Pro Magician Reveals Secrets Behind Horoscopes
Where they started and why you should ignore them.
Where they started and why you should ignore them.
What if I told you that I knew a lot about you.
You! The person reading this.
If I’m wrong, I’ll buy you a slice of cheesecake. If I’m right… well, let’s just see how we get on…
MY PERSONALISED READING — FOR YOU
I think you have a tendency to be too trusting and have been in the past, so now you try to be more of an independent thinker. Not just accepting someone’s statements as truth.
However, that independence has led you to keep people a little bit more at arms length, at times.
Although you’re disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. That’s put you into a routine of constantly being critical of yourself.
This definitely affects your relationships and friendships and forces you to have a stronger need for other people to like and admire you.
After all, THEY SHOULD. You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage. Even though you strive for security in your life, both in your personal life and in your career, you sometimes have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing.
Some of your aspirations could seem to be pretty unrealistic to some people, and you feel that too… so a while ago you left a really creative pursuit behind you. Something that you’ve recently been thinking about.
Pretty good right?
Of course, all of that was complete b********.
All it was missing was the word ‘moon’ and the phrase ‘Jupiter is crossing your path’ and it would have been a perfect (probably more accurate) horoscope for the back of some gossip magazine.
If my career doesn’t work out, perhaps I’ll go into writing horoscopes.
But how did it feel so unique?
The concept for horoscopes is based on something called a Barnum statement, or the Forer effect.
Coined after P.T Barnum (creator of the Circus and subject of the musical ‘The Greatest Showman) and Bertram Forer , separately, the acceptance of these statements is a common psychological phenomenon.
Participants feel their personality is being evaluated and give high accuracy ratings to descriptions that are so vague, they apply to almost everyone.
This same phenomenon is the groundwork behind astrology, psychic readings, fortune-telling and of course, today’s subject; horoscopes.
But I don’t want to get into a fight with psychics… I heard they can see your punches coming from last week. (Weak joke… I’ll see myself out) :(
“There’s a sucker born every minute.” — P.T Barnum
I put some Horoscopes to the test. From 5 different gossip magazines that I bought for ummm, research purposes.
I called 5 friends and got them to evaluate the accuracy of their reading over the phone.
FRIEND #1 scored it 95%
FRIEND #2 scored it 85%
FRIEND #3 scored it 50%
FRIEND #4 scored it 100%
FRIEND #5 scored it 80%
That gives a whopping average of their horoscope being 82% accurate to them.
The hilarious part? I read each one the WRONG horoscope.
When they told me their star sign, I purposefully chose a different entry to read.
They’re a Leo? I read Taurus. Capricorn? I read Cancer.
I kept it random to avoid people saying “Well Cancer’s and Capricorn’s have very similar astrological traits.”
Fuck off! It’s all a well-written, broadly distributed lie.
It would have been higher than 82%, if it wasn’t for one pesky friend who said ‘it’s like 50/50 ’. They weren’t a believer anyway by the sounds of it. But hey, science is never easy.
HOW HOROSCOPES COULD GET MORE ACCURATE
The really bold horoscopes throw in odd specifics that you’d forget if false.
Here’s an example I wrote:
LOOKING FOR LOVE? You’ll meet a tall man with a short name who’ll whisk you off your feet. It won’t be love at first sight, but a second look will seal the deal. Watch out for the colour BLUE.
This technique is similar to the cold reading techniques that psychics use. They try to read someone as an individual, as if connecting to otherworldly entities.
Convincing a participant of that power in their abilities.
However, the truth is far simpler.
- Everything that’s true is given significance.
- Everything that isn’t true is forgotten and ironed over with another true fact or insight.
Let’s take that example above… “Looking for love?”
e.g. Sally is indeed looking for love. She meets a man named Pete, he’s asthmatic, so his friends call him ‘Blue Peter’ and she walked past him at her friend’s wedding, then got chatting at the bar.
Her reading is now scarily accurate. All praise Mystic ME.
This is how she would wrongly apply false significance to that horoscope.
Blue = Correct. His nickname has the word ‘blue’ in it.
Short name = Correct. Sally calls him Pete.
Tall man = He is tall. Correct.
Not love at first sight, but they caught up later = Scarily accurate.
But imagine if someone else read it. Someone that wasn’t looking for love. Now that statement has no value against their star sign.
This is how you’d objectively look at that reading, without giving significance to it…
Blue is a very masculine colour. It’s also very common. 99% of people will interact with something blue in their day… That other 1% is colour blind or visually impaired.
Tall. Most men are taller than most women. It’s biology.
Short name. Most people shorten their names to something easier to say. Daniel becomes Dan. Theodore become Theo. William becomes Will, or Bill.
Second sight. People rarely show attraction to one another upon first glance. Either they build up the confidence after a first look, or they wait for a more casual, less abrupt opportunity to start a conversation.
WHY IT’S HARD FOR SOME PEOPLE TO LET GO
So why can’t people stop reading them and admit their fake?
The significance comes from the person receiving the horoscope. They choose where to apply it and what details they should confirm.
Thousands of people looking for love won’t meet anyone that week. Do you ever think about that?
But it doesn’t matter. They’ll forget that they were even supposed to when this week’s horoscope says they’ll “overcome some financial struggles” and they get a pay rise at work.
Pure chance. Ironically, some people with the same horoscope will go bankrupt that week.
I have a friend that once told a guy in a faux-reading (whilst performing as a Mentalist) that he wasn’t a ‘one TV show & go to bed kind of person’, instead he enjoyed binging a series on Netflix.
The guy went crazy. “That’s totally me!” he shouted.
I stood there, dumfounded, thinking “yeah that’s totally everyone dude.”
But he didn’t connect the dots. He didn’t want to.
People just WANT to believe.
Belief is a construct that is completely detached from fact. We can believe something that’s backed by science, or we can choose to believe something that isn’t.
People that believe in Ghosts or God, do so, because they want to… The burden of proof lies with the skeptic, not the believer.
If there’s some things we can’t explain, then there’s hope for those looking for it.
Now their universe isn’t dictated by choices and circumstance, it’s determined. The only path available to them, becomes their correct path.
It gives people purpose to believe blindly.
To search for meaning in the back of a magazine might give them hope that life is going to get better.
Perhaps this week is their week. Perhaps mercury being in retrograde will fix their loneliness, love life, financial worries or lack of direction in their career.
However it’s all b*******… and I don’t take enjoyment in telling you that.
I tell you, purely to empower you to make your own luck.
Based on our earlier agreement, I believe you now owe ME a slice of cheesecake.
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