Fortune Telling is Legal in Gaithersburg, Maryland

January 28th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

In follow-up news from Gaithersburg, Maryland …

Last week, after months of discussion and review, the Gaithersburg City Council voted unanimously to repeal their longstanding ban on ‘fortune telling’.

According to Maryland’s and The Huffington Post, the city received its first application for a psychic business on January 19th.

It hasn’t been approved yet, but hopefully it will be and all goes well for everyone involved.

Good on you Gaithersburg!

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Psychic Businesses Might Soon Be Legal in Gaithersburg, Maryland

December 31st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

It looks like Wednesday is the day Gaithersburg, Maryland will decide whether or not they’ll be rescinding their present ban against ‘fortune-telling’.

As I posted last September, City Council agreed that as it stands, the law against psychic businesses should be lifted.

What still needs to be decided though, is where psychic businesses will be allowed to operate, as well as the definition of ‘fortune-telling’ itself.

According to, the Gaithersburg Planning Commission will be recommending that City Council enact an ordinance allowing psychic businesses to locate in specific commercial and light industrial zones.

I’ll be watching to see how this turns out and will let you all know as I know more.


And of course …. HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVE!!!! It’s been a great year. Let’s make 2013 even better!!

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U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Hears Chesterfield County 'Fortune-Telling' Case

December 10th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Last Tuesday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case of Patricia Moore-King, a psychic reader from Chesterfield County, Virginia.

As I wrote about last year, King challenged the ‘fortune-telling’ statute in Chesterfield County after being denied a business license back in 2009.

She argued that her work constitutes free speech according to the US Constitution, and that the zoning laws and onerous license procedures necessary for her to obtain a business license inhibit her freedom of expression and discriminate against her based on her beliefs, viewpoint, and content of expression.

In October of last year, U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr ruled against King’s argument claiming that her form of counseling was inherently deceptive and therefore not protected by the Constitution.

King appealed the decision, and it was this appeal that was heard by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday.

Though King’s lawyer, Roman P. Storzer argued that his client’s freedom of speech and religion were at issue, Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III commented that he thought the case was more a question of licensing and zoning regulations.

Also at issue was whether or not King’s belief in a ‘new age spirituality’ is actually a protected religious practice or simply a chosen life style or philosophy.

It might take several weeks or even months before a final ruling on the case is made.

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No Psychic Businesses in Downtown Healdsburg

December 5th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

The Healdsburg, California Planning Commission unanimously ruled last week against allowing a psychic business to move into the city’s downtown commercial district.

In a vote of 6-0, they decided against Mike Stevens’ application to establish his business in a former insurance office downtown.

According to, the decision was at least partly based on the particular building Stevens wanted to work out of.

The building is primarily occupied by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other licensed practitioners, which as Planning and Building Director Barbara Nelson said, “psychics and palm readers are not”.

In addition, psychic businesses are not the type of industry Healdsburg is looking to develop. As Commissioner Phil Luks is quoted as saying, “It’s perhaps antithetical to the basic image we’re trying to project as a tourist town.”

Mike Stevens plans to appeal the decision to City Council.

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A Lesson for Psychics

December 3rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

From what I can gather through TMZ, Gawker, and other assorted on-line tabloid media, last week, a ‘well-known’ psychic named Tiffany Mitchell approached Lindsay Lohan to share a premonition she had had about the star.

From all reports, it seems that Lohan wasn’t interested in the information and asked to be given some space.

After that, who knows what really happened but there’s accusations of racial slurs, handbag theft, inappropriate flirting, and unkind film critique.

Lohan is said to have become so enraged by the situation that she punched Mitchell in the eye (hopefully not the third eye) and ended up spending much of the rest of the night in jail.

It’s a sad story for everyone involved.

And it’s a good reminder for psychic readers everywhere. It’s probably best to avoid approaching people with unsolicited psychic messages.

And as a general rule, leave poor Lindsay Lohan alone.

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Gaithersburg City Council Moves Forward on Repeal of Fortune-Telling Ban

September 30th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

#11 - Justice from the Rider Waite Smith Tarot

In June, Gaithersburg, Maryland City Council proposed amendments to the city code that would repeal the ban on fortune-telling businesses.

They did this in order to act in accordance with the Maryland Court of Appeals decision of 2010, which struck down a similar ban in Montgomery County for being unconstitutional.

While City Council agreed that the ban needed to be rescinded, they wanted to restrict fortune-telling to specific areas of the city and asked the Planning Commission to draft new ordinances.

Last week, Council was presented with the proposed zoning text amendments.

