large events, but require a quiet space away from crowds and loud noise. I always ask potential clients what they want and expect from me. I don’t make psychic predictions, have answers, or have a need or desire to tell anyone what to do next.

The special event business is seasonal. I’m busiest in late spring and autumn. I refuse over a dozen prospects a week that aren’t right for me. I refer astrologers, numerologists, and tarot readers who I know and respect. My summer and winter are split between a week in NYC and three weeks in the country. When a party is confirmed, I call whoever has been waiting for a reading and cram a month’s worth of work into a week if I can. I’ll schedule up to a dozen private 1 ½ – 2 hour consultations. Most of my clients are willing to adapt to my schedule and needs.

I’ve read a lot of hands, charts, and cards over forty years. Hands are topographical maps of human character in past, present, and future. Priceless treasure is in plain sight, waiting to be discovered at the ends of our arms. Most people can learn to navigate their maps and chart their course. I use astrology to examine process. Tarot unveils the unseen. Meaningful dialogue unravels clarity from chaos. I’ve peered into myriad eyes and shared intimate stories as a counselor, five-minute best friend, bull-shit detector, and soothsayer for a huge diversity of individuals of all ages, genders, colors, cultures, and nationalities. I stopped counting at 50,000 many years ago.

For astrologers, my lunar north node conjunct Venus in Gemini symbolizes a push-pull between city and country life. I’m a communicator in the city. My country life is creative writing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, gardening, cooking, making things, reading, and loving nature, art, music, friends, and family.

country life

 

Taurus – Understanding Values

Taurus

Pope Francis

Pope Francis was designed to blend love and spirituality with healthy values and good sense. He’s a Sagittarian with Sagittarius / Taurus hands. Notice there’s barely a bottom phalanx on his pinkie finger. Francis doesn’t care about stuff. He truly loves humanity and practices what he preaches.

Pope John Paul ll was a radiant light of Taurus. He asked the rich to share their wealth with the poor. He was the first Pope to visit a synagogue and encouraged Catholics and Jews to love one another. Nearly assassinated, he also survived countless chaotic messes and reforms in the church.

Many popular and powerful people in the world were born under the sign of Taurus.

Krishnamurti, a spiritual guide, shared his good sense with whoever would listen.

Leonardo da Vinci, great artist and inventor, was a real Renaissance man.

Sigmund Freud was father of modern psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx developed the theory of socialism.

Martha Graham was mother of modern dance.

Katherine Hepburn was Grande Dame of American stage and movies.

Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair have been anchors for Great Britain.

Citizen KaneWilliam Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles (both bulls) battled stubbornly over the making and release of the movie, ‘Citizen Kane’. Kane was a Midas who Welles immodestly modeled after Hearst. Despite his natural charisma and brilliant acting and directing, Welles was no match for Hearst’s financial fortune and ability to influence the masses. Hearst was stubborn, acquisitive, possessive, and controlling. Welles was determined and persistent in his righteous defiance of Hearst. Hearst tortured Welles with legal obstacles and bludgeoned him with bad publicity until he could no longer afford his principles, rise to his challenges, or control his self-indulgences (a peril for Taurus).

“The great mass of people will more easily fall victim to a big lie than a small one”

swastika

Adolf HitlerA cruel Taurus is a zealous extremist in desperate need of spiritual guidance. From the darkest depths of Taurus arose a German dictator from 1933 to 1945. Adolph Hitler was responsible for over thirty million deaths. He transformed the world by harnessing the power of fear and terror and linking it with the power of symbolism to control and manipulate the masses. Jim Jones was a fanatic cult figure who led a thousand people to their mass suicide in 1978. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh showed no remorse for his evil act.  Saddam Hussein (Iraqi President from 1979) was shamed and publicly slain by the United States.

Most Taurus types are inherently honest, hardworking, and dependable. They won’t bend the truth or perform a song and dance act for anyone. Their basic need for physical security fuels a practical and responsible nature. I read a lot of these types at corporate special events. They thrive in real estate, investment, and banking. Years ago, the wives used to drag them over to me. I was young and their husbands were too skeptical or superstitious of anything occult to come on their own. I assured them I was also a skeptic. I’d say, “I’m not here to prove anything. Take what works. Leave what doesn’t.”

I’ve been reading hands at corporate events for over thirty years. Once I’ve set up and settled in before the guests arrive, event planners bring the top brass to test my powers of observation. Everyone is curious to hear what I have to say about their character. I bet I’ve read more CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and COOs than any reader of anything anywhere. Sometimes, I work events where all the guests are CEOs. Normally they’re impossible to meet. I hold their hands in mine, make eye contact with them, and reflect on their personal issues for five-minutes. The magic of Taurus is in knowing and sharing true value.

