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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Hello fellow forum-dwellers!

    I'd like to ask for your help with a gift for a friend - a lady with very specific sense of humor. She likes astrology - horoscopes and other stuff - and I'd like to prepare a horoscope (very detailed) for her. Of course, since I plan on making it, it should be used mostly for entertainment and not seriously.

    I'd like to use as much stuff (star tables, runes, dream explanations) as possible, making it look as professional as possible. I also plan on preparing random "prophecies" (some acquired from random prophecy generator, some by myself and if you provide interesting inputs, I'll be glad).

    So, what I'd like to hear? Since I don't have so much time as to study all the stuff for myself, I'm turning to you, as source of knowledge! Any suggestions for:

    any obscure astrological/occult/whatever method for divination in RL,
    terminology
    faux astrological/occult/whatever method for divination (feel free to use RPG knowledge)
    easily-fulfillable prophecies ("Beware of the gray man on fifth day as he brings bad news.").

    Also, any actual astrological advice will be appreciated, as well as any entertaining ideas!

    Thank you!
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Be sure to include selected numbers from the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count for the year of her birth, couched in the language of Roman augury.

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    I think you got the main things. Prophecies should be general enough to be easily fulfilled, but specific enough to have some relevance. And since you'll be taking part in making them true, you can tailor them to what you may want to do.

    As for divination, name any substance, animal, method of movement or whatever. It has likely been used for divination. Water, flight of birds, numbers, letters, candles, you name it. So you can feel free to chose the most ridiculous thing which has at least some random element to it, and go nuts.
    Si non confectus, non reficiat.

    The beautiful girl is courtesy of Serpentine
    My S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripjat Let's Play! Please give it a read, more than one constant reader would be nice!

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    RogueGuy

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    I don't know if many people know this, but the horoscopes/astrology predictions from papers and magazines are usually written by writers (of literature) and not by actual practitioners of the "dark arts". Which means 99% of horoscopes are random nonsense. I had a professor of literature that actually worked crafting these (and other inane parts of the newspaper) for quite some time.

    Anyway, the gist of it is to be as vague as possible. And also, as ominous as possible, within the reasonable. The secret is everyone wants to feel important, but few actually enjoy the pressure of being the main character. So instead of something like "you will be involved in a serious business that will revolutionize your field of work"; you write "Good decisions make good trades. You should trust your instincts and flow with the wind". Or if you want to be more ominous: "Good weather instils fresh air in your life. Exercise your body and prepare to be embarked in new, exciting adventures." or "Obstacles mean challenges, but challenges can't be overcome without some help. Open yourself to making new friends, and your week will be easier".

    Of course, that applies to horoscopes and the likes. About charts, proper astrology, most I know about is that it was a system based on the Ptolemaic system (IIRC), so the most relevant objects are planets and the sun. Also, their significance is tied to the meaning of Greek/Roman Gods: Mercury influences commerce and news; Venus influences love/friendship; Uranus has absolutely nothing to do with bowel movements; and so on. Sun and moon are also related to the greek gods; but for occultism, they add the idea of duality: energy (positive/negative), the occult (secrecy) and the truth, etc.

    Hope this helps for now. It's been a while since I read something esoteric, really. I think the last one was Promethea
    (sic)

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    GolemsVoice's Avatar

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Also, the suffix "-mancy" basically means "divination by means of X", so oneiromancy is divination through dreams, from the Greek word for dream and divination. So just take whatever you have, maybe find its Latin or Greek translation, add -mancy, and go to town.
    Si non confectus, non reficiat.

    The beautiful girl is courtesy of Serpentine
    My S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripjat Let's Play! Please give it a read, more than one constant reader would be nice!

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Prophecies:

    "You will notice something missing in your lfe. Be sure to pay attention to it."

    "The Fates will have a planned network outage next Thursday. Please be sure to complete all perishable supplications before 10:00 Delphi time, as we cannot guarantee best results unless freshness is maintained."

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    Quote Originally Posted by lacco36 View Post
    Of course, since I plan on making it, it should be used mostly for entertainment and not seriously.
    If anything, the fact that you're the one writing it makes it more likely to have merit - you know the person, you can make somewhat better predictions than someone trying to fit vague generalizations to a whole population.

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    I don't know if many people know this, but the horoscopes/astrology predictions from papers and magazines are usually written by writers (of literature) and not by actual practitioners of the "dark arts". Which means 99% of horoscopes are random nonsense. I had a professor of literature that actually worked crafting these (and other inane parts of the newspaper) for quite some time.
    Where "usually" means "always" (although calling what a lot of these writers do literature is a stretch) and 99% means 100%. The art is one of writing predictions that apply to most everyone, but that sound much more specific than they actually are.

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    RogueGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Where "usually" means "always" (although calling what a lot of these writers do literature is a stretch) and 99% means 100%. The art is one of writing predictions that apply to most everyone, but that sound much more specific than they actually are.
    No, I meant ACTUAL writers. My professor, for example, is a succesful comic book writer. He also wrote some books. Perhaps I should clarify: he knows nothing about astrology or anything like that. He simply started in the industry of writing by doing the "lesser tasks" (ie: horoscopes, obituaries, etc.).

