JURY DUTY

My recent jury duty experience will be of particular interest to other esoteric readers. I’m registered to vote in New York City, so every few years (it’s five now); I’ve been called to serve. That entails typically spending three days sitting around waiting for attorneys to call potential jurors to be interviewed for various cases. Jurors are paid $40 per day and are expected to remain in the building from 9am to 5pm with an hour or so break for lunch. Depending on the size of the pool, jurors can be called and rejected several times over those three days.

In our Justice System, it’s every citizen’s responsibility to serve on a jury when called on. A jury consists of twelve individuals who are selected from a pool of potential jurors by a judge, defense attorney, and prosecuting attorney. There are two types of court cases, criminal and civil. Over many years, I’ve only been called for civil cases and have always been rejected because I’ve been both a plaintiff and defendant in civil law suits. If there’s any chance of bias, there’s little chance of being selected.

This time, I was called to sit in a courtroom with other potential jurors to listen to the judge and attorneys present a criminal case. The judge explained the nature of the case and asked us if we watched TV shows like CSI and Criminal Minds. Most of the jurors raised their hands. He explained that those shows are for entertainment purposes only and real forensic evidence is rarely perfect. You really can’t spot a license plate from a satellite, surveillance video is often not clear, and DNA is frequently unreliable. I’m not a big fan of TV, but most of those police dramas are way too predictable for my tastes.

After that, fourteen individuals were arbitrarily called by a court officer who picks pieces of paper with juror’s names from a wire basket that is rotated to mix them up. The jurors proceed to the juror’s box to be interrogated by the attorneys. Many potential jurors are prejudiced or prefer not to serve on a jury because some cases can drag out for weeks. It’s obvious when someone is trying to get out of serving and the judge has no problem letting them know that it’s their duty to serve. I was not chosen for the first round.

Between rounds, everyone files out of the courtroom while the judge and lawyers deliberate and choose which jurors support their arguments. Then everyone is called back and the jurors who have been chosen are allowed to leave. The remainder of the fourteen goes back into another pool to be selected for another case. I was chosen for the second round and was asked to be seated in the jury box. As a full time palmist, astrologer, and tarot reader for forty years, this was my moment of truth when I had to make a decision as to how I wanted to proceed.

I’d always been in business for myself. My only other work experience was being employed two days a week for two years in the rehab department of a forensic psychiatric hospital. I worked with over 150 murderers and violent criminals. My job was designing vocational programs, although I became the art therapist for six months when the regular therapist was caught by the rehab director in the art supply closet dispensing her own form of therapy to one of the patients. She was instantly fired. No one else was qualified for the job. I got to work directly with patients, which was crucial, as my real and secret purpose for being there was to read their hands, study their astrology, and to get to know them. If this had been a murder case, I’d be disqualified, but it wasn’t.

Most esoteric readers learn to trust their instincts and feelings.  I had a negative feeling about this particular defendant. I didn’t know if she was guilty on all counts, but she had a guilty energy about her. The judge asked us to introduce ourselves and to briefly describe what we do, our marital status, and whether we had any experience that might prejudice us. When it was my turn, I said, “I’m a practicing professional psychic”. You can see where this is going.

The prosecutor was the first to interview me. He inquired, “Do you think you can remain fair and impartial in hearing this case? “I can try” I replied. “I have a lot of friends and family who are corporate and tort lawyers” I volunteered. He moved on to the next juror.

When the defense attorney stood up, it was plain to see he didn’t want me. He asked, “What would you think if the defendant doesn’t testify?” “The defendant is testifying all the time with her eyes and body language” I replied. He countered, “Tell me. You don’t really need the evidence presented to know what’s going to happen. Do you?” “No, I don’t” I told him. I could hear a quiet gasp from the other jurors. I looked over at the defendant (who had remained deadpan throughout the procedure). A sudden look of terror appeared in her eyes. That’s when I was sure I was not going to be selected.

When we left the courtroom for deliberation, I could feel other jurors looking at me and trying to catch my attention. Some smiled as I caught their glance. One came up and enthusiastically shook my hand to tell me that I had given the most interesting response he had ever heard in his many years of jury duty. I asked to see his hands and then we spent a few minutes talking about his issues and challenges. We exchanged email addresses and have stayed in touch. The court dismissed me at the end of the day. I’ll be seventy-five next time they call me for jury duty.

SEVEN SECRETS OF GEMINI

As the first planet in our solar system, Mercury rules Gemini. Mercury was messenger for the Roman gods. His Egyptian version was Thoth, scribe of the gods. In Greek myth, Hermes was the god of Wisdom. Hermes told his disciples, “The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.” In tarot, Hermes is a magician at a crossroads with the resources and tools to go anywhere and do anything at any time. Gemini’s secrets are only secrets to the uninitiated. Gemini (social) and Virgo (technical) are Hermes homes. As a real person in ancient Egypt, Hermes refused to grow old and reputedly lived with grace for three hundred years in the flesh. A 20th Century manifestation of Hermes adolescence is Peter Pan, who never grows old. Being a Gemini explains my youthfulness at 70, but for the mirror.

