In un articolo sul Guardian, una persona che in passato ha esercitato la professione di astrologa racconta la sua storia e le sue conclusioni riguardo alla sua attività.
Gli inizi quasi per scherzo della sua professione la portarono ad iscriversi ad una congregazione di spiritualisti:
Congregants would place a flower on the table, and the clairvoyants would choose one and “read” it at the microphone. Nervous, the first thing I grabbed was a packet of silver foil. The rose inside had been packed so tightly, its petals were crushed. I didn’t get a single vibe from it, so I just described the symbolism.
“You are feeling battered and bruised,” I said.
Afterwards, a woman approached and said she was a victim of domestic violence, and what should she do?
In seguito, dopo aver perfezionato la sua preparazione, venne assunta da un’azienda dove mise a frutto le proprie abilità nell’aiutare le persone, cercando di fare il miglior uso del tempo che le persone pagavano per consultarla:
Half the time, though, I couldn’t get a word in. It turned out what most people want is the chance to unload for an hour… The range of problems faced by people who can afford $50 for fortune telling turned out to be limited: troubles with romance, troubles at work, trouble mustering the courage for a much-needed change. I heard these stories so often I could often guess what the problem was the moment someone walked in.
E la fine della sua attività professionale fu segnata dalla constatazione che i suoi clienti credevano veramente nelle sue capacità di indovina:
Some repeat customers claimed I’d made very specific predictions, of a kind I never made. It dawned on me that my readings were a co-creation – I would weave a story and, later, the customer’s memory would add new elements. I got to test this theory after a friend raved about a reading she’d had, full of astonishingly accurate predictions. She had a tape of the session, so I asked her to play it.
The clairvoyant had said none of the things my friend claimed. Not a single one. My friend’s imagination had done all the work.
Comunque, ammette che le sue capacità professionali sono ancora intatte, tanto che può azzardare pubblicamente una previsione:
I can still make the odd forecast, though. Here’s one: the venture capital pouring into astrology apps will create a fortune telling system that works, because humans are predictable. As people follow the advice, the apps’ predictive powers will increase, creating an ever-tighter electronic leash. But they’ll be hugely popular – because if you sprinkle magic on top, you can sell people anything.