Per the proposal, fortune-telling businesses would only be permitted ‘in the I-1 Light Industrial zone, and allowed expressly as a special exception in the C-2 General Commercial, CBD Central Business District, CD Corridor Development, and MXD Mixed Use Development zones.’

Fortune-telling would be prohibited as a home occupation.

Though Council authorized city staff to move forward with both establishing the new zoning regulations and repealing the fortune-telling prohibition, they requested a redraft of the actual definition of fortune-telling before official changes are made.

As it stands, the draft presented to Council defines ‘fortune-telling’ as:

‘Any attempt to tell fortunes or predict the future (for pay or voluntary contributions) by means of occult or psychic powers, faculties, or forces; necromancy, palmistry, psychology, psychic psychometry, spirits, mediumship, seership, prophesy, cards, talismans, sorcery, charms, potions, magnetism, tea leaves, magic, numerology, mechanical devices, handwriting analyses, phrenology, character readings, or any other similar means. Fortune telling shall not be considered a home occupation, church, or other place of worship.’

Some Council members were disturbed by the inclusion of both psychology and churches in the definition and would like those words removed. Planning staff will follow up on Council recommendations and present the changes within the next few months.

Interestingly, the Commission’s report noted that fortune-telling businesses have a negative stigma, and have historically fallen into the category of ‘urban decline use’.

Other businesses in that category include pawn shops, tattoo parlors, check cashing, and sexually oriented establishments.

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Cook County Reconsiders Psychic Business Zoning Approval

September 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Last month Cook County, Illinois zoning commissioners approved a zoning change that would have allowed a ‘tarot card psychic business’ to open in Maine Township. The Maine Township Zoning Board also approved.

Last week however, Cook County commissioners deferred the final decision on the question until next month.

Apparently, Commissioner Peter Silvestri, who represents the district in which the psychic business is located, received a petition signed by 50 people opposing the shop.

According to Journal On-line, the signatories gave no legal basis for their opposition. They simply don’t want a psychic business in the neighbourhood.

Until last month, the business had been operating without a license, but no other criminal complaints had been lodged against it.

The issue will likely be raised again at the county board’s next meeting on October 2nd.

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Psychic Business Zoning in New Smyrna Beach, Florida

September 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Though the fortune-telling ban in New Smyrna Beach, Florida has been struck down, city commissioners decided last week to limit where such businesses will be allowed to locate.

The new rules will allow psychic businesses to set up shop in the highway service business district and the planned shopping center zoning areas.

They will not, however, be welcome in the beachside commercial hub.

Even in the areas where psychic businesses will be allowed, licenses will be granted only on a case-by-case basis.

According to the Daytona Beach News Journal, some business owners and councilors are concerned about the demographic that might be attracted to psychic readers, and that such businesses are not ‘family friendly.’

In my experience, people from all walks of life visit psychics and Tarot readers, so I’m a little surprised that the City is concerned about the clients a psychic business might attract.

I’m pleased though that they’ve at least repealed the ban and hope that all goes well. Other cities in the region have not had the courage to go even that far.

Psychic businesses are still illegal in the cities of Daytona Beach Shores, DeBary, Deltona, South Daytona, Oak Hill Beach, Ormond Beach, and Volusia County.

They are legal but regulated in Edgewater and DeLand.

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eBay Bans Sale of Magic Spells and Tarot Readings

August 20th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

As of September 1st, you can no longer buy or sell services like magic spells, prayers, blessings, potions, or Tarot readings on eBay.

According to the site, their move is not meant as a stand against metaphysics or the potential usefulness of such services, but rather …

“Transactions in these categories often result in issues between the buyer and seller that are difficult to resolve. To help build confidence in the marketplace for both buyers and sellers, eBay is discontinuing these categories and including the items on the list of prohibited items.”

And I’ll take them at their word. Psychic advice isn’t the only category to have been discontinued. The list is fairly long:

•psychic or paranormal readings, spells, potions or Tarot readings
•advertising opportunities
•advice and instruction in: business & computers, lessons & tutoring, diet & fitness, other
•business & websites for sale – advertising inventory, home-based businesses
•art – digital direct from artist, dealer, or reseller

It’s important to note that the sale of actual metaphysical items including Tarot cards, books, or amulets are still permitted for sale.

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Another Fortune-Telling Ban Repealed

August 13th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Another fortune-telling ban has been struck from the municipal law books, this time in York, Nebraska.

Last week, York City Council did some house-cleaning, and according to, they scrapped not only the fortune-telling ban that had been in place since the fifties, but also restrictions on cursing in dance halls, and bowling on Sunday mornings.

Good work York!!

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