As creatures of habit, Taurus must learn to pay attention to their habits from the get go. One lesson that must be learned is ‘procrastination produces inertia’. Once Taurus takes initiative, they must let go of what isn’t working, accept what needs to change, trust their intuition, and share their bountiful harvest of true wealth. I believe all wealthy people should be spiritually taxed to make a commitment to a worthy social cause where they can make a real difference. They can choose their cause.

Dr. Bryks

Dr. Bryks

No matter your sun sign, authentic Taurus hands are meaty with large full balls of the thumb, square fingertips, developed second knots, large broad pink nails, and deeply engraved basic lines (very few peripheral lines). The head line is often closely intertwined with the life line.

‘Less is more’ learned King Midas when he wished for the touch of gold, got it, and turned his lovely daughter and their magical relationship into a hunk of metal. His food turned to gold as it touched his lips. Midas teaches us about values. He shows us how we can be stable and secure so that we can clearly know what we want and need. He teaches us how to be flexible and to let go of our outer wants by raising our awareness of what truly matters. Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman) rule Taurus and symbolize the pleasure loving nature of the bull. She’s creative, bountiful, and appreciates all things sensual and beautiful.

Large balls of thumb belong to givers. Saying “No” is a huge challenge for them (even more so if the thumb is flexible). Red color adds lusty passionate energy to the personality. Pink is normal. One symptom of intimacy problems that can be seen in the hands is when there are no lines parallel to the lifeline within the ball of the thumb. Even a partial line can indicate a significant intimate relationship for that length of time, along with an ability to be intimate and vulnerable. Taurus trust and generosity must be earned, honored, and nourished like a garden.

Large ball of thumb with and without lines

“Have you ever seen any hands that freaked you out?”  When I first touched Manuel’s hands, I felt nauseous. It was sweltering hot day and an icy chill gripped my spirit. Manuel’s huge hot sweaty red balls of thumb had no lines in them. They looked as if an extra-large egg had been stuffed into them. Manuel’s tremendous desire and passion had nowhere to go because he had zero ability to be intimate with another being. He was a child serial killer. Click here to read his hands and story.

PALMISTRY AND VALUESWhen a child reaches thirteen in the Jewish tradition, he or she becomes a man or woman after passing through a religious rite of passage. Rituals take place in synagogues and require the terrified adolescent to read Hebrew from the Torah, sing, and earn their passage to adulthood. I’ve read hundreds of teenage hands at Bar and Bat Mitzvah parties. I work at dozens of these celebrations each year. They range from modest family gatherings to gigantic extravaganzas. I get to work with the world’s best magicians, caricaturists, and performers at these events. I used to be the “psychic” with my black velvet purple satin lined cape, crystal ball, and large lighted magnifying glass. Over the years, my role has transformed from psychic to five-minute best friend and bull-shit detector. It’s amazing how much value can be given in minutes.

It’s not always what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters. An entourage’ of kids accompanied their Taurian friend to his reading. He looked like a thirteen year old CEO with his very expensive designer suit and tie. His soft pudgy square palms and short square fingers had never seen a lick of physical work. His friends jokingly urged me to “Tell him he’s gay”.

“Do you know who he is?” one of his friends asked. To me, he was one more kid with a lot of challenges ahead. Turns out he was one of the richest kids in the world. I asked his entourage’ to “back off” as I spoke with him about working harder to express his true feelings and learning to behave naturally. I could see from his eyes and body language that he wasn’t interested in what I had to say. Later that evening, he came back alone and acted like I’d never met him before. I tried to penetrate his thick shell by repeating the same advice. When I finished, he said, “I fooled you. You already read my hands”.

“I know who you are” I replied. “You’re the (so and so) boy. I’m going to offer you a valuable piece of free advice”. I looked into his eyes while holding his hands firmly, “Your money doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Your power is unearned. You’ll be old one day like everyone else and have relationship, work, and health challenges. You need to decide what you truly value. How can you make a positive difference with your abundant resources in a world that needs your help?” With eyes dropped and shoulders rounded, he slinked away. I hope he’s realized the difference he can make.

I once read hands at a sweet thirteen party at a fancy New Jersey country club. A shopping center magnate was competing with his Jewish neighbors. He must have spent $250,000 on this party. I worked my usual four-hour shift. As a five-minute palmist, I read up to 48 people in 4 hours. As I was packing my bag and preparing to head to an evening party in Manhattan, Midas arrived. He gruffly requested that I read his hands. “I’m sorry, I’m finished and in a hurry to get to another party”.

“You don’t understand” he bellowed insistently, “I’m the one who’s paying you”. I politely replied, “The party planner has already paid me”. “Then I’ll stop payment on his check!” I didn’t want to alienate my planner, so I re-plugged in my lighted magnifier. “OK hold up your hands”.

