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Western psychics see a starry future on the mainland

By Cheng Yingqi | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-02 13:34

Divination in China is almost as old as the history of the Middle Kingdom, but having the future told by foreign psychics is a new slant on that ancient practice.

One of the psychics, Lynda Woolf of the United States, was overwhelmed by the response from eager clients in China who lined up for hourlong sessions from Jan 3 to 8 in downtown Beijing.

Although it was Woolf's first business trip to China, and her consultation fees can be more than $200 per half hour, clients still flocked to the capital to meet her from Shanghai, Guangzhou and Xi'an.

Some asked for advice on difficult decisions, others wanted Woolf to check the feng shui of their newly opened restaurants. Most customers knew Woolf from the US, Hong Kong or Singapore, but others were new clients.

"When people come to me, the most common question would be regarding money, career, family and love matters," Woolf said.

A Beijing client named Liu said she visits psychics every year around the New Year.

"Whenever my emotions get tangled up with problems, I visit the masters for advice," Liu said.

Liu had visited a number of Chinese psychics, but this was her first time with a foreign psychic.

"Master Woolf has unique energy that I can feel, which is different from other psychics," Liu said, "and she is also effective, like she had known me for a long time," she said.

Unlike Chinese psychics who predict people's futures on the basis of phrenology, and the time and place of their births, Woolf tells the future from a person's energy, which she "sees".

Xu, another client from Beijing, thinks Western divination is more "scientific" than traditional Chinese divination, and she studies Tarot and astrology.

"I never asked anything from a Chinese master, because I think they tell things in a way that is unreliable. For example, a friend told me that a master he had visited told him that 90 percent of ghosts in China are tamed by a master, which I doubt.

"But for Western divination, which is mostly based on stars and energy, I think it makes sense, because I believe that the connection between the globe and other parts of the universe will reflect on individuals, so each person has a different energy," Xu said.

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