by Estelle Daniels
With the millennium approaching, every psychic worth their salt is supposed to be tuning in on what the next thousand years will bring. Or just what the year 2000 will hold in store for us unsuspecting humans. The silly season has arrived, and the predictions seem to be right in tune with it.
Well, I'm a big important psychic – just ask my mother, she'll vouch for me – and I want my share of this pie. There is great lucrative potential in making predictions about the Millennium. So in the best tradition of the supermarket tabloids and sleazy get-rich-quick entrepreneurs everywhere, I present:
Auntie Estelle's Sure-Fire Predictions for the Millennium
(appropriate fanfare and flashing lights.)
(Warning— Do not try these predictive systems at home. Check with a professional or get yourself a deck of Tarot cards, they're easier. And you might not be able to duplicate my results. These predictions are for entertainment only and should not be used to buy stocks, book passage on an alien spaceship, or build a bomb shelter in your back yard.)
[For those who haven't gotten it yet, this is a humor piece, in the form of satire and parody. It is intended for those who are sick of the "M" word and just want life to get back to normal. Hopefully it can give perspective to all those gloom and doom-sayers who seem to be a dime-a-dozen. Get a life.]
During the research of this article, I embarked upon a quest, not only to get the best most radical up-to-date predictions available, but also to try and use lost means of divination. My research led me far and wide, and I bring to you, gentle reader, the results of my exhaustive searches, both those which were fruitful and those which didn't do so hot. And also even the failures. Nobody's perfect.
I wanted to get the lowdown on natural disasters. I thought what would be the best way to predict those? Well, by using natural things of course. I got myself a little book, and found several possible methods. I tried geomancy – a divinatory system practiced by driving stakes in the earth at random points, connecting them with string and interpreting the resulting shapes.
Since my yard is small, I went off to the nearest park. I took a lot of stakes and a big ball of twine. I started really early, and didn't even have my usual morning cup of coffee to minimize my own brain functions and psychic interference. I hammered stakes, and eventually ran out. This is good. Then I tried to find the twine, but got lost because I hadn't been paying attention when I was hammering the stakes (it does say random). I eventually found the twine and was happily tying the stakes together when the police came. They arrested me for causing a public nuisance. I guess some of those random placements crossed the jogging paths and joggers didn't see the twine and well... I tried to convince the police that I was conducting important research which could alter the course of mankind. They just said "yes, yes" and "of course" as they gently led me into their police car. My attempt at geomancy was incomplete, so I was worried. How I would get my predictions? All seemed lost at the start.
But all was not lost. Did you know that every jail cell is equipped with a toilet? And that toilet has water in it, so I cheerfully passed the time until my hearing practicing hydromancy— divination by gazing into a water surface. Here are the results of those divinations as I can best remember them. They wouldn't let me have pencil and paper in jail, something about being crazy and a suicide risk...
Natural disasters worldwide
There will be floods in China accompanied by the loss of life. Commerce and farming will be disrupted. World leaders will express concern for China's growing population and the economy. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
An earthquake will strike without warning, causing massive damage and loss of life. This will be somewhere in Asia or South America. Scientists will warn everyone that this is a sign that the big one is coming, though they will not be able to say when it will come. It will take time for relief workers to get to the afflicted area, and the world will cry out to help those people. There will be TV reports showing the rescue efforts, damaged homes and buildings, and people living in the streets. The water supply will be disrupted, and people will get sick because of it. The government will call for more earthquake-proof buildings, but the costs will be prohibitive. There will be at least one miraculous rescue of a person trapped in the rubble and rescued days later. Some people trapped will die before rescuers will be able to get to them.
A volcano will erupt unexpectedly. There will be smoke and ash, and possibly a lava flow. Some people will die, and a community will be devastated. People living nearby will be surprised, but will vow to stay and rebuild for that's their home and they don't want to leave. Scientists will claim that this eruption is small and just a precursor to the big one, though they will not be able to say when that will hit.
So after I got released, I saw my court-appointed psychiatrist. He is really nice and insists that I tell him my dreams. This ties in with my research so I thought I'd use Oneiromancy – divination through the interpretation of dreams. I dreamt about some interesting people, so here are those predictions.
