When Apple sends out invitations to its events, like the one coming up on Sept. 9, the tech press loves to try to "read the tea leaves" in a search for clues as to what will be announced. But what the hell do a bunch of tech bloggers know about divination? In order to find out what's really going to happen at the Sept. 9 Apple event, you need someone who can actually read tea leaves. Professional journalists are useless at this. So I asked professional psychics.
Could occult practices help me get a leg up on well-sourced Apple futurists like 9to5Mac's Mark Gurman, or BuzzFeed News' own Apple seer John Paczkowski? And moreover, could they help me ~influence~ the future? Could they, for example, make Eddy Cue dance again? This wasn't just idle curiosity. With the right incantations, I could become one of the most powerful tech bloggers in all of New York. So I set out on a voyage of discovery.
Enchantments is a narrow shop in the East Village that specializes in making custom candles for customers. It came highly recommended — several trustworthy friends have told me about the special mystical candles made there. Plus BuzzFeed's resident witch Arianna Rebolini said that's where they go for all sorts of mystical advice when doing the Witches' Counsel series. She warned that although they probably wouldn't give any concrete predictions about Apple's event invitation, they could look it over and analyze it from a spiritual level. "Witches are very intuitive," Arianna explained. "And it has a lot of colors — they could analyze the meaning of the colors."
Over the phone, I explained to the friendly sorceress at Enchantments that I had a sort of unusual request. I explained that I wanted an analysis of the invitation — could I come by and show it to them? The witch said that they were VERY BUSY in the store, but she could do a 45-minute reading for $60, but only after 6:30 p.m. I explained that I didn't need a whole 45-minute reading, just a quick glance — could I pop by? The witch told me it was fine, but she'd charge me $30 for a 10-minute lookover. "I'm the one with blonde dreadlocks," the witch Amo told me.
When I arrived, I didn't see anyone with blonde dreadlocks, just three other very thin women with varying confusing haircuts. I browsed the candles as they helped another customer. They had penis-shaped candles AND vagina candles. I asked a woman covered in tattoos with long pink pigtail braids if Amo was around. She told me I was too late, Amo was in the back doing a reading (apparently she does midday readings for other people). Pink hair reiterated that they were really busy. Apparently there were a lot of penis candles to be made; I assured her I'd be quick.
I pulled out the invitation and explained that it was for an event where Apple unveils its new top secret products, and that some people believe there are clues about what those products might be hidden within the invitation. She seemed annoyed. "This is about Apple?" She rolled her eyes.
"Is there anything about this image that you think could mean anything?" I asked. "Like any spiritual intuition?"
"No. This is just…we're really busy here. This doesn't mean anything," she answered.
"What about the colors, do the colors mean anything?"
"I mean, colors mean what they mean. But on this, it's just an invitation. It doesn't mean anything. We're busy. I dunno, it kind of looks like a cat eye."
"Oh, yeah, it's supposed to be the top of the Apple logo. Do you think there's any significance in how it's cropped at the top?"
The witch finally blew her cool. "This isn't a magical symbol," she said matter-of-factly.
"Well," I countered, "It's kinda magical...to some people."
This was more than the witch could handle. She raised her voice: "THIS ISN'T A MAGICAL SYMBOL. THIS IS A WASTE OF TIME. YOU'RE WASTING OUR TIME. WE'RE VERY BUSY." The witch walked away from me without saying goodbye.
Dejected and somewhat frightened at having angered a witch, I skulked out of the shop without buying a penis candle. I'd planned to light one in hopes it might inspire Eddy Cue to dance again at the Sept. 9 event, like he did at the Apple Music announcement. Now I was worried I'd never see Eddy dance again.
Yet I realized that her extremely rude treatment wasn't a case of a crust-punk swindler with poor customer service skills. This was a powerful sorceress who could recognize the power of the Apple invitation. Perhaps she knew I wasn't worthy of knowing what magick it contained. She could see with her third eye how the printout of the invitation pulsed with energy — this was extremely potent sorcery.
I was frightened, but I needed to know more. My journey into the realm of the mystic had only just begun. Perhaps the genteel white witches of Enchantments were not ready to go toe-to-toe with the dark forces of Apple PR. I needed someone stronger. Someone who dabbles in dark magic. Someone familiar with the sinister side of the unknown.
Doktor Lucifer a.k.a. Voodoo Illuminati is a professional black voodoo spellcaster. His website claims that "[m]any believe Doktor Lucifer is one of the most powerful Satanic Illuminati in America." That sounded pretty boss. As did his services:
Do you want your ex to return and serve you as a slave? Do you want to destroy enemies? Do you want protection from evil? Do you want to sell your soul for riches? Whatever you want you can have right now if you turn to the dark side of the force. Call the Doktor Lucifer to get very fast results with real voodoo spells based on the Jamaican black magick of de Laurence, the Sixth and Seventh Books of Moses, the Lesser Key of Solomon, duppy bowl of the Bongo Man and Jamaican-Cuban mayombero.
I rang up Doktor Lucifer, who was way more pleasant and charming on the phone than his name would suggest. I explained the situation with the invitation, and he seemed interested. He presented two options for me if I wanted to know just what new products Apple plans to announce: He could do a spiritual reading on the invitation, or he could make some calls to some of his connections.
"Oh whoa, do you know people who work at Apple?" I asked.
"I have clients in very high places," he said cryptically.
This makes sense. Frankly, I would not be surprised if Apple executives enlisted the services of a powerful shaman who acts a medium for 666 psychic duppy ghosts.
I asked Doktor Lucifer if it would also be possible to do some sort of spell that could make Apple reveal the products I wanted them to reveal (self-driving car? A real full TV?). "If they already have plans that they've been working on for years, a spell can't change that," Docktor Lucifer explained. "Real spellcasting works in the realm of reality. It can't change natural laws. It's not hocus-pocus."
But he promised to look into things, and the next morning he sent me a cryptic email: "I see now. I can tell u."
"???" I replied, being on my phone, and in a hurry.
"Smart Tv," he replied simply. It's actually not such a bad prediction. I also asked him to make Eddy Cue dance. We'll see, but if things work out I'm definitely converting to voodoo. Hail Satan.
Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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