Recently, I spent time vacationing on the gorgeous islands of Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. It was the second time visiting this area, and I thought that the last week of Mercury Retrograde in Cancer would be ideal to re-visit.
Our hotel was in Hyannis, and each day we'd take a ferry out to one of the islands to take in the incredible sights, food and atmosphere. On our first day there, we decided to settle in and walk around town in Cape Cod after a delicious lunch dockside. The quaint shops and appetizing restaurants on Main Street called our name. I felt my worries begin to melt away as I succumbed to "vacation mindset."
To my delight, my eye caught a large sign right in the middle of the street. It said "Palm Reading Special -- $10 -- Walk Ins Welcome!"
Ah yes, a street psychic. Also commonly referred to as a Gypsy.
I couldn't help myself. I was in fun vacation mode, and whenever I see this type of situation my curiosity is instantly stimulated. I want to know if the fortune teller could reveal anything my hardcore metaphysical friends can't. Plus, I truly enjoy seeing the process of how a psychic works. Her specialty appeared to be Palm Reading, and this is an area I know nothing about.
I do know Astrology, of course, and you can get my Big Picture Love Forecast to find out how the planets will influence your love life in the coming year.
Not knowing about palm reading, however, made me even more curious about it.
Meeting the Gypsy
The psychic was an attractive woman wearing a long, purple summer dress. I greeted her with an open smile and asked for the special reading that was advertised outside on the sign.
She invited me to sit down and asked if I was right- or left-handed. I told her I was right-handed, and she took my right hand, closed her eyes and inhaled a deep, cleansing breath. When she opened her eyes she proceeded to tell me about my life line. It revealed a strong lifespan -- up to the age of approximately 83-86. Ok, good to know. I smiled.
She then looked into another line and began to tell me about my personality. She told me that I was open and trusting -- sometimes naïve because I was too trusting. She saw extraordinary strength of character. She went on for about two or three minutes, spouting off various things about me, and then looked up and asked me if I had any questions.
That's when the trouble began.
Exposing a charlatan
I asked her a question, directly related to information she brought up in the reading. Much to my shock she shook her head and replied "Sorry, if you want to know about that you have to purchase the more in-depth reading for another $25."
I was confused. I asked why she asked me if I had any questions if her response was only going to be that she needed to charge me more money. She defensively stated that the reading I purchased was only a character analysis and if I wanted more information it would be more money.
My blood began to boil.
As a metaphysical practitioner, I was incredibly upset at her lack of professional ethics. To invite someone in for a reading and then bait them to upgrade while you're in the middle of another reading is despicable. Not only did she imply that she would take the time to answer my question when she asked me if I had any, but she never explained in advance of our session that for $10 my time with her would be limited to a 3-4 minute personality analysis.
If she had explained what the session entailed and told me from the beginning that additional insight or questions would be a different type of reading, I might have upgraded on the spot -- before our session began. That would have been the ethical way to do business. But no, instead she chose to reel me in. She put her client in a position of vulnerability and she misused her power.
I got up from my chair, thanked her for her time and said: "I'm sorry, I had questions, but like you said in my reading I am the curious type."
She gave me a phony smile -- the kind that doesn't meet your eyes. Her response was "Oh, that's OK. This special reading was only meant to be a character horoscope reading."
Oh no, she didn't!
I was about to leave peacefully, but when she used the word horoscope in a sentence for a palm reading, I lost it. Astrology and palm reading are two entirely different crafts. Both have extraordinary merit and insight potential when practiced with integrity. But to declare irresponsibly that palm reading is the same as a horoscope reading was the last straw.
I asked her if she was an astrologer. She said she was.
At that point I wanted to give her a metaphysical slap in the face. I stood tall and told her that I was a professional astrologer and that she was clearly misguiding her clients.
She was not practicing a horoscope analysis at all. I asked her if she knew what a horoscope was. She replied, once again in a defensive tone, that a horoscope reading is a character analysis -- the same as a palm reading -- and that if I was in fact an astrologer, then I would know this.
No, honey. Let me break it down for you.
A horoscope literally means "Map of the Hour" and represents the positions of the planets, mathematical aspects and angles at the time of the moment a horoscope is erected. Palmistry, on the other hand, is the art of interpreting character and making predictions based on the lines and configurations etched in the palm of a person's hand. These are two entirely different techniques used for character analysis and prediction. To say they're the same is like saying coffee and tea are the same because they both contain caffeine.
Ethics are everything
She couldn't swallow my truth and promptly asked me to leave. When I stormed out of her office, I looked above at the bright, sweltering Sun and smiled. Ah, I was back into the light.
Professional ethics are important, no matter what industry you're in. My encounter with the charlatan reminded me that my responsibility as a professional astrologer goes a long way. I'm proud of my profession and that I'm considered a respectable practitioner. Help always, harm never. If that's not your intent then you don't belong in the healing business.
Integrity. It goes a long way. There's only one more thing I have to say to that palm reader in Hyannis:
Talk to the hand.