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LoveScope for the Week of March 30, 2016

LovescopesThoughts and words have more power and oomph now. What is on your mind? Will it shake the earth? Hold on tight!

Aries conjure up some powerful thoughts now. With thoughts come opinions and with opinions come action. So think carefully, mull it over and go forward with all consideration and care. Even a stray comment can upend your world now. Good.

Your intuition is not only on target now, it is also strong and compelling. So if you begin to hear little voices in your head, you may be compelled to follow their advice. Uh oh, Taurus. Maybe you better try some meditation and chill out.

Friends find ways to entertain you this week, Gemini. It may just be a few fun conversations over meals or gossip over drinks. Enjoy all the frivolous chatter and keep things light and non-serious. There is time to get down to deep subjects later.

Cancers can make their big move in any long term project now. Present your ideas and see how you can turn heads and change minds of the decision makers. Once you gain the advantage you can take your dreams to the highest heights. Break the ceiling.

Leos could be on the cusp of launching a great movement. Certainly you have been contemplating how you can impact your world for a while. So what are you waiting for? Try something new, take a calculated risk and see how big you become.

Does your heart beat a little faster this week just thinking about a certain someone? If so let your thoughts and desires be your guide, Virgo. Anything is possible and the rewards can be great. Take a risk. Love is in the air. Do I smell a heart burning?

If you need to communicate more effectively with your partner, this is a good time to do so. Libras are usually diplomatic but now it is best to speak honestly and compassionately. Of course criticism always goes down better with a glass of champagne.

How will you manage to handle all of the assorted projects now piling up on your “to do” list? Scorpios can be very resourceful and now you are thinking clearly and strategically. Do what you need to do to maximize your time and plan for relaxation.

Let your creative juices flow this week, Sagittarius. You are brimming with great ideas that need an artistic outlet. Write your novel, compose poems, paint, dance or act up. Express yourself and see how many admirers you can collect.

Plan some get togethers with close friends or family this week. It is a time to build bridges, form new connections and enhance your relationships. Is your home life where you want it to be, Capricorn? If not, this is the time to focus on it.

Aquarians are usually on the front lines of any political movement. If this is what is on your mind now, follow your instincts and see where it leads you. Who knows? You may decide to run for office. If so, please hurry - we need you right now!

What do you truly value, Pisces? It is time to give that question some careful consideration. You need to plan for your financial future and start to build a firm foundation for your future security. Today a savings account. Tomorrow the entire bank!

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2016 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 8th printing and available as an eBook 


Tenement Fortune Tellers in the 19th Century Manhattan

 Did you know that there were fortunetellers in early New York who worked out of the tenements?

Tenement fortune tellerIn 1993, a restoration was underway at 97 Orchard Street in New York City. Beneath the darkened floorboards of one apartment, left unchanged for 50 years, a thin, frayed piece of paper from the 19th century was discovered; with one side printed in English and the other Yiddish, it advertised the fortune-telling specialties of “The World Famous Palmist and Mind Reader”, Professor Dora Meltzer.

The people who found this paper worked at the Tenement Museum, founded in 1988 to teach the history of immigrant life in New York through old tenement apartments in Manhattan. At the time, the Orchard Street building had recently been acquired, and the museum was renovating the apartment to use as a historical teaching tool. Layers of wallpaper were peeled back, and items from the 1800s through the 1930s were found in the apartments during the process, but this particular paper was a contextual mystery.

Who was Dora? What fortunes did she tell her guests, and where did she end up? This sparked an ongoing search for who she was and what her business meant to the Lower East Side’s Jewish neighborhood in the late 19th century.

Fortune-telling as a pastime and as a business can be found in a majority of cultures in the world. In New York’s early Jewish immigrant communities, fortune-telling often came with a notion of exoticism, mixing Jewish mysticism with a foreign, sage-like edge. Many Jewish fortune tellers, like Dora Meltzer, used imagery that alluded to a hebrew palm-reading manual dating to the 1500s called Khokhmes Hayad (The Wisdom of The Hand), or drew from the old-world appeal of Eastern Europe, where the practice was likely common in villages.

In Europe, some fortune tellers traveled for profit, including Lyla Terfin, who donned a turban and an elaborate backstory of her powers tracing back to India, but was actually a Jewish woman named Elsa Frankel, from Minsk. Others, like the poet and bohemian Naphtali Imber, toured the United States. Most famous for writing the Israeli national anthem “Hatikvah”, Imber made public predictions as “Mahatma”, some of which creepily came true (that Californian wines would gain esteem, that the sun's rays could be harnessed for power) and others that fell a little flat over time (that Kansas would take part in a new civil war between the Eastern and Western parts of the United States).