 

Hermes was the mystic teacher of Abraham. As the father of wireless communication, Hermes taught his disciples that our brains are our cell communication hardware while our minds transmit and receive messages. Long before Moses, while other alchemists were still trying to turn lead into Gold, Hermes realized that relationships between cells cause energy and matter to vibrate on different planes at the same time. He labeled these ever blending planes as physical, mental, and spiritual. Hermetic philosophy says everyone and everything is made of individual cells; physically, mentally, and spiritually connected to all other cells on all other planes at the same time. We can connect with anyone or anything at any time once we learn to establish and tune our links.

Hermetic alchemy is the mastery of mental forces, transmuting one mental vibration into another. Hermes describes the unknowable and indefinable spirit as “The ALL”. Hermes taught “While ALL is in The ALL, it is equally true that The ALL is in ALL. To him who truly understands this truth hath come great knowledge”. The inner nature of The ALL is unknowable. That’s why we have anthropomorphic gods and institutionalized religion. Spirit is the essence that glues and forms the whole. Our spiritual development depends on our recognition, realization, and manifestation of the Great Spirit within and without.

Real alchemy hasn’t much to do with turning lead (Saturn) into gold (Sun). It’s a set of magical formulas, tools, and esoteric instruction for being healthy, happy, and fulfilled. Alchemy is about cultivating vision, nurturing relationships, making healthy decisions, embracing right choices, having faith, cultivating healthy attitudes, building sound structures on solid foundations, and facing the future with strength, courage, and wisdom. Accomplished alchemists are disciplined, focused, mentally and emotionally balanced, and spiritually connected. Alchemy is a kind of spiritual magnetism. The law of attraction works best when you know what you desire and your intentions are clear. It’s nearly impossible to transform negative thinking and circumstances into positive results without taking a leap of faith and letting go of fear.

Everyone is familiar with at least one of Hermes secrets. “The Secret” has been a very profitable PR crusade for Hermes “Law of Polarity”. “Everything is dual; everything has poles; everything has its pair of opposites; like and unlike are the same; opposites are identical in nature but different in degree; extremes meet; all truths are but half-truths; all paradoxes may be reconciled.” Hermes verified seven basic metaphysical and philosophical principles.

Hermes other six ‘secrets’ are Mentalism, Correspondence, Vibration, Rhythm, Cause and Effect, and Gender. Applying these principles enabled Hermes to explore, examine, and explain just about everything. Hermes describes opposites as two extremes of the same thing with many varying degrees between. Where does heat end and cold begin? Where does darkness leave off and light begin?  What about hard and soft, sharp and dull, noisy and quiet, high and low, positive and negative? The same principle operates on the mental plane. Love and hate are simply degrees of the same thing. Somewhere in the middle are shades of like and dislike. The vibrations of hate can be changed to the vibrations of love through the art of polarization, a phase of mental alchemy known and practiced by ancient and modern Hermetic masters.

Hermetic masters possessed knowledge of transcendental astronomy called astrology, transcendental chemistry called alchemy, and transcendental psychology called mystic psychology. They cultivated inner as well as outer wisdom. Critical thinkers throughout history have unlocked the mysteries of nature using symbolism. Galileo, Pythagoras, Confucius, Plato, Aristotle, Nostradamus, Leonardo Da Vinci, George Washington, Carl Jung, and Joseph Campbell, were all Grand Masters of symbolic thought.

Hermes used astrology to unlock the ancient mysteries. As a symbolic system, it compares and contrasts our heavens with the affairs of mankind on earth. Astrologers espouse Hermes second principle of correspondence “As above, so below, as below, so above”. A diversity of astrological symbols and their relationships comprise one big dysfunctional family we call humanity. The human race is a race against bad shit happening, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Every relationship changes every other relationship on a cellular level by raising or diminishing vibration, polarity, and rhythm.

Hermes asks us to know ourselves, to allow our minds and willpower to choose the most positive aspects of who we are. As we embrace our healthiest qualities, we attract nourishing relationships and find meaningful roles for ourselves. We can turn lead into gold by choosing to be happy, healthy, whole, centered, and peaceful, and then do the corresponding work. The rest is detail. The true secrets are in the work.

Thoughts on Being an Esoteric Reader in an Exoteric World

I spoke with students at Bennington College about the esoteric science and art of palmistry one cold dreary evening a couple of weeks ago. Though the event was publicized, I had my smallest turnout of all time – only six people. You’d think a Gemini would learn not to schedule events on Mercury retrogrades. The six students who did show up were curious, diverse, and very smart. Fortunately for all of us, all four basic psychological types (intuitive, practical, thinking, and feeling) were represented. After briefly introducing the basic science of palmistry, I led a ‘hands on’ demonstration.

Everyone volunteered. I asked each person to come up with a question like ‘what can I do to…?’ or ‘how can I…?’ (NO yes or no answers). I digitally projected large high resolution images of their hands on a huge screen. Together, we examined the morphology and topography of each hand within the context of the questions asked and through the lens of the science of palmistry. I shared how I was looking, what I was seeing, thinking, and feeling, and how I was choosing what to say next. Insights were shared as we compared and contrasted current facts with past, present, and future possibilities. I demonstrated how no detail should be viewed in isolation and how combinations of details comprise myriad permutations, possibilities, and probabilities.

I asked for questions. Everyone wanted to know if, when, and how I read my own hands. They were curious whether other palmists and I read each other’s hands. I usually trade with bodyworkers and other practitioners in the healing arts. I told a cautionary tale of a bad trade with another reader. We debated how much of fate and destiny is genetic and how much is nurture and free will. In my experience, healthy genetics is important, but nurture and free will are powerful forces that can alter a destiny.