I stared intently at his square palms and short fingers. His long crooked middle fingers had grilles (peripheral lines crisscrossing) beneath, indicating a highly self-critical nature. His bitten down nails revealed an argumentative and critical nature. “Go ahead, tell me how fucked up I am”, he said.

“I won’t tell you you’re fucked up, but I will tell you what is fucked up. You’ve worked so unbelievably hard for everything you have and yet you don’t have a clue how to truly enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re a frustrated perfectionist, extremely self-critical, and critical and judgmental of others. Lighten up and smell the roses! ” He stood up, “That’s enough. They said you were good and they were right”.

When Uranus transited Taurus from 1935 to 1942, the USA went off the gold standard. People began focusing on their values and questioning materialism. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Labor organized, forming unions that went on strike and engaged in sit-downs across the nation. President Roosevelt defended the Four Essential Freedoms: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Partisan politics has steadily undermined our freedoms, including social and national security. People born between 1935 and 1942 have Uranus in Taurus. Many have experienced sudden and unexpected gains and reversals. Uranus will return to Taurus after 84 years in early 2019 for another seven years. The New York Stock Exchange and The Federal Reserve are bulls. Expect extreme financial fluctuations.

the great seal copyCapitalism and the banking industry are ruled by Taurus. Capitalism is characterized by individuals and businesses who exercise their financial freedom in whatever ways they see fit within law. Driven by supply, demand, innovation, and competition, capitalism raises our standard of living by heating, cooling, and lighting us. It enables us to travel freely, independently, and communicate on a grand scale. We can acquire many products and services and are empowered by money to afford them.

Capitalism is wealthy, but not wise. In theory, Capitalism can be great for all. In practice, we must be more responsible and vigilant. Like religion, the bright side of capitalism uplifts while the dark side promotes prejudice, pain, guilt, shame, and suffering. Power corrupts when real value and integrity are compromised. Capitalism fans the flames of larceny by segregating haves from have-nots. Too much temptation for too many greedy dishonest humans makes trouble for everyone. Capitalism’s heart is hard and its head is even harder. It’s easy to rationalize the most horrific of actions when they’re not happening to us. We’re closer to Armageddon than Eden. The trappings of Capitalism are its failings. Where does the light of Capitalism end and apocalyptic darkness begin?

The esoteric side of Taurus is values. Everything and nothing are of equal value; identical in nature, but different by degree. A billionaire dying of cancer will gladly trade his money for youth and good health. A famous celebrity whose child is brain damaged will gratefully scrub toilets in Grand Central for her child’s recovery. People ask, “When will I die” or “How long is my lifeline?”  I remind them they will definitely die. I tell them, “Only God knows when. It’s about quality, not quantity”.

ying yangMany people apply formulas for success, and yet few are truly successful. Unhealthy values point us down a path of self-destruction. Our challenges are not physical, but philosophical and spiritual. Success is a state of mind, heart, and spirit. Our good health and the health of our world is a reflection of our thoughts and feelings. Must we learn to value what we have by losing it?

Everyone needs good sense and wise counsel. Taurus helps us believe in ourselves, have faith, cultivate right attitudes, think positively, and set realistic goals. She teaches us honesty, responsibility, discipline, structure, focus, courage, determination, and persistence. We can all be our own best friends and bull shit detectors.

Aquarius – Search for Insight

Aquarius

AQUARIUS   JANUARY 21 – FEBRUARY 18

“It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.”

Betty Friedan (Feb 4, 1921 – Feb 4, 2006) died on her 85th birthday. Betty reformed women’s rights with her book, The Feminine Mystique. She powerfully influenced the whole women’s movement. As founder of NOW (National Organization for Women), she organized the first International Feminist Congress in 1973. A true Aquarian, Betty’s war cry was “Make policy not coffee”.

Aquarius imageMany people think Aquarius is a water sign. They see a water bearer and a symbol that looks like waves. Water symbolizes emotion, feeling, and unconscious. The water bearer is discarding feelings in favor of thinking by pouring them out of a jug.  Air waves are sharp and geometrically precise. Aquarius is fixed thinking. Thinking is Destiny.

Aquarians are the coolest, most detached, and friendly of all types. While they love free spirited friendships, they avoid intimacy. Much time is spent in a world of their ideas and inventions. They value their freedom of speech and overvalue their own opinions. Aquarians should be aware of their Leo opposition. They seem to think they can solve problems better than other people (and sometimes they can). As independent, progressive, and original beings, they pride themselves on their unconventionality, eccentricities, and uniqueness. They must learn to value their uniqueness for what it is and not for the sake of being different. Many Aquarians relish a revolution when the cause is right. They attract other unconventional and unusual people who they can commune with. The best way to convince an Aquarian to change his or her mind is to be extremely logical. Make good sense. Aquarians love technology. Encourage them to innovate. They’ll be happier.

