Can The Tarot Really Tell You Your Future?
For hundreds of years people have consulted tarot cards in search of answers pertaining to their future.
Some questions are more pressing than others, and in many cases the reading is done out of entertainment, rather than desperation.
But one can't help but wonder: do tarot cards really offer you a glimpse of what's to come, and if so, can they enable you to change the outcome?
Just as there are vehement believers in the tarot, there are of course naysayers who insist the cards are a silly and insubstantial method of discerning the future. To each his own, right?
But for those who respect the art of tarot reading and believe there to be valid answers within the symbols and symmetry of the card spreads, it's a matter of interpreting, not believing.
Even the most skilled tarot reader will tell you that the cards often convey their messages in obscure ways. No response is straightforward in the world of tarot, and one must be willing to more or less decipher riddles in order to reveal the truth.
Contrary to popular assumptions, the tarot is not constructed to give absolute answers, but rather to offer a glimpse into the future as it is presently unfurling.
This includes actions the subject is currently taking and decisions being made in the moment, with the outcome revealed in the card spread the likeliest if the subject continues on his or her course. Will the outcome change if the direction changes? Of course!
The other half of a tarot reading involves the elements surrounding the subject in question, as well as their influences. This includes acquaintances, outside circumstances, inner emotions, and even consequences from previous actions. All of these–and many other factors–are relevant to a tarot spread's theme.
When you are consulting the tarot cards it's important not to ask in absolutes. Black and white thinking is a human construct, and is not the language of the tarot. If you enter a reading looking or yes-or-no answers, with little consideration for gray area, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.
What's more, you are dismissing what is perhaps the most beneficial aspect of tarot. By understanding the forces working for and against you, and why certain events are taking place, you can acquire the necessary tools for changing your course before it's too late. Asking questions in search of definite answers tells the tarot that you have already made up your mind, and therefore are in no need of further assistance.
Remember, the cards are there to guide you, and offer perspectives you may not have considered. Consider this: do you prefer confiding in a friend who only offers up one point of view and solution within the confines of it, or in a friend who is able to see all sides of a situation and guide you towards the most sensible step?
Often we look to the tarot cards to “fix” us, and no one knows the burden of that misguided mindset better than a tarot reader. As with any psychic tool, the tarot exists to cast light where most of us only see shadow, and look for options where there appears to be none.
Keeping that in mind, most tarot readers caution their clients against taking the cards too literally, and will gently press for a more intuitive understanding, rather than affirmative impressions.
For example, the Devil and Death cards often incite a knee-jerk panic, but their meanings are actually quite positive, signifying much-needed change and metaphorical endings, as well as triumph over abuse.
So while it may be tempting to paint a bleak picture for the future, this can actually cause more harm than good, as you are deliberately imposing the worst case scenario on a possibly miraculous set of circumstances.
Similarly, it can be all too easy to look at cards like the Lovers and immediately expect the best without putting in the work and heeding the messages of the surrounding cards. If the tarot abhors absolutes, it equally disdains those who treat the cards like winning lottery numbers. In tarot, the sum always equals the parts, and it's never recommended that one walk away in ignorant bliss.
Ultimately, the future is an ever-shifting thing that can turn on the slightest alteration. How many movies tell the story of a protagonist setting out on their usual day, taking a slight detour, and finding themselves in the middle of extraordinary events?
Life is full of unexpected surprises, both good and abysmal, and the tarot can no more ensure a positive outcome than it can a negative. Because in the end, the power is in your hands.
Awareness is always favorable to opinion when consulting the cards, and the more open you are in your questioning the more options you will receive from the tarot's assistance.
You may want to know if you'll get that dream job or receive a large sum of money, but what if the tarot could tell you how to get both of those things by understanding what influences surround you, what aspects need to be lifted or, conversely, removed? What if, by knowing what is working for and against you, you can work towards the best possible outcome every time, and not just this occasion?
One of the most exhilarating and agonizing truths about being human is that we can never really know what's just around the corner. All we can do is prepare and act with positive integrity.
By taking this approach to tarot you will no doubt reap the far-reaching benefits, rather than merely the temporary rewards.