This is another one of those divination tools you can use as a social-event activity or Fun Party Game, most likely at some time of the year where you want future forecasts, such as Valentine’s Day, Halloween or New Year’s Eve. How seriously you take it is up to you, but don’t be surprised if it turns out to have some applicability to your situation. If you have any participant who wants some ritual phrase to say with this, then the all-purpose ‘A fortune true I seek to find, and take what comes with quiet mind’ will suffice.
Like Madame Aubrey’s Oraculum or Felix Fontaine’s Golden Wheel Fortune Teller, this oracle has a heavy emphasis on one’s marital or financial destiny, and it doesn’t pull its punches. If you’re headed for a lousy future, it’ll say so. There’s a certain psychology to divination, and you don’t want to inadvertently program anybody’s mind for future failure. In the nineteenth century, however, it appears they had no such compunctions. They felt no need to spare anyone’s feelings, especially if it looked like they were heading for disaster.
I also wonder if a little of the reasoning behind it is the same reason why people play board games or card games or watch dangerous sports on television or the internet. Because you know there’s going to be winners and losers, and there’s often a fine line between triumph and disaster. That tension behind the thought, ‘will my fortune be a good or bad one?’ keeps the activity interesting. But I’ll conclude by hoping that all your fortunes from Madame de Stael’s Book of Necromancy will be instructive if they’re bad and gratifying if they’re good.
- Try this for yourself, using a pointer. Note the answer you receive. Does it sound like something which could validly happen to you, or not?
- Try this for yourself again, only this time, sit in front of the disk, close your eyes and try to draw a fortune by intuiting which section of the disk you feel drawn-to. Note the answer you receive.
- Have someone you know well try this. Note the answer they receive. Is it a fortune you could see happening to them?
- Let some time pass, say three months to a year (or longer). You’ll know when. Revisit the answers you and the other person selected. Did any of these fortunes transpire as predicted? Were any of them close, but not quite?
- Given your experience with this divination tool, in what circumstances would you use this? Would it just be used as temporary entertainment, or would you use it for any more serious purposes? For instance, say you have a friend or family member who’s headed into a situation you fear will not end well. Would you have them try this divination tool to either confirm or deny your suspicions?
Haney, Jesse. Madame Zadkiel’s Fortune Teller and Book of Fate. New York: Excelsior Publishing House, 1884. Pp. 44-52