It’s a given that politicians will do just about anything to win elections and stay in office. That includes accepting the help of witches, as a recent story about a powerful group of Russian witches casting spells against the enemies and critics of President Vladimir Putin revealed. However, word out of Thailand (via a report by Agence France-Presse (AFP)) is that Thai politicians appear to have jumped the psychic shark and are consulting with clairvoyants, fortune tellers, astrologers and other seers in record numbers to prepare for the upcoming elections in March. Should American politicians be considering this? They probably already are. Should lobbyists, consultants, political action committees and others dependent on campaign spending? If it works in Thailand, you’d better believe it!
“The stars are all in place. There will be a big change, a big confrontation, a big negotiation.”
Astrologer Pinyo Pongcharoen, the president of Thailand’s International Astrological Association, is helping members of his group deal with the sudden increase in calls from politicians after King Maha Vajiralongkorn (Thailand’s government is a constitutional monarchy but it’s been under the control of the military since a coup in 2014) banned his own sister, Princess Ubolratana, from running for prime minister of the Thai Raksa Chart party. Her candidacy was announced precisely at 9:10 am on February 8th to take advantage of a favorable alignment of the stars, according to Edoardo Siani, a cultural anthropologist of Thailand at Kyoto University, and her rejection may have messed things up.
“It is about aligning the individual with the greater cosmos.”
That greater cosmos includes looking for and lining up with various symbols and superstitions involving dates, places, numbers and colors. Does this mean that Thai politicians ignore the polls in favor of the stars? Pinyo, who admits to working for many politicians including a former prime minister, is not a leaker like his Beltway counterparts in Washington DC. His comments to the media about what will happen in next month’s elections were suitably vague:
“It’s a fight between the people who have a new thinking and the people who keep the old way of thinking.”
Anybody could figure that out without numbers, tea leaves or tarot cards. Perhaps Pinyo is more specific after he’s been paid. Then again, the Thailand’s government has a much tighter legal controls over the media and public discourse about politics, which forces citizens and politicians alike to turn to psychics for their news – real or otherwise – according to Siani.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen, so you become interested in prophecies and it gives you answers that you can’t even ask about.”
Does this sound better or worse than the system you’re living under? Rather than watching a plethora of cable news channels or trying to interpret complex astrological charts, most Thais go for simple Tarot card readings, which practitioners say give more definitive answers than other forms of fortune telling. In fact, even journalists are entering the field. Ms. Fongsanan Chamornchan is a former political journalist who is now a fortune teller and highly sought after by politicians. However, her new job allows her much more leeway than her old one.
“We are headed to an election and coronation. (But the presence of) Uranus in Aries means I can’t dare to predict who will be prime minister… All I know is that the results of the election will stun us.”
We in the U.S. know how that feels and we don’t need Tarot cards to predict that the next election will be more of the same. However, it might be more fun to turn off the TV and social media sites and get our predictions from psychics this time around. They can’t do any worse than the pollsters.