Most palmists are esoteric social workers. Palmistry is using knowledge of hands to help others. It’s easy to see other people’s problems. It’s not so easy to know what to say. In my practice, I blend psychology, astrology, numerology, tarot, and palmistry. Palmists sometimes point out markings in their hands and ask me what I think. I reply, “What does it mean to you? Let’s see how that fits first”. It’s not so easy to be objective about oneself. I choose the best possible outcome I can see in my personal mythology and project that on myself. I try to remain vigilant of often unforeseeable and unavoidable downsides. Few readers I’ve met are truly critical thinkers, though many think they are.

Sun sign astrology is superficial and yet tens of millions of people read their horoscopes daily in magazines and newspapers. Astrology has earned global respect because it has created ethical standards, educational opportunities, and certification programs. Astrology is shared at conferences, colleges, museums, bookstores, community centers, and online forums.

One huge obstacle for palmistry is that it lacks credibility. Palmistry is still relegated to the dark and nebulous world of red neon handed storefronts behind which gypsy scam artists beckon to remove your curses and money. There are very few good palmistry schools. The literature of palmistry is uninspiring at best. I’m one of very few spokespersons.

 

Palmistry students have often come to me to hear what I have to say about their hands. I require them to participate in their readings by answering whatever questions I have about what I see. I begin worrying when they want to impress me with their knowledge of palmistry and ask to see my hands. Not a single student has ever ‘gotten me’. Anyone can read a book, call him or herself palmist, and hang out a shingle. Lousy ingredients and flawed recipes will never create a nutritious meal. Some students tried to ‘type me’ by comparing me to some celebrity or other who I had no obvious connection to. When I disagreed, they attempted to persuade me that they were right. Others focused on interpreting a particular line or marking taken out of context of my basic character.

Many clients are impressionable, gullible, and oversensitive. They believe that if a reader has credibility, he must know what he’s talking about. When clients don’t disagree with something a reader has said that is not right, readers think they must be right. I frequently warn students to be cautious what they say to clients and not to say anything if they have nothing positive to say. I encourage them to look at a lot of hands, ask a lot of questions, and leave hopeful people in their wake.

In an earlier lifetime when I was an industrial designer, a palmist looked at my hands and blew my mind. She was reading my mind while seeing my truths in my hands. She described my character perfectly, kindled a burning curiosity in me, and catalyzed my passion to learn more. She became my teacher. I became her apprentice and best student. I was also studying astrology, numerology, tarot, and psychology at the time.

Over many years, I’ve observed two basic types of readers: head ruled and heart ruled. Extremists and fundamentalists populate the outer limits. The rest of us are, by degree, somewhere between extremes. Extreme head ruled types tend to be analytical, anal, and anti-social. Rationalization replaces reason. Compartmentalization contains compassion. Examination eradicates empathy. Head ruled people make up their minds quickly, fight ideological change, take pride in knowing a lot, and believe they have the answers to everything. They dispense advice authoritatively and act offended when their ideas are challenged. They rarely touch the people they read, within or without, but they do believe they know what’s best for them.

Alternative facts catalyze alternative fates. Pollyanna is alive and well in the esoteric healing arts. Pure heart types are empathic, oversensitive, and sentimental. Heart rules head. Feeling rules thinking. Love and trust are the only foundation for good health, financial security, emotional stability, and all other positive structures. Being helpful is prerequisite to achieving one’s own destiny. Giving is a path to grace, dignity, and wisdom, where healthy choices are made and manifested. Not feeling appreciated and being taken for granted is unhealthy and must always be addressed.

I began seeing the best palmists in NYC in the late 1970’s. My first palmist was still practicing in her mid-eighties. A student of William Benham (father of modern palmistry), she typed me “Saturn #1”. More head than heart, she carefully printed, measured, and charted every detail in my hands before saying a word. She was a bit premature in her assessment of my character. I wasn’t hard enough on myself yet. My strong middle fingers along with Saturn conjunct Pluto closely straddling my Leo Midheaven in my natal chart has impelled me to become more Saturnine over time. Once I realized I was actually a late bloomer, I began to see Saturn as the shortest and most challenging path to satisfaction and fulfillment. Structure, discipline, and focus were my prescriptions and eventual remedies. My job was to buckle down and do the work.

Experts don’t necessarily agree on what archetype is dominant, but can still give great readings. Everyone is a blend of twelve archetypes. Different types can be dominant at different developmental stages in life. My next two hand readings were very different from my first and from each other.

In my next reading I was “Venus #1”. My large pink balls of thumb, flexible spatulate tips, whorl finger prints, and discomfort at saying “No” revealed Venus as a strong influence, but not dominant. This head ruled palmist went straight for my empathy and sentiment. Realizing the strength of my Venus made me aware of how far I had to go to find balance between my desire for love, freedom, creativity, and my overdeveloped sense of responsibility, obligation, and guilt. I tried to balance shame and guilt with empathy and compassion by blending Saturn with Venus. Fortunately they’re sextile in my chart.

On my third reading I was dubbed “Mercury #1”. This palmist, astrologer, and tarot reader was closest to getting me. My long straight pinky fingers, stellium of Gemini planets including Sun Uranus and Venus North Node conjunctions in the 8th house, and my incorrigible need to be frank makes Hermes a dominant player in my story. “The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding.” I wasn’t ready for him then, but I am now. Hermes lived for three hundred years in the flesh. That makes me an adolescent at seventy and explains why I feel like a teenager.

