Fortune Teller

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In the spirit of this larger zine project and “reflecting on the future” as we moved into 2021, we wanted to work together to collectively engage with the questions of “What do you envision for the future? How do we get there?” With this practice and workshop we’d collaborate together ideas and each emerge with our own paper fortune teller to help us map the futures we are working towards. We’d navigate a “new normal” together. So often the idea of the future can be overwhelming, creating fortune tellers is a joyful way to look ahead. 

For Erika, creating and facilitating this workshop was a way to think about how to engage people in more creative ways and build more relationships and organizing and activism. It was really exciting and interesting to hear the ways that people engaged with the prompts and created their fortune tellers. It was very fulfilling to hear folks responses, beyond what Erika could even imagine on her own.

Sam was curious what it would look like to playfully and meaningfully engage with what it means to shape the future. How could we work backwards, together? How could we get present, in whatever emotions we are in right now and PLAY with that to lead us back to some visionary future we so desperately want and need? With these fortune tellers, we state the future as a fact. We are there, we made it happen! How did we do it? It certainly wasn’t neat and easy; but we will have flexed the gifts and overcome the barriers of everything along the way. So let’s play! We’re manifesting, baby.


Envision a future you want to see. What are some things that are the “new normal”?

Come up with eight. Write these as a statement of fact on the inner triangles labeled “A.” For example, prisons are obsolete, everyone can grow food, etc.…

How do you feel now or want to feel about the future?

Begin with a list of four or more feeling words. Choose four to write on the panels labeled “B.” For example, joyful, hesitant, inspired, disheartened.

For each feeling word, consider what is a gift of that feeling? What is a detriment of that feeling?

Write one for each emotion choosing for gifts and four barriers total. Write one on each panel labeled “C.” For example, hesitant: gift equals critical thinking, barrier equals missed opportunities.


Cut or tear across the bottom line. Fold square in half diagonally one way, then the opposite. Folded line should make an X across the center. Fold all corners in to center point. Flip paper so folded points face down towards work surface. Fold new corners into center point. Once folded crease along “+.” Crease edges then unfold creases.


Ask the player to pick an emotion from the top four of the fortune teller. Spell out that emotion sounding it out while you shuffle the fortune teller. Have them pick a feeling from the inside of the fortune teller. Now sound out that feeling while shuffling the fortune teller again. Have them pick another feeling from inside the fortune teller. This will reveal the future!

Portrait of Erika

Erika Mazza-Smith (she/her)

Erika is an illustrator and comics artists living on Duwamish land (AKA Seattle, WA).

Portrait of Sam

Sam Shafer (she/her)

Sam is a white, Jewish, early childhood educator and inconsistent creative living on occupied Duwamish land. You can usually find Sam admiring lichen and mud puddles, riding her bike, or cooking delightfully weird meals.

More by Erika
Check out Erika's comic: "Sourdough Futures"
More by Sam
Check out Sam's paintings in "Jardines de Pandemia"