Uranus, first son of Gaea and Chaos, was ruler of the Sky and Father of the Titans in Greek myth. No matter what your sun sign, strong Uranus symbolism makes for strong Aquarian energy. Uranus is closely conjunct my Gemini Sun. People often ask me how I make a living. My answer ~ I invent ways of making a living. For over half a century, I have steadily transformed from Megalomania, to Egomania, to Ecomania, to Humania.

A keyword for Uranus is sudden change. Sudden and unexpected change is what got me here. Why was shit always hitting the fan when I was about to taste real success? I wasn’t supposed to be doing what I thought I was supposed to be doing.

Uranians can be predictably unpredictable and erratic. Many Aquarians are blue-sky thinkers. Jules Verne ~ sci-fi writer, Buzz Aldrin ~ second man on the moon, Helen Gurley Brown ~ editor of Cosmo, James Dean, Charles Dickens, Michael Jordan, Charles Lindbergh, Bill Maher, Wolfgang Mozart, Paul Newman, and Franklin Roosevelt.

Tarin Chaplin (Dec. 4, 1941 – May 30, 2009)

Tarin Chaplin

An “eco-choreographer,” activist, writer and dancer, Tarin sought to connect people to the earth, the elements, and the sentient and non-sentient beings that share this universe with us (Burlington Free Press). Tarin was a Sagittarian and nature spirit with no planets in Aquarius. She shows us her Aquarian personality by revealing her square palms and widely spread long fingers in an inventive way. Tarin was a bundle of creative expression. She was also practical, responsible, and reliable (crooked middle fingers), which frustrated her sometimes because she over-committed and obligated herself to too many worthy causes that delayed living in her ideal world. The Intimate Act of Choreography is one of Joanna’s favorite dance books and a classic text used in dance departments across the country.

Pattie CanovaPattie Canova is a Taurus. She’s the Queen of Pentacles. Pattie behaves more like an Aquarian, the Queen of Swords, with her square palms, long straight fingers, stiff thumbs, and a strong head life line connection. Pattie is my all~time favorite tarot teacher. I had studied with other tarot teachers, but never truly connected with the archetypes until I met Pattie. Her knowledge and understanding of the 78 archetypes and the corresponding psychology is awesome. Her genuine passion and desire to share what she knows places Pattie way ahead of her competition. Pattie also has the uncanny ability to remember anyone’s and everyone’s names forever. I’m jealous because I have Alzheimer’s for names. Notice how Pattie’s fingers lean toward her index fingers that project outward from her hands ~ Pattie is a ‘Giver’. The bright pink color on the heels of her hands reveals her psychic ability. I’ve watched those lunar mounts glow like hot coals when Pattie’s psychic intuition is cranking. Pattie performs feats of tarot magic on stage and radio. In her unique way, she shares her Aquarian thoughts and ideas in a letter she sent me years ago. I’m sharing them with you.

“My work on stage may seem frivolous and at times it can be. My audience can ask the most banal of questions, but it’s fear that keeps them from themselves. They’re a great reflection for my process; what I love about it and what I’ve just given myself to receive from it all is the experience of joining, of oneness, the giving up of judgments and quieting of my perception. We are all on the same journey. Doing what I’m doing has helped me take it out of my head and into my heart and practice. We all walk that hard road toward enlightenment. I so trust the outcome. I so trust the absoluteness and the power of spirit. I know that everyone in their own way ‘hears’ something, either through feeling or insight”.

Jennifer de WitMy sister Jennifer is a Taurus. Her long knotty stiff fingers and thumbs are set on square palms, symbolizing Aquarian behavior.  A fixed thinker, she can be very practical, incredibly logical, and extremely obstinate. I know better than to argue with her. Jenny is a loving parent, partner, daughter, and sister. She’s a compelling story teller, gifted children’s librarian, caring community member, amazing cook, and devoted friend.

GrahamJennifer and her husband Brian suddenly and unexpectedly lost their son, Graham (1/24/1989 – 5/22/2012). Graham, a very talented young Aquarian, was looking forward to embarking on an exciting and fulfilling journey into a mysterious and unknown future.

 

Jenny and Brian continue to be healthy human beings despite the pain of not being able to watch and share their son’s growing, blossoming, loving, and knowing personal fulfillment. I honor Graham by remembering him and by living my life healthfully and meaningfully. Jenny created an amazing blog to help other people who have suffered devastating losses in their lives – http://www.scoop.it/t/grief-and-loss

Kevin McGuireKevin McGuire ~ Charismatic Capricorn.  It’s impossible not to like him. His Aquarian hands blend structure, discipline, and focus (Saturn) with originality and chance (Uranus). As a stage actor and director, Kevin has starred in plays on Broadway and acted and directed his way around the globe in Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Jane Eyre, Secret Garden, Uncle Vanya, and many others. Kevin has sung for Presidents Clinton, Reagan, and Ford.

