There are many types of fortune-telling devices, tools or methods that have been used by psychics, prophets and seers since ancient times.
Today, the most commonly used tool for divination or foretelling the future is the tarot card, or even ordinary playing cards like those used in casinos.
Another is palm reading, technically known as “cheiromancy.”
Lesser known and older tools or methods include sand reading, used by American Indians; dice throwing, used by the ancient Greeks; mirror gazing by early Greeks, Egyptians and Romans; reading candle wax drippings; and even reading cloud formations.
In the Philippines, card reading and palm reading are the most commonly used.
But I had never encountered a divination method using a thesaurus.
So, when Billy, a friend interested in mediumship, healing and paranormal phenomena, called me recently about a meeting with a “bibliomancer,” I said yes at once.
I didn’t know exactly what a bibliomancer was, but the word itself denoted it may have something to do with the Bible or a holy book. I know that some fortune tellers use passages in the Bible, which the seeker opens at random, to tell the future.
But I got the surprise of my life when Billy said that this female psychic he was meeting used a thesaurus.
“You mean a book about synonyms and antonyms?” I asked.
“Yes,” he replied with a laugh.
A thesaurus is a “reference work that lists words according to similarity in meaning, in contrast to the dictionary which gives definitions of words in alphabetical order. The main purpose of the thesaurus is to help the user find the word or words that best fits the idea he wants to convey or express.”
The bibliomancer was Maria Lourdes Andrada or Lou, who works in a big life insurance firm in Makati City.
Her method of divination is simple and familiar. She asks the client or seeker to close his or her eyes, to place his or her left hand on the book, and open the book at random to any page without looking at it.
Then Lou “reads” the person, looking at the thesaurus page that turns up.
When she told me what my character or personality was, I was not so impressed. I am familiar to a lot of people because of my long exposure on TV, radio and the newspaper.
But then she told me something very few people know: “You believe in free love, in not having restrictions in sexual experience, and you want to treat men and women without discrimination. You don’t believe in a double standard of morality.”
I never talk about this subject, except to people whom I know have open minds and will understand such a radical view.
So, I asked Lou, “How did you know that?”
She smiled and said, “It is here in the thesaurus. Look!”
When she showed me the page I had opened with my eyes closed, it had the phrase “free love” on it! That shocked me. What is the probability of that word turning up on that page which I opened at random? Coincidence?
I don’t think so. She then read Billy.
When she opened the page, she said, “There is somebody, an expert in parapsychology or paranormal phenomena, who will help you in your project.”
This was just too much for me—Billy had only recently asked me to help him with his project to bring a well-known Western medium or spirit channel for a seminar on mediumship in Manila.
Lou certainly did not know this. Even if she did, her psychic reading was still astonishing because, when I asked her how she knew, she showed me the page that Billy had opened. It bore the word “parapsychology.”
Lou related how, on another occasion, she was reading a female client when she suddenly told her, “Have your husband’s prostate gland checked by a doctor because there is something wrong with that organ.”
The client was shocked because only two days before that reading, she discovered that her husband had a serious prostate problem. When the client asked Lou how she found out, she pointed to the page the client opened, which contained the word “prostate gland.”
She is the only person I know who uses a thesaurus to tell the future.
Attend the “Everything About Ghosts” seminar on Oct. 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 nn; seminar fee is P800. My next seminar on Soulmates, Karma and Reincarnation is on Nov. 23, from 1 to 7 p.m., at Rm. 308 Prince Plaza I, 106 Legaspi St., Greenbelt, Makati City. For past life regression, personal consultancy and other paranormal services, call 8107245 or 0908-3537885.