Saturday, 6 July 2019

Future Imperfect?


Callum Watson's second Blog for Innerpeffray looks to the future - or does it?

Over my 20 years of rotation on this planet, never have I once been older or younger than myself. Never have I existed in a time other than the precise moment that has followed the last. I am confined to the linear passing of seconds; there is no pause, fast-forward or rewind. 

Although our sentience is surely gifted, within the limitations of our consciousness flows the inescapable present moment; our destinies are trapped inside. The past is no more than a memory and the ever-alluding future, there it is, here it comes, never to arrive.

The present is the only measure in which we exist and the future will remain a mystery. But, depending on your beliefs, this does not have to be the case. Visionaries, prophets and soothsayers walk amongst us and all claim the power of sight over what is yet to come. But not everyone has the lenses of which to see; for these lenses require both faith and a form of literacy unlearned by the typical individual. In recent years, not-coincidentally related with the rise of sectarianism, few methods have remained in popular acceptance. Nevertheless, if you do accept then the pages of the future can be found in surprisingly recognisable places; the tea leaves at the bottom of your cup for example, the cards chosen in a deck or the lines upon your palm are, to a believer, indicators of the life you are yet to live. Reading the palm, also known as chiromancy or palmistry, was an ancient practice on the continent of Eurasia. but in Medieval England was suppressed by the Catholic Church who thought it to be a pagan ritual.

Richard Saunders’ ‘Chiromancy,’ 1653, articulates the practice in detail. Although beginning with a slightly rambling discourse against gypsies and ignorants, the main section of the book is filled with illustrative diagrams of the palm with correspondingly mysterious markings, it seems as if the text were designed as a form of ‘Palm-reading for dummies,’ offering a quick reference guide to those who practice this field of mysticism. Interested in what your palm reads according to Saunders? I’d have to insist you tread carefully. Included inside are the markings for violent deaths, poverty, loss, misfortune and imprisonment. The result means that Saunders text, be it truthful or not, acts as an often-harrowing reminder that the future is not always a happy place. But before you pass a judgement on whether any of these methods can foretell the future, I’d also have to insist that you come to Innerpeffray and see for yourself.