What Is a Fortune Teller? Origins, Types & Best Sites

Fortune teller
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‍Fortune telling, a practice shrouded in mystery and intrigue, has fascinated mankind for centuries. But what exactly is a fortune teller? 

This comprehensive guide will delve into the history, practices, tools, misconceptions, and benefits of consulting a fortune teller.

History and Origins of Fortune Telling

Fortune telling has been a part of human culture for over 6,000 years, with practices found in ancient China, India, Egypt, and Greece. Each civilization had its unique methods:

  • China: I Ching, an ancient divination text, provided guidance based on hexagrams.
  • India: Saamudrika Shastra, the study of facial features, body language, and appearance.
  • Egypt: Dream interpretation was common, as dreams were believed to hold prophetic power.
  • Greece: Augury, or interpreting the entrails of sacrificial animals, was practiced by priests.

In Europe during the Middle Ages, fortune telling became more widespread. New methods emerged:

  • Palmistry: Reading the lines on the palm to predict the future.
  • Cartomancy: Using cards, like tarot, for divination.
  • Scrying: Gazing into reflective surfaces, like mirrors or crystal balls, to see visions.

By the 18th and 19th centuries, books about fortune telling were widely published, making the practice more accessible. The 20th century saw fortune telling’s popularity soar through media, such as newspapers and television shows. Despite skepticism from the scientific community, the fascination with fortune telling persists. 

It’s often associated with the Roma community in Europe, where they faced suspicion and even criminalization. Yet, the practice continues, showing a lasting interest and belief in its insights.

Today, tarot cards are making a comeback, not just for predicting the future, but as a means for self-reflection and therapeutic conversations. In North America, fortune telling is seen as a service, with consultations available over the phone, email, or video. 

Laws around fortune telling vary, often requiring fortune tellers to avoid the term and use titles like ‘spiritual advisor’ instead. Despite criticisms of fortune telling as superstition or cold reading tricks, the practice remains a significant part of many cultures, continuing to offer a glimpse into the unknown.

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Different Types of Fortune Telling Practices

There are numerous fortune telling practices, each with unique methods and tools. Some of the most common include:


Astrology involves interpreting the positions and movements of celestial bodies to gain insights into a person’s character and predict future events. This practice is prevalent in many cultures, including Western, Chinese, and Vedic astrology.

Tarot Reading

Tarot reading involves using a deck of 78 cards with symbolic images to gain insight into the past, present, or future. The reader interprets the cards’ meanings based on their symbolism and position in the spread.


Palmistry, or palm reading, involves studying a person’s palm lines to predict their future and understand their personality traits. The lines are believed to represent different aspects of the individual’s life, such as their life span, love life, and career.

Crystal Gazing

Crystal gazing, also known as crystal ball reading, involves staring into a crystal ball to see visions or images that can predict future events.

Common Tools Used by Fortune Tellers

Fortune tellers use a variety of tools to assist in their predictions. These include:

Tarot Cards

Tarot cards are perhaps the most well-known tool used by fortune tellers. Each card in the deck has a unique image and meaning, and the layout of the cards can provide insights into different aspects of a person’s life.

Crystal Balls

Crystal balls are used in scrying, where the fortune teller gazes into the ball to see visions or images.

Astrological Charts

Astrologers use charts to map out the position of the stars and planets at a specific time and place. These charts are then interpreted to provide insights into a person’s life and future.

Palm Reading Guides

Palm readers, or palmists, use guides that outline the different lines and sections of the hand and what they represent.

How Fortune Telling Works

Despite the diversity in methods and practices, most forms of fortune telling are based on interpreting signs and symbols. Fortune tellers believe that the universe has a pattern and that they can understand this pattern through various methods.

For instance, astrologers interpret the patterns of the stars, while palmists interpret the lines on the hand. Tarot readers interpret the symbolic images on tarot cards, and mediums interpret messages from the spirit world.

It’s important to note that most fortune tellers do not claim to predict the future with absolute certainty. Instead, they provide guidance and insight to help individuals make informed decisions.

