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For those who make their living as psychics and fortune-tellers, it can be hard to break free from the pack and find your own niche. The "gypsy with a ball" thing is seriously overplayed, and there's only so much mileage you can get out of bending silverware and 1-800 hotlines. If you want to have any hope of convincing grieving individuals that their grandmother's dying wish was for them to transfer $50,000 to your offshore bank account, you're going to need to be creative.

Via dailymail.co.uk
Solid effort, but subtlety is key here.

Here are just a few inventive methods that practitioners of the paranormal have developed to distinguish themselves from their peers. And what better way to start a discussion that's centered so much around pulling things out of your ass than by examining the practice of ...


Via huffingtonpost.com, wyrk.com

The art of scatomancy, also known as spatalomancy, copromancy, or scatoscopy, is actually ancient in origin and was reportedly popular in Egypt during the age of pharaohs. And perhaps we might finally have an insight into why those weirdos liked wrapping people up in toilet paper so much, since scatomancy is defined as "divination by excrement."

Via evolllution.com
No, I'm not going to show you a picture of a turd. So just imagine
those bubbles are corn niblets.

This "lost art" (of analyzing the toilet-bound remains of yesterday's visit to Taco Tico) surprisingly still claims a few adherents, and one such practitioner is a man named S. S. Singh. Oddly enough, while Mr. Singh's name suggests that he might hail from the mystical ashrams of India, his appearance suggests that he may not in fact be from the land of swamis and gurus after all. But perhaps there's a "Little Kingston" section of Mumbai that I'm unaware of.

Via sethonsurvival.com
The next WOW expansion will be making a strong push into the German market.

Appearing in a film called A Journey To Planet Sanity, Singh demonstrates his ability directly in front of a camera, ensuring that no surreptitious doots were kept hidden up his sleeve during the demonstration. After waving a smoking wad of rolled-up paper around in preparation for the augury to come (doing no favors for the Rasta-guy stereotype there), Singh requests that his client "go ahead and go into the restroom, and when you're done, please don't flush." After the deed is accomplished, Singh retrieves the portentous deuce, brings it out in a bowl, and places it on a mat for metaphysical examination. Then, after assuming the lotus position, running a finger along the rim, and taking several deep breaths, it's time to reveal the secrets that were almost lost to the municipal wastewater treatment plant:

Via islandcrisis.net
This probably would have been the better time to wave that spliff (or whatever it was) around.

"You're in transition right now. The nugget suggests you support a friend or family member in a project. The log shaped like a cigar suggests leadership, strength, length, longevity."

Yeah, OK, that's straight out of the "be flattering, make high-probability guesses, and tell the customer what he or she wants to hear" cold-reading playbook. Just a bit more ... colonic. But any doubts about Singh's dedication go right down the drain when he picks up the turd with his bare hands, rolls it around like a shiny quarter he just found, and brings it to his face for a pensive whiff. After an observer expresses dismay at this unsettling turn of events, Singh becomes visibly annoyed, remarking: "You have to get into it. The stronger the aroma, the more accurate the prediction."

Via huffingtonpost.com
"For those who dine on asparagus, the enigmas of the universe hold no sway."

Once the affair is concluded, the clients thank Singh for his time and effort, but for some reason take a pass on the parting handshake.

Furniture/Clothes Psychics

Via nytimes.com, roxanne.net

Possibly inspired by noted troglodyte Billy Bob Thornton's purported fear of Louis XIV chairs, "psychic power consultant" Roxanne Elizabeth Usleman has found a unique way of communicating with the spirits: by talking to the random bric-a-brac cluttering up the aisles of thrift stores.

Via ny.racked.com
She was able to solve five murders through pit stains alone.

As a "vintage store psychic," Usleman apparently makes a relatively decent living wandering around New York second-hand shops, fondling the merchandise, and "hon[ing] in on pieces with incredible provenance," according to a Curbed article. There are all sorts of videos out there of her doing this, which follow her around as she sniffs skirts and caresses pantsuits to reveal the residual presence of personalities like Rihanna and "the ton of aura" left floating around by Sarah Jessica Parker.

Via roxanne.net
As this guy's expression appears to confirm, I'm pretty sure what we're talking about here are farts.

