Divination or Ancient Wisdom?
‘Can you tell my future?’ – I hear this a lot; spoken with a combination of cynicism, curiosity and even desperate hope. I usually reply ‘ I won’t tell you your future, but we can work out what you want to do with it.’
My answer isn’t as pleasant as a simple ‘Yes’. There is no assurance given, nor should there be. The client must keep her sovereignty in tact. She is the master of her destiny; not a card reader or therapist nor anyone else.
We all find ourselves in these places, the Dark Night of the Soul. Places where it seems all doors are shut; that fate, God/s, reason are all indifferent, futile and deliver no succour from our anxiety, sorrow or pain.
Tarot provides solutions by laying out the story, the past, present, the future is shown by the images in the cards. The reader sees the symbolism, speaks the stories and with the client, works through the situation. At the end of this process the client may solve his situation, or simply find the resources to go on and see things out. Usually, the best we find is some insight and acceptance into how things came about, why he has arrived here and how he can go on. Insight and acceptance can help us to avoid the situation again in the future, to heal broken relationships, to learn more about our tendencies. We learn to recognise those situations which strengthen us, and those that weaken. If you really want to put the work in, you might even work out why.
The client finally speaks about her fear and her pain because the image spoke first and brought it to light. She sees the Queen of Swords and remembers her strength, victories and resources – she has power to face her battle with skill and sharpness. She can problem-solve a path out of present circumstances and answer for herself what she should do – her mind looks at the pictures, weaves a story and finds new hope, determination and hopefully, acceptance.
Our image-making mind is powerful. We constantly participate in and construct stories to make sense of life. We essentially function as variations on a theme. Whether you are ‘A-personality’ or ‘so like your Mother’ or a ‘typical Pisces’ – these systems and traditions of characterising people are there because they help us quickly make sense of life-chaos. The tarot works in a similar way, 78 images with multiple meanings that all vary depending on where they fall and which card they fall next to.
So…can anyone really tell you your future? If it is possible to tell the future – is this even helpful? Not really. It can be absolutely destructive. Rationally there are too many possible explanations for the ‘hit’ rate of reading accuracy. Spiritually, (arationally) no one can determine your fate and they are foolish if they try to. Besides which I don’t want to get tangled in anyone else’s karma, I got enough of my own karma-drama to deal with.
If I ‘tell you your future’ I begin to thieve away a little of your sovereignty. You might get a sense of relief (initially) but in the longer-term you will develop more anxiety…what nasty surprise is around the corner? Why can’t I control my destiny? Am I ‘manifesting’ this misery in my life?
Instead, let me use my knowledge of the cards to help you write your story. Where you have come from, where you are now and where you are heading. Let’s acknowledge the critical incidents, confront adversaries, identify the protagonist and read about the romantic lead. I want to hear you speak to the situation and identify your strengths and weaknesses. How you can possibly turn the tide a little more in your favour – whether patience or action is needed and when…
You cannot control Fate but you are the Master of your own Destiny.
You cannot coerce, cajole or conjure people/life into doing your will; but you can meditate upon motivations, relationship dynamics and likely outcomes. You must be flexible and ready to jump You must have fortitude and know when to hold
At the end of the day, it is all a game of cards.
For a critical view on diviners and fortune tellers with a lovely twist, listen here: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/feed/2896854/podcast.xml