I know – fortune telling all sounds very hocus-pocus. But you’d be lying if you said you aren’t just a little curious about what the future might bring. From feng shui masters to Tarot readers to ‘astro-palmists’, the fortune tellers here come from as many backgrounds as there are cultures in Singapore. Curious, I suspended my disbelief, put my fate on the line and visited four English-speaking professionals to find out how my love life, career and bank account will fare. As they say, don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it.
Master Khor Tong Nee, 63
Because reading palms isn’t quite enough, why not bring in some astrology, too? Master Khor has been studying the lines, mounts and callouses on palms for more than 15 years. But unlike traditional Chinese palmists, Khor uses Zodiac signs and the heavenly bodies to guide his craft ($150/hour).
To him, palmistry is the analysis of the lines on your palm, aided by intuition. A good palmist will be able to tell your current state of mind. But don't be surprised if you have to wait between six months to two years for predictions to come true. He likened palmistry to a traffic forecast – it may tell you that there’s a jam on the CTE, but a lot of us are stubborn and will still take that route. This is especially so for those seeking relationship advice: Khor noted that people in love tend not to listen to what he has to say.
Getting my palm read:
Khor is an exuberant person, full of interesting quotes who’ll put you at ease when predicting your future. When he read my palms, he claimed that my partner would be an ‘exotic man’ and said that the two of us would be like ‘Tom and Jerry, chicken and duck. North and south, east and west.’ That was point number one. Three more to go.
As for my career, apparently I’m ‘very suitable’ for business and finance jobs because of my attention to detail. He ended the session with a warning that I shouldn’t be a ‘sucker for details’, or else my life will crumble. Is that a warning for being micro-managing?
Way Fengshui Consultancy
Bazi is a traditional Chinese practice, related to feng shui, that purports to derive your fate from the year, month, day and hour of your birth – otherwise known as the ‘Four Pillars of Destiny’. Practitioners don’t so much as scry your future as they dish out advice on your personal life, career and even the layout of your home, based on those four, seemingly arbitrary, pillars. So if you’re looking for an auspicious date to get hitched, you might want to hit up a bazi expert.
Founded in 1984, Way Fengshui Consultancy currently has four geomancers on staff. I met the 50-year-old Master Goh Guan Leong for a ‘personal life bazi analysis’ (from $288).
Getting a bazi consultation:
Goh started off by mapping out the five elements of my bazi chart. I say ‘mapping’, but I really mean scribbling words like ‘metal’, ‘fire’, ‘mind’, ‘yoga’ and ‘liver’ on a piece of paper and circling them. He slowly explained each term, what they symbolise – my personality, health and behaviours, among others – and related life advice, all in an affable manner. A sample line: ‘2017 is the year of the Rooster, which is also the year of metal. Metal will chop wood and so it'll be a challenging year for you. Do you find that your workload has increased?’ It all felt as though I was getting a check-up at the General(isations) Hospital of Metaphysics.
At the end of the session, Goh presented me a folder containing my bazi calculations and a personal life analysis report. The latter, which admittedly looked extremely scientific, described: the aspects of my health to keep a close eye on (digestive system and circulation); recommended suitable professions (trading and finance); and gave me a big-picture look at the next five decades of existence (seems like 35 is the age for relationships). And his parting words? ‘Too much focus on details will leave you inefficient.’ Which is like an ‘inspirational poster’ version of what Master Khor the palmist told me.
Mamatha Ramachandra, 38
We’ve all seen countless examples of Tarot cards in the movies, so we’ll skip straight to the main gist of this divination method. Tarot card readings are for those who have specific questions in mind or for those who crave clarity in problematic situations they may be in. Kinda like a life coach crossed with a magician. The more focused your questions, the better the Tarot reader can interpret the cards. But don’t expect 4D numbers from your reading, either. Clearly the Divine Wisdom/Spiritus Mundi/Collective Unconscious that’s channelled through the cards would rather you put in effort for your money. Tough luck.
Anyway, Mamatha Ramachandra has been reading Tarot cards at Tara Light Within for more than 12 years. Booked sessions last between 30 minutes ($50) and an hour ($100), while walk-ins will set you back $25 for ten minutes. Her studio, on Arab Street, also conducts meditation classes (from $31/20 minutes).
Getting a Tarot reading:
Mamatha came across as patient and personable. After reading the cards, she would prompt me with questions that made me reflect on my choices. Did something happen in a past relationship? Have I been networking? No fast solutions here.
And if retrieving a 4D number from the ether isn’t fair play, what about the age at which yours truly will get married? Funnily enough, that wasn’t a problem. Mamatha hinted that not only will I have a significant other if I’m more ‘proactive’ – you don’t say – 33 years of age is a ‘good time’ to tie the knot. A quick check with the Singapore Department of Statistics revealed that of the 22,544 marriages under the Women’s Charter in 2015, 26% of the brides were aged 30 to 34. Sure, about 46% of the brides in 2015 fell within the 25-to-29 age bracket – but given that I’m 28 and single, Mamatha was pretty much giving me a statistically probable deduction. Is it a coincidence that my bazi and astrology readings also gave me similar timeframes for getting married?
Mention ‘horoscopes’ and people generally think of their sun sign, like Taurus and Virgo. But what about the placement of your moon, planets in the houses and your rising sign? Yeah, those are apparently things that, like the tea leaves in your cup, can determine your future. And you'll need a natal chart – read: circular graph with symbols, numbers and lines that represent the ‘star signs’ under which you were born – to interpret all of that.
My eyes are already glazing over so I won’t go into the details of astrology here. But for $80 Regulus will tell you about the practice as well as analyse your natal chart and explain how astrological cycles affect it. He claims astrology is really all about statistics, and involves more number- and pattern-crunching than actual fortune telling. Short reports on five topics ($80), horoscope compatibility reports ($590), picking of auspicious dates (from $100) and even interior design consultations are also available.
Getting a natal chart reading:
Regulus takes a holistic approach, predicting both the good and the bad by focusing on the placement of two planets in your chart: Jupiter and Saturn. Still with me? Okay, so Jupiter is the planet of good luck, and Saturn can be interpreted as a ‘discipline master’ of sorts. The years just before and after Saturn completes its 29-year cycle in your chart is known as a ‘Saturn return’. Regulus claims he has never seen people happy during this period of their lives – think scenarios like divorce, bankruptcy and the death of loved ones – and so they’re more likely to seek advice from him at that point.
As I’m currently 28, Regulus informed me that a personal storm was coming – although that’s also when I’d meet my future partner. If I’m looking to settle down, I should wait until I turn 33. Again, as with my Tarot reading, is it the mystical wonders of the heavenly bodies or just down to probability?