Follow up on Tea Leaves

Maybe I live under a rock.  I had no earthly idea that there were very strong opinions about attempts to divine the future.*

The Islamic religion has a full out ban on fortune telling — crystal balls, tarot cards, astrology, palmistry, and so on.  More conservative Christians also view these activities as sins and fraternizing with Satan.  Some people just think ignorant people should be protected con artists intent on separating them from their money.


In 2012, a Federal court struck down a Louisiana law banning all fortune telling activities as unconstitutional under first amendment protections for freedom of speech.

Lynchburg, VA, took a different tact.  They charge a licensing tax. Fair enough.

Sec. 36-126.42. Fortune-telling, astrology, palmistry, etc.

Every person engaging within the city in fortune-telling, soothsaying, palmistry, astrology, spiritualism, psychological readings, clairvoyance, horoscope, phrenology or a like calling or business, whether a direct charge is made therefore or not, and whether or not medicine or medicine remedies or other merchandise or services are dispensed or sold or prescribed at the same time in the same place, or another place, shall pay for the privilege an annual license tax of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), not prorated. The license provided for herein shall not be transferable. Any person engaging in such calling or business without first obtaining the license required herein shall be guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor. (Ord. No. O- 96-319, 12-10-96, eff. 1-1-97)

Last updated date: 10/23/2006 4:15:21 PM

Here’s my take away:

  • A perceived smile made me smile and my day was better for it.  I choose to believe that like attracts like and that is how I choose to live my life.
  • I sincerely pray that the First Amendment does not become the pesky step child of the Bill of Rights.


*Yes, I am intentional in my word choice.  It’s my sick sense of humor.


7 thoughts on “Follow up on Tea Leaves

  1. Interesting post. The first thing that caught my attention was that both Islam and Conservative Christianity fear this activity because it’s something they cannot control. Fortune telling was quite common when we lived in Louisiana, along with potions, voodoo, and assorted other things along that line. Did you read the book ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil?’ It seems to be part of the culture in the Deep South in particular. In Texas people came to my father because he was supposed to be able to stop bleeding. He also witched for water. I never thought much about it. These days I occasionally pass a house that advertises fortune telling. It’s not my thing but I’m okay with it being your thing. Something that’s been around forever in one form or another I suspect.


    1. Was at a street fair in Florida soon after Mike died and a fortune teller who had space set up there offered to read my palm for $5. It was obviously not hard to tell that I was sad and unsettled so that was 5ive buck thrown away. But the scary thing was her sales pitch about how she had so much more to tell me, that I really needed help, etc., stuff she couldn’t divulge for a $5 reading. She had a whole menu –this much information for 100, more for 200, right on up to complete cleansing of my soul for $2000. I could not get away from her fast enough!


  2. Darn and I was just going to start a side business telling fortunes. I don’t have any strong opinions either way. I imagine there are people out there with some special knowledge but I’m sure there are a lot more frauds. I did get my fortune told on an outing with some girlfriends. We thought it was hilarious fun and didn’t believe any of it seriously. However, if my horoscope says not to get out of bed today, you can get I’ll be there reading all day. Hahaha..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always regarded the practitioners of the various fortune telling arts to be suspect, yet I would also say that most provide a valuable service. They are usually good at reading people and telling them what they need to hear. So from a service provided standpoint what is better a single visit to a soothsayer or years of weekly appointments to a shrink costing vast sums?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First off I was delighted your post showed up on my reading list. Yea, finally.!!!
    Didn’t know that about those laws. Hum,I wonder if my mom could have been taxed or drummed out of town for using Ouija board to play with us kids.

    Liked by 1 person

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