How to read your future in a book
I was just reading an interesting article in The New Yorker about Virgil. Apparently there was a game that people played 2,000 years ago. It was called SORTES VERGILIANAE. This is how it was played: you opened a book by Virgil at random and placed your finger on the text. The text that you picked at random was believed to predict your future. I call it a game, but they didn’t believe it was a game. They believed it was more real than that.
I thought I’d try this game, not because I want to know my future – if you want to know your future, get a time machine! – but because it’s a reason to open a book by Virgil. I haven’t read Virgil since I was in school. I didn’t especially enjoy Virgil then, and I’ve never thought that I’d have a reason to read Virgil again.
So I found my copy of Virgil’s The Aeneid, but if you want to find your future in a book, I would definitely not recommend The Aeneid because it’s full of war and doom and suicide and blood-shed. You might want to choose a happier book.
Here’s what the passage I picked read:
“…to wed your daughter to a Latian prince
Nor trust in bridal chambers all prepared.
A foreigner comes, thy future son-in-law,
Whose blood shall lift our name up to the stars.”
That will not be my future at all, of that I am absolutely certain, unless someone comes and drops a baby on my doorstep and then I’ll have to adopt her/him. But it sounds exactly like my mother’s past.