Fortune-telling has been around for centuries. People seek out an explanation for why they are the way they are and why their lives follow a certain path. From tasseography (tea leaf reading) to tarot, countless versions exist. Practically anything can be used to gain insight into the client as well as predict their future.
Including body parts.
Most people are aware of palmistry (the ability to tell information of someone's past, present, and future from lines on their hand) and phrenology (reading someone's head shape). But what about other, less-considered physical features? Believe it or not, it's all been done. And I do mean everything.
I thought I'd share a few of the most amusing ones with all of you.
First comes rumpology. Yes, it sounds like the fictitious work of a dirty mind. It is what it sounds like: divination of the buttocks. Ulf Buck of Meldorf, Germany caused quite a stir several years ago when the media picked up on his abilities. Buck, who happens to be blind, claims that the lines and wrinkles on someone's posterior tell a lot about a person. And he's not alone. In the US, Jacqueline Stallone will read your rear for a reasonable US$125 (126 Euros).
Next (surely a favorite for many people) is phallomancy. Yes, you heard me right: divination of the penis. Believe it or not, some people believe you can judge a man's character by it. Of course, I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man without having him drop his trousers... but if it's in the name of science...
To be fair, there is also mammomancy or mastomancy: divination of the breasts. Obviously a perfect excuse for straight men and lesbians to feel up their girlfriends.
Believe it or not, all of these techniques have existed since ancient times. They aren't simply modern creations brought on by a lustful society. At one time, they were very much accepted and widely practiced. In our modern society, they tend to be met more with a chuckle and a little disdain.
As a society, we strive to move forward while accusing our ancestors of being incompetent and crude. We view ourselves as superior. More advanced. Better educated. We're slowly learning that the ancient world was far less archaic than we've assumed. Perhaps our blushing and tittering at these practices shows us to be far more childish than our predecessors. Or perhaps we are right to scoff at these "bizarre" practices.
Whichever it is, we can all agree that it's quite amusing.