I believed that all three readers were wrong because in my mind, I was “Apollo #1”. My long ring fingers, whorled spatulate tips, clear deep sun lines, curly brown hair, medium height, and my lean muscular build are Apollonian. I saw myself as combining my Mercury, Venus, and Saturn with Apollo as an artist, musician, and inventor.

Unexpectedly, I learned how many readers have many different ways of reading people. An astrology addict showed up one day for a hand reading. Over the years, she’d been to all of the reputable readers she could find. It was my turn. I had never really considered what other readers said before or how they counseled their clients. I couldn’t imagine my client didn’t know what I was going to talk about. She asked if she could record our session. I agreed, but urged her to listen and take notes.

I’m rational, practical, compassionate, empathic, and a good listener. I asked her why she was spending her hard earned money to hear what she already knew. What did she hope to learn? She told me that she was curious. I stretched myself inside out to think of things others may not have said, but realized that what I really needed to do was let go and be fully present with her. When we finished, I asked her if she had taped all or her other sessions and if I could borrow her collection and listen. I was surprised when she said yes. I pondered if I was unethical to spy on my peers (what if they found out), but borrowed her tapes anyway, to satisfy my nagging curiosity about what other readers had to say to her. I became ethically, morally, and instantly bound to secrecy at that moment.

I became confused and concerned as I listened to the tapes. There’s no shortage of reputable readers. What surprised me was how formulaic so many were. Their counsel was impersonal. I heard explanations of sun signs and planets, spoken in esoteric jargon, mostly unfamiliar to the client. Most clients don’t need to hear about their Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto. I listened to elaborate descriptions of moon signs, ascendants, aspects, and houses. Meanwhile, many readers were clueless to the gestalt of the client in the moment. There was a very specific reason the client was there, but few people (including the client) realized what that reason was. Everyone was too busy trying to figure her out by picking at symbols like leaves, and not seeing the forest from the trees. You can have a thorough knowledge of esoteric sciences and be oblivious to the arts and crafts of counseling. The essence of the reading should have been about abusive childhood family relationships that were still binding the client to her chronic fear of trust and intimacy and influencing her choices.

Peers who I’d respected for many years had made this client cry uselessly as they unleashed childhood pain and then failed to link it to current pain. Listening to other readers has reinforced my belief that people should learn to read themselves. Knowing hands has enabled me to clearly see and know myself and others better. My challenge has been to choose what to do with what I know. My mission has been to give everyone a helping hand, their own. So far, I’ve been mostly unsuccessful at reaching the masses. Any thoughts, ideas, and suggestions on ways to raise mass consciousness and popularize palmistry will be greatly appreciated and valued.

Taurus Hands

You don’t need a Taurus sun sign, planets, or planetary placements to be Taurean. Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo are practical types with square palms and short fingers. Pure Taurus hands have pink, firm, elastic skin, solid bulging percussion under pinkie finger, stiff jointed thumbs and fingers, and full rosy balls of thumb bounded by long clear deep life lines. Several long lines run parallel within the life line. Deep main lines and skin ridge patterns are boldly etched. Very few peripheral lines are found in Taurus hands. Long graceful heart lines end under the index finger. Horizontal head lines closely intertwine with life lines at their beginnings and gently slope downward toward the heel of the hand. Dominant loop and arch fingerprints, square tips, developed lower knots and strong middle and bottom phalanges confirm the type. You’d never guess the hand above belongs to a Pisces sun sign.

Taurus, Capricorn, and Virgo are feminine in gender. Driven by physical senses, Taurus are the most responsible, practical, pragmatic, objective, dependable, and reliable of all types. Taurus innately knows how the material world works. They understand what they see and feel, but resist trusting their ideas, intuitions, and inspirations. They get bogged down in mundane matters that limit their abstract abilities and imagination. As creatures of habit, they can easily become addicted to routine and order. They’re great at maintaining the status quo, but procrastinate at starts and finishes. Taurus must pay attention to their daily habits and patterns or become prisoners of their habitual choices. Fixed types (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) must all learn to clearly see the handwriting on the wall.

Venus, Queen of Pentacles, covets wealth and power as she transforms her visions of comfort and beauty into reality. Her compelling needs for physical and emotional security drive her practical attitudes. Honest, dependable, and trustworthy, she’s valued for her natural warmth and good sense. She won’t bend the truth or perform a song and dance act for anyone. She’s loyal, affectionate, and charming, but can also be controlling, jealous, and possessive. She’s not the best salesperson because she takes rejection personally. Don’t ever take her for granted. She must learn to trust her gut, give up control, and let go of people, circumstances, and ideas that no longer make sense to hang on to. Venus can be extreme. Mother of Harmony, Fear, and Terror, Venus must remain vigilant not to overindulge in negative emotions and physical desires. She symbolizes the pleasure loving acquisitive nature of the bull who strives for constant satisfaction. She loves family, home, food, nature, art, and music and thrives in real estate, banking, insurance, food, and fashion.

