One challenge I face as a professional tarot reader is in dealing with a common belief that tarot is a form of fortune telling and a lot of people are hesitant to learn “what’s going to happen to them?” While it’s true that some tarot readers do consider themselves fortunetellers and able to predict the future, that approach has never interested me. I am more interested in how I can determine my future by becoming conscious of my present. Fortunately (pun intended) I’ve had excellent teachers, colleagues and experiences that have shown just how tarot can do that.
So when faced with a comment or query about “fortunetelling” I usually explain that my approach is one of self-awareness and self-empowerment rather than submitting to fate. I usually answer with my definition of tarot, which is “I experience tarot as a mirror that reflects back to me where I am in the moment and provides a map to guide me where I want to go.” And while the cards can be predictive by reflecting different influences in your life, at this particular moment in time, they do not determine your fate, whatever that is! I have chosen to refer to my approach at “divination” – to communicate with the Divine.
How can you change your tarot reading from being fortune telling, or being powerless in your situation to being helpful in showing you action (or non-action) that can move you towards your desired outcome?
First, consider how you ask your questions.
Here are a few questions for a fortune teller:
- Will my project be successful?
- Will I get the job I want?
- Will I find the partner of my dreams?
Now, reframe these same questions to for a divinatory response:
- How can I best ensure my project’s success?
- What do I need to know to get the job I want?
- How will I recognize my ideal partner?
Let’s look at how the way of framing a question offers a different interpretation of the same card:
Q: Will my project be successful?
A: Probably, but there won’t be a lot of joy in it.
Q: How can I best ensure my project’s success?
A: Make sure you have all of the legal documents in orders, papers signed, and that all involved parties are in agreement and feel like they are treated fairly.
Q: Will I get the job I want?
Q: What do I need to know to get the job I want?
A: Look inside yourself and determine if you really do want this job. If you do, you will have to let go of something-(other cards may indicate what) that no longer serves you and be willing to start all over.
Q: Will I find the partner of my dreams?
Q: How can I recognize my ideal partner?
A: When you see in another a capacity for honoring your heart, and you have the capacity to receive from that person in equal measure.
Can you see how different these two responses can be and how the divination method can give you a lot to work with to create your life the way you want it? Have fun!