Sunday, October 7, 2007

Laws Regarding Palmistry

Palmistry is one of those grey areas when it comes to its governing laws and regulations in most countries. Normally it's the municipal laws and by-laws that you really have to look at. To read palms in one city may require nothing - Not even a business license. In another area you might need a business license and then have to make applications for additional permits as well, all prior to doing any paid palmistry work.

For example, in Santa Barbara California you have to look at Chapter 5.40 of their municipal code. There you'll find that palmistry is specifically listed as one of the "fortunetelling" practices that requires an "appropriate business tax".

The Santa Barbara Independent: We’ve all seen the signs for Madam Rosinka’s fortunetelling businesses, but other than that, we’re no Salem. Or so it seemed before reading Chapter 5.40 of the Santa Barbara Municipal Code.

Not that such practices are discouraged — rather, they’re perfectly permissible, so long as the magician pays the appropriate business tax. Among the professions for which a permit is required are astrology, palmistry, phrenology, life reading, fortunetelling, cartomancy, crystal gazing, and clairvoyance. You think that’s a comprehensive list? No. There’s also clairaudience, magic, necromancy, psychism, psychometry, mind reading, mental telepathy, automatic writing, spirit writing, trance mediumship, and sandgazing. If you’re reading this and asking, how could they have forgotten potion making in this list, rest assured — they didn’t. They also included materialization, ballot reading, conducting trumpet séances, prophecy, augury, divination, and the making of “magic articles.”

For anyone considering palmistry as a profession, it's just one more example of why you need to carefully check out the laws and licensing requirements in your exact area ahead of time.


Margot said...

Now this is a very interesting post. In Morocco, there seem to be fortune tellers everywhere, working in street areas. But my accountant tells me these types of things are not on the "approved" list of businesses for which a license would be granted. He was incredulous when I insisted that there are plenty of people paying taxes in America on such businesses!

I'm glad to have found your site today. It looks really interesting. Thanks for making this post.

Margot, the Marrakesh Mystic

Martijn van Mensvoort said...

Hi Kenneth,

Yes, this situation is a bit said since you and I know that in modern Palmistry & Palm Reading the readers (analysts) often are not focussed on future predictions at all!

Anyway, I think it is very good to inform people in detail about this issue. Especially because in some countries (like for example Pakistan) there appear to be a lot of 'frauds' on the street, who actually know nothing about Palmistry at all.

Various articles about this issue were recently presented at: Hands in the News

Catherine said...

It's also worth noting that state and town laws may differ.