Large ball of thumb folk are givers. Saying “No” is a huge challenge for them (especially those with flexible thumbs). Pink color is normal. Red adds passion and lust. One symptom of intimacy issues can be seen when no lines are parallel to the lifeline within the ball of the thumb. Even a partial line may indicate a significant intimacy for a certain length of time. It also reveals the ability to be intimate and vulnerable. Love and trust must be earned in order to fertilize our garden and harvest a bountiful crop. Time is our friend. People ask, “When will I die?” “How long is my lifeline?”  We all definitely die. Only God knows when. Life is about quality, not quantity.

My Taurus moon and mars symbolize my need for emotional and physical stability, along with my insatiable desire for quantity of quality. I never seem to get enough good food, nature, art, music, and loving. April 19 to May 20 is the best time to look through both telescope and microscope at what you truly love and value. We must all pay to play, but good health and happiness are free.

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

Adolph Hitler (4/20/1889) was responsible for over thirty million deaths. Hitler transformed the world by harnessing the power of fear and terror and linking them to the power of symbolism to control and manipulate masses. The darkest depths of Taurus catalyzed a German dictator from 1933 to 1945. Taurus can be a cruel zealous fundamentalist in desperate need of spiritual intervention. Jim Jones (5/13/31), fanatic cult leader, led 1,000 people to mass suicide in 1978. Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh (4/23/68) showed no remorse for evil.  Saddam Hussein (4/28/37), a dictator, was humiliated and publicly slain by US.

Pope Francis was created for love and spirituality. Francis is a Sagittarian with a strong Taurus backup. Healthy values make the best religious sense. Notice the barely bottom phalange on his pinky finger. Francis could care less about stuff. He truly loves us and practices what he preaches.

Pope John Paul ll (5/8/20) radiated the heavenly light of Taurus when he asked the rich to share their wealth with the poor. As the first Pope to visit a synagogue, John Paul ll encouraged Catholics and Jews to love one another. He survived countless chaotic messes and reforms in the church along with an attempted assassination. In this picture, his hand looks Arian, adding abundant courage and initiative to his solid values.

William Randolph Hearst and Orson Welles (bulls) battled stubbornly over the making and release of ‘Citizen Kane’. Kane was a Midas who Welles irreverently modeled after Hearst. Despite his natural charisma, brilliant acting, and serious directing abilities, Welles was no match for Hearst’s fortune or power to influence masses. Hearst was stubborn, acquisitive, possessive, and controlling. Welles was determined and persistent in his righteous defiance of Hearst. Hearst tortured Welles with too many legal obstacles and bludgeoned him with bad publicity until Welles could not afford to practice his principles (values) or rise to his challenges (procrastination) or control his self-indulgences (peril).

Taurus exalts mountains (masters), fertilizes fields (purpose), and tends gardens (practicality).

Sigmund Freud (5/6/1856) was Father of Modern Psychoanalysis.

Karl Marx (5/5/1818) developed the theory of Socialism.

Krishnamurti (5/11/1895) shared Spiritual Good Sense with whoever would listen.

Martha Graham (5/11/1894) was Mother of Modern Dance.

Katherine Hepburn (5/12/1907) was Grande Dame of American Stage and Movies.

Queen Elizabeth (4/21/1926) and Prime Minister Tony Blair (5/6/1953) Anchor England.

As a palmist at corporate events for over thirty years, I always arrive early to set up and settle in. Meeting planners show up to introduce the top brass to me before the event starts. Everyone wants to hear what I have to say about them. I’ve read many hundreds of CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, and COOs. I examine their hands as I hold them in mine, look into their eyes, and reflect on their personal issues.

Everything and nothing are equal; identical in nature, but different by degree. ‘Less is more’. King Midas wished for a touch of gold, got it, and transformed his beloved daughter into a hunk of metal. Food turned to gold as it touched his lips. Taurus is about values. She shows us how to be flexible and let go of wants by raising our awareness of what truly matters. She encourages us to be stable and secure so we can clearly see and know what we need. There are innumerable shades of gray between black and white. A dying billionaire will gladly trade wealth for youth or good health. A glamorous movie star will gratefully scrub toilets in Grand Central Station to cure her ailing child.

“Have you seen hands that freaked you out?” On a sweltering hot August day, an icy chill gripped my soul as I touched Manuel’s hands. His huge hot sweaty red balls of thumb had no lines within the life line, looking as if an extra-large egg had been stuffed into them. I simulated the enhancement on the left. Manuel’s tremendous desire and passion had no place to go. He had zero ability to be intimate with another human being. Manuel was a convicted child serial killer. Click here to read his story.

When a child becomes thirteen in Jewish tradition, he or she becomes a man or woman after performing a religious rite of passage. Rituals take place in synagogues and require terrified adolescents to read Hebrew from the Torah, sing, and earn their adulthood. I’ve read many thousands of hands at bar and bat mitzvah parties. I’ve worked at many hundreds of modest family gatherings and massive extravaganzas. I’ve performed alongside the world’s best mentalists, magicians, caricaturists, and esoteric readers. Costumed with my black velvet purple satin lined cape, crystal ball, and lighted magnifying glass, I’m a five-minute best friend and bull-shit detector. It’s amazing how much value can be given in five minutes.

