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Xeromancy

2004-04-07

Category: crafts

How many times have you been stuck at your desk and thought, "Gee, I wish a gypsy would come along and tell me the unknowable." You could pull out your trusty Tarot deck and start a little divination but then the boss will want you to tell his or her fortune and you'll end up manipulating the company into the ground. So how can you do your fortune telling and still look busy?

The answer is simple, do xeromancy. This is a technique of divination using the common photocopier. (Please note that the name does not actually use the word 'Xerox®', which is an aggressively held registered trademark!) "But how can I use a copier to tell my future?"

I'm getting to that. Here's the deal. We've all seen how sometimes the paper comes out of the copier a little wrinkled and wavy. If you looked closely you saw that the print in those areas was lighter than the rest of the print. These are called wrinkle deletions and they are caused by moisture in the paper. You can trust me on this because I used to be a photocopier repair guy.

Step one, get yourself a piece of copy paper and set it out on your desk where it will be exposed to the air. This allows the Air and Water elements to get to the paper. Try to concentrate on your question while this is happening.

Next, get yourself a piece of black paper. In one corner, write the word "Yes" and in the other corner write the word "No". Be sure to use white ink (like correction fluid) or the letters won't show up against the black. Let the letters dry completely.

Now, place your black paper on the copier platen as though you want to make a copy of it. Use the manual feed to insert your special piece of paper into the machine and start the copying process. The moisture left by the Air spirits will cause wrinkle deletions in the copy. The deletions should be easy to see against the black background.

If you follow the wrinkle deletions, they should lead toward either "yes" or "no". If the deletions lead in between, the ratio of leaning to one side is the amount of that answer. For example, if the deletions lead two-thirds the way to yes, then the answer is two-thirds yes and one-third no. You can always replace "yes" and "no" with things more relevant to your question.

One quick note about copiers, they are usually designed to only do a ten percent line coverage and your black card is much more dense than that. This may harm some copiers. Also note that moisture in the paper can cause paper jams and other mechanical problems. All moisture should come from the air. You should never actively add moisture to the paper.

Please enjoy your office oracle.

(NOTE: xeromancy is copyright me and any use should refer back to me as the originator!)

Comments (9)
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