    Other people who may write those sections are usually regular journalists, critics or even bloggers. What I mean is that newspapers/magazines practically NEVER tend to bother to look for anyone who actually calls themselves "an astrologist". It's usually extra-work, and too irelevant for the general industry*. Within the industry there's actually a joke: "There are journalists, then people who write opinion articles, then people who serve coffee; but the newbies start by writing for the horoscope section."

    *unless the magazine is about astrology, I suppose (?)

    tl;dr: Whatever you believe about astrology and/or "astrologists" as an "actual" profession/title, it wasn't what I was referring to.
    (sic)

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    No, I meant ACTUAL writers. My professor, for example, is a succesful comic book writer. He also wrote some books. Perhaps I should clarify: he knows nothing about astrology or anything like that. He simply started in the industry of writing by doing the "lesser tasks" (ie: horoscopes, obituaries, etc.).
    My point is that there's a fairly specific definition to literature that doesn't necessarily apply to those lesser tasks - or to journalism, and it's the journalist pool that newspapers and the likes are much more likely to pull from than the literary writer pool.

    There's no disagreement about whether or not people who claim to be astrologists are involved; they largely aren't. My point is that your professor is a bit of an outlier as an actual writer and professor of literature - he's wildly overqualified, and the standard is a bit closer to the basic literacy end of the scale.

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Maybe do some kind of gag representing lunar mansions as literal mansions of the sort seen on MTV Cribs

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ettin in the Playground
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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    99% 100% of horoscopes are random nonsense.:
    Fixed that for you.

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Well, I only have to ask and the Playgrounders deliver! Thank you guys, you are very helpful, keep the advice flowing!




    Quote Originally Posted by DavidSh View Post
    Be sure to include selected numbers from the Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count for the year of her birth, couched in the language of Roman augury.
    THIS is pure gold!

    Anyone got any other ideas where can I get data for any-crazy-idea-mancy?

    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    I think you got the main things. Prophecies should be general enough to be easily fulfilled, but specific enough to have some relevance. And since you'll be taking part in making them true, you can tailor them to what you may want to do.

    As for divination, name any substance, animal, method of movement or whatever. It has likely been used for divination. Water, flight of birds, numbers, letters, candles, you name it. So you can feel free to chose the most ridiculous thing which has at least some random element to it, and go nuts.

    Also, the suffix "-mancy" basically means "divination by means of X", so oneiromancy is divination through dreams, from the Greek word for dream and divination. So just take whatever you have, maybe find its Latin or Greek translation, add -mancy, and go to town.
    Oneiromancy shall get used. Also divining from numbers (I asked for 3 random numbers the person thinks of as last thing in the evening, 3 random words she thinks of first in the morning, 7 dreams - ideally with timestamp).

    My first idea for "random-mancy" was app-mancy (divining from contents of your cellphone, specifically apps you have installed... maybe will change it to "chóros-mancy" - divining from ratio of used/free space you have in your cellphone at specific time/space).

    Got any strange ideas? Share them

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    Anyway, the gist of it is to be as vague as possible. And also, as ominous as possible, within the reasonable. The secret is everyone wants to feel important, but few actually enjoy the pressure of being the main character. So instead of something like "you will be involved in a serious business that will revolutionize your field of work"; you write "Good decisions make good trades. You should trust your instincts and flow with the wind". Or if you want to be more ominous: "Good weather instils fresh air in your life. Exercise your body and prepare to be embarked in new, exciting adventures." or "Obstacles mean challenges, but challenges can't be overcome without some help. Open yourself to making new friends, and your week will be easier".

    Of course, that applies to horoscopes and the likes. About charts, proper astrology, most I know about is that it was a system based on the Ptolemaic system (IIRC), so the most relevant objects are planets and the sun. Also, their significance is tied to the meaning of Greek/Roman Gods: Mercury influences commerce and news; Venus influences love/friendship; Uranus has absolutely nothing to do with bowel movements; and so on. Sun and moon are also related to the greek gods; but for occultism, they add the idea of duality: energy (positive/negative), the occult (secrecy) and the truth, etc.

    Hope this helps for now. It's been a while since I read something esoteric, really. I think the last one was Promethea
    Good advice, overall! Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Prophecies:

    "You will notice something missing in your lfe. Be sure to pay attention to it."

    "The Fates will have a planned network outage next Thursday. Please be sure to complete all perishable supplications before 10:00 Delphi time, as we cannot guarantee best results unless freshness is maintained."
    Again: pure gold!

    Both will definitely get in!

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    If anything, the fact that you're the one writing it makes it more likely to have merit - you know the person, you can make somewhat better predictions than someone trying to fit vague generalizations to a whole population.
    That's the plan!

    Quote Originally Posted by joeltion View Post
    Which means 99% of horoscopes are random nonsense.
    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    Nope. I fixed it in following sentence:

    This horoscope shall contain 120% of random nonsense, bull emissions and will be as cryptic as Pnakotic manuscripts!