Scandal will rock the Royal Family. There will be calls to abolish the monarchy and some will demand the Queen start paying her own way. There will be criticism of Prince Charles. Paparazzi will continue to photograph the young Princes, but at a distance. A memorial to Princess Diana will be constructed. There will be criticism of the management of the Princess Diana Trusts. Elton John will refuse to perform Candle in the Wind.
Tragedy will hit the Kennedy family. There will be new speculations about the assassination of JFK. There will be a wedding and a divorce in the Kennedy family. One member will be elected to office. There will be a book published about either JFK, the assassination or Jackie O.
There will be at least one sighting of Elvis and people will claim he is still alive. Elvis impersonators will appear on TV. People will gather at Graceland on the anniversary of Elvis' death.
A famous celebrity couple will spilt and possibly divorce. They will say their careers just caused them to grow apart. There will be claims of unfaithfulness on the part of one or both. The tabloids will pick it up, and there will be threats of a lawsuit.
A child celebrity will threaten to sue their parents to get control of their earnings. They will claim the parents spent the money on themselves. A former child celebrity will be in trouble with the law over drugs.
Another Hollywood celebrity will be in trouble with the law over drugs. People will say they knew about it for years, but nobody could do anything about it. The celebrity will go through treatment and will say they are a new person.
A famous person will be in the headlines because they have a deadly disease. They will choose to go public to help raise awareness for their ailment. People will send cards and gifts in an outpouring of sympathy.
There will be a Hollywood blockbuster movie which will turn out to be a box-office disappointment. There will be a movie which will be an unexpected hit. There will be some surprises at the Oscars this year.
Then my doctor said I needed to get some exercise and I should try sports. Keeping with my research I discovered these systems: Belomancy – divination by the use of arrows; rhabdomancy – divination using an arrow and target. A number of answers are attached to a target and the priest shoots an arrow at the target. The answer pierced by the arrow is the correct one.
I got a bow and lots of arrows. I started with belomancy. I decided that when the poet wrote "I shot an arrow into the air..." he was talking about this. I took my bow and arrow, and shot it up. I lost it in the sun. I looked and looked, but couldn't find it. I tried it a few more times, but lost the arrows each time. What good is a system if you can't find your arrows? I heard arguing down the street as neighbors were accusing each other of damaging tires, but I pressed on and tried rhabdomancy. Making a target was easy. I didn't have a priest, so I decided I could do it myself. I wrote out a lot of predictions and put them on the target. Unfortunately my first bunch of arrows didn't go anywhere near the target. I decided that was because my predictions were really off. I did up a new bunch of predictions, and this time I got results.
Doctors will announce a new breakthrough in the cure for cancer. There will be an announcement about some common food which can cause harm. There will also be an announcement about some other food which can prevent disease. These results will be called inconclusive by some and further study will be called for. A new miracle diet will be announced, thousands will try it and few will get lasting results.
There will be a study showing new findings about the links between diet, cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease. One doctor will say that the study is flawed. New drugs and/or techniques for controlling cholesterol will be recommended, but some will say it's too soon to tell if these recommendations will work. Further research will be called for.
An epidemic will break out in Africa or Asia which will cause a possible panic. World Health officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
There will be a salmonella outbreak in the U.S. which will potentially affect millions. Food products will be recalled and the government will step up efforts to keep the food supply safe. The outbreak will be traced to a manufacturer who will say they were doing all they could and it was just a freak occurrence, but all safeguards will be strictly enforced from now on. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future. Many affected will either accept a settlement or will sue.
After all this exercise I was really hungry, so I thought I'd get some food. After a wonderful Chinese all-you-can-eat buffet, I did get some predictions from the fortune cookies, which is a form of aleuromancy – Divination with flour. Messages are placed in dough and baked, and the message you get is a prediction of the future.
Some corporation will attempt to log a forested area and an environmental group will protest. There will be at least one demonstration and people may be arrested. Some people will chain themselves to trees or logging equipment. A government official will say that this logging is ultimately good for the ecological health of the area. Another government official will say it is an exploitation of the country's natural resources. Paper prices will go up.
A new toxic waste site will be discovered in an area near where people live. People near the site will claim they have had mysterious illnesses for years, but nobody took them seriously. It will be called an outrage that homes were allowed to be built so near a dangerous area. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future. There will be a call by environmentalists to clean it up, but the local government will say it will cost too much and will petition the federal government for aid.