OprahOprah Winfrey is an Aquarius and intuitive personality type with rectangular palms and short fingers. Sagittarius rises in her natal chart, blending the best and worst of Athena and Artemis. Oprah is an Alchemist. She turned lead into gold when she transformed an abandoned poor black bastard girl from the south into the self-appointed Queen of mass media. A golden pedestal awaits the goddess in her sacred temple. “Damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t”, Oprah makes a difference, but no matter what and how much she does and gives, it’s still a droplet in an ocean of human suffering, misery, and tragedy. Oprah must balance responsibility and transparency by always being true to herself.

As a mutable thinking type, I relate well with Aquarians. Some of my favorite teachers have been Uranian types. When the all too familiar ‘shit was hitting the fan’ years ago, I sought insight from a psychotherapist. I met with Freudians, Jungians, Reichians, and Adlerians and finally chose a Gestalt psychotherapist because my needs felt immediate. I didn’t want to spend my time combing for clues from my childhood to fix my current challenges.

IanI chose an Aquarian. I call him Ian, for all the “ians” I had rejected. Each session, I’d weave my wordy web of melodrama for Ian. I hoped to earn his understanding and sympathy. When I’d finish, Ian would ask, “So what else is new?”  He’d clean his nails or play with his latest gadget. I felt pissed. Was he listening to me or wasting my time and money? Once I got Ian’s strategy, I knew that he knew exactly when to look in my eyes and talk.

 

I’d say “but…”  He’d say “and…”  I’d say “can’t…”  He’d say “Don’t want to!” He noticed every gesture and expression and didn’t let me get away with a thing. Ian’s unorthodox methods and clever techniques helped me throw a switch in my thinking and transmute.

As a thinking type, Ian’s hands are much like mine. His square palms and long fingers are held widely apart. The primary difference between us is that my hands and fingers are flexible and Ian’s are stiff. He’s strong willed, focused, and determined. I’m a “jack of all trades, master of none”. Ian helped me to focus and to clarify my thinking. I sought Ian’s friendship as well as his therapeutic skills.

Aquarians make stimulating friends. Ian was fascinated with my hand reading skills. We’d share our ideas and theories for hours following our sessions. As a founding director of a Gestalt Psychology institute, Ian convinced me to participate weekly in an intermediate Gestalt study group. I partook for two years and totally loved the experience. I was able to seamlessly integrate physical, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual archetypes with my knowledge of palmistry. My hand reading expertise brought new perspectives to the group. Psychology compliments metaphysics by providing a foundation for counseling. Counseling is a craft that’s been too often neglected in practices of many self-appointed psychics, readers, and healers. It’s much easier to see something than to know what to say about what you see. What you say and how you say it matters.

In Aquarius, Uranus brings sudden unexpected changes on a grand scale. Uranus takes 84 years to orbit our sun. It surfed the raging rapids of Aquarius from 1912 to 1920.

1912 ~ The “unsinkable” Titanic sunk on its maiden voyage.

1913 ~ A series of tornadoes and floods devastate Middle America, killing over 3,000 people and costing over $100,000,000

1914 ~ World War I began.

1915 ~ A German submarine torpedoed the Lusitania.  The first transcontinental phone call was made by Alexander Graham Bell.

1916 ~ Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa invaded the USA, and President Woodrow Wilson retaliated by sending 6,000 troops into Mexico. The Official Gazette of London published the names of 80 United States firms suspected of trading with Germany.

1917 ~ USA declares war against Germany. The largest race riot in American history occurred in Illinois. Congress amends to prohibit alcohol.

1918 ~ Spanish Flu was the worst pandemic since the bubonic plague that wiped out one quarter of Europe’s population in the 14th century. Daylight Savings Time began.

1919 ~ Prohibition is ratified as the 18th amendment to the constitution. Congress failed to ratify the Treaty of Versailles ~ President Wilson opposed and unsuccessfully took his disagreement to the American people. He died on tour after having a massive stroke.

When Neptune began transiting the sign of Aquarius in 1996, people became even more divided, deceived, and demoralized by the powers that be. As Uranus entered Aquarius in 1996, many esoteric people believed it was the beginning of the Aquarian Age. Humanity would finally get its shit together and would choose real brotherhood and not just what’s fashionable. Instead, the first political act of 1996 was a welfare reform bill that President Bill Clinton signed into effect that made life much harder for poor people. Taiwan had its first democratic election. There were four catastrophic plane crashes. Madeline Albright became the first female Secretary of State. Ellen DeGeneres became the first outwardly gay star of an ABC sitcom. Body piercing and tattoos became more popular.

