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Fortune teller defends practice

Kimone Francis

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

S elf-described Indian fortune reader Master Yogi is this week defending his trade, arguing that astrology serves to counsel clients about living life to their fullest potential.

His defence comes in the wake of comments made by St Thomas Obeah man Jah Yute on Monday, criticising civil society for failing to condemn astrologers and palm readers who regularly advertise on local media platforms, while continuing to discipline Obeah workers for what is invariably an expression of culture.

“Dem have some man who come from foreign deh pon TV [and] inna public a advertise fi dem craft and dem something deh and dem a go through. Wah mek we have fi wi cultural heritage and a go a prison fi it?” Jah Yute said on Monday.

But Master Yogi took exception at the comment, which was featured in a Jamaica Observer article with the headline 'Obeah hypocrisy!'

“I feel it is wrong for him to say [that] because we are not hurting anyone. We are not doing bad things to anyone. We are trying to help them out and we are trying to pray for them. We are good people,” Master Yogi said when contacted.

His comment comes amid a national debate on whether or not the 1898 Obeah Act should be repealed — a change likely to meet serious resistance.

Master Yogi is one of three astrologers who regularly advertise in print media, inviting people to “get solution [to] education, marriage, promotion, business, sexual life, husband and wife problems, love problem, health, relationship, money, property issue”.

“All religions are welcome. He can break negativity like bad luck and give protection — 100 per cent protection,” the ad says.

Another, who goes by the name Egyptian Prophet, is inviting people to call and share their problems.

“Whatever your problems are, we can solve them,” the advertisement reads.

Abaca African Power, another astrologer, is offering “free reading” over the phone, permanent love bonding, protect partner from cheating, quick money, and help with “all sickness in the body”.

Astrology is the study of the movements and relative positions of celestial bodies interpreted as having an influence on human affairs and the natural world.

Jah Yute, meanwhile, feels the practice of Obeah is misunderstood.

Justice Minister Delroy Chuck earlier this month announced that Obeah could be legalised.

He said the law reform department of the Ministry of Justice has been tasked with putting together a submission for him to take to Cabinet which would outline the reasons the 1898 Obeah Act should be repealed.

Obeah is a system of spiritual and healing practices developed among enslaved West Africans in the West Indies.