Manila —What is likely to happen today? What's my future like? What happens when the planets party? What does it mean when they align? When Venus moves into retrograde mode and Jupiter enters my fifth house?
When newspapers were the first to greet us in the morning — and they still do today although they come not just in print now but also online — the first section most readers look for is their horoscope. For many people, reading about what their zodiac signs say offers hope for something good and of looking forward to a great day.
Horoscopes may not be accurate, as they are predictions of a person's future based on the position or movement of the celestial bodies. Some people believe in them while others see horoscopes as a waste of time because they think human life and how it is influenced by natural earthly occurrences doesn't make sense at all.
Predicting the future, also called divination and some other terms of the art of foretelling future events, also comes in the form of palm reading, face reading, interpreting what one's personal angel says, analyzing tea leaves left on a teacup, tarot card reading and the many Chinese horoscope predictions where we base what year it is and we're lucky and unlucky if it's the year of our birth.
When I was a kid, the old folks would predict what happens in a day by looking at the sun and sky, the direction of the wind and the cloud formations in the morning.
When I was younger, I would join friends shortly after New Year's Day to sessions with a fortune teller. After we get answers to what lies ahead for our health, money, career and love life, we sit down for meals and coffee and discuss them endlessly. Some of us withhold embarrassing details about what we were told. But we walked on and lived, sometimes recalling landmark life events, if they happened at all, and that yes, these were predicted.
It has been years since I had such an experience. Since I read most of the news online, I have forgotten about glancing at my horoscope because I don't know where it is located in the online news sites. In my last newspaper read in an office, the daily didn't have a horoscope strip. I forgot about horoscopes because they don't appear anymore.
Recently, I had coffee with friends and did tarot card reading. One of us learned how to read the cards and give predictions and provide answers to the questions of the future-seeker. I had one or two tarot card readings in the past. If you get the card with the ten of swords or the five of pentacles, you will need to pray more and be cautious with everything that you do.
At first, I was hesitant to be in a group where other people would hear about what my life looks like. But I was with friends, so I agreed. As I heard the readings on the tarot cards that turned up, I savored my friend's words interpreting the cards. Isn't it fun when a question is asked and an answer is revealed? It becomes more fun when the answer was what I was expecting. However, it turns serious when the answers meant darkness.
I live by the day. So when I was told that I will travel more and farther and that I will have better options, I was happy. When I heard that I will overcome the pain of a personal tragedy, I was hopeful. When I was told that falling in love with someone will cause a revolution, I freaked out.
Midway through the year in tarot cards, the foretelling and interpretations may look exactly like my life and where it is headed. But I believe in the fun of leaving it to how each day begins and ends. The tarot cards may have gotten it right. The chaos in the constellation may have shaken the yin at a time when what is happening in the world is similar to mine.
The next time I will have tea, I will ask for loose, not bagged. Then I will stare at the leaves at the bottom of my teacup. I will locate the new moon that will always calm a constantly changing cosmos.
Diana G. Mendoza is a freelance journalist based in Manila