What It’s Like To Be A Fortune Teller And Why There’s So Much More To It

March 23, 2016

Update: This blog post first appears on 23rd March 2016. I’m going back to some of my old blog posts to update the content and make it more readable.

What’s Your Definition Of A Fortune Teller?

The definition of “fortune teller” is rather broad. I can’t exactly say it’s the same thing as astrology because astrology isn’t the only technique that is capable of telling someone’s fortune. If you could read someone’s using tarot cards or tea leaves, I guess that would make you somewhat of a fortune teller too. You could say that all astrologers are fortune tellers in a way, but not all fortune tellers are astrologers.

Whatever it is, people go to fortune tellers when they need some clarity and direction, and people like myself rely on whatever technique we’ve chosen to pursue to give clients some insights to what’s in store.

My Background Before I Become A Fortune Teller

Life just gradually pushed me in this direction. I’ve always been very open about my past and how things got started. You’ll hear me mentioning it in my FAQ and some of my blog posts. If you wish to know the full story, you’re always welcome to read through my Facebook note.

I was born in Taiwan where the roots of Chinese astrology are a little stronger. I grew up with books on Chinese astrology lying around the house and I picked up my very first book on Zi Wei Dou Shu when I was 17 or 18. I can’t quite remember the exact year. The seeds were planted way back then.

I only went back to Chinese astrology at a critical juncture in my life where I was at my lowest. I tried my hand at entrepreneurship but failed miserably, and that was a point where I became aware of a lot of the issues I’ve yet to deal with. I didn’t grow up in the best of families so naturally I had a lot of deep-seated issues I’ve had to deal with, and these were the issues that made me make some really bad decisions and mistakes.

At some point in 2012 when everything came crashing down, I really felt that my life had no meaning. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was OK with the idea of not waking up the next day because there was nothing much to look forward to and my spirit was just so exhausted.

To calm me down and make me feel better about myself, I picked up books on philosophy to read again. It has always been an area of interest since my university days and I studied a bit of Western philosophy during my school years, but this time, I picked up books on Eastern/Chinese philosophy and that naturally led me back to Chinese astrology.

The funny thing is that when I was 18, I already knew my life would take off at 30 because of what was written in my chart, but my lowest point came when I was 28. It was the final curveball and the last lesson required before Heavens felt that my life should take an upturn. The mistake I made was thinking that my upward trajectory started at 28 when it wasn’t. It was actually the worst possible year of my life and it can be seen in the charts.

This series of events made me realize life, and astrology have their own funny ways of teaching you life lessons.

How Did I End Up Becoming A Fortune Teller

Hand to heart. I never planned for this to become a career. A series of factors contributed to the starting of me giving readings for others:

  • I was in between jobs back then. I resigned from Rakuten and was waiting to start work at Lazada.
  • Life was a bit tough. I started from the bottom of the corporate ladder after messing up the initial years of my career and wasn’t being paid a lot. I was also renting a room and I was not able to save up much.
  • I realized there was quite a huge online community for Chinese astrology. People were actively participating in forums, but what I realized was that the free readings given by people on forums weren’t done properly.

I started participating in forums sometime in 2014 and started getting a bit of attention there. That was when my very first paid ‘fortune-telling’ session started and I still remember that client and how the session went down to this very day.

Soon, I started my Facebook page and then my website and everything just started growing from there. My first big break came when Channel NewsAsia reached out and wanted to do a feature article on me.

Is Chinese Astrology The Same As Fortune Telling?

In a way, yes, it is. You’ll notice that I always put inverted commas on the term “fortune telling”. I do this because if we were to see Chinese metaphysics simply as a means for telling our future, we wouldn’t be able to appreciate the spirit it was founded on. To talk about the “spirit” of Chinese astrology opens up a long debate which I won’t do in this post. The rest of my blog posts should address this, so do check them out when you’re free.

The reason why someone’s future can be told is simply because these are patterns and cycles that are measurable. Your fortune can be told because life follows certain laws and patterns, and what’s important here is to not just simply know what your future is on an intellectual level, but why it is so.

The simple answer is definitely a “yes”, it’s a form of ‘fortune-telling’, but it is not the most holistic way of looking at this.

What’s It Like To Be A Fortune Teller In Singapore?

I don’t feel particularly different from anyone else, to be honest. To me, being a ‘fortune-teller’ is just like anyone else who puts in the time to pick up a certain set of skills or knowledge and decides to put it to use.

There will be people who judge you for your career path by virtue of them being sceptics. But it’s alright. I think any legitimate astrologer knows it’s really up to someone’s personal beliefs when it comes to this subject, and we are well aware that not everyone in the world will believe in what we do. Ultimately, our responsibilities lie with our clients and the trust they’ve put in us. It also lies with our ancestors who passed down this knowledge to us as it’s up to modern-day astrologers to uphold the integrity of this field.

You can feel a bit conflicted being a ‘fortune-teller’ in Singapore. On one hand, sometimes, you can be very proud of what you do because you do see your services contribute to the lives of individuals. On the other hand, you deal with a lot of scrutiny from sceptics who are waiting for the opportunity to tell you you’re wrong or label you a scam. There’s also an issue with dealing with the industry itself.

Why I Can Be So Open About My Past & Thoughts

Anyone who spent a bit of time on my blog will know my opinions on how this industry is in a very bad state and ‘fortune-tellers’ like myself will always have a default bad reputation. It is no thanks to the sheer amount of misleading information, misapplication of theory, and even outright scams and unethical practices which I’ve spoken enough about in my blog.

One big reason behind the mess is that this industry is not a regulated industry after all, and the government will never step in to interfere because it is a sensitive topic that traces back to our history and roots. The government will always maintain a secular stance no matter what. Anyone and I literally mean anyone can enter this industry with absolutely no barriers to entry.

The above is perhaps the reason why my blog took on a more personal tone over the years. I want people to get to know me and I want everyone to know my past and how everything got started. When people are coming to me for important life decisions, letting them know who I am is the least I can do. Being in this field will feel a bit hollow and meaningless if all that I’m trying to do is to put up positive reviews of myself and hope that people will approach me solely for this reason.

I’ve always tried to put myself in the shoes of my clients, and as blunt as I am sometimes, I do want my clients to know what they’re getting into, and be informed about it.

If you managed to stumble upon this really old blog post of mine from 2016, I hope you take the time to go through my other posts. This blog is the story of my journey so far and all that I’ve learned and experienced throughout the years of my being a practitioner. I hope you find the posts here meaningful, and that it helps you in some way.

– Sean

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