In 1998, Catholics and Protestants voted for peace in Ireland. We began bombing Iraq. Male virility became pharmaceutical phenonmenon after Pfizer introduced Viagra. The stock market initiated a new form of gambling they dubbed “internet day trading”. DVDs became the fastest growing consumer electronics product in history.  Bribes and drugs tarnished the Olympics. We lost our innocence, civil liberties, and illusion of security and stability.

bill clintonNeptune rules confusion, illusion, and delusion.  When Neptune entered Aquarius in 1998, the House of Representatives impeached President Clinton. Clinton was accused of giving “perjurious false and misleading” testimony in front of a grand jury. It was bad for the country, but good for the cigar industry. Our government and twenty state attorney generals charged Microsoft Inc. with anti-trust practices for dominating the Internet access market.

 

When Neptune exited Aquarius in 2012, Neptune’s greatest illusion and deception was how public policy affected old, poor, and sick people, and anyone else who can’t afford to have bad shit happening. Only when we truly see and know what’s truly valuable can we transform our inequities. Narcissistic visions for the future will affect over a billion people aged 65 and over by the middle of the 21st century. Profits of false prophets will continue to confuse, delude, and control the 99%. The Plutocrats who finance our political campaigns own the partisan leaders who control our health care, manage our welfare, gamble with our pensions, and risk our social security. As Neptune entered Pisces in 2012, many old, poor, and sick people were searching for security, stability, and spiritual answers and finding nothing.

My Metaphysical Memoir 2

a bike routeI just got back from my bike ride. Bike riding is a daily ritual for me. My goal is to be at one with my bike and environment and ride as often as I can. Hot or cold, rain or shine, except for icy conditions, I traverse several fifteen mile bike routes that run in opposite directions from our country home. It takes about an hour to circle around over Vermont back country roads and forest trails. I’ve traversed nearly 4,000 miles of dirt roads on my bike over the past couple of years. Old logging roads are exhilarating when I’m in the mood for obstacles like ruts, potholes, gravel, rocks, boulders, logs, branches, sharp curves, steep hills, and muddy weather conditions. Mother Nature constantly challenges me with her ageless beauty, timeless transformation, and capricious temperament while she nourishes and encourages me to become whole, centered, and peaceful.

plastic injection molded mushroom lampAfter my candle factory fiasco, I no longer wanted to be married to manufacturing. I decided that it was better to hire someone else to manufacture products while I concentrated on designing and marketing them. I formed a fourth partnership that we dubbed ‘Universal Media’. I became the executive vice president. We subcontract manufactured injection molded plastic mushroom lamps, along with a variety of other plastic items. I no longer have a picture of our actual lamp, but it looks a lot like the one in this picture. Our best-selling lamp was created by mixing colored plastic beads together in the molding process, which resulted in an unpredictable marbleized effect. Each lamp was different and exotic in its own way. Our products were assembled and packaged in sheltered workshops.

“This is It”, I thought.  I’m helping handicapped people, giving consumers attractive and useful products, not doing the dirty work, and making a profit. It didn’t take long; however, for me to become extremely frustrated by being forced to do police work. I’d have to show up unexpectedly, roll up my sleeves, and dig my work out from the bottom of the pile. When a product is not proprietary, it’s not a priority. That was a hard pill to swallow, but as the money rolled in, my new partner’s no longer secret gambling addiction made it easier. He would effortlessly throw away five thousand dollars at the craps table in Las Vegas. Following numerous yelling matches, I walked away empty handed, but relieved.

That was the end of subcontract manufacturing for me. I decided to manufacture design only. I’d create products and completely remove myself from manufacturing problems, pollution, police work, and pathetic partners. In my quest to sell my first new product idea, I bounded from one potential client to the next, living in the cheapest fleabag hotels in the largest cities across the country. I’d wake up and look at my date book to see what city I was in and who I’d be seeing where and at what time.

old times squareAfter two years of not selling anything, with finances by the seat of my pants, I moved to New York City where I had one friend, my Dad’s sister, Aunt Lil, who expressed great consternation as I settled into a seedy fleabag hotel at 43rd St. and 8th Ave in Times Square. I ignored Lil’s disgruntled pleas and warnings, figuring it was cheap, centrally located, and within walking distance of never running out of doors to knock on. Once a week, Aunt Lil treated me to lunch including a care package of home cooked comfort food. I never told her, but often shared her nutritious meals with my homeless neighbors.  Aunt Lil was a personal secretary to one of the top VP’s at Citicorp. She volunteered dutifully to also be my humble secretary, never judging, criticizing my choices, or complaining about the work. I adored Aunt Lil and couldn’t wait to see her each week. We confided in each other and shared our deepest secrets. By day, I wore three-piece suits as I knocked on doors with my design portfolio and prototypes in hand. The rest of the time, I did piece work in local machine shops. I’d operate a drill press and do repetitive work all day long. Other times, shop owners would take on specialized projects if I agreed to fabricate them. At night, I patronized misfits in local bars in exchange for their stories and frequented the glut of porn and martial arts theaters in the hood.

