With the upcoming end of the world flick 2012, I'm sure every bookshop will dust off their Nostradamus and Doomsday shelves. What will happen? Probably not much. Unfortunately we are all more likely to perish at the hands of mankind than anything else. And yet we all wish we knew a bit of our future, horoscopes being a staple section in all newspapers.
First known as tarocchi, it's a pack of 78 cards used from the mid 15th century. Similar to playing cards, there are four suits: pentacles (diamonds), wands (clubs), cups (hearts), swords (spades). The tie to mysticism and the occult didn't catch fire until the 18th and 19th centuries, when secret societies and mystics began to practice the art. There's even a Vertigo Tarot deck, with John Constantine from Hellblazer as the role of The Fool.
In fact if you're ever arranging a party and scared stiff it'll be a bore, just hire a tarot reader. People who are shy, loud, boring, arrogant, brash, drunk and idiotic will all beg to get their future read and eventually climb out of their shells.
Palm reading (Palmistry/chiromancy)
Consisting of reading a person's life line, heart line and head line, Palmistry is another form of divination that is associated with the Gypsy culture. With a fate line, sun line, travel line and so forth, it can be rather confusing. One particular trait I've heard of that sounds rather creepy is the "murderer's thumb" or "potter's thumb". It's a real genetic physical trait, Brachydactyly Type D, a shortness of thumb that is especially wide at the knuckle. Hmmm.. makes you wonder about what happens if you have a sixth finger, good luck perhaps?