It’s not what you see, but what you say and how you say it that matters. One evening, an entourage accompanied their friend to his reading. He was like a mini-CEO with his expensive designer suit and tie. His soft pudgy square palms and plump third phalanges on short fingers let me know that he’d never seen a lick of physical labor. His friends jokingly urged me, “Tell him he’s gay”. One asked, “Do you know who he is?” I saw a kid with lots of challenges ahead. I told his entourage’ to “back off” as I spoke to him about working harder to express his true feelings and behave naturally. His eyes and body language revealed that he could care less about whatever I had to say. When you’re one of the richest kids in the world, unearned power is not a blessing. It may actually be a curse. Later that evening, young Midas returned. He acted as though we’d never met. I gave him the same advice. When I finished, he chuckled and told me, “I fooled you. You already read my hands”.

I held his hands firmly in mine and looked directly into his eyes. “I know who you are, you’re the $$$ boy. I have some valuable free advice for you. Your money doesn’t make you better than anyone else. Your power is unearned. You’ll get old; have relationship problems, work struggles, and health challenges, along with life’s unforeseen plans for you. You must decide what you truly value and how you can make a positive difference with your abundant resources in a world that needs your help.” With eyes dropped and shoulders rounded he left, temporarily recognizing his hubris. I hope he realized his truth.

At another event, a shopping center magnate was competing with his Jewish neighbors, spending a $mall fortune for a sweet thirteen party @ a New Jersey country club. I had just finished reading 48 people in four hours. As I packed my bag to go to an evening party in Manhattan, Midas appeared and demanded, “Read my hands!” Politely, I told him, “I’m sorry, I’m done and in a hurry to get to another party”. “You don’t understand, I’m the one who’s paying you”. I let him know, “The planner already paid me”. He threatened, “I’ll stop payment on his balance!” “OK, hold up your hands”.

“Go ahead, tell me how fucked up I am”. His square palms, short fingers, and long crooked middle fingers with grilled lines beneath revealed a highly self-critical nature. Compulsively chewed nails added an argumentative quality. “I won’t tell you you’re fucked up, but I will tell you what is fucked up. You work unbelievably hard for everything and don’t have a clue how to enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’re a frustrated perfectionist, self-critical, and critical and judgmental of others. You need to lighten up and smell the roses!” He stood, “That’s enough. They told me you were good and they were right. Go to your party”.

When Uranus transited Taurus from 1935 to 1942, the USA went off the gold standard. People began focusing on values and questioning materialism. President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Labor organized and formed 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 those 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 returns to Taurus after 84 years in 2019 for seven years. New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve are bulls. Expect extreme financial fluctuations.

Capitalism is ruled by Taurus. Fueled by supply, demand, innovation, and competition, capitalism raises our standard of living by heating, cooling, and lighting us. Capitalism enables us to travel freely, independently, and communicate on a grand scale. We can have many opportunities, products, and services when we can afford them. Capitalism is designed for and by individuals and businesses who agree to exercise financial freedom in whatever ways they see fit within the law. As capitalists, we must take responsibility to help those who can’t compete with or survive greed.

Capitalism is great in theory, but like Religion, the bright side of capitalism uplifts while the dark side breeds prejudice, pain, guilt, shame, and suffering. Capitalism is wealthy, but not wise. It fans the flames of larceny as it segregates haves from have-nots. Power corrupts from the top down as value and integrity are compromised. In practice, we must be responsible and vigilant. Too much temptation for too many greedy and dishonest humans makes too much trouble for too many complacent people.

If Capitalism’s heart is hard, its head is even harder. How easy it is to rationalize the most horrific of actions when they’re not happening to us. We’re closer to Armageddon than Eden. Where does the light of capitalism begin and the darkness end? The trappings of Capitalism are its failings.  Why must we learn to value what we have by losing it?

Many people apply formulas for success and yet few are truly successful. Success is a state of mind, heart, and spirit. Our problems are not physical, but philosophical and spiritual. Unhealthy values point us down a path of self-destruction. Our good health and the good health of our world is a reflection of our thoughts and feelings. We must believe in ourselves, have faith, cultivate right attitudes, think critically and positively, set realistic goals, and take appropriate action. We all need good sense and wise counsel. Taurus teaches honesty, responsibility, discipline, structure, focus, courage, determination, and persistence. We must be our own best friends and bull shit detectors.

My Declaration of Independence

At the exact moment I publish this, a super full moon is conjoining my natal lunar north node in Gemini. I’m using that power to launch my declaration of independence. Donald Trump and I share that same node. Our karmic responsibility is to communicate higher knowledge to the multitudes. Bill Clinton and George Bush also share that node, but blew their chances. Donald Trump may have already fulfilled his karmic destiny by exposing the dark underbelly of democracy. Donald Trump’s hubris will be his legacy.

I’ve had an epiphany.  If Donald Trump can become president, I can shift the paradigm of ‘palmistry as a gypsy fortune- telling scam’ to ‘palmistry as a potent path to knowing oneself and other’. By ignoring palmistry’s history and making up my own rules, I’ll drag hand reading, kicking and screaming if necessary, out of the dark ages and into the light of the sun. My mission is to give everyone a helping hand, their own. Once you realize the true value of palmistry, you’ll be looking at your hands with reverence.