There will be a controversy out West about an area set aside for the preservation of an endangered species. Some will say it is just blocking progress and the ecologists have gone too far. There will be heated rhetoric and possibly shots will be fired in protest.
I returned home, fired with new zeal and decided to be more efficient. I would combine aspidomancy – divination by sitting upon a shield in a magickal circle. The diviner pronounces certain spells, falls into a trance and then prophecies and gyromancy – divination by spinning. A circle is drawn on the floor divided into various segments, sometimes 24, which have drawn in them Hebrew letters, Kabbalistic symbols, astrological symbols and/or other things. A person spins around and the segment of the circle where they fall then is interpreted for answers or messages.
I got myself a shield from an SCA friend, and drew a circle on the floor with all sorts of neat symbols and sayings. Then I spun around and around sitting in the shield. After a false start – the book said nothing about where you throw up being the indication of the answer – I got some results.
There will be a string of bank robberies in a major metropolitan area. The police will be baffled. Eventually the robbers will make a mistake, and they will be caught.
Violent crime will rise in a major city. There will be an outcry to stop the criminals, reform the judicial system and make the streets safe. Government officials will promise to look into the matter, new laws will be proposed, and some will actually be put into effect. More prisons will be built.
There will be a ghastly murder which will be traced to a white man who was described by his neighbors as shy, quiet and nice but distant and somebody you'd never suspect of being a murderer. This person may have committed other murders. His relatives will be shocked but will stand by him. There will be an outcry to prevent such a tragedy in the future.
Police will engage in a high-speed chase and somebody will be injured or killed. This will result from a crime where drugs were involved. Innocent bystanders will be endangered, injured or killed. There will be an outcry and a demand that something be done. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
After that active attempt I wanted something more restful. I decided to practice ceramancy— divination by interpretation of melted wax. I got a pan and started melting wax on the stove, and then wondered how you got the messages. Did you gaze into the liquid pool of wax and thereby also use elaeomancy— divination by means of a liquid surface, not water. Molten wax is a liquid, so I tried it, but my hair kept getting singed, and if I took the wax off the heat it would start solidifying. Sigh. I threw all the wax out, and it made some interesting shapes in the garbage. That gave me some ideas and here are those predictions.
A new fad will sweep the country which will cause long lines at stores and disappointment by those who lost out.
The hot new toy for Christmas will be in short supply, and people will be upset at the thought of disappointing children. One person will be injured in a mad last-minute scramble.
Some community will experience an outage of 911 service. There will be an outcry and demand for upgrading of services. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
There will be an internet scandal involving a pyramid scheme. There will be a call to clean up the internet. New software will be marketed which allows parents to screen out objectionable material for their children. There will be an arrest of a pedophile who uses the internet to lure children to have sex with him. There will be an outcry against pornographic sites. People will complain about Bill Gates and Microsoft having a monopoly.
There will be a new live happening on the internet and many people will try to log on and circuits will be jammed.
AOL may have trouble with too many people trying to logon during the same time and may experience a possible system shutdown. At the very least, there will be times when people will have to wait to be able to log on.
Then I was so fired up (ha ha) I thought I'd get further predictions using molybdomancy – divination by means of melted lead. I took the pot and a bunch of a friend's lead soldiers. They sure took long to melt. I bypassed gazing into the molten lead, and just threw the lead into the garbage. Before the fire got too large I was able to get some interesting predictions. But these predictions are suspect because later my friend said that there is no lead in lead soldiers anymore.
Natural disasters, North America
There will be floods, and storms with torrential rains will all but wipe out a town. The TV will show scenes of people in water, stranded pets and people carrying other people. Some will refuse to leave their homes and will have to be rescued. The flooded area will be declared a disaster area, but many will choose to stay and rebuild, because that's their home. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
There will be a massive fire, which will result in the loss of life. An investigation will uncover some defect or weakness that contributed to the fire. There will be an outcry to regulate things so this type of disaster won't happen again. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
There will be a drought that will cause crop losses and some livestock will die.
