I went to an astrologer with my wife, mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her husband tonight. I am a hard core skeptic and expected to be cold read and told what I wanted to hear, subconsciously or otherwise. Nonetheless I was inspired by the words of Richard Wiseman in his interview on the Skeptic's Guide to the Universe Podcast. Dr. Wiseman explained that one should not close themself off to a realm of human experience just because they know it's not real or true. He also suggested that going to astrologers, whether you believe it or not, has a positive affect on one's mental state because the mind functions better in the absence of unknowing about the future, even if the "knowledge" one has is based on nothing. I have been experiencing some anxiety of late about my future and thought it might help.
So I went and watched a master at work. Korean astrology is interesting. Her technique reminded me of John Edwards. She mixed things she knew from knowing my mother-in-law from the neighborhood , things she could easily see, and logical answers to straightforward questions and mixed them together. She noticed me rubbing my neck during my sister-in-law's reading and later told me that I have to be careful about my neck. She saw my size and told me (when I asked) that I won't get cancer or have a stroke but my heart is weak and I have to be careful and exercise. She even name-dropped trans-fats ('you know, the foreigners eat a lot of trans-fats, so . . . '). I decided to ask her a lot of questions and see what she'd say. Accordng to her I'll get into the grad school of my choice and move to America, where Miyoung will live a hard life but become rich eventually. My career will be very successful but I must never start my own business. Questions about starting one's own business seem to be a big part of what she does, as she ran down the chances of success as a small business owner of everyone in my wife's family. I'm going to have two kids, and Miyoung is going to be a devoted parent (literally saying she would "donate her body" to her children). We will spend our lives going back and forth between our two countries.
Her biggest failure was when I asked about my immediate job situation. I didn't mention that just last night I found out that my school is changing ownership and I'm going to lose the big perk, a huge free apartment next door to the school. She said that I had gone through a lot of hardships and tough times at work in the last year (I hadn't), but that next year I will make a lot more money (almost certainly impossible) and have a smoother year (also not likely).
Her biggest success was when, out of the blue, she said "You have weak bronchial tubes". I have a history of chronic bronchitis, but I hadn't had it for at least 5 years until about two weeks ago. Nonetheless, I am fully recovered and there is nothing about me that says 'weak bronchial tubes'. To put it into perspective, I just learned this word in Korean when I got bronchitis. Bronchitis is not a well-known condition in Korea and people generally don't speak in that kind of doctory way that we Americans do. I was really surprised to hear that bit. Now note that I'm not saying she figured that out through some supernatural means, but I must concede that I have no clue how she did figure it out.
For all you rationalists out there, I highly recommend going to an astrologer and seeing what your future holds. It is fascinating to watch a career manipulator at work, especially when you can stand back and catch a glimpse behind the curtains at what she's really doing. And I'll tell you honestly that just because some old lady that I never met before told me that I'll get into the grad school that I want to get into, I feel somehow much better about the future.