I used to think tarot reading was about prediction
The first tarot reader I ever went to see was recommended by a friend. I went along to ask about a new relationship I was in.
Would it work out?
Were we a good match?
Looking back, giving someone I hardly knew the power to say whether my relationship was right for me or not seems like I was avoiding a lot of responsibility.
Why was I looking for someone outside of myself to tell me if the relationship was a good one?
As it happens, I seem to remember that she had some words of caution about the relationship. But of course, I was smitten – so I ignored those parts and just focused on what I wanted to hear.
Maybe that in itself should have been telling.
But what I loved most about seeing this woman is that she explained how, when she worked with the cards, she wasn’t looking to predict the future. Instead, she viewed my tarot reading more as a way to look at my situation from other perspectives that I might have overlooked.
It was a way to draw out my true feelings, desires and even fears.
What are you looking for from divination?
Often when people go to see a card reader, they’re at a transition point in their lives and they need to make a choice. It might be:
- “Do I follow this path?”
- “Can I trust this person/opportunity?”
- “Will this relationship/job/situation work out for me?”
People want external validation for their choices or external reassurance that their situation will work out. Just like I’d wanted the tarot reader to tell me that I was making the right choice for me and that my relationship would work out.
It’s not surprising that so many of us want other people to confirm and validate our choices. After all, we live in a world where we’re taught not to trust ourselves – and especially not to trust our instincts and intuition.
We’re taught to override any intuitive nudges or feelings that something ‘isn’t quite right’.
We learn to give far more weight to logic and intellect.
And whilst, of course, logic and intellect are both important, you miss out on vital information when you dismiss your intuition. We’re emotional creatures – and while we may justify our reasoning with logic, we make the decisions themselves based on (or at least influenced by) emotion.
No doubt that’s why I chose to pay less attention to any caution the tarot reader brought up about my new relationship, and chose to focus on what I (emotionally) wanted at the time instead.
So how else can you use divination?
These days, I still use divination regularly. But I (mostly) do my own readings, rather than relying on someone else to ‘interpret the signs’ for me. And I don’t use them to predict the future.
That’s because I don’t need anyone to externally validate my choices anymore. Instead, I use my divination tools – usually charms, Ogham or cards – to help me actively create my future. Or, influenced by that first tarot reader, I use them to gain more information around how I feel about a situation.
Regardless of which tool I’m using, I like to ask about whatever situation I’m seeking guidance on, so that I can see it from all sides and understand it in more depth. This gives me more power, and allows me to take more responsibility for creating what I want.
For example, rather than asking, “Will this situation work out?” (which assumes that the answer depends completely on something I have no control over), I might ask:
- “What potential outcomes might this situation have, and how do I feel about each?”
- “What do I most need to focus on to bring about the outcome I want?”
- “What do I need to stop doing, let go of or do more of to create the outcome I want?”
My divination tools can then bring into my awareness elements of the situation that I might not have previously considered. They can also bring to the surface any worries or concerns that I’d been trying to ignore.
Once I’m consciously aware of those elements, worries or concerns, I can use them to help me make an informed choice, based on a blend of intellect and intuition.
For extra insight, use a map
One way I like to deepen and expand my readings is to use a divination map. This is a surface you’ve divided into specific areas that each give more context to your divination reading.
When you use a map with your divination tools, you can find meaning not just in which charms or other tools turn up, but also in where each one lands.
Here’s a map that I created to help me make changes in my life. I designed it to use with charms, but you could easily use it when you cast other divination tools like runes or Ogham, or even use it with cards.
In my Charm Casting book, I’ve included some example readings using this map. The main areas I’ve included in it are:
- Review: charms (or other tools) that fall in this area indicate what you need to review before you can make your change. All might not be as it seems, so you’ll need to look at things in this area again to make sure everything is in order.
- Release: charms (or other tools) that fall in this area reflect things that you need to release to move on and make the changes you want.
- Outcome: charms (or other tools) that land in this area tell you a possible outcome if you go ahead and make the changes you want or need.
- Do Differently: charms (or other tools) here reflect what you need to do differently to make the changes you desire.
- Commit: charms (or other tools) here tell you what you need to commit to – not just think about, but truly commit to.
- First Steps: charms (or other tools) here reflect the first steps you need to take to build the momentum that will bring the change you want.
To use the map, simply cast your charms or tools – or draw one or more oracle cards – for each section of the map. Then interpret each charm, etc, that turns up in the context of the area it’s turned up in.
Someone once told me that working with my oracle decks was like having a coaching session. And I guess that’s very accurate in terms of what I want people to receive when they use the deck.
I want divination to be a process where you learn to connect with yourself on a deeper level and come to trust yourself and your choices.
Only then can you make your decisions from a place of confidence without feeling the need to seek external validation from anyone else.
In essence, I want you to become your own oracle.
To get started, download the map here>>