Saturday, 6 April 2013

F: Fatalism and Fortune-telling

Will my boyfriend ask me to marry him?

Am I ever going to be rich and successful?

How many children will I have?

What do these questions have in common?

Right - they're all things you shouldn't be asking a tarot reader. Long gone are the days of the reader acting as some kind of conduit to knowledge about everything that's going to happen. Long gone, in fact, are the days of thinking everything that's going to happen is already determined, with us being helpless puppets of fortune. Or at least, in tarot circles, these days are long gone. Out there, in the world of mind body spirit fairs and psychic evenings in the local pub, unfortunately there are still plenty of people who think it's worth paying for a reading to get a map of their future, to know what's going to happen to them, unequivocally.

Modern tarot is not like that. I haven't ever (except for on TV) seen a reader proclaim definitively "you will meet a man... he brings trouble". What we can offer is advice and often ideas on angles you haven't thought of. The best questions are phrased with "how can I" rather than "will I". For myself, I often read using a simple three-card format. A spread I use fairly regularly labels the three cards: what you should do; what you shouldn't do; what you're not seeing - and that last card is often the most valuable. Tarot is brilliant at revealing what I'm not thinking of, the unconsidered consequences of my grandest plans, or the unconscious motivation behind said plans.


  1. I'm a big fan of three card spreads, too. Still, I often call mine "Don't-Do-Advice", as I seem to have a mental block - I still can't see whatever is in a "What I don't see" position *doh* :D

  2. Interesting. I know very little about tarot cards and have never been to a reader. I think I'd be too nervous to have my cards read, lol. (:

    A-Z participant blogging from Elise Fallson

  3. A local writer here is a psychic and said those are pretty much the questions people always ask. She thought about trying to work at one of the hotlines for extra cash, but felt they weren't legitimate, and no one wants the truth anyway, just the whimsy of the good things it could be. Yes, you'll meet a tall, dark stranger and live happily ever after. We always have choices, even after a reading, to change things.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  4. This is very interesting and compels me to read your other posts too. I dont know much about Tarot though I have heard a lot about it! :)

  5. My entire A-z challenge is based around the lessons I learned from using a deck of word cards. I found it easier to relate to simple words or animal cards than tarot, it is comforting to read that modern tarot is far removed from the charlatans of old, though I can't really blame them if they constantly had to listen to people asking the first three questions. My three card spread is often, what have I learned, what is working for me and what is the outcome or what I need to focus on. Great post informative and a good read