I’ve been an astrologer, palmist, and tarot card reader for forty years. As an astrologer, having an exact date, time, and place of birth empowers me to recognize character types, observe behavioral patterns, and understand life cycles, habits, and timing. As a palmist, I observe body language and examine the morphology and topography of hands to interpret a person’s actual potentials. Our hands reveal what we’ve done, are doing, and are likely do with those potentials. Tarot cards unveil unconscious and subconscious minds and answer questions ~ like about other people’s stuff.

linda-goodmans-sun-signsAstrology had been quietly knocking at our door for thousands of years. In 1968, we opened wide and asked “What’s your sun sign?”  Linda Goodman wrote and Bantam Books published the simple and entertaining ‘Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs’. Suddenly, astrology became fun. The popular astrology movement was catalyzed. Horoscopes magically appeared in newspapers and magazines everywhere. Astrological organizations, schools, books, and clubs sprouted, thrived, and continue to flourish. Over one hundred million copies of Linda’s books were sold with no Amazon.com or e-social networking.

In my attempt to understand how Linda Goodman transformed astrology, I reached out to her literary agent, Arthur Klebanoff. After reading his autobiography, ‘The Agent’, I was convinced he would be a good catalyst for launching palmistry. I hoped to persuade him that I could become the ‘Linda Goodman of palmistry’ with his help. Too bad for me, because Arthur had retired from agenting and was wary of esoteric authors. Linda had been a royal pain in the butt as a client. I assured him the only relationship between Linda and me was a metaphor between charts and hands. His answer was still ‘No’. I needed to find another way to gain credibility with publishers. If you’ve read my recent personal publicity series, you know how hard I’ve tried.

Here’s my paradox ~ hands are more potent than astrology for seeing basic behavior. There’s no need for accurate birth info, computers, software, or hindsight. While natal astrology charts remain static, hands change as thinking and circumstances change. We get to observe our changes in the mirrors of our hands over time. I use astrology and palmistry together. Viewing hands through the lens of the twelve signs and houses of astrology instantly reveals our basic characters, values, thinking, feelings, will power, health, relationships, creativity, philosophy, purpose, hopes, fears, and spirituality.

Palmistry has not had a champion since Cheiro (hand) in the early 1900’s. Cheiro (Count Louis Hamon) was a self-appointed, self-promoting seer, showman, gossip, and indisputably the most fascinating palmist of all time. He was a bit like Donald Trump in that he made up his own rules as he went along. He’d be a superstar these days with reality TV. You can read more about him in my blog post, ‘Your Palmistry Education’.

It’s time for palmistry to be reborn, but palmistry needs a spokesperson. I’ll be happy to support anyone who is qualified and wants the job. If I’m forced to become a face for palmistry, I’ll rise to the task, but I’m not Cheiro (except for having amazing clients and stories). I have reservations about going public. I cherish my anonymity. I must always remain discreet about my clients’ private lives and secrets. I’ll be seventy next June.

I hope to inspire expert palmists and sincere seekers to take responsibility for what they know and need to know. Knowledge and wisdom are keys to unlocking the magic of hands, but you don’t need to know about hands, or millions of details, or be an expert at anything, to see what you need to see. You must learn how to look and ask the right questions. Hands can be seen and heard by whoever chooses to look and listen.

If you’re a professional palmist and have a legitimate service, product, or school, you should be part of this. Once the public is turned on to palmistry, masses of people will be searching for sources for all things hands. I will promote you when you’re ready, but I’ll require a lot of help from you. First you need to have your act together.

Why aren’t we asking, “May I see your hands?”  My intention is to catalyze a popular palmistry movement as soon as possible. Everyone is seeking spiritual insight and better understanding of oneself and other. There’s no competition for being you. Open your mind, stretch your awareness, and cultivate your ideas ~ be creative. Let me know what you’re planning. Ask for my advice. What I know isn’t proprietary. I have no trade secrets. I will freely share any ideas and ideals that make good sense for the future of palmistry.

I’ve spoken about hands at local venues to mostly uniformed audiences. I’ve shared my knowledge, experience, and creative ideas at colleges, universities, museums, new-age bookstores, community centers, churches, and cafes’. I’ve consulted with psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers about fast forwarding diagnosis, to salesmen about improving sales quotas, and human resource professionals about seeing and knowing whether a person is right for a job. Sounds like a lot, but it’s not. Unless you’re waving what you’ve done or are doing in someone’s face while it’s still hot, it’s quickly forgotten.

I’ve shared my personal publicity experiences with newspapers, magazines, books, radio, TV, volunteering, and public speaking. The workshop flier below was from one of my favorite events. Working with small communities is very satisfying. By participating in local events, you can give people a taste of what you do and let them know you plan to share what you know with the community. With digital camera in hand I ask,

“May I photograph your hands?”

“What will you do with the photos?”

“I’ll blow them up huge on a screen and talk about you with you in front of everyone.”

I’d be terrified if someone asked me. I have too many secrets. I’m always surprised how many people are ‘up for it’. I assure them I would never say anything hurtful or harmful. Being constructive, helpful, and leaving people feeling hopeful is the name of the game. Workshop volunteers sign a model release. I use their photos in limited ways. I choose twenty people for my poster while instantly creating a captive audience expecting an interesting experience. I place fliers online and in local village stores a couple of weeks ahead of time. This event worked especially well because people were turned on, the workshop was inexpensive, and the proceeds were donated to the café cinema series.