That bit about her solving murders via calcified sweat-ghosts was a joke, but a visit to Usleman's website reveals that in addition to being a consultant to business professionals, the media, and major corporations, she's also "a psychic investigator and is sought-after to uncover previously unsolved crime cases and find missing persons." I have no idea how this ties into her ability to wring ectoplasmic gossip from moldy tube tops, but maybe part of her standard operating procedure is to rub her face in a victim's clothing, bloodhound-style. And I'm not sure how many capers she's solved, but it's probably around the same amount as the number of detectives who didn't get fired after inviting her up to snoop around the underwear drawers at active crime scenes.

Via roxanne.net
"The extraordinary stress levels emanating from this thong points to a Kardashian as the culprit."

And if all that wasn't enough to a pack a resume, Usleman also claims to be a certified clinical hypnotherapist, an interfaith minister, a traditional reiki master, and that she holds a doctorate in metaphysical science. Obviously, most people in today's busy world don't have 10 minutes, let alone the two weeks necessary to get those credentials through some online bullshit factory (two weeks presumably being the time necessary for the check to clear). So you should feel absolutely no qualms forking over your cash for the opportunity to allow her to "explore your past, present, future, personal concerns, and goals and then channel the information to enable you to make empowering decisions and choices to achieve your highest purpose." Just try not to get weirded out if she asks you to bring along a laundry basket full of unmentionables for her to wallow around in while she works.

Via vimeo.com
For our skidmarks are as roadmaps to the soul.

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Pet Astrology

Via thesun.co.uk, web.archive.org

There are few people left who consider astrology to be anything more than the second-most-wasteful use of newspaper space behind Funky Winkerbean comics. But somebody has to be reading those things, and it makes sense that those just might be the same people who tend to fill up their homes with squadrons of cats, and/or small, yappy dogs. And while this untapped market may not exactly be especially huge, at least one person saw the inherent potential there. And she's exploiting it like a lusty Doberman in a room full of ovulating poodles. And all of them were born with a moon in Scorpio or something.

Via swns.com
"You seem nervous. Out of sorts. Either the planets are in disarray
or you ate my fucking socks again."

No mere run-of-the-mill pet psychic, a woman named Fiona Celeste (surely her real name) is regarded as the go-to source in the U.K. for those desperate to acquire a star chart for their labradoodles. Her business, Celestial Paws, offers personality profiles for pooches and kitties so that owners may "more fully understand their behavior and characteristics." Here are a few of the insights you can expect, as summarized by this authoritative blog post:

Pets born under the sign of Cancer like their home comforts.

Taurean cats are more placid and slower so don't go missing so much.

Gemini cats are more vocal than usual, so if you like a good gossip with your cat, choose a Gemini.

Aries cats and dogs are "impulsive and like to assert control." You want a boss cat? Find an Aries cat.

Via dailymail.co.uk
"If you want a dog who won't shut the fuck up whenever anyone walks
within a mile of the front door, get whatever this little bastard is."

She only charges $30 for a 7,000-word reading, which seems like a pretty great bargain considering the going rate nowadays for fresh hokum. That is, until you realize you could probably save 25 bucks and accomplish something pretty similar by grabbing a horoscope magazine off the supermarket impulse rack and randomly replacing pronouns with "Maine coon" and "Yorkipoo." Ms. Celeste does appear committed to providing customers with reasonable prices, however, as made evident by her book Sun Signs For K9s, which you can pick up used this very instant for the low price of about $1.54.

Via amazon.co.uk
There's no way I'm paying that extra 4 cents unless she throws in either Si or Am.

And just when you thought it couldn't get any sillier than that, let's add some under-appreciated body parts to the mix, with ...

Foot Reading

Via reflexologylincoln.co.uk, uk.linkedin.com

Palm readers are great and all, but are the intricate lines on your hand the only bodily path by which to reveal the secrets of the universe? Surely there are other, more discreet areas that may uncover what the future may hold, if only you'd be willing to allow someone to explore them. And that's the story of how I met my first wife.

Via holistichealthzone.co.uk
She was remarkably flexible.

