Golden Rules

1. No-one really wants to know their future. People consult astrology, cards, etc. because they are worried about the future. They want to be reassured. They don't want to worry more. Even if you really think they will go bankrupt or that their romance is doomed, don't tell them that. The trick is to tell people what they want to hear, without seeming to do so.

2. Insist that the querent (seeker after knowledge and truth) asks you a specific question. As he or she speaks, watch carefully. They will tell you in their question and in their body language what they want to hear. Don't blurt out the answer immediately, though. Throw in a couple of meaningless predictions first and then slip it in casually after six minutes when they are beginning to get worried that you weren't going to mention it. This allows you to build up the tension.

3. Give the impression that you know more than you are prepared to say. Then when they come back and say 'But you never mentioned that I was going to be struck by lightning,' you can always say "Well I wondered when I saw Saturn in Virgo (or whatever is suitable) but I didn't want to worry you." They might not believe you, but they seldom say so to your face.

4. Take a keen interest in the science of statistical possibility. Always try to predict something with at least a 50/50 chance of happening. If a good looking 18 year old girl asks Will I get married in the next year?' you can answer "Well certainly in the next two years."

5. Pick as complicated a method of prediction as you can handle. With a really complex system, for every positive statement you make you can always find another element of the prediction that reverses it. Very handy when things go wrong. For example, you can say I know I said that with the Sun in Sagittarius this was the time to take risks but you really should have remembered that I also told you Pluto squared to Saturn would make activities like hang gliding unpredictable."

If you have mentioned 50 or 60 different aspects and planetary positions they won't be able to remember whether you actually mentioned that Pluto was squared to Saturn, and certainly not what you said it meant.

6. Make as many predictions as you can think of (mostly small things that are nowhere near significant enough to be remembered). Mention as wide a variety of subjects as possible (in a vague way) - travel, career developments, minor ailments, tall dark strangers that sort of thing. Then a month later, when they get a promotion or they lose their jobs, all they will remember is that you mentioned something about their career and they will presume that you have accurately predicted it. Never be too specific. For instance, you can say "You may receive a great honour in the next five years" not "You will win the Miss World Competition next Thursday."

7. Explain what you are doing as you go along. Use as many jargon terms as possible (make them up if necessary] to make it look as if you have some basis for any obvious statement you make. For instance, when reading the palm of a six foot-three boxer with a broken nose it might seem a bit obvious to say "You are inclined to express yourself physically." But if you say "Look at the development of your Plain of Mars. That means you are inclined to externalise your aggressions..." he will be impressed. On the other hand many expert bluffers would not tell a six foot three boxer anything that might possibly be misconstrued as insulting, so it might be better to suggest that his hand shows he is really a gentle, misunderstood kind of person.

These simple rules apply to every method of the augury and can be used with devastating effect. They vary widely from simple make-it-up-as-you-go-along methods like 'crystal-ball gazing' (always call it skrying [pronounced skreeing] - crystal ball gazing just sounds silly) to complicated 'sciences like Astrology, where you have to go through hours of tortuous mathematics before you start making it up as you go along.

If you are not totally confident in the world of bluffing it is best to choose an obscure method of divination. Pick a popular science and you will be rubbing shoulders with some of the best, most experienced bluffers in the world. It is still possible to get away with it by accusing your competitors of being charlatans and viciously denigrating everything they say. This is vital because the nonsense you make up will be totally different from the nonsense they have made up and the easiest way to maintain your credibility is to attack theirs. But remember they will probably be trying to do the same thing to you.

So it is better to use a totally obscure method which no-one feels threatened by. For instance as far as we know there are no professional exponents of Alectryomancy (predicting the future from the eating patterns of sacred chickens) and there are only two registered Cephalomancists (people who can forecast events based on the shape of the skull of a donkey.)

These particular forms of augury won't suit everyone of course. There are people who don't own a donkey, or have an allergy to sacred chickens - but there are plenty more.

'Predictive sciences', 'prognosticative powers' or even 'oracular sensitivity' are all terms which mean fortune telling, and somehow sound better. Use them regularly. As a general rule use the most significant description (i.e. the longest words). Don't "read tea leaves" - use tasseographic augury.

The Art Of Astrology

The Art Of Astrology

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