If you go into palmistry for money, you’re in the wrong profession. You can have a happy and healthy life as a palmist without being rich. I work as much as I choose, but will never make big bucks. Corporate speaking is profitable, but it’s a hard sell and the least satisfying work in the end. Your real wealth is in recognizing hands as powerful tools for healing mind, body, and spirit. In the process, you meet a diversity of amazing individuals, cultivate quality private clients, and attract fascinating special event work.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll post my ideas for popularizing palmistry on my blog. Feel free to question, comment, suggest, advise, imagine, or whatever you choose. If you have a better idea or know how to make an idea better, share your thoughts and insights. Let go of palmistry’s past. Take a leap of faith. Figure out what works for you. All of humanity must know and understand self and others better for a better future. Precious treasure wants and waits to be discovered at the ends of our arms.

“The lips of wisdom are closed, except to the ears of understanding”   Hermes

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Publicity Stories #6 ~ Volunteering

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Volunteering has always been good for business. Being generous with my time and energies has been extremely rewarding on many levels. I get to meet other givers at charity functions. I’ve connected with some of my favorite event planners, performers, and caterers at fund raising events. Forty years later, we still recommend each other for well-paid work when we get the opportunity. Another benefit of charitable events is benefactors, who may pay $1000 or more a plate for dinner and entertainment. They also throw their own parties. I often give out business cards when asked and collect referrals for other causes and more lucrative events. I read many people at these events who have the maladies we’re working for or have family members or friends who have them. I feel grateful to be able to be there to support them.

Newspapers, magazines, books, and radio & TV were obvious ways to promote business. When I first started contributing my time and talents to causes, it never occurred to me to volunteer for the purpose of marketing or publicity. I was taught in early childhood that if you’re lucky enough to have a good life, you have a responsibility to give back in some way. I used to search for old ladies to help across the street, carry their bags, give up my seat, or open a door. I never expected anything in return.  I believe that learning to give contributed to my having a happy childhood.

These days, I sign copious petitions and donate time and money to a variety of social causes. I sometimes regret getting involved as I receive copious requests for endless causes and contributions in my mailbox. I feel like unsubscribing from everything and becoming a hermit, but I don’t. It’s impossible for me to stand by while plutocrats and bigots exploit our environment and trample our human rights under gigantic footprints.

I volunteer regularly for charitable causes like AIDS, Cancer, Schizophrenia, Cystic Fibrosis, Blindness, Healthy Environment, and Dance & Arts Education. The same organizations have called me back year after year. I ask them to pay these days, but offer a substantial discount. They’re grateful to have me and tell me that their guests ask ahead whether I’ll be there. Some of their patrons feel like old friends who like to inform me of their progress since last year’s five-minute rendezvous.

Back in the late ‘80’s, I started working with the AIDS community. It began as research. I hoped to be able to identify the virus in a diversity of hands and track its progress or regress. I printed many hundreds of immune deficient hands of people in various stages from early HIV to full blown AIDS. As I continued to print their hands, I found substantial changes over time. It was hard for me to finance my time and expenses. I tried to find a sponsor to help fund my efforts. No one seemed interested in paying for my research.

In 1994, I discovered Bailey House and met Roy Fowler. Bailey House was an AIDS housing and health organization and Roy was in charge of rehab. Roy wanted to help and hired me to read their clients’ hands, tarot cards, and astrology. I worked two afternoons a week for two years with Roy and Bailey House’s staff and clients.

Individuals with HIV/AIDS tend to suppress their potentials because they’re concerned mainly with the harsh realities of their impending mortality. I was able to identify their strengths, abilities, and talents and encourage them to have hope and make use of the time and resources they had. I played a role for many as a spiritual counselor. Just my being there encouraged some of the more despondent clients to show up at the center.

It was hard to leave, but I needed to make more money. I also hadn’t been able to gather enough hard statistics to validate my research. When I left, Roy handed me this unsolicited testimonial (below). He hoped to help me advance my palmistry work.

bailey-house

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.

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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.

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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.

Personal Publicity Stories #1

guru-of-garbage

In 1989, Sarah Ferguson, a freelance journalist for the Village Voice (NYC newspaper) called to interview me for an article she was writing about hand reading. She’d been to several gypsy fortune tellers and her experience impelled her to choose to expose palmistry as a scam. I’d avoided any publicity prior to her contacting me.

At 42, I’d been quietly practicing palmistry, astrology, and tarot for twelve years. I loved my anonymity, but I wasn’t about to let Sarah write that article without meeting a real palmist and that palmist had to be me. At the time, I was known as the ‘Guru of Garbage’, for my innovative uses of waste and recycled materials. I taught ‘Designing with Garbage’ classes at Parsons School of Design and co-moderated a ‘Design for the Environment’ think tank at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in NYC. I was a member of NYC’s Solid Waste Advisory Board, lectured at Universities and museums about designing for our environment, and spoke at community boards about developing better strategies for dealing with community waste. I volunteered for all sorts of eco-projects and preached to the converted for pennies. My design and craft work was exhibited in galleries and museums around the world. I was featured internationally in consumer magazines, newspapers, and on TV. This short video about my recycling and reuse work was featured on Fox, Good Day NY.

After Sarah interviewed me, her story became a feature article and the centerfold of the Voice. My secret and palmistry were out of the closet (so I thought). My good friends were jokingly calling me ‘the word incarnate’. I’d never mixed my design and metaphysics businesses before and was concerned the article would damage my design business. I also imagined people constantly waving their hands in my face. Fortunately, neither of those things happened. The recognition turned out to be positive. Other journalists began calling to interview me for their venues.  That was the start of all sorts of publicity, my obsession with psychic garbage, and the fateful launch of my career as a psychic garbage man. Here’s the article.

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