Astrology, numerology and clairvoyance have always appealed to me with tremendous curiosity - not in the same sense many Westerners turn to 'Star guides' on newspapers, radio and televising. They tend to at times over power and condition the human mind to such an extent till one becomes an addict to such daily predictions.

To my mind, astrology and numerology are scientific methods of analysing character of a human being using charts, palms and numbers. As Napoleon once said, ' a face could deceive but never a hand'. With such thoughts and beliefs always deep rooted sedentarily in a corner of grey matter in my head what do you expect when the telephone rings and a close friend at the other end whispers to you : " Hey ! there is a famous Sri Lankan astro palmist and numerologist in town. She is the one who predicted my future in England !

Despite it being a sunny, unusually warm and a sticky afternoon in London, I telephoned Somie immediately, who was in London on a brief holiday, to enter into the 'mystic world' around me. It matters not what she had to say to me personally, but if I could summarise her reading techniques, I could express it in two words - accurate and astounding. Of course, about future, I will have to wait and see !

Somie Suriararatchi's precious gift of the seventh sense on occult science has been bestowed upon her when she was a young girl. She believes that it has some connection with her father's piety. Whatever it may be, father's devotion to religion has certainly influenced her to experience the hidden ' strange inflow of power'.

Having graduated at Heywood School of Arts in Colombo, she had worked as a handicraft instructor for thirty-five years. Diversifying her creative talents, she has also had several floral exhibitions in Sri Lanka, Bangkok and in London and ending up in running her own flower shop in Dubai.

Whatever one attempts to do in life it is always one's providence that shapes at the end of the day. That may be why in 1978 something prompted Somi Suriaratthci to visit London and meet with a psychic sage, Mir Bashir. A major internal transformation took shape in her life, which made her to discard worldly affection to soothe the weary and the despondent.

When Mir Bashir foresaw of her becoming a renowned astro palmist she was unable to accept it until the astral body form of her departed father appeared in front of her. In 1980 she became a 'service-orientated mother' to all and to dedicate her life by soothing others with mystic service guidance.

India has been a spiritual minefield for centuries where sages and gurus have uncovered scientific methods of character analysis, horoscopes and birth charts based on astro palmistry and numerology. As Somi's destiny shaped she proceeded to Madras to delve deep into the wonders of mysticism on earth.

In Madras she studied numerology and palmistry under Guru Muhuru Rajendran. She furthered her knowledge on the subject by consistently reading and researching into the subject. Now of course, those days of book referring are gone for ever as she carefully guides a ball pen over the vital lines on visitor's palms as an electronic plotter picks up information on to a computer graphic screen. She admits that she receives guidance, to a certain extent, from omnipresent divine forces, perhaps as fruitful results of her meditation, which she does as a daily routine.

Somi's predictions are natural flow of words of guidance, at times with the help of a powerful magnifying lens she discreetly takes out from underneath her table while engaged in conversation. At times her predictions appear to be unconscious utterings, without getting into a trance. Whenever there are black dots, irregular lines with ' faded' skin appear she calls it a problematic hand and her joy lies in advising such unlucky subjects how to overcome impending problems. Lotus mark on a palm is associated with a spiritual person whereas a club thumb belongs to a murderer, Somie explains.

Somie Suriararatchi says that analysis of a palm is possible in three ways - Dharshana (looking) Sparshana (touching ) and Vimarshana (analysing), as each category seems to give a distinct insight into each personality.

Palmistry, in turn, is sub-divided into three main groups Somie Says - Medical, Psychological and Astrological, and she is particularly interested in medical palmistry. She says the greatest joy for her is to discover disease signs in a palm and then to suggest appropriate remedies.

Lines of a palm are unique characteristics of a person and they never duplicate, she explains. And the formation of lines is a reproduction of one's accumulated merits of positive and negative karmic forces from a previous birth she explains. According to Somie Suriararatchi, although original lines never change, new lines could appear on a palm from time to time.

Categorising series of numbers into three groups Somie says 2 - 6- 9 are physical; 2- 5- 8 are emotional and 1-4-7 are physical and material. She advises her visitors to wear lucky stones to draw cosmic energy and thereby have penetrating light energy from the environment's spectrum of colours injected into the body. Her following table shows how precious stones can have a healing effect on a human body:

Amethyst -   Prevents heart ailments, insomnia, and cures eye  diseases.
                -   Amethyst's strong cosmic rays dissolve cholesterol
Garnet -        Prevents skin eruption
Jade -           Controls palpitations of the heart
Cat's eye -    Promotes occult power, prevents cancer and urine troubles.
Emerald -     Inhibits eye diseases and diabetes
Diamond -    Energies the body
Ruby -          Prevents ailments related to blood stream and anaemia
Pearl-          Reduces chronic asthma
Yellow Sapphire -  Prevents throat ailments
Blue Sapphire -      Soothes nervousness and mental disease.

In 1990 Somie Suriararatchi drew mammoth crowds at the London Olympia exhibition hall when she participated in the World Travel Market's Sri Lanka corner. She says she utilises payments she receives from her visitors to assist various charities. Supplying of artificial limbs to war victims is very closer to heart. She contributes a fair amount to the National Defence Fund too and also assists in renovating and constructing buildings for the Buddhist clergy, she says.

'Today there is enough misery in the world and mother earth requires human beings that care for others. Without aggravating this unfortunate and chaotic situation we need to heal the world, and for me life is a continuous period of giving and caring., concluded Somie Suriaaratchie , the Astro Palmist and Numerologist I met briefly in London.

She left London on 18 September, home bound, and told me that when she returns home and if anyone across the seas wants to get a reading done, there would be a new airmail service from October. For details one needs to write to her at 4, Sri Maha Bodhi Road, Dehiwela, Sri Lanka.