Look into my… smartphone: Discover your destiny at the tap of a screen

Don’t let social distancing rules stand in the way of you and a palm reading – you can now discover your destiny at the tap of a screen. But, asks Hanna Woodside, can an app really see into the future?

When life feels unpredictable, it’s hard to resist anything that claims to peek into the future and give you a glimpse of what’s to come. Demand for online psychic readings is booming and astrology apps are more popular than ever. After all, who doesn’t want to cling to a sense of cosmic order in a chaotic world?

If you’ve never felt brave (or convinced) enough to fork out for a visit to a fortune teller, or wouldn’t know where to start with a tarot card, now is your chance to dip your toe into the world of fortune-telling – and you don’t even need to leave the house. Just pick up your phone and a world of DIY divination awaits.

It’s an accessible, low-risk way for the fortune-curious to give the mystical arts a try. But can you really discover your destiny through a phone screen? Check out our lowdown and find out for yourself!

psychic smartphone
Illustration: Forensics & Flowers

Turn your screen into a crystal ball

Gazing into a smooth surface – or scrying – has been practised in cultures across the world as far back as the Ancient Egyptians and the Incas. Crystal balls, as well as still water or polished stones are used to reveal words, pictures or symbols that can be interpreted, like a dream, to tell you things about the future. Scrying is said to put you in touch with your intuitive ‘third eye’, which sees what is hidden from your normal senses.

THE 2021 UPDATE Instead of a crystal ball, with screen scrying you use the (switched off) screen of any device – smartphone, tablet, computer, TV – as your surface. Elsie Wild, a ‘modern witch’ based in New York and author of The Magic Art of Fortune Telling, advises you to start by sitting comfortably in a quiet place, with low light. Then keep staring into the black screen while focusing intently on a question. ‘Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t see anything immediately,’ says Elsie. ‘Your third eye is like a muscle – you have to work to strengthen it.’

With practice, images and symbols should appear to you as you gaze at the dark screen. Elsie says a dream dictionary can help you decipher the meanings of common symbols in divination. ‘For example, a circle often indicates the end of one cycle in your life and the start of a new one. Knives or scissors signal cutting someone or something out of your life. Stars represent wishes being fulfilled.

‘It’s important to take your own intuition and personal meanings into consideration, too. If your best friend’s favourite animal is an elephant and you see one while scrying, it may be referring to your friend rather than any general symbolic meaning associated with elephants. Keep that in mind.’

Try YouTube tarot

The tarot is a deck of 79 cards, each with its own imagery and symbolism (for example, the Chariot card represents willpower and progress, the Two of Cups stands for romance). Which cards you draw or ‘pull’ from the deck offer insight into your life.

THE 2021 UPDATE YouTube readings are becoming more popular, and the top tarot channels – such as The Gem Goddess and Eat Read Love Inc – have more than half a million subscribers. But how does tarot work over YouTube? With ‘pick a card’ videos, the tarot reader starts by showing viewers up to five or six piles of tarot cards, face down. As a viewer, you decide which you are drawn to. The reader then reveals the cards in each group and talks you through what that specific combination means. Similar to a horoscope, you can usually find a way for the advice to apply to your own life. In fact, many YouTube tarot readers combine the two and make ‘tarotscope’ videos, where they draw cards for each of the 12 star signs and explain what the cards indicate is in store.

Intrigued? Popular UK-based tarot channels include Moonlight Guidance with readings from psychic Chandni Patel (267k subscribers, over 32 million views), Lumiere from clairvoyant Clair Summer (167k subscribers, over 18 million views) and astrologer Gregory Scott (121k subscribers, over 33 million views).

Tap into numerology… with an app

Numerology is the belief that certain numbers have cosmic significance in your life. For example, by using your birth date you can calculate your ‘life path number’ from one to nine by adding together the numbers in your birthday (day, month and year) and reducing them to a single digit by adding the numbers together. Like a star sign, these numbers give you insight into your strengths, values and weaknesses.

THE 2021 UPDATE Numerology forecasting apps take things a step further. Through a series of sums you can combine your birth date with the current date, to produce a ‘personal number’ for the day, month or year ahead. These personal numbers, like a horoscope, give you clues to what life has in store.

An app will do all the fiddly maths for you and tell you what your numbers mean. AstroYogi’s Numerology app (Android only) gives you a free daily, weekly and annual numerology forecast. It also tells you your lucky time for each day – when the hours and minutes align with one of your ‘lucky’ numbers, making it the best time to attract what you want in life. So you might want to, say, send an important email at that time.

World Numerology app (iOS and Android) gives you five significant numbers for each day, and what that combination means for you (eg, it’s a good day for investments, or be aware of someone interfering with your plans). For the time-pressed, the Pocket Numerology app (iOS only) simply tells you your personal number for the day, month and year, with snappy bullet-point advice for what the numbers mean – think ‘Unpredictable events may occur’, or ‘Concentrate on primary goals’.

Get to know your spirit guide on Zoom

Spiritual mediums have long offered clients the opportunity to connect with their personal spirit guide, a nonphysical protector, shepherding your soul through life. Usually, it involves a face-to-face session with a medium, where they communicate with your spirit guide to give you advice from the spirit world.

THE 2021 UPDATE Over Zoom, a spirit portrait artist will tune into your spiritual energy, and then sketch the face of your spirit guide. In addition to having a visual representation, you also find out how your spirit guide is helping you, and what it wants you to know about your life’s path and purpose.

The Wellness Foundry offers a 60-minute session on Zoom with a spirit portrait artist for £111, with the option to receive the portrait in the post afterwards (wellnessfoundry.co.uk). British spirit artist June-Elleni Laine offers a Spirit Guide Portrait and Advice session, for those who would like guidance along their life path, over Zoom and Skype (£100 for 40 minutes or £120 for 60 minutes, june-elleni.com). She can sketch your spirit guide on her iPad, so you can watch the drawing develop on screen during your reading and receive a video of it afterwards.

Ask a psychic… from your sofa

The A-list favourite
Jayne Wallace runs the upmarket Psychic Sisters in London’s Selfridges department store and counts Kim Kardashian and Kate Hudson among her celebrity clients. A 30-minute Skype reading with Jayne is £120 (and there’s a six-week waiting list), but for £30 you can email her team of psychics with two questions you want to ask – they’ll respond within 72 hours. psychicsisters.co.uk

The millennial medium
Chris Riley, 25, is a social-media sensation with nearly a million followers across Instagram and Facebook. A 30-minute Skype reading with him will set you back £100, or you can text his team of psychics with a question you want answered for £1 (plus standard message rate). chrisrileymedium.com

The psychic life coach
Linda Magidub combines her psychic abilities with practical life coaching to guide her clients, and has held workshops at London’s private members club Soho House and all-female networking club AllBright. She offers 60-minute FaceTime readings for £100. lindapsychiclifecoach.co.uk