I had a very interesting conversation yesterday with a woman who was considering having her first Tarot reading. She shared a concern that I have heard over the years, and I want to blog about this topic while our conversation is still fresh in my mind.
The concern she voiced was: "If one does see the future, can what is revealed become a self-fulfilling prophecy?" I hope my reply yesterday was thorough & useful. Here are more thoughts on the subject.
Wikipedia has an excellent article on the idea of a self fulfilling prophecy which includes the following:
"In other words, a prophecy declared as truth when it is actually false may sufficiently influence people, either through fear or logical confusion, so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy."
Now before I go into the specifics of my reply, I must first say that I am not a prophet. I do not ever intend that the readings I offer be taken as final, absolute, dictatorial.. or in any other way so magical that they are "declared". I do not seek to influence clients, to cause them to make one choice or another.
My primary purpose in offering Tarot consultations is to provide accurate answers to seekers questions to the best of my ability by all means possible. I have been offering readings to the public since 1996, and it is on that experience that I base my reply.
First: It is not my experience that readings in and of themselves create the future. The future seen is most always the outcome of the past actions and present choices of the seeker, as influenced by the environment in which he or she lives.
Second: Many, many times the future revealed in a Tarot consultation is changeable. We have the power to change our minds, to turn left, to stay or go... in short to make any number of choices that can avert an unfortunate outcome.
Third: While some may have a feeling of dread, or of doom; as if a "black cloud" of bad luck is following them, this emotional habit may well cause one to see negative in a situation where a positive outlook is possible.
It seems as if the importance one attaches to the future revealed in a reading determines whether or not the outcome revealed becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In an effort to be sure I am offering a good answer, I often turn to a dictionary to be sure my reply is actually on topic.
To refer again to Wikipedia, this excerpt from the article previously referenced sums up my point of view very well:
"Robert K. Merton's concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy stems from the Thomas theorem, which states that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences." According to Thomas, people do not react only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these situations.
Therefore, their behavior is determined in part by their perception and the meaning they ascribe to the situations they are in, rather than by the situations themselves. Once people convince themselves that a situation really has a certain meaning, regardless of whether it actually does, they will take very real actions in consequence."
It is noteworthy to me that the very power of the mind to create what is usually referenced as a negative, in this case the "self fulfilling prophecy" is simultaneously one of the best reasons to consult an oracle, such as the oracle of Tarot.
I am certain that we co-create our futures, and it is in seeing the outcome of our actions that we may be free of harmful habits and patterns. Further, in my practice, readings are co-created. I am not able to read well for you if you are not willing to be present in the process with an open mind. We open the door of the Akashic Record together... to see the world that is constantly coming.