For stay-at-home fortune tellers like Dora Meltzer, using details like the title “professor,” and that she “recently arrived from Europe” were enough, and lent her traditional roots and current standards of legitimacy in two fleeting sentences. For 15 cents, her clients could learn when they’d fall in love, when to start their own businesses, or Dora could even guess, as it says in the Yiddish version of her flyer, “how much money is in your pocket.”

The prevalence of fortune-telling was especially relevant as a social and cultural hallmark of immigrants in Dora’s time. New York tenement life was not easy, and opportunities for immigrant workers, who often faced language barriers along with social stigmas from old American xenophobia, did what they could to survive in their new home. With scant support from former networks in their native countries, immigrants sought emotional well-being along with financial security, in whichever ways were available to them at the time.

“What appeals to me most [about Dora Meltzer’s flyer], is that it’s an entrée into a larger dynamic on the Lower East Side, which was new immigrants that needed advice, and who were the people who could guide new immigrants as they adjusted to America,” says Dr. Annie Polland of the Tenement Museum. “Often those people were found within the community–immigrants that maybe had come five years before.”

Working from home as customers filed in throughout the day, wives and mothers were able to meet new people and function almost as therapists, in a pre-talk therapy time. Lawrence J. Epstein writes in At the Edge of a Dream that housewives could also “raise some funds, be relieved of the tenement's isolation, and develop social relationships with others.”

Fortune-tellers of Dora’s era often promised to help with immediate family concerns, namely, the very common issue of immigrant fathers and husbands leaving their families. This was a problem of every immigrant community of the time, but was well-documented in the Jewish community, thanks to a fastidious and beloved newspaper culture among the Yiddish-speaking population. Ehud Manor recants in his book, Forward, that in 1909 the Jewish Daily Forward estimated that 31,000 men left their families. This prompted a “Gallery of Deserting Husbands” column in the paper about who had left their homes, their description, and a call to bring the deserters home to justice.

This was, at the time, considered an epidemic and social crisis. Men would leave families behind in Europe and start new lives in the U.S., but could also easily leave their city, region, or even their neighborhood and easily claim new identities, shirking their responsibilities to their wives and children, who were dependent on their support. For many women, a desperate recourse was to go to the nearest fortune teller and hope for the best.

Abraham Hochman was one such fortune teller in the Lower East Side of the time. One of Hochman’s specialties was locating missing husbands. “Hochman is listed everywhere…he’s even in the census as a clairvoyant,” says Dr. Edward Portnoy, historian and Yiddishist at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research. At a recent Tenement Museum talk, Portnoy recounted how in one story, a woman paid the hefty price of one dollar (versus 15 cents) to visit Hochman in order to retrieve her deserting husband. She was told she would find him on a particular street corner at 10 p.m. When she later brought a police officer to the specified location, they found her husband scratching his back on a lamp post–he was likely arrested before being made to pay alimony as reparation.

However, this is not to say that women were the only patrons of fortune tellers: Hochman notably predicted a winning horse in a race for politician Timothy Sullivan, a win that Portnoy notes made Hochman the official psychic of Tammany Hall's Lower East Side branch. It’s possible that fortune tellers, with their broad connections and constant stream of local stories actually did have a solid insight into what was most likely to happen in the local future.

Hochman was, to Portnoy’s estimation, one of the most famous Jewish fortune tellers of the day. He was so bold with his business that he wrote his occupation as ‘mind reader’ in the 1910 census, and according to Portnoy’s research was known as “the richest man on Rivington Street”. His success flowed into other businesses, including hotel keeping and even selling his own Passover Haggadah, complete with advertisements for his occult services.

He even released a book called The Key To Prophecy which purports to share his mystic methods, including an ‘astro-biblical chart’ that helped clients answer questions like “should I take dance lessons?” and “is my landlord in love with me?”. Hochman became beloved of the community, which he gave back to with lavish block parties. Hochman advertised a variety of occult practices, from phrenology, the pseudoscience of studying head shapes, to divine personality traits, to palm-reading and astrology, all of which became illegal in New York City in 1911.

Over the years, suspicion of immigrant practices like fortune-telling was equated with fraud and common swindling. A 1909 New York Times article estimated that $10,000 a day was paid to some 1,000 fortune tellers of all cultures at a time when a simple reading typically cost 15 cents, and cautioned that, “the opportunities of the unprincipled person to prey on the ignorance and pathetic truthfulness of these believers in the occult is almost limitless.”

