After placing a phone call at 6am to get an appointment and sitting for a half hour in his waiting room, my fortune would be revealed by this man.

Accompanied by my Sri Lankan friend Samadhi, we visited a well respected astrologist to get a reading done. Astrology is very popular in Sri Lanka and an integral part of the way Buddhism is practiced.  Astros (as they are known) are consulted whenever there is a significant event in a persons life. They help with the naming of babies, add in the matchmaking process, offer advice of how to build a new home, etc.

Contrary to what I expected, an astrologist does not claim to tell the future. Rather he or she is trained in reading the position of the stars in order to tell what are the most auspicious (lucky) times for you and give general guidelines for your life. They need to know your exact time, date and place of birth and through this they can chart out your reading.

Firstly, I found out that the sign Western papers claim based on the month you are born is not your true sign. All these years I thought I was a Cancer, but it turns out that I am a Leo. Once this was determined I was told the following in a mix of Sinhala and English so some might be lost in translation.

– I will have a long life. Most of my life will be spent traveling but it is imperative that I return to my homeland when I die.  I will know when my death is near, and be sure to return to Canada.

– I have experienced financial difficulty lately, but recently have had a turn of events.

– At the age of 43, I should definitely begin my doctoral studies. This is the best time to do so.

– Of course I should have children and the best time is right now. (I was told this with a look of shock and disbelief). “You’ve been married for 7 years and you don’t have children- what are you thinking!?”

– I will be very successful career wise. I could start my own business or be a university professor – both would be favourable.

– Saturn has changed places in the sky recently which indicates I am in a difficult period. It will last until I’m 43 – a mere 12 years!

– Because of this whole Saturn thing, a strain will also be put on my marriage.

Not to worry though, I’ve been given a list of things I can do to set the balance right again. These things include:

– chanting a specific Buddhist mantra

– giving alms to the poor

– feeding birds and fish

– releasing caged birds (literally not metaphorically)

– not eating beef or pork

At the end of the session, I was handed a cassette that contains a recording of the reading should I wish to review it and happen to find a tape deck in which to to do. Over the next month with the help of Samadhi, I plan to do all the things recommended by the astrologist to ward off the bad luck. Will it help? I have no idea, but it certainly can’t hurt and it will make for a great blog!