Thursday night was a last hurrah of public programs before House of Oracles: A Huang Yong Ping Retrospective closes down on January 15. Super-programmer Sarah Peters pulled out all the stops for a night filled to overflowing with modern oracles and cutting-edge divination.
I started with Your Future in Our Hands, a performance installation created by tech artists Piotr Szyhalski and Rich Shelton. (Those names might sound familiar to you if you’ve had a chat with the popular Dolphin Oracle II recently at the Walker.)
So anxious was I to see what 2006 held for me that I was fifth in line – I jumped right in the middle of a crowd of visitors to make sure I was one of the first through! I just totally forgot my manners in the frenzy.
Each querent (a fancy word for someone with a question!) was greeted by our well-dressed hosts and set in front of a camera for a quick digital snapshot. Piotr used software to determine the distance between facial points like the pupils and temples, while Rich took the person aside and measured the length of their arm and examined the shape of their ear. All this measuring added up to indicating the oracle each visitor was destined to meet. The modern oracles included: a priest, a teacher, google.com, a financial advisor, a psychic, and a sex therapist.
Here were my results:
I was sent down the line to Oracle #5: the psychic! I confess, this was precisely the oracle I was hoping for. I sat down with Rose Ann Schwab and her sister, co-owners of Angelic Inspirations International. Rose told me a bit about the work she does as a psychic consultant – to presidents and the FBI, no less! – and then she set to work on two questions I brought to her.
Here is my psychic, Rose (the blond), at work between the sex therapist and the financial advisor. I admit that my first question was answered with a lot of broad generalizations that didn’t really ring true with the touted 95% accuracy rate claimed on Rose’s website. But talking with her, she didn’t sound like someone out to take you for an idiot, so I kept listening. My second question is where I was totally hanging on Rose’s every word, and I was sure that while she was still speaking in broad strokes, there were a couple of statements that were just a little too accurate to be coincidence. I was glowing afterward.
I ran over to a co-worker to tell them about my experience with the second question and they replied:
“You asked about a boy, didn’t you?”
Whatever. I believe.
Part 2 of the evening was a lecture – Divination and Personal Destiny – with Tarot.com founder Paul O’Brien and StarIQ.com master astrologer Rick Levine. These two had a great rapport on stage, and it was a fascinating look at the ancient origins of various divination systems, as well as their modern incarnations online using software and complicated mathematical algorithms. While I do have my own tarot deck and have studied it a bit, I really knew very little about astrology walking into the talk. There was a lot more science to it than I had suspected, especially in the field of quantum physics. Rick pulled a great quote for the topic: “Quantum physics isn’t more complicated than you think. It’s more complicated than you can think.” So true!
I got to tag along for the post-lecture dinner, and it turns out that not only are Rick and Paul very proficient at their chosen divination trades, they are also both very adept at all things techie. With another tech-infatuated guest at the table, I sat back to enjoy my dinner and watch the geek-ese just fly across the table. When they later found out my BA is in computer science, I was briefly sucked into their world. But to be fair there was also a lot of talk about single-malt scotch, and Bali, so the non-geeks could join in.