But anyways, were you aware that a person's destiny can also be foretold betwixt the cheesy crevasses located on the stink-end of your leg? That's just a stone-cold fact, at least according to Jane Sheehan of the U.K. (the one on the right). She's a proponent of something called "foot reading," which would be a psychic technique that involves her "analyzing the structure and texture and imbalances of the feet to understand someone's emotions and personality." And here's how she describes a typical session:

"Hi, my name is Jane Sheehan, and I'm a foot reader."

"Foot reading? What's that?"

"Tell me three things about your feet."

Presumably this encounter doesn't begin on a subway car and end with a mandatory 72-hour psychiatric evaluation. Sheehan goes on to further elaborate on the process:

Then I astound them by interpreting what they've told me and delivering it as information about their own emotions or personality. I'm not telling them anything they don't already know about themselves, but the fact that I've never met them before yet can tell them something they know to be true about themselves is what is so fascinating. And who doesn't love hearing about themselves?

Via reflexfeet.exblog.jp
"Despite this incredibly stupid-looking pinky toe here, I'm sure you're very pretty on the inside."

OK, so let's get this straight. She "astounds" people by repeating what they just told her, and despite the fact that she's "not telling them anything they don't already know," they love it because it's a conversation about themselves. Either that's the best description I've ever heard of what it's like to be Ben Affleck's personal assistant, or Sheehan may be filled with at least a Shaquille O'Neal size 23 shoe's worth of complete shit. But you probably already knew that much. What may surprise you is that she's somehow managed to squeeze no fewer than three books from this dubious enterprise. But, hey, at least she's going about it responsibly: "What I don't do is offer medical advice -- for that you need to see your own healthcare professional." Oh, and make sure the professional's PhD isn't from a college that operates out of a P.O. box in Haiti, I suppose.

Via amazon.co.uk
"Featuring a foreword by Joss Whedon."

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Tree Whispering

Via maiakincaid.com

It takes an impressive amount of chutzpah to try to convince people that you can communicate, Eddie Murphy-style, with animals. But only the most supremely confident (or spectacularly deluded) will claim to have within their bag of tricks the ability to shoot the shit with a goddamn tree:

Talking with and listening to a tree is no different that [sic] talking with and listening to an animal. I have really enjoyed my conversations with plants and appreciate the opportunity to find out more about them and what they have to say.

Via pinterest.com
Although sometimes it's best to avoid eye contact.

Sure, you could hear that kind of talk from any number of U.C. Santa Cruz undergraduates while they're busily chaining themselves to old-growth redwoods, but the person who said that is a fucking doctor. Sure, her degree is in "holistic nutrition" (which I assume requires at least three years following Phish tours as part of the master's thesis), but apparently that's actually something honest-to-goodness, accredited schools teach. To get the full effect of the personality type we're dealing with here, I present Maia Kincaid, PhD:

Via youtube.com
"I work from home," said the doctor, to the dismay of no one aside from the company
that's currently financing her student loans.

Feel free to stop by her website if you're interested in learning about how she came by her capacity for parlaying with everything that walks, crawls, or photosynthesizes. I had to read the whole thing to make sure she wasn't perpetrating some elaborate goof. She is not. Needless to say, aside from advising others on how to hold forth with shrubbery, like so:

In preparation to talk with this tree, first I want to take a few slow, relaxing breaths to bring myself back home so to speak from a busy day of errands and talking with many people. (Today was a rare day where I only talked with one animal and that was a dog, actually I just remembered a squirrel that I said hello to and that said hello back.

OK, so, ah -- that breath felt good. Let me take another. Ah! Now let me address this tree.

"Hello, Tree!"

"Hello, Woman!"

She's also written six books. There's not much to say beyond that, so ... enjoy a sampling, I guess. And try not to dwell on the fact that that's four more books than Sylvia Plath had published during her lifetime.

Via metarev.com

Via floppycats.com

Via animalcommunicationbooks.wordpress.com
I'm guessing this one's little more than a series of long, drawn-out sighs, liberally sprinkled with profanity.

E. Reid Ross also enjoys tickling mouse genitalia over at Man Cave Daily. Feel free to follow him on Twitter here.

Is nothing more satisfying than watching a fraud be exposed? Read how Uri Geller failed to bend spoons on the Johnny Carson Show in The 6 Most Humiliating Public Failures By Celebrity Psychics. Or learn all the tricks to being a psychic in 5 Cheap Magic Tricks Behind Every Psychic.

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