Updated from the archives:
Before we get to yes/no questions in particular, lets look at Tarot and predictions in general.
My main goal in doing Tarot readings is to help people. I think Tarot can make tough times just that tiny bit more bearable by helping us understand the situation from a different point of view, or by giving us new ideas about how to solve a problem. Tarot readings are a big-picture, out-of-the-box way to help us find a better way of doing things. Readings let you know the Universe feels your pain and helps you think of ways of coping that might not have come to mind otherwise. Tarot is a tool for emotional healing, spiritual learning and personal growth.
In addition to helping people right here and right now, my longer term goal is to bring Tarot into to the 21st century. I want to haul Tarot out from under the layer of superstition that covers it and let it shine as a way to both ease and empower our hectic modern lifestyle.
Tarot may seem out of step with the modern world. Holistic “mind, body, spirit” healing is old wisdom too, but it has found a place in contemporary lifestyles. In America, lots of people are jumping on the Holistic, natural bandwagon as far as physical health goes. Sadly, no one is touching truly holistic living- but that is where Tarot can help. “Natural” isn’t the same as Holistic. Modern medicine incorporates some common sense holistic-like lifestyle changes as legitimate health measures, but mind & emotions still seem to take a back seat while the spiritual is all but ignored. Unconventional, spirituality-oriented things (like Tarot) that can help us make a truly holistic mind-body connection and reduce stress are often still derided as rip-offs and snake oil. We might want “natural” ways to care for the body, but easing mental stress and nurturing the spirit is still thrown under the bus of modern medicine.
It is time for the reasonable to acknowledge the spiritual. But it is also time for the spiritual to be more reasonable. It is time for Tarot to grow up and join the 21st century.
If Tarot isn’t accepted as a reasonable thing, it is just as much the fault of those who propagate the “woo woo”, ridiculous, and superstitious aspects of intuitive work as it is of the hard line “science” zealots who dismiss the metaphysical out of hand. If you talk to working professional psychics of all disciplines, you get the same story. It’s not about predicting the future. It’s about becoming a better person. Maybe I’m just talking to people who think like me….but on the other hand, the internet is letting psychics and Tarot readers meet, talk and network like never before. There are far more of us who work this way than I originally thought back in the 90s when I first picked up a card deck.
Yes/No readings aren’t really predictions at all. They are simply a thumb on the scales of decision making. Yes/No readings are not the right thing for really BIG life altering decisions. No rational person would base a truly important decision on a tarot reading of any kind. For example, you wouldn’t use tarot to decide to buy a car, or even which car to buy. But if you are torn between the silver paint and the blue, why not? Yes / No Tarot is very well suited to fun little coin-toss kinds of decisions.
The more complex spreads can help us understand and deal with emotional, stressful, complex situations. Those kinds of advice-driven NON-PREDICTION readings can help guide us through big decisions and stressful times. The yes/no reading is for tipping the scales in trivial decisions OR for plain old fun and chuckles. That’s because the yes/no reading can’t really be untied from the outdated notion of predicting the future. As such, it can’t really be taken all that seriously. BUT silly and not-serious has its place in stress relief. One could argue that by relieving stress and increasing enjoyment, Tarot is outright healthy…from a holistic point of view. Fun and laughter really is good medicine. My goal is to help people, so the yes/no reading remains a part of the Modern Oracle way of Tarot.
In other words, fun = good, predictions = bad.
If we as Tarot readers make a pronouncement of what will happen (accurate or not) we are not empowering or helping our client. We are planting a seed of OUR vision of the future. The sitter has every right and freedom to reject everything we said, but we still messed with the system. Yes, they are the ones who decided to get the reading in the first place, but in so doing they put weight on our words. Our clients gift us with their trust. We have to treat that gift with care.
Like the cat in Schrodinger’s thought experiment, we make stuff happen when we make an observation, which in this case is (I grant you) an indirect observation of one possible outcome. Anything is possible – until we go snooping around the anything and turn it into an actual something. Shouldn’t our clients open their own cat-box? Shouldn’t they be the one to envision their own cat, be it living, dead, missing or zombie?
If we want to help people as much as we say we do, wouldn’t it be better to help them find THEIR vision of the future? Predictions assume a fate, or a power outside of ourselves, or separate from ourselves. I believe we are a seamless part of everything. We are a connected part of the whole entire everything. The big enchilada and us…same thing. Because of that immersion our choices make our future. Our choices navigate where we go in among the infinity of possibilities. Our choices and actions make those possibilities real. If we make predictions, it can have an effect on the the thoughts, choices and intentions of our client. It can affect what kind of cat they find in their box. It isn’t our job as readers to tell another person where they will end up as if their lives were completely beyond their control. It is our job to help them navigate in the direction they want to go, to put their “fate” back under their control. It’s our job to lift people up, open up possibilities, not doom them to one narrow vision. The universe is so much bigger and more wonderful than that. Predictions blind us to the beauty and wonder of all those possibilities. We should help our clients see the wonder, not blind them too it.