In defence of fortune-telling

Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting the future. The definition of divination is not too far off, describing it as an attempt to gain knowledge of future events through occult means. Whichever term we decide to use, it essentially amounts to the same thing, and the first mental association we are likely to have would probably be that of Tarot, natal charts, crystal gazing or some other similar method. Cards in particular summon up an idea of being able to peer into what lies ahead. It has been so for as long as history records them, both among the common folk and among those of the more learned classes. More recently however, in the last couple of decades, a new trend arose which has done everything in its power to distance itself from the notion of predicting the future.

Anyone even vaguely familiar with Tarot, Lenormand, Runes, crystal gazing or any other such practice is more than certain to have encountered, time and again, in literature both on and offline, how all of these systems are “not used for fortune-telling”, “cannot predict the future” and how they are instead predominantly to be employed as a “trusted advisor” for “gaining spiritual insight” and “self-knowledge”. We are then left to wonder – how many people are initially drawn to cartomancy with the idea of “spiritual insight”?

Many of us have first encountered divination as children or very young adults. If we are to go back in time and relive that moment – what was the core fascination for us at the time? Was it the person’s ability to perform wonderful feats of “self-development” and their perhaps exceptional “self-knowledge”? The psychological nuances of their insight? Their heightened sense of purpose? Or was it something different altogether? Can most of us honestly say that it was not precisely the predictive qualities of the whole affair that got us interested, hooked and even addicted to the adrenaline rush that happens whenever somebody else or we ourselves get it right and perform an accurate reading? Were the generations upon generations (upon generations) of semi-literate village fortune-tellers as well as learned men of the court so far off the mark in focusing on divination? Why is the mere idea of predicting the future so offensive to the modern author’s ears so that they have to repeatedly distance themselves from it and instead opt for vague pop psychology and Oprah’s book club-style fluff?

Unfortunately, the answer seems to be – fear. Fear of failure, fear of inability to actually perform as a reader, fear of losing one’s audience and / or clients if the methods they teach do not serve their purpose, fear of ultimately losing money due to not being good enough in something they profess to be experts in. This in turn has created an entire new movement in Tarot which has stirred away from old school fortune-telling and into something that simply has no connection to its original purpose. Whether this change is good or bad is left to be seen but is not one I am particularly interested in. Instead, I focus on the purely divinatory aspect of the cards and have a feeling that most of my readers are the same.

This is why I will conclude this article with a bit of advice on how to avoid the pitfalls of “self-development” and instead stay on the track of proper fortune-telling so that, eventually, you too will start seeing real, tangible results of your practice.

If you wish to explore Tarot, Lenormand, Kipper, or any other system, you need to be prepared for a certain dose of failure, especially in the beginning. There is no way around it but directly through it. Keep practicing, keep a diary, keep track of your predictions and how accurate they were. Always be aware of the mistakes you have made and seek to correct them but also know when you got it right. Understand how it is that you made an accurate prediction and focus on that intuitive space in your mind. Over time, results will come. Of course, it is unrealistic to expect prophetic visions of the cinematic variety, but a decent enough level of success is attainable. After all, if all predictions were a 100% accurate, we’d all be billionaires by now but, even if they are not, they do still hold an admirable enough percentage of truth to make them worth while. There is no shame in being 70% accurate and it is still better than hiding behind the mask of “self-development” all while hoping that a true gift of seeing into the future will materialize out of nowhere. It is far better to accept the fact that fortune-telling does indeed have its purpose, that we do wish for it, that it is our main goal in fiddling with the cards, and that we can indeed become masters of it.