    So join the fun - it's not about "are horoscopes a thing?" but about "how far can we go with the bull-excreta before it becomes too much?"...

    And don't worry - the lady this document is planned for is an astronomer who does not believe in horoscopes
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
    Currently GMing:
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  13. - Top - End - #13
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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Oomancy and myomancy are actual historical traditions, involving fortune telling with eggs and mice, respectively. If you're looking for some of the more esoteric disciplines they're real standouts. Sure, it's not really any odder than watching bird flight patterns or bone cracking patterns in fire, but it's unfamiliar enough to seem odder.

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    You could also look into what folks did in your region or country for divination purposes, use some of the local flavour.
    Si non confectus, non reficiat.

    The beautiful girl is courtesy of Serpentine
    My S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripjat Let's Play! Please give it a read, more than one constant reader would be nice!

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    RogueGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    My point is that your professor is a bit of an outlier as an actual writer and professor of literature - he's wildly overqualified, and the standard is a bit closer to the basic literacy end of the scale.
    Are you implying journalists don't produce literature? If so, your definition of literature is a bit narrower than mine. I don't think he was overqualified anyway, there's no shame in starting at the bottom. He wrote some scripts for soap operas too (the kind where the story makes little to no sense). I think that's the life of the freelancer.

    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    I disagree. From my perspective, the nonsense that kind of people utter (not the writers) are far from random. That's the sole reason why people are hooked to begin with

    Quote Originally Posted by Knaight View Post
    Oomancy and myomancy are actual historical traditions, involving fortune telling with eggs and mice, respectively. If you're looking for some of the more esoteric disciplines they're real standouts. Sure, it's not really any odder than watching bird flight patterns or bone cracking patterns in fire, but it's unfamiliar enough to seem odder.
    I can imagine what they did to the egg*; and I seriously expect the mice didn't suffer a similar fate

    *I hope they added some bacon an bread later tho
    (sic)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWR View Post
    Fixed that for you.
    It was correct the first time. The remaining 1% are non-random nonsense

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    There are two types of astrology.

    The first is the kind you get in newspapers and magazines, where someone sits down and makes something up off the top of their head.

    The second is an extensive and internally consistent process involving detailed study of the position of the stars and planets, their relationship to each other and to the individual in question, and analysis of these relationships in order to make predictions that are just as accurate and useful as if they'd been made up off the top of the head.

    Assuming you don't want to become an expert in astrology - because really, who has the time for that - the trick is to make it look like the second one while in fact you're just doing the first. If you search around, there are some good-looking charts and symbols associated with it that can make it look impressive.

    Something else to note is that the stuff you get in magazines is obviously debunked even by people who believe in the power of astrology: if it all comes down to star signs, and there are only twelve of those, how can the effects possibly apply to individuals? "Proper" astrology addressed that millennia ago: while the star sign holds a vague significance, the important thing is the position of the planets and stars at the precise moment and place of birth, producing a natal chart that is almost unique to that individual. Again, it's not worth the bother of actually trying to calculate that, but making it look like you have done (resorting to the old staple of "making it up") will help to give the whole thing more of a veneer of authenticity. And authentic bunk is the best kind.
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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Quote Originally Posted by GolemsVoice View Post
    You could also look into what folks did in your region or country for divination purposes, use some of the local flavour.
    Well, there are several "rituals", but most of them are time-specific and have very specific uses (e.g. divining a name of your future lover from molten metal poured into cold water, divining using "Lucia" stools - crafted from one piece of wood, you place the stool on crossroads on 13th December and you get to meet local ghosts and witches who tell you your future while they try to kill you...etc.).

    We are low-magic country

    But I'll definitely try to check with some of my more occult-based friends.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
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    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
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    Don't forget about Tyromancy, divination by way of cheese.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Don't forget about Tyromancy, divination by way of cheese.
    Oh, yeah!

    I can't wait to describe how the different veins create images...

    ...but I'll need some latin terminology to describe it so it's not so obvious...

    ...any ideas?

    I could use the terminology used for different cuts in Italian school...

    EDIT:
    @Aedilred: Perfect advice! Of course I won't be studying astrology - I'm not against learning things like these, there's just not enough time and there's too much other stuff to learn

    So I'll fake it - and thanks for the pointers. Didn't know about the natal tables. Will have to fake some... Think she'll notice if I use the starmap from fictious sky...?
    Last edited by lacco36; 2017-11-22 at 02:53 PM.
    Call me Laco or Ladislav (if you need to be formal). Yes, that is my name. Feel free to use it.
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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    "mercury is in alignment, avoid seafood"

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    Have any of you ever heard Your Horoscope For Today by Weird Al Yancovic? All the predictions are either bizarrely specific and implausible ("your love life will run into trouble when your fiancee hurls a javelin through your chest") or platitudinously generic and nonspecific("the stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep")

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    Default Re: Frivolous Astrology Gift

    You must use: " The roadster of wealth will come from the battleship of authority" for the Rusty and Co. fans.
    Venite adoremus,
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