There will be an earthquake which will cause damage, possibly even loss of life and scientists will warn everyone that this is a sign that the big one is coming, though they can't say exactly when it will come. More research is needed. Residents will vow to rebuild and stay because it's their home. A new fault may be discovered, which poses new dangers to people living in major populated areas. There will be a call for earthquake-proof buildings but the costs will be prohibitive and it will be stated it is impossible to retro-fit all buildings to meet current earthquake codes, which may or may not be adequate. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to keep people safe when the next one hits.
Once I had written down what I got from the lead— well, melted soldiers— the fire was so advanced I had to call the fire department from the neighbor's. They pulled an arrow from their tire and asked if I knew anything about it, but I had other things on my mind. While the fire department was trying to save the other homes on the block, I remembered the many ways one can predict the future using fire.
Botanomancy— divination by burning branches of brier and vervain which are inscribed with questions to be answered. The firefighters got upset when I tried to throw more stuff on the fire— something about wanting to put it out— so I abandoned that. I thought of causimomancy— divination by fire. When objects thrown into a fire did not burn, it was considered a good omen. That one wasn't very useful as everything was burning. Empyromancy— divination by observation of objects placed in a sacrificial fire. The fire started as a result of my researches— all right I was busy writing and didn't have time to put out the fire— but it was a sacrifice on the altar of truth and the Millennium. I couldn't see any objects through the smoke and flames. Lampadomancy— divination using the flame of a lamp, wasn't quite what I had here. Libanomancy— divination using the smoke of incense. There was a lot of smoke, but a burning house doesn't smell like incense. It really stinks if you want to know the truth. Then I remembered pyromancy— divination by watching fire and the smoke arising therefrom and capnomancy— divination by means of wreaths of smoke. There was a lot of smoke and flames, and even after the flames were out there was still smoke. While the fire department was doing their thing, I got a whole lot of predictions.
Natural Disasters, United States
A winter storm will sweep in and paralyze a city for a day or two. Plows will be stranded and people will freeze. Supplies will run short and the mayor will warn against panic. Neighbors will help each other out and a new spirit of community will arise. Officials will warn everyone to be more prepared for the next storm. Many of those who were trapped by the storm will vow to stay, because that's their home and they don't want to leave. During the storm, a baby will be born unexpectedly in either a police car, a taxi cab or at home, but mother and baby will be fine and those who helped will be hailed as heroes. The baby will be named after a helper.
There will be a tragic tornado during the spring or summer in the Midwest that will claim lives. Those who survive will call it enormous, devastating. They will say it made an incredible rushing sound, like a freight train or a million bees. TV will show wrecked trailer homes and debris strewn over the landscape. Some nut will catch it on their home camcorder and it will be on TV, thereby encouraging all those other nuts to be stupid and tape the tornado instead of seeking shelter. Many of those whose homes are damaged will vow to stay and rebuild, because that's their home and they don't want to leave.
Lightning will kill at least 10 Americans. Most of those deaths will be preventable if only the people knew what to do during an electrical storm.
Hurricanes will form in the Atlantic in late summer and fall and threaten the U.S. At least one will make landfall. There will be people who refuse to evacuate. There will be damage and destruction, but many will vow to stay and rebuild, for that is their home and they don't want to leave.
After the fire, I settled at a friend's house. I wanted to keep going, undaunted by my previous ordeals. I discovered divination using animals. I thought about armomancy – divination by observation of the shoulders of a sacrificial animal; hepatoscopy – divination by means of a sheep's liver and augury – divination by the movements and sounds of birds, or divination by the reading of entrails. Then there was the poison oracle – divination performed by feeding an animal poison to determine a true answer. If the animal dies, the answer is no. Then the test is administered again to another animal to corroborate the answer. Usually the questions are phrased so that one animal must die and the other be spared to receive two corroborating answers. Both animals are given the same dose of the same substance.
I thought the entrails, poison and sacrificial parts might get me in trouble with the ASPCA and I never liked liver. I could go out and watch birds, but they probably won't allow me at the park anymore. I could try hippomancy – divination by observation of a horse's pace, but none of my friends own horses. And I think horse stealing is still a hanging offense. I thought about using alectryomancy – divination by means of a cock, which would peck at grain placed on a figure of letters of the alphabet. That wouldn't upset the ASPCA as it didn't involve sacrifice, but I thought I might run afoul (ha ha) of the zoning laws, keeping livestock in a city. Then I remembered icthyomancy – divination using the entrails of fish. I got my fishing pole and bait bucket and set out. While waiting I also practiced a little aeromancy – divination by atmospheric conditions, clouds, storms, and winds. With my stringer and notebook both full I went home to clean my fish and get additional answers from their guts. It was yukky, but enlightening.