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Debunking Misconceptions About Fortune Tellers

Negative stereotypes and misinformation often perpetuate many misconceptions about fortune tellers. Here are a few common misconceptions debunked:

Fortune Tellers Can Predict the Future with Absolute Certainty

As mentioned earlier, most fortune tellers do not claim to predict the future with 100% accuracy. They provide insights based on their interpretations, which should not be taken as absolute truths.

All Fortune Tellers are Frauds

While there are fraudulent individuals in every profession, it’s unfair to label all fortune tellers as frauds. Many are sincere in their beliefs and practices and aim to guide and support their clients.

Fortune Telling is the Same as Mediumship

While both involve supernatural elements, fortune telling and mediumship are different practices. Fortune telling focuses on predicting future events, while mediumship involves communicating with spirits.

Distinguishing Fortune Tellers from Psychics and Mediums

Understanding the differences between fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums can help you choose the right type of guidance for your needs. Here’s a quick breakdown to clear up any confusion:

  • Fortune Tellers:
    • Focus: Predict future events.
    • Tools: Utilize tarot cards, astrology, and palmistry.
    • Insights: May not explain the “why” behind events.
  • Psychics:
    • Perception: Have a sense of knowing through energy.
    • Guidance: Prepare you for the future without relying on spirits.
    • Answers: Offer insights but not definitive outcomes.
  • Mediums:
    • Communication: Connect with spirits, delivering messages from the deceased.
    • Abilities: Possess clairsentience, clairvoyance, or clairaudience.
    • Connection: Can provide comfort and closure by talking to loved ones who have passed on.
  • Psychic Mediums:
    • Combination: Merge psychic intuition and mediumship.
    • Experience: Provide a comprehensive spiritual perspective.

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Benefits of Consulting a Fortune Teller

Despite the controversies surrounding fortune telling, many people find value in consulting fortune tellers. Here are a few potential benefits:

Insight and Clarity

Fortune telling can provide insights into various aspects of life, from relationships and careers to personal growth and life purpose. This clarity can help individuals make more informed decisions.


Through practices like astrology and palmistry, individuals can gain a deeper understanding of their personality traits, strengths, and weaknesses.

Spiritual Connection

For some, fortune telling is a spiritual practice that helps them connect with the universe’s energies or their loved ones’ spirits.

Finding a Reputable Fortune Teller

Just like finding a good doctor or therapist, finding the best fortune tellers requires some research. Look for reviews and testimonials, check their credentials, and ensure they conduct their practice ethically. 

Remember, a good fortune teller empowers you to make your own decisions and does not promote dependency.

Here’s a rundown of some top sites where you can find reputable psychic readers:

  • Kasamba: A veteran in the psychic reading world since 1999, Kasamba offers a 3-minute free trial and a wide selection of psychic readers skilled in various areas, especially astrology. Keep in mind that prices can go as high as $30.00 per minute, reflecting the site’s reputation for quality.
  • Purple Garden: Purple Garden boasts an extensive network of vetted psychic readers. You won’t find free trial minutes here, but you can expect various services, including advice on love, career, and general life questions, all through a user-friendly interface. Additionally, new customers get a $10 matching credit.
  • Keen: If you’re looking for 24/7 service and live fortune telling sessions, Keen’s diverse range of readers and free 3-minute trial make it an attractive choice. While rates are competitive, note that video call readings are not an option here.
  • Sanctuary Psychic Readings: If you prefer the convenience and anonymity of chat readings, Sanctuary primarily offers 1-1 live chat sessions via the website and iOS and Android app. You’ll be welcomed with an enticing deal of 5 minutes for $4.99 if it’s your first time booking a session on the site.
  • California Psychics:  California Psychics provides detailed profiles for their rigorously vetted psychic readers. The user-friendly website makes navigating your options easy, though session prices will vary.

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Wrapping Up

Fortune telling, when approached with an open mind and healthy skepticism, can be an insightful and enlightening experience. Whether you’re curious about your future or seeking a deeper understanding of yourself and the universe, consulting a reputable fortune teller may prove beneficial.

Disclaimer: This article contains sponsored marketing content. It is intended for promotional purposes and should not be considered as an endorsement or recommendation by our website. Readers are encouraged to conduct their own research and exercise their own judgment before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article.

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.