Of course, Aunt Lil was right. One dark evening, I was mugged at knife-point while innocently exploring the outskirts of Times Square. I naively got backed into a dark corner of a parking lot. As my predator probed my pockets, he allowed his knife hand to drop by his side for a moment. I slammed him with all my might in the chest with my fist. He flew through the air, landing on his back. With my heart pounding like Olatungi on crack, I ran red-faced, jackrabbit style for several blocks. Suddenly, I stopped and thought, “I should have grabbed his knife and killed him”. I considered going back. That’s when I realized I had watched too many Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood movies.

I stayed in my hotel room the following night with a fifth of Jack Daniels from the liquor store. I’d never been much of a drinker, but managed to polish off the entire bottle. The next morning, I felt sicker than I could ever remember. I lay incapacitated for three days; feeling dizzy, barfing my brains out, inhaling the musty smells of poor housekeeping (a sordid stench), and hearing echoes of human pain and suffering that I had previously ignored or failed to notice.

Immediately, I engaged a roommate service. At first, my leads led to lonely gay men looking for love. I finally ended up lying about my diet and living on the upper west side as a single carnivorous man in an apartment full of lovely single vegetarian women. The experience made me crave sex and rare hamburger. After a year of too much rabbit food and not enough decadence, I moved to a large loft space in Tribecca where I set up a design and model-making studio. I shared a wall with Meryl Streep who was not an icon at the time. She was living in an adjoining loft with her sculptor boyfriend.

Cutting BoardsAfter several months, I sold my first design concept. Kitchen Art was a line of finely crafted expensive cutting boards, knife blocks, rolling pins, and other wooden-ware. I’d been designing and fabricating limited editions of expensive kitchenware for crafts fairs, galleries, and fancy retail gift stores. I’ve included several of my favorite pieces from various collections.  I envisioned each object as a symbolic charm such as a talisman or an amulet with an ability to attract and protect. My artistic creations became “lost leaders” in department stores. My cutting boards and knife blocks made their expensive staple products sell better because they were much less expensive in comparison to mine.

rolling pins

Trivets and Coasters

Commercial Cutting Boards

I believed I was on my path to fame and fortune. I worked tirelessly for about six months, producing hundreds of prototypes, which lost much of their magic in their commercial translation.

Knife Blocks

All the `at a boys’ and ‘pats on the back’ from buyers and merchandise managers fueled my optimism and idealism. Cutlery companies provided sample sets of their highest quality knives for my blocks.

Clocks

It seemed like a short jump from laminated cutting boards to designing clocks. All I needed to do was mill a space in the back large enough to accommodate a battery operated movement. I foraged into designing decorative electric clocks and novelty night lights for exclusive markets.

Electric Clocks

I was unable to market plug in products to department stores because they didn’t have UL (United Laboratories) approval, even though I’d used all UL approved parts. I needed to have my designs tested, which required many thousands of dollars of initial investment and a long waiting period.

Night Lights

I explained in an earlier entry that when I arrived in NYC, one of the first things I did with my limited resources was to consult top hand readers, astrologers, and tarot readers. I was warned that New York City was a dangerous place for me and as predicted, I was accosted several times at knife point and once at gun point over the years. I was also informed that I was a late bloomer and that I would continue to have a series of disasters and misadventures until I finally settled into my proper niche, at which time I’d become a very well-known authority on that topic.
Hermes“The lips of wisdom are closed except to the ears of understanding.” I began my life as Hermes (Peter Pan). I personified Aphrodite as an adolescent, Apollo as a young man, and Chronos in middle age. At sixty-seven, I’m a maturing Hermes (Mercury), father of modern wisdom. Every one of us embodies all archetypes in varying degrees. Although we always have a dominant archetype, secondary archetypes become temporarily dominant at different periods in our lives. An awareness of our archetypes and archetypal relationships corresponds to actual changes in our current behaviors and relationships.

 

My Sun/ Uranus conjunction in the sign of Gemini symbolizes my need to be rebellious and an inventor. I have Aries on the cusp of my astrological sixth house of work and health. Aries and Mars rule fire; a single candle or a candle factory burning down. Aries represents my passion for work and my need to pioneer. Taurus rules arts and crafts. My Moon Mars conjunction in Taurus embodies my desire for security, comfort, and prosperity. It also corresponds well with my Aries partner, Joanna, who has Venus conjunct Taurus rising. I sometimes call her ‘Rambull’.  Aries and Mars rules arguments and disagreements. I had more than my share of those with business partners. Taurus on the seventh house cusp can symbolize having partners who are stubborn obsessive-compulsive types. Having a Taurus Moon helps me stay pragmatic and calm in the face of adversity. Scorpio rising and my Saturn/Pluto conjunction in the sign of Leo on my mid-heaven presided over my many business disasters and my frequent encounters with sex and violence on the streets of New York.

