First things first. Even though I’ve been lithographed: “TEELEAF® The Fortune Telling Game” I am not, in fact, a mere parlor game. I am a fortune teller’s assistant.
If you use me correctly, with pure intentions, I will provide clues to the immediate future. I’m sorry, the more distant future is strictly off limits. Too many variables, too many choices yet to be made. But trust me when I say, certain events are already coming around the bend. Your preceding choices have been determined. The near future is already on its way.
Which means, the marbles are already destined for certain landing spots.
What do I mean by landing spots? First let me describe myself to you, so you can gain a clear mental picture of my vintage design.
I am a circular metal tray, about twelve inches in diameter, one inch deep. Think of a 1930’s drink tray, but room for just one glass, a single napkin. Around the inside perimeter is a small groove, a track. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Okay, now picture on my inside surface, I’ve been dimpled with 36 round depressions — the right size to hold a marble. Each marble well is numbered and painted with a unique graphic illustration. These are your fortune telling clues.
For example, number 4 is a pile of coins. Number 11, a spider. Number 18, a pistol.
I predict at this moment, you’re already forming some lightning-quick thoughts in your mind, what these images represent. Coins could be wealth, finances, unexpected treasure. A spider could be fears, a web of lies, complications. The pistol could mean ‘shoot from the hip.’ Or yes, an actual gun.
Now, you might even be telling yourself a story. Perhaps it’s a literal one: a bank robber, startled by a spider, accidentally shoots his gun, splitting open a sack of stolen money. Or perhaps it’s more subtle: money being stolen through a web of lies and deceit.
Follow your instincts. Let the images paint a picture in your mind, allow the story to unfold. You might even perceive it visually: a tiny movie screen showing you the future.
Now put the story in a future context and personalize it: Someone may try to blackmail you. Do not trust everything they tell you. They are only after your money!
You might even feel bold enough to incorporate the numbers 4-11-18 into the fortune. Days, weeks, months. Perhaps, a sweepstakes number. A word of advice: try not to get too fancy, too soon. It takes time to build a trust relationship with the other realm.
Right, so that’s all there is to it. Fortune Telling 101. You are now an apprentice fortune teller. Now I must give you a critique. That was a rather bleak interpretation of the symbols. Keep in mind, there are two sides to every coin.
Could it be possible, you never actually felt a sense of foreboding? Maybe you envision coins spilling from a piggy bank. Maybe you associate spiders with bringing rain. A gunshot starts the race, right now! Start saving now for a rainy day. You get the idea.
I strongly suggest before any fortune telling, you clear the daily clutter from your mind. Ground your feet into the earth, take a cleansing breath, that sort of thing. Create a personal ritual to signal you are receptive and ready.
Now let’s give it a go. Put a few marbles in me — I recommend keeping it simple with three — and shake me in a circular manner. The marbles will start spinning around my circular track by centrifugal force.
Lay me down on a flat surface. Allow the marbles to continue spinning, slowly roll across the tray, and land where they may. Do not interfere in any way.
Right, okay. The marbles have landed. 2 Butterfly, 23 Grave, 31 Fireball. Away you go now.
Tell me this world’s future.
Karin Hedetniemi photographs and writes from Vancouver Island, Canada. Her creative work has been curated by Lunch Ticket, Prairie Fire, Hinterland, Pithead Chapel, EVENT, and other literary journals. In 2020, Karin won the nonfiction contest from the Royal City Literary Arts Society. Antiques sometimes find her — one time it was a 1930s TeeLeaf fortune telling tray. Find her published work at AGoldenHour.com.