Is Tarot prediction or self-fulfilling prophecy?
This is an issue I have often wondered about so far as Tarot reading is concerned. How much power does the reader have to subconsciously affect the querent to the extent where, later, they act out the details of the reading they have been given?
The process of Tarot reading is a very intimate one in which, under normal circumstances, both parties are receptive and open at a psychic level. This being so, any information imparted during the reading period will infiltrate quite deeply into the mind of the querent. It is, therefore, possible that afterward the querent will behave in accordance with the reading given, thereby creating the events they were told would take place.
This would certainly be very influential when you do the sort of reading where you tell a person that they will undertake a course of action they had never previously contemplated. Most experienced readers will have, on many occasions, predicted things in readings that the querent rejects as 'something I have never even considered'. But of course once the idea is there, they are bound to consider it aren't they?
Looking back over my own experiences, I recall the querent who believed she wasn't 'clever enough' to undertake extended study. Her reading indicated dedicated work and subsequent success. She left University last year, degree in hand. She told me the thing that really made her start seriously considering study was the reading...so...self-fulfilling prophecy, in this case.
But then I also remember the woman who came to me just as her marriage ended in divorce, swearing she would never ever trust another man. Her reading indicated that she would marry again within the year. She scoffed furiously. And then came back nine months later to tell me she was engaged to be married, and that an old flame had flown halfway around the world to declare his continued feeling for her as soon as he heard she was free. She had done nothing to contact him...he heard through mutual friends. So this one was a straight prediction.
I can think of literally hundreds of other examples over the years.....some supporting one theory, and some supporting the other. There seems to be no hard and fast answer.
But there's one critical lesson to be learned......and that is that readers must be very very careful what they say to querents, and how they present what they find in readings.
A reader's words can surface in a querent's mind at the most unlikely times. With unpredictable consequences. We have a special obligation to be very thoughtful about what we say to our querents - they are, in some ways, at our mercy. Most specifically we need to be sure to temper every single reading we give with love, respect and compassion. We can, most literally, change peoples' lives by reading for them.
That means we have a duty to attempt, no matter what we find in a tarot reading, to leave the querent feeling as positive and hopeful as possible.
© 2003 Jan Shepherd