Whenever a client tells me that they didn’t “hear anything I didn’t know” I smile. For the types of readings I do, it is music to my ears. While some readers might panic and think that that means they didn’t do a good job, I know that that statement is intrinsically important and relevant to the person I am reading for.
Sometimes, a tarot reading will not provide a sitter with information that is unknown for various reasons, and these various reasons speak to the true heart of tarot: a tool that functions and acts much more dynamically than merely “telling the future”.
When a reading is reiterating known information about a current state or issue, it is taking an active role in providing guidance and facilitating a spiritual journey. Its function is much more interactive than the passive role of recounting a story about the future, because I believe that tarot is really universal guidance in the present moment regarding a future state more than a window into that future state.
Perhaps that is my own time bias. I do not think time is a train on a track and we are using tarot to glimpse the next three cities on this hard rail that cannot be altered. For me, tarot is the binoculars that looks up into a tree; stems and branches peeling away and diverging, growing and moving where the future and the present intricately linked. While tarot can and often does give a best outcome of events, those outcomes are based on and connected to the guidance concerning today’s choices, choices we have power over.
So when universal guidance is repeating information we know, it is doing so because what we currently know has a direct influence on our personal journey regarding a future state. If we believe that tarot is a tool linking us to Divine knowledge, intuitive guidance, or simply our unconscious minds then we can agree that there is an intentionality in a tarot reading. So what would be the intention of repeating known information?
Affirmation-We feel or know something in the pit our being but we might also be confused, scared, uncertain or have others around us trying to convince us that what we know is incorrect. A tarot reading will often mirror what we intrinsically know is the truth of a situation, the “No, you’re NOT crazy” along with avenues for next steps. This is, by far, the greatest gift given to clients in these situations.
Confirmation-It is easy for a fortune teller to talk about a life 10 years hence, it is not immediately confirmable, and will take years before one can determine if it was accurate or not. How easy it would be to tell you about a past life, your angel guides, your future way down the road and how could you actually confirm that what I am saying is accurate? You can’t. However, a reader who is able to share information on current events that are immediately confirmable are much, much harder to “fake”. Also, detailing current events with a short probability line means that the client is able to wait out the information to see if things unfold in the way foretold before the reader leaves town. To be able to detail current events that are unknown by the reader is a greater test of skill than to speak of things that will take years to unfold, if ever.
Attention-Sometimes we know the truth of a situation but we are patently ignoring it, knowing that the truth will create action that is difficult, painful, or frightening. The tarot both lovingly and sometimes dramatically calls us back to the truth, stating something like, “This is the important thing you need to pay attention to right now, stop trying to distract yourself with other things.”
No Spoilers Allowed-The present process is so incredibly important, that the ambiguity one feels is important to a new process or transformational element that the tarot will outright refuse to give us new information. It is as if the discomfort of change cannot be alleviated, the pressure must stay in place to allow for true change to take place. I see this in action when a client needs to do some work around opening to love. Of course she wants to know when her troubadour will arrive, but the action of giving a date or time frame will actually circumvent the work that needs to take place. tarot, being a message from the Universe who knows her as well (if not better) than she knows herself, intentionally withholds information so that she does the work in present time. This I see particularly happens when the energy has been blocked for a long time.
The Question is Unimportant-We ask a future-tense related question of the tarot but the tarot knows that the future can only be ascertained by what is happening immediately in the present and so will decide to talk about present choices only.
The Matter is Still in Flux-Situations and events are still not settled, a probability line has not yet been drawn and everything is popping in and out of reality. The tarot, sensing that, seems to decide that focusing on known knowledge is more important, and more accurate, at this time rather than attempt an inaccurate analysis. I see this function in action when the answer is literally 50:50. Perhaps a client has interviewed for a position and the person involved in making the decision keeps vacillating between her and another applicant. The free will of the determiner is fluctuating so rapidly, the tarot cannot call it.
Annoyance-Finally, if we keep asking tarot the same question over and over again–without truly making any true changes in our lives since the last time we asked–the tarot can often shut down and stop passing on revelatory information. The readings become ambiguous, less distinct and one gets the sense that the tarot just doesn't want to play anymore.
Tarot readings are can be powerful insights when we ask ourselves why we might not be getting the information we want right now. Questions often come from places of fear, ego, anxiety, or loss and when we have questions from these places that do not feel so good, we need to allow the good doctor (i.e. tarot) to doctor us to better health and wellness. Tarot is a terrific diagnostic tool if we only let it be. But we cannot truly allow the work of tarot to have its astounding effect if we are only out to get ‘what we don’t know’.
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