Fortune-telling is the practice of forecasting a person's future through occult means, rather than through facts and reason. These may be direct, such as through clairvoyance; or require "readings" of devices or objects, such as the client's palm or tea leaves. The term fortune-telling is generally associated with folklore practices (such as those of the Roma, or Gypsies,) as opposed to divination which historically involved an invocation of the divine.
Fortune-telling often has a negative connotation because of its association with superstitious gullible clients, or practitioners as people on the margins of mainstream society. Many Christian denominations prohibit fortune-telling and other occult practices. In the US and Britain, specific laws banning or restricting fortune-telling clearly indicate its suspect status; and some astrologers have faced charges as fortune-tellers.
The negative connotation of fortune-telling is problematic for predictive and Horary Astrology. Proponents of astrology, while noting that most astrologers do predict the future in some fashion, see astrology as a highly evolved practice that requires years of study and precise observations. Psychological astrologers moreover, prefer to define astrology as a tool for self-awareness, rather than focusing on its predictive branches.
Regardless of the reputations of their various crafts, people with occult abilities to predict the future are in demand by clients in all walks of life, including stock market investors and business leaders.