Medieval Witchcraft gives several methods for telling one's own fortune and the fortunes of friends. After all, what better way to be sure of the fortune teller's honesty than to do it yourself? Charles Godfrey Leland, one of the contributors to the collection, described in the 19th century the following cold reading statements used by scam fortune tellers and how anyone could use them:
1. It is safe in most cases with middle-aged men to declare that they have had a law-suit, or a great dispute as to property, which has given them a great deal of trouble. This must be impressively uttered. Emphasis and sinking the voice are of great assistance in fortune-telling. If the subject betray the least emotion, or admit it, promptly improve the occasion, express sympathy, and "work it up."2. Declare that a great fortune, or something greatly to the advantage of the subject, or something which will gratify him, will soon come in his way, but that he must be keen to watch his opportunity and be bold and energetic.3. He will have three great chances, or fortunes, in his life. If you know that he has inherited or made a fortune, or had a good appointment, you may say that he has already realized one of them. This seldom fails.4. A lady of great wealth and beauty, who is of singularly sympathetic disposition, is in love with him, or ready to be, and it will depend on himself to secure his happiness. Or he will soon meet such a person when he shall least expect it.5. "You had at one time great trouble with your relations (or friends). They treated you very unkindly." Or, "They were prepared to do so, but your resolute conduct daunted them."6. "You have been three times in great danger of death." Pronounce this very impressively. Everybody, though it be a schoolboy believes, or likes to believe, that he has encountered perils. This is infallible, or at least it takes in most people. If the subject can be induced to relate his hairbreadth escapes, you may foretell future perils.7. "You have had an enemy who has caused you great trouble. But he—or she—it is well not to specify which till you find out the sex—will ere long go too far, and his or her effort to injure you will recoil on him or her." Or, briefly, "It is written that some one, by trying to wrong you, will incur terrible retribution." Or, "You have had enemies, but they are all destined to come to grief." Or, "You had an enemy but you outlived him."8. "You got yourself once into great trouble by doing a good act."9. "Your passions have thrice got you into great trouble. Once your inconsiderate anger (or pursuit of pleasure) involved you in great suffering which, in the end, was to your advantage." Or else, "This will come to pass; therefore be on your guard."10. "You will soon meet with a person who will have a great influence on your future life if you cultivate his friendship. You will ere long meet some one who will fall in love with you, if encouraged."11. "You will find something very valuable if you keep your eyes open and watch closely. You have twice passed over a treasure and missed it, but you will have a third opportunity."12. "You have done a great deal of good, or made the fortune or prosperity of persons who have been very ungrateful."13. "You have been involved in several love affairs, but your conduct in all was really perfectly blameless."14. "You have great capacity for something, and before long an occasion will present itself for you to exert it to your advantage."By putting these points adroitly, and varying or combining them, startling cases of conviction may be made. Yet even into this deception will glide intuition, or the inexplicable insight to character, and the deceiver himself be led to marvel, so true is it that he who flies from Brama goes towards him, let him do what he will, for Truth is everywhere, and even lies lead to it.
The above are all just tricks of simple cold reading; but real, old-fashioned fortune telling is more complex, and Medieval Witchcraft gives the way you can really do it -- and teaches from the best! Instructions for palm reading, card reading, dream reading and even more. You'll never need to worry about fake fortune tellers again with Mother Bombie at your side.