The notion that fortune tellers swindle their customers remains to this day. The crime of fortune-telling changed from being a disturbance of the peace to a Class B Misdemeanor in 1967. The New York law states that except for explicit entertainment-only purposes, “a person is guilty of fortune-telling when, for a fee or compensation which he directly or indirectly solicits or receives, he claims or pretends to tell fortunes,” among other supernatural claims.

A best-selling tax book, J.K. Lasser's Your Income Tax 2012, even explains tax write-offs for victims of fortune teller fraud, which is grouped into "theft loss" alongside riot losses, foreign government confiscations, and being swindled by friends. Today, as in the past, fortune tellers are both reviled and loved for their services, exoticism, and claimed powers; with private detectives and public outcry competing with the loyalty of the fortune tellers’ customer base.

In contrast to the bountiful accusations of fraud and immoral behavior by fortune tellers that came in the next century, Dora Meltzer was likely a housewife earning some small-time income on the side while connecting to her peers. Her business card is a unique document showing Jewish women advertising their clairvoyant talents, as opposed to men like Hochman, and may shed even more light on the lives of tenement families. Maybe more striking, though, is how a piece of paper that was generally considered undesirable became so curious and important to investigate. Dora’s flyer, for all we know, could be one of many similar advertisements that were disregarded as objects, rather than saved.

“It’s weird, it’s actually amazingly lucky that they found that, because it was probably a relatively common thing, and it was a thing that nobody bothered to save," says Portnoy. "It’s like the stuff people give you on the subway–no one keeps that, you just throw it away. You never think this stuff has historical value."

For the Tenement Museum, the search is still on, and the museum plans on future public talks about Dora and her peers in the hopes that the publicity lends more clues, as it did before. “Several years ago someone had been in touch because of a blog post that was up, but unfortunately their number was lost,” says Polland. They’ve also been reaching out to leads gained from ancestry.com.

In the past, the museum believed Dora’s first name to be an alias–census records showed that a Meltzer family, but no Dora, lived at the flyer’s address. Recently, that changed: the museum not only found a picture of an older woman named Dora Meltzer from 1919 that could be the fortune teller, but also uncovered census evidence that she lived at Delancey Street, around the corner from Orchard Street, with her husband and children.

Poland speculates that Dora may have used 97 Orchard Street as her business address. She could have been protecting her identity, rushing over from her own house if a customer happened to show–after all, her business hours were broadly advertised as “9 A.M. To 10 P.M.” Or she may have helped her relatives at their home there during the day, making it a practical office.

While Dora’s full identity has yet to be uncovered, there are promising leads: a descendant of former 97 Orchard Street occupants recently approached a Tenement Museum educator after a talk, looking to find more about their family. Their last name: Meltzer.


Horoscope for the Month of April 2016 and Week of March 28, 2016

Kim kardashianFive retrograde planets - Pluto, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury - rumble our world this April. Expect out of control actions, general mishaps and a host of craziness through the next few weeks. Life will certainly not be boring. But try not to become an April Fool!

(Kim Kardashian has Jupiter in Virgo)

Never miss your horoscope again -- free sign up here. Here is my favorite book on astrology and a "must" for anyone interested in learning more: Secrets from a Stargazer's Notebook: Making Astrology Work for You and here's a guide to the best books available this month. This column is (c) 2015 THE STARRY EYE, LLC., All Rights Reserved. For Entertainment Purposes Only. Madam Lichtenstein is the author of the best selling astrology book “HerScopes ” now in its 10th printing and available as an eBook

Your safe and predictable job may shift in its foundations, Aries. If you have been preparing for a change, this movement will feel comfortable and empowering. If you have been merely warming your seat, this may come as a big surprise. Whatever happens, the cosmos always gives you what you need, whether you agree or not. Let’s all now agree.

Any Taurean who decides to set off on a grand adventure will find one now. And it will be big, unexpected and possibly out of control. But you are up to whatever the fates deliver. The secret to your ultimate success is to proceed as cautiously as you can and maintain your practical sense of perspective. Then step out and grab the world by by the tail. Or is it your tail, Bull...?

Geminis find ingenious ways to turn their nest into a love nest. And why not? You are hotter than ever .. or at least you think so. And you have an insatiable appetite for love. Try to catch yourself in the mirror for a quick appraisal every so often to be sure that the sexy “look” you want is one that you have. Oops - is that spinach I see in your teeth?

Honesty is always the best policy but now, if you want to clear the air in any important relationship, compassionately lie just a little bit. Partnerships are more volatile and emotional now and any seemingly innocent (and maybe even warranted) criticism will be blown out of proportion. Let your loving actions speak louder than your words now, Cancer.

Is your value system open to re-interpretation, Leo? Are you headed where you want to go? All these questions bubble up now and may make you feel a little lost or off track. But this is a mirage and not the true reality. The fact is that you are very much on course and know where you need to go. Let your worries wash over and off you. Then rubadub.

