Maybe it’s because we’re all obsessed with our stomachs, but people have always been big believers in the mystical power of food. From soothsayers burrowing through entrails to Catholic priests getting congregations half-cut every Sunday, most of society’s weird rituals always seem to come back to eating.
While we might think we’ve come a long way from killing goats to see what the weather might be like next Wednesday, an emerging story proves just how easily we can still slip back into old superstitious habits. To sighs from sceptics everywhere, a woman from England claims to be able to accurately predict the future, using only a few spears of asparagus.
Jemima Packington, a mystic from Bath in the South Western area of the country, has forged a niche as the world’s only self-proclaimed “asparamancer”. By taking a handful of the sturdy green vegetables, hurling them into the air and monitoring how they land, Packington believes that she can accurately forsee the outcome of future events - both personal and global in nature.
Some of Packington’s predictions have made her headlines around the world. Using nothing more than a few small stalks, the vegetable mystic claims to have successfully predicted the outcome of the Brexit referendum, the sex of the Royal Baby and Andy Murray’s first Wimbledon title in 2013. Whatever you may think of her methods, the results are clearly nothing to be sniffed at.
Indeed, there are many who have taken the asparamancer’s claims as all the proof they need. Packington is now something of a cult figure in the UK, and receives clients from across the country. Speaking to Today magazine about the her business model, she claims that one of the unforeseen benefits of her unconventional approach to mysticism is that, once she has finished a reading, clients can, “take the asparagus home, run it under a faucet, cook it and eat it.” Say what you will, this added extra is unlikely to be provided by your average palm reader.
Packington claims to have discovered the unusual ability when she was just a child. In the same interview where she revealed her customer’s dining habits, Packington also described how she had been, “sitting around eating asparagus”, when she suddenly realised that she, “had predicted something”. With an aunt who had been a specialist tea leaf reader, family members concluded that it must be a hereditary gift. Even a cynic would be hard pressed to argue in the face of such watertight proof.
Given Packington’s obviously enormous potential for shaping our knowledge of future events, some of her most recent predictions are incredibly worrying. She claims to have foreseen the ousting of long-suffering British Prime Minister Theresa May, and has also claimed that American President Donald Trump will bring the world to the brink of serious conflict. In fairness, asparagus may not have been needed to predict that last one.
Packington’s story proves that when it comes to food and spiritualism, the sky really is the limit. We might like to pretend that we’re nothing like our superstitious ancestors, but the reality is we’re closer than we think. If we can use asparagus for fortune telling, who knows what could be next.