Money Magic

Photo by Milada Vigerova | Unsplash

Years ago, I went to a palm reader. Decades ago. I was a teenager, that’s how many years ago. No more questions.

I was a waitress in a French restaurant and a few of the other waitresses were embarking on the adventure — hours of driving, sleeping in a car — to visit a reputedly famous seer. To peek through a magic window and see a bit of the future.

When we arrived, I saw that this legendary mystic lived in a sad, rough trailer somewhere in the wilds of Pennsylvania. And when I shuffled in for my turn the next morning, tired and necksore from sleeping in a car with a bunch of giddy girls, she told me some things that I’ve not forgotten.

The magic lady said I’d live on a hill (I do, actually, and my first husband’s surname was Hill), she said I’d have four kids (I do), and she said I’d never be rich, but I’d never need to worry about money.

Interesting, that last bit.

I am not, nor have I ever been, rich. I have worried about money, but perhaps I never needed to. There’s been enough. Even in the dark times, I’ve never tasted the true hairy edge of desperation. I’ve never been Oliver Twist hungry or Valley Forge cold, I’ve never been without the pennies for cheap hot coffee and feminine hygiene products. I’m one of the lucky ones.

It’s curious, though, the extent to which this strange slovenly woman in her rickety wheeled dwelling affected me with her prediction. “You will never need to worry about money.” I’ve carried that around with me like a talisman, and have not worried so much about money. Even when I should have. I felt somehow protected by this possibly silly sorcery.

Magic is not generally a thing I believe in. I consider myself far too rational, too logical, for frivolous, magical thinking. Believing the palm reader’s prediction about my financial stability was just a hopeful calculus in my trying-to-be-an-adult brain. But, I realize in hindsight, that I kind of counted on it. The magic lady said it would always be fine, financially, so it will be.


We try to magic money into our lives in many odd ways. You can feng shui wealth by coordinating colors, directions, and elements and doing all the right things with your money corner. I think that my cat may have pissed in my money corner, which explains a lot. Do the right things with jade plants and dragons, water and red threads in that corner, however, and you’re golden. And something about money toads.

The Chinese lucky cat in the money corner can’t hurt. I gathered four lucky cats as wedding favors and they are now strategically placed in fortune-favoring locations in my house. I think.

If you start reading about astrology and money, you’ll find that the 2nd house is important, somehow. Then you’ll see something about the 8th and 11th houses and you’ll get bored, so you’ll skim and discover that astrology is far too complicated for magicking and just hope that all your houses are filled with money cats and red threads and no aspects are hard.

The Sun suggests a bright money forecast — the tarot Sun, that is. Nine of Pentacles and Six of Wands also herald happy cash news, if you draw them. Of course, you have to know how to play with the cards or pay someone to read them for you, which moves the balance in the wrong direction.

Some speak of “attracting money” and say that a strong desire is very important. Check. But then, we are supposed to repeat affirmations and focus on them in some sort of frenzy of magic that I can’t accomplish without eye rolls and snorts. Which is not at all attractive.

There’s always the found heads-up penny to summon cash and sea salt in your wallet, though they say you need to change it monthly. Be sure to never ever paint any southeast corner red, or you’ll frighten fortune away. Itchy palms mean good financial news. Frogs are good and, supposedly, if a spider crawls into your pocket, you’ll always have money. I’d rather have empty pockets than spiders, though.

I suppose I’m just content to ride the wave of my magic palm reader and count on the fact of relative stability. And the four money cats. And the unusually clean southeast corner (excepting the real cat’s mistakes). And my horoscope tells me that, this month, expenses will be high. By month’s end, however, finances are back in control. Phew. Good to know.

I don’t believe in magic, of course. It’s just “better safe than sorry” to work with the cats and the corners and take the bumps with grains of salt. The magic lady said it would all be fine. No worries.

I don’t remember how much money I gave her.

Lisa Renee is a freelance writer living near a Finger Lake in New York. She is also fiction editor at

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