Anything you do or say, no matter how quiet and uncontroversial, will push you into the center of all of the attention. You have some great ideas but will need to carefully craft them for your audience before they go viral and out of control. There is no way you can remain anonymous, Virgo. So mark yourself in the mirror and prepare for your big entrance.

Expect some surprises around your house, Libra, as hidden things bubble up to the surface that might cause a slip. Could there be a broken pipe? Or a home renovation project running amok? Anything is possible. So if you have the opportunity to just relax and enjoy your surroundings, do so. Try to put off any big to-dos. Well, I guess you can try to do that....

You may think that you can be direct with friends now, but I say you should hold off on any tart commentary around them at this time. Scorpios are usually strategic and careful with their words. But now the planets conspire to put your foot in your mouth. Be nice, be caring and be quiet around pals. There is time to tell it like it is in the summer.

As much as you may want to ramp up your career and make lots and lots more money, anything you try now may be much more trouble than it is worth. Maybe its because your career opportunities are changing and transforming. Sagittarians may need to take a close look at where they are to stay current with the times. Or maybe it is time to plan an early retirement...?

Capricorns with a personal cause or gripe fight will find that their battleground goes international. Are you ready to go public with your grievances? If not, stay low and quiet while issues swirl around you and wait for a better time to pounce. Be strategic and careful. The people you meet now can benefit you in the future but you want to make the perfect first impression.

Your secret admirer could turn into a stalker. Well, maybe not that extreme but you may not know the impact you have on certain people. But there is nothing to worry about, Aquarius, as long as you are lovely to everyone and diplomatic among even surly critics. You may even be recruited to run for political office. In that case, run - in the other direction!

Will you be tempted into a tempestuous affair with a close pal? It is probably not a good idea because anything involving relationships and friendships now could be a bumpy ride later on. Be jolly and fun filled, Pisces, but keep things light and airy. There is plenty of time to get serious and sexy later in the year. For now, be too cool for school.


Lucky Numbers for the Week of March 25, 2016

Lottery ads tell us you only need a dollar and a dream. But it is also helpful to have a list of lucky numbers to help spur the good fortune ... or fortunes. So with that in mind, here are some lucky numbers that can be used in any helpful way. I gazed into a pool of water, Nostradamus-like, and contemplated the cosmos. Then I mixed the tarot cards and allowed the spirits to guide me to the cards that represent the lucky numbers for this week. Nothing is guaranteed but who knows ....?

I choose eight numbers because 8 is the number of wealth.

Here are the lucky numbers for the week of Mar 15-31, 2016:

2, 7, 15, 19, 21, 30, 44, 80

There are many ways to delve into your own consciousness to find luck and intuition. Try reading Dream Power/Improve Your Luck (Super Strength Series) and see if your dreams give you any clues and premonitions. Here's a guide to the best books available this month

Brussels Bombing Analysis from Joyce Levine

Joyce levineI just saw this in the NCGR newsletter and wanted to share with my blog readers. Joyce Levine is an eminent astrologer whose insights help put major events into perspective. Here is what she just posted on the Brussels bombing:
A quick look at the aspects for the Brussels attack on March 22, 2016:
Belgium's chart is October 4, 1830, 12 p.m., Brussels, Belgium
1st bomb at 8 a.m.
  • Pluto in 9th house conjunct MC in Brussels, Uranus in Aries square MC.
  • Transiting Moon in Virgo opposite the Solar Eclipse degree in Pisces, conjunct Solar Eclipse of September 13, 20 Virgo, conjunct natal Venus in Virgo and opposite Mars in Pisces.
3rd bomb at 9:10 a.m.
  • Belgium-October 4, 1830, 12 p.m., Brussels, Belgium
  • Transiting Uranus on 4th house cusp, opposite MC.
Solar Eclipse on March 8
  • Conjunct natal Mars in Pisces, opposite Venus in Virgo in Belgium chart.
Lunar Eclipse Chart on March 23 at 3 Aries
  • Libra square Uranian planet Hades at 3 Cancer. The square to Hades indicated that this eclipse would likely be destructive. Saturn and Pluto parallel.
  • Sun and Mercury in chart conjunct MC in Brussel from 9th house opposite Moon in 3rd, conjunct IC.
  • Uranus in 10th house squared by Pluto in 6th.    
Joyce Levine of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is professional astrologer with 30+ years experience. Her clients include individuals, couples, families, and businesses. Joyce is the Clerk of NCGR and President of its Boston Chapter. She is the winner of the Regulus Award for Community Service at UAC2012. See www.joycelevine.com.

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