Mahes Visvalingam
Post retirement postings

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Divination : case studies

My parents, like most Indians, consulted astrologers for important decisions, such as matching couples and fixing the date and time of weddings   Even when I was a child, I realised that this did not guarantee happiness nor avoid quarrels and mishaps.  Despite this, they seemed to have a lot of faith in fate.  I started to experiment with divination tools while still at secondary school.  It started when Uncle Ratnasigam gave me a copy of Cheiro's book on palmistry, which I still have.  My school-mates still recall me telling many of them, including those from quite poor backgrounds, that they would travel and go overseas.  They used to laugh at this since hardly anyone, especially women, went overseas.  But, times changed and they did.  I could also see important aspects of my parent's lives echoing "Cheiro's decoding" of lines in my parent's hands.

I became interested in assessing the validity of palmistry and other divinatory systems.  I do not tell fortunes for a living but have used readings to bring fresh, often unconsidered, perspectives on problems faced by myself and those close to me.  I found that when readings are wrong, they tend to be wildly out.  Sometimes, the reading ignores the question posed and causes confusion by addressing matters of much graver concern, which could not have been anticipated but which occur later.  So, even when the divinations are correct, interpretations can be wrong.  However, they can often be spot on and very helpful (as illustrated in the following case studies). 


I use a small selection of divination systems and am puzzled by why and how such widely different systems can all be effective.  My teaching and research specialism was cartography, which is basically concerned with the making and use of maps.  Divinatory systems also make and use complex maps.  It seems to me that some unconscious part of ourselves can respond to questions posed of any selected divination system and cast the reading into its framework.  Indeed, geographic maps are used by sensitive diviners for finding missing persons and not just minerals and water.  Complex systems are obviously capable of giving more detailed readings - but even yes/no responses can be very helpful.  After subjecting myself to a lot of unnecessary medical explorations, I diagnosed the root cause of my problem and cured myself using the pendulum and other divination tools.

Even with all the latest satellite maps and meteorological data, weather forecasting can be wrong.  As many of us have found, medicine is also not an exact science.  Divination is no different.  So, it should be used as a tool for reflection and people have to accept the responsibility for making their own decisions - decisions,  which are guided by our destiny.  This is why so many people make inappropriate decisions despite excellent advice based on all the pertinent information - they are victims of fate.  My philosophical reflections on these themes will be posted in due course.


I Ching



14 July 2007
18 May 2007


26 April 1991

14 July 1996





M. Visvalingam, 9 Dec 2007
Last updated 22 Nov 2016