photo by LoLo

Interpreting the divine with a Japanese card reader

Spirituality is a little different in Japan. Religious practices have no Judea-Christian origin, rather a basis in indigenous traditions. Known as Shintoism, Japanese spiritual beliefs are polytheistic and animistic. While they may seem superstitious to some, customs are taken seriously by residents.

If you’ve attended a Japnese temple on New Year’s day, you may understand. Omikuji, divided into categories of good and bad, are a must-buy. These small paper scrolls are traditional fortunes read by temple-goers. They provide detailed predictions about business prospects, relationships, health, etc. for the upcoming year.

Yet, forlorn consumers in Japan seek more. In recent years, New Age approaches are growing in popularity, adding spice to the complex landscape of Japanese spirituality. grape Japan recently sat down with LoLo, a professional card reader, to ask her about her work. Interested readers can view her profile here.

What power do your cards have?

The cards are like a telephone; they convey a message, and it's my job to interpret that message. I avoid telling customers my opinion and simply relate to them what the cards are saying. Once every two or three weeks, I purify the cards by burning sage.

Why do you burn sage?

Items can easily absorb a person’s energy. Books, letters, and especially fortune-telling cards do this. If there is too much energy from other people in the cards, they become difficult to read. I must clean them, which I do with sage.

Can your cards see the future? Talk to dead?

If I ask them to, they can do either. Some people believe our bodies are “real,” but this is incorrect. Bodies are an illusion. Our bodies aren’t forever, but our souls are. A person’s soul doesn’t go away when they die. So it is possible to contact them with the cards.

Do you worry about evil powers or dark energy?

If I don't think about evil and do my job with an open heart, there is no problem. However, I sometimes get scared. If I am full of fear and doubt, that is a problem. Fortune tellers must take care of themselves, mentally and physically. If we are mentally ill, for example, this affects the result.

Can you talk about your ideas on energy? How does a person's energy affect their lives and happiness?

I’m not so sure what to say, but I think everyone’s personality has a profound impact on their own lives. In our everyday lives, we mentally make a show or perform the play of our experiences. The way we read and react to people, it's all an unconscious performance that people do. Perhaps we do it because we are bored, uninterested in reality, but for many people, this mental phenomenon is a problem. This type of thing drives many people's behavior, and they are unaware of the real reasons why they do or think about certain things. People become trapped in this play, they cannot escape it, and it makes them very unhappy. If we could speak and act more directly from the heart, I think people would be better off.

How do you develop your abilities?

I began healing myself several years ago. Inside of me, and everyone is an "inner child." As children, we are very sensitive, and this "inner child," this inner heart, is usually scared. Everyone has this situation. I needed to heal myself before I could heal others. As an adult, I am mature enough to talk reasonably to my inner child and calm her anxieties. I can do things now, say things now, that I couldn’t as a child. In this way, I can stand up for myself during the painful parts of my childhood.

I also do things like walking meditation, extensive research, and consult colleagues. Yoshimoto Banana’s books are also very helpful. Her stories speak to the reader’s unconscious and can help heal. I also see card readers myself, and that helps a lot.

Are cards the best way to answer customers’ questions? Are there other methods you use?

Cards are the most useful. Many have a picture that tells you a lot about their meaning while explaining what is happening with the person asking the questions. I also use a kind of talisman that can answer yes or no questions.

Are there any other items or talismans that can increase your ability?

I like to have a few special stones around when I do readings.

What kinds of things do customers ask you?

About 95% of people ask about loved ones, crushes, or significant others. The other 5% usually ask about their job.

Have you had any problematic readings?

In my job, I sometimes have to tell hard truths. It’s actually a big problem. People do not want to hear bad news. For example, a recent customer asked me if she should start a new relationship. However, the person she is interested in is dating someone else. I could see from the cards that his current girlfriend is too tenacious and will make it difficult for him to leave. According to the cards, he will have trouble ending his relationship and beginning a relationship with my customer.

I told her this, and she was obviously unhappy. She had many questions and seemed to think that the cards were wrong. However, my job is to read the cards, and that's what the cards said. These kinds of things sometimes happen.

What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe in card readings?

Well, it's up to each person whether or not they believe in the cards. If someone doesn't, however, there is really no reason to see me. My job is simple: I'm an oracle, and I read the cards. Each person must decide for themselves whether they think it's true or not.

Are there any topics you won’t discuss with customers?

My employer bans some of the topics you might expect. We are not allowed to consult about gambling, trading, criminal activities, and so on. But customers know the rules, so it rarely comes up.

How do you help your customers?

Quite often, customers, especially young women, often want to know about the people in their lives, especially their boyfriends. That's fine, but they are overlooking something more valuable. One's self is much more important. If someone can heal themselves, heal their inner child, they will be much happier, and their worries about friends or boyfriends will fall away. It's like when there's a typhoon. Even if the weather outside is chaotic, inside the house is safe. We should fortify our inner lives, and we will be much happier.

By - Luke Mahoney.