Tarot and Decision-Making

Psyche raises an interesting point about the Tarot and decision-making:

The tarot, for all its elaborate imagery and esoteric symbolism, is not sentient. It’s merely another tool.

Psyche talks about decision spreads, and I have used them on many occasions. There are several fantastic spreads that can give you insight as to what may come if you choose one path or another, and I have even adapted spreads to include potential outcomes for three or four options.

But even I have fallen into the trap of asking a tarot deck “Should I take this course of action?”

The answer is never positive, and some decks (especially Crowley!) can get downright abusive if you’re foolish enough to ask a question like that.

The tarot cannot make decision for you. Decks have “personalities,” but this is because the characters of their creators and the systems they are based upon shine through. They are not sentient; they are only tools. And they are tools that show you where you are in the pattern of life, and where you might be if certain events happen. You can use that tool to evaluate where you might end up if you make one decision over another, but it cannot tell you what you should do. Petition your gods if you must, but a deck of cards will not be of help.

Ultimately you make your own decisions. Tarot can help you be more informed when you make them, but you alone must act.

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2 responses to “Tarot and Decision-Making

  1. It’s hard for me to understand how people use Tarot this way, maybe it’s just because I learned to use my Tarot cards intuitively. They have never answered a yes or no question, because they aren’t made to be that way. When I read my cards I read the energy they contain, I try not to use the simple meanings given by books and other sources, although sometimes those meanings can help for a quick reading.

  2. When I started reading Tarot for other people, I volunteered at a local psychic fair. Doing 60 readings a day is a great way to get used to giving brief and accurate readings. In short, I can give readings in under 5 minutes, and I can give yes or no answers. I don’t recall much of the process of developing this skill, but apparently it surprises people. (I can’t peg down time very well, though.)

    But the whole “should/shouldn’t” question is far more than a yes/no issue. It’s a value judgement. To ask a deck what you should do implies that the deck has an understanding of what you want and what “is best” for you. It doesn’t. It can only give you data on what is likely to happen of you take certain actions, based upon how things are at the moment of the reading.

    Although I suppose you could link you tarot deck to a servitor designed to make such judgements. That would be interesting …

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