You’ve probably heard the new-age jargon surrounding this idea of “co-creating” your reality, that is, making manifest what it is that you envision for your life. I do subscribe to this theory, although in a much more profound way than a simple airy-fairy sort of “The Secret” approach, in which you can somehow acquire whatever your heart desires simply by positive thinking and wishing it into reality.
My tarot practice is deeply centered on the idea of creative manifestation––the idea and the reality as I see it, that when we take full responsibility for our lives, we can live them in a constructive and rewarding way. There’s no need to feel guilt, blame or self-victimization either, as if we or our “ego selves” are unconscious evil forces that bring our illnesses or misfortunes upon us. Rather, we can open our eyes to what our situation is telling us, and where we can take it from here, by actively working with it rather than against it. Sometimes illnesses and other difficult situations in our life are outward manifestations of a part of our soul calling for expression and healing, but that doesn’t mean we need to blame ourselves, play the victim, or put any sort of moral judgement on the experience.
The core idea is one of responsibility and choice. I believe firmly that every individual is responsible for his or her own choices in life, and is a product of actively choosing, or choosing not to choose. While it’s clear that many (if not most!) of the external environments or factors which shape us are out of our physical control (family of origin, birthplace, ethnicity, etc.), it’s also clear that what we do with these factors continually shapes our day-to-day living and ultimate reality.
My way of reading the tarot benefits an individual who is willing to look squarely at their life, their choices, and the energies surrounding possible opportunities and possible outcomes, doing so with a sense of wonder, curiosity, openness, and unguarded faith. That’s a tall order for sure! These are individuals who are ready to “take the reigns” so to speak, and own up to their role in creating what they hope to manifest. Faith here is a key starting point. An individual has to first believe that this is even possible, which isn’t a given!
A Higher Level of Consciousness of Self
Oftentimes people don’t spend much time with themselves, their inner or higher selves (such as in practices like meditation or journaling), to even know who/what that Self is, and what It wants. This is essential, before being able to co-create with the Universe.
In my tarot practice, I strive to bring clients to a higher level of consciousness of Self through the practice itself. I know! Lofty goal, right? But totally attainable in many cases, where there is an open-hearted willingness to go there. It’s that level of consciousness that clicks in when a client approaches me with a question like “Will he/she come back to me?” and together we can transform it into questions like “What role do I play in this separation?” and “What truth is his/her leaving forcing me to acknowledge?” and further “What should I do now to move forward in the healthiest way for myself?” Clearly answers to these questions give us much more to work with than a simple “yes” or “no” answer that anyone has a 50% chance of being accurate on, with or without tarot cards!
Of course, not everyone wants to go there with a tarot reading, and that’s ok too. The important thing is that the reader and the client are working towards the same end goal, and in my case that is providing a client with constructive, relevant information that they can put to work in their own lives. Not everyone wants tarot to do that, however.
Self-Determination and Free Will
In the first question, the client passively consults the tarot and the tarot reader, in order to be able to sit back and hear what “fate” has in store. This approach renders the client virtually helpless and essentially locked in to whatever the cards reveal. This passive, powerless approach takes away the client’s ability to practice self-determination, a concept in which I firmly believe, after having spent time in social work, where this is a core ethical concept.
Self-determination is defined as “Determination of one’s own fate or course of action without compulsion; free will.”
A good tarot reading, in my opinion, keeps the client’s free will at the forefront. The client has the power to work with the energies in their life, and to make constructive and positive changes based on them. Or not! But the choice, the free will, remains always in the client’s hands. Also, and perhaps more importantly, there is no place for moral judgement as to what the client decides. We are all going through this game of life at our own pace, with our own individual compasses and baggage.
Living By Ideals
So, while I don’t believe that we can wish a million dollars into being simply by thinking we have free will or the power to create our own reality, I do absolutely believe that with a tarot reading I can help empower clients to know that they do have options and choices that apply specifically to their situation, and that they aren’t trapped or limited by what a tarot card reading, or by what anyone or anything external to themselves, tells them.
Who has the right to have that kind of power over an individual, other than their own Self?
Granted, this might sound idealistic in theory, and in fact, it is exactly that for me: an ideal towards which I strive in working with my clients and in working with the tarot. A great tarot reading will help the client to actively visualize and become aware of things that are going on both around them and within them. These “things” are the stuff of which choices are made, and of which realities are created.
Just as The Magician shows us that we have the power to creatively manifest outcomes in our lives, the tarot is an extraordinary tool to help us consciously co-create with the Universe, bringing us closer to our soul’s mission. If I didn’t believe this, I wouldn’t read the cards. And a conscious client, along with a conscious and compassionate tarot reader, will realize and embrace the fact that this approach doesn’t always produce a “yes” answer to “Will he/she come back?” — and yet ultimately, the path itself is what’s leading the client towards the highest version of Self possible in this lifetime. Liberating, empowering, and enriching–-living life with a more conscious and informed approach: this is one of the greatest gifts that tarot, and other divination tools such as the I Ching and astrology, can share with us.
What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.