Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spot Treatment

I have been amused going through some of the old books in my collection and want to bring you some of my favorites. It’s popular to have inconvenient spots and moles removed. A friend just had one treated that might be more serious, so be sure to take note of any change in a spot or a mole on your skin.

I'm vigilant myself because my Dad fought with little skin cancers in his later years, so much so that he developed a crush on his admittedly gorgeous dermatologist and because my sister-in-law has had a few rounds with skin cancer. Here’s an SPF rating that you can use for prognostication. And don't forget your sunscreen when you're enjoying summer sun.

My source is Sibley’s The Popular Fortune-Teller. Mary Greer and I did a brief bit of detective work and determined that my edition is approximately 1872-1874 based on the other books that are advertised in the back and the style of ornament on the cover. This adorable little red book which is actually two books in one has a variety of ways to tell things with objects you probably think of for the task, like cards, and then also with things you don’t usually think of.

If you seek your fortune and your future, look no further than your own mirror, in the privacy of your own home of course. May your own spots bring you fortune like the Ace of Pentacles! Yes, finally, you can try this at home. Below is quoted from Sibley.

Prognostications by Moles.

It is necessary to know the size of the mole, its colour, whether round, oblong, or angular; because each will add to or diminish the force of the indication. The larger the mole, the greater the prosperity or adversity of the person; the smaller the mole, the less his good or evil fate. If it is round, it indicates good; if oblong, a moderate share of fortunate events; if angular, a mixture of good and evil; the deeper the colour the more it announces favour or disgrace; the lighter, the less of either. If very hairy, much misfortune; if few long hairs grow upon it, it denotes prosperity.

2.       A mole on the right side of the forehead or right temple signifies sudden wealth and honour.

3.       A mole on the right eyebrow, denotes a speedy marriage with a person with amiable qualities and good fortune.

4.       A mole on the left of either of those three places announces unexpected disappointment.

5.       A mole on the outside corner of either eye denotes a person to be steady, sober and sedate; but liable to a violent death.

6.       A mole on either cheek signifies that the person will never rise above the mediocrity in fortune; though he will never fall into poverty.

7.       A mole on the nose shows that the person will have good success in his undertakings.

8.       A mole on the lip, upper or lower, proves the person to be fond of delicate things, and much given to the pleasures of love, in which he or she will be successful.

9.       A mole on the chin foreshadows great prosperity and high esteem.

10.     A mole on the side of the neck shows that the person will narrowly escape suffocation but will afterwards rise to great consideration by an unexpected legacy or inheritance. [Hmm, still waiting for that rise and unexpected legacy, methinks, ed.]

11.     A mole on the throat denotes that the person shall become rich by marriage.

12.     A mole on the right breast denotes a sudden reverse from comfort to distress by accidents. Most of his children will be girls. [There is no mention of her which may be too delicate a discussion for the 1870’s, ed.]

13.     A mole on the left breast signifies success in undertakings and an amourous disposition. Most of his children will be boys.

14.     A mole on the bosom portends mediocrity of health and fortune. [One must get out one’s dictionary to determine how bosom differed from breast in the 1870’s, ed.]

15.     A mole under the left breast over the heart foreshadows that a man will be of a warm disposition, unsettled in mind, fond of rambling, and light in his conduct. In a lady, sincerity in love, quick conception and easy travail.

16.     A mole on the right side over the ribs denotes a coward and a person of dull understanding.

17.     A mole on the belly denotes sloth, gluttony, selfishness and slovenly in dress.

18.     A mole on either hip denotes many children, and those that survive will be healthful, lusty and patient in all hardships.

19.     A mole on the right thigh denotes wealth and success in marriage.      

20.     A mole on the left thigh denotes much suffering from poverty and want of friends, as also by the enmity and injustice of others.

21.     A mole on the right knee denotes good choice of partner for life and few disappointments.

22.     A mole on the left knee portends that the person will be rash and inconsiderate, but modest when cool, honest and of good behavior.

23.     A mole on either leg shows that the person is indolent, thoughtless and indifferent.

24.     A mole on either ancle [sic.] denotes a man to be inclined to effeminacy and elegancy of dress—a lady, to be courageous, active and industrious, with some spice of the termagant.

Well! Just in case you aren’t familiar with the word termagant, I looked it up (in Wikipedia, of course) and it is not particularly flattering: “a violent, overbearing, turbulent, brawling, quarrelsome woman; a virago, shrew, vixen.”

If you have a particularly unfortunate mole and your doctor agrees, I think removal is the only reasonable choice to protect you from warnings here. Of course, you may be thinking about seeing if you can have one transplanted to your right thigh. I’m not sure that will work, but let me know if it does. I’d love to hear if any of these are “spot on”!

Best wishes!


  1. Wow. In my next book, I must have a character who tells fortunes by reading moles.