My Interview: The 100 Top Psychics and Astrologers in America

The 100 Top Psychics and Astrolgers in AmericaWhen Paulette Cooper Noble called me about being featured in The 100 Top Psychics and Astrologers in America, I told her I was not a psychic and did not want to be listed as psychic. Fortunately, she was seeking specialists in numerology, astrology, and palmistry. I’m the resident palmist.

No matter whom you choose, you should do your homework by checking references and reviews. Speak with the person to discuss whether they’re right for your needs. I turn away anyone who isn’t right for me and will happily recommend another reader from this book who I know may be better for you.

 

              Click on cover to purchase

NOTE: I’ve linked Paulette’s interview to my website, blog, videos, and press kit.

How does being a palmist affect your private life? I find myself surreptitiously looking at people’s hands wherever I go. Sometimes when I’m on the phone with someone who’s not a client, I’ll spread the tarot cards to gain additional insight into the conversation, although I never let anyone know I’m doing that.

Have you had any other careers or interesting jobs before this? As a child, I was an avid musician, performing Chopin on the radio at age seven. I also loved art and won several art awards. Utilizing that talent, I became an industrial designer, inventing dozens of products that were frequently ahead of their time. As a hobby, I like to recycle and reuse items, reconstituting them into something that is long-lasting and useful, whether it’s a milk or yogurt bottle, or a steel desk someone threw away. I’ve been called “The Guru of Garbage.”

You’re called a palmist, but do you look at anything other than hands? I use hands for understanding character; astrology for interpreting life cycles, patterns, habits, and timing; and tarot for getting at unconscious issues. Relationships, family dynamics, and career are my specialties.

When did you first realize that you had this gift? I don’t really consider being an expert palmist a gift, but a skill that I developed over many years of hard work. Any intelligent and intuitive person can read hands if they’re willing to do the work.

Have any celebrities or business bigwigs expressed interest in having you read their hands? I’ve read for Martha Stewart, Star Jones, Cindy Chu, Patti Davis, and for dozens of other celebrities such as Katie Couric, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Kline, Barbara Corcoran, Dave Brubeck, Maurice Sendak, and Marvin Scott, etc., at special events. Because of my extensive corporate special event work, I believe I’ve read more CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and COOs, than any reader of anything anywhere.

What made you interested in reading hands? Everyone has hands. They’re a topographical map of character in the past, present, and future. The value of palmistry is in its capacity to quickly identify basic character and behavior.

Do hands change? Yes, they change as a person’s thinking and circumstances change. The tiniest change in a line can symbolize a huge change in a life. You can observe your successes and failures reflected in the mirrors of your hands over time.

Why aren’t there more respected palmists like you? Unfortunately, modern palmistry is still relegated to the realms of gypsy fortune-telling scams and disreputable storefronts adorned with red neon hands. There’s no spokesperson to educate people about it. To this end, I’ve written “Real Palmistry.” My plan is to give everyone a helping hand – their own.

Can someone read their own hands? You can ask your hands questions like: “Who am I?” “What do I value?” “What do I think?” “What’s my philosophy?” “How can I be more spiritual?” “What’s next?” and more. Priceless knowledge and insight await you in plain sight at the ends of your arms. Knowing yourself places your free will and destiny exactly where they belong, back in your own hands.

What is a typical session for you? I normally spend 1 ½ – 2 hours with clients. I don’t like watching the clock and believe that clock watchers shouldn’t go into this career. I like to know ahead of time what clients want to gain insight into so that I can spend time preparing. It’s not always what’s asked at first that needs to be addressed. There are few questions I won’t ask and many I won’t answer. I don’t like “What’s going to happen?” I never answer “When am I going to die?” I also avoid “yes” and “no” answers.

What is the most unique experience in your life? I spent two days a week for a two year period helping design a vocational rehabilitation program for 150 murderers and serial killers in a forensic psychiatric hospital in NYC. I got to read many of their hands and hear their stories, which was incredibly fascinating.

Another extraordinary time in my life was the two years I spent as an initiate in the Martinist Order. I participated in miraculous healings, learned to astral project, and practiced unique ways to focus my mind and imagination.

Website: Real Palmistry
Book: Real Palmistry – Your Life is in Your Hands
Blog: Real Palmistry
Gallery: Pinterest – Story linked to every photo
Favorite interview: Refinery 29 – Meet the Real-Deals of NYC Fortune Telling
Favorite video: AOL Huffington Post – You’ve Got Mark Seltman and Joanna Brotman
Favorite article: New York Magazine – Mark Seltman – A Hands On Approach
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