Politics, United States
The elections of 2000 will be seen as indicative of the next millennium. There will be some surprise candidates. In the elections there will be a few surprising upsets. Some people will take this as a trend. Others will say it is just a fluke.
Some political campaigns will be very dirty and negative. There will be an outcry to clean up politics. There will also be a movement to reform political spending and the way campaign money is collected. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to fix it once they are reelected.
The Presidential election will be seen as crucial for the direction of the country. There will be candidates from the Republicans and Democrats but also an unprecedented number of minor-party candidates. Some people will try to get Ross Perot to run, he won't. There will be a popular movement to get them out, to get some fresh faces, some new blood and change the status quo.
There will be scandal in the U.S. Government. A government official will admit to sexual misconduct. There will be calls for a member of Congress to step down. One member of Congress will be suspected of mishandling campaign funds. In California a statewide proposition will be on the ballot which will be controversial and some will call it fair while others will say it will just legislate prejudice.
I had to do something with the fish parts left over after I had used the guts for divination. So I decided to cook them up. Is this what ancient priests did? Pretty good racket – get people to bring you animals, use the guts for divination and then cook up the rest. When everything was done as I sat down to eat, I accidentally spilled the salt. After throwing a pinch over my shoulder (no sense alienating the fairies), I remembered alomancy – divination with salt. So while I ate I made use of my accident. As if there are ever really any accidents – only fortuitous happenings for those who capitalize on them.
There will be a coup in South America, Africa, Asia or Eastern Europe. A disaffected minority will rise up and put their leader in power. A bloodbath may result from the group trying to eliminate their rivals. There will be a world outcry, but nothing much will be done. The resources of the country may be nationalized, and there will be an outcry to expel the foreigners. The U.S. may warn travelers to leave the country, and the embassy staff will be reduced to a skeleton crew. There will be TV pictures of people trying to flee the country by plane.
A head of a foreign country will face a massive scandal at home. There will be talk of overturning the government. Most of the rest of the world will not understand the issues involved. This may trigger a vote of confidence which will be close. No matter the outcome, the leaders will call for the country to work together for the sake of the nation as a whole and try to put the scandal behind them.
After supper, I was able to get even more information using myomancy – divination using mice and their movements and actions. I think my friend needs a cat or two in his place.
There will be fluctuations in the stock market. One stock will plummet after doing well for years. Some investors may find their holdings are worthless and will call for an investigation. Government officials will promise to look into the matter. Some analysts will predict a big crash, just like in 1929 and 1987 only worse. Some analysts will predict a new high for the market. Some people will sell all their holdings and invest in gold.
There will be financial scandal as some bank which everybody thought to be solid, suddenly needs a bailout. Customers will be worried about their savings. Government officials will promise to look into the matter and formulate a plan to prevent it from happening again in the future.
There will be a big strike which will attract the attention of the American people. Management will claim union demands are excessive and workers will call management greedy and unscrupulous. There will be heated rhetoric and claims of unfair labor practices will be filed. Workers who cross the picket line will be heckled and police will be on hand to prevent violence. The issues will be benefits, pay, job security and pensions. The company will plead they cannot afford to give in to union demands and still remain competitive in their industry.
Well there it is. Maybe next year when I have a place of my own again I'll try a couple more systems. There are several I was not able to get to, but rest assured that I will not fail in my eternal quest to find the truth before it happens.
Author’s note: I monitored world events from January 1, 2000 through the end of June or so. And nearly 100% of these profound predictions were observed to have come to pass by then. After that, I got involved with other projects, but I am sure that all of them had occurred by December 31, 2000. I know I’m good, so does my mother, and now you do, too. I guess next time I should make twice as many predictions. Then I’ll be twice as good. Hah, bet you’re jealous! If not, you should be!
© 1998, 2003 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved.