Tarot 101: Predicting the Future (repost)



Lesson Five: Predicting the Future

In this final lesson, I’d like to address the big question readers get most often doing readings: Can you predict the future? (This is usually followed by, “If it’s bad, I don’t want to know.”) Kat and I have had many long debates about this. The short answer is yes and no. The longer answer is, well, it depends on how you define “predicting the future.”

Thanks to decades of misrepresentation in various forms of media, the uses and limits of tarot readings have been wildly distorted in the public discourse. Mention tarot to your everyday person, and you’re likely to conjure up images in their mind of the Death card (ominous music) portending doom and destruction. Or, said person might roll their eyes and picture a late-night infomercial charlatan promising you love, romance, and big flashing dollar signs (at $3.99 a minute)!

A more realistic metaphor for predicting the future with tarot cards would be a map. You’re never gonna find a map that says, “Your car WILL drive north on Interstate 17, and in just over 2 hours, you will arrive in Flagstaff.” What if you don’t want to go to Flagstaff? What if you decide to stop off in Sedona and have your aura photographed? What if the person you really want to visit lives in the opposite direction, and you want to go to Tucson?

It would be absurd to assume a map is set in stone once you’ve looked at it, so why would a reading be any different? As long as humans have free will, the future is malleable (unless you subscribe to a philosophical school that believes there is no such thing as free will, and that’s another conversation altogether.)


Just like reading a map, a tarot spread can predict the reasonable outcome of the path you’re currently traveling. And like any good map, a good tarot reader can identify landmarks along the way. These not only reassure the client they’re on the right path, but to give them a heads up that an action might be necessary. Think of it like directions on the freeway: “As soon as you pass the stadium on the left, start looking for your exit. If you pass the McDonald’s, you’ve missed it.” A tarot parallel might read, “The six of wands indicates that you’re about to experience a bit of respite after a period of turbulent events. Use that period to rest and reflect, because the Wheel of Fortune reminds you that this too shall pass.”

Depending on the nature of the reading you’re asked to give, you can sometimes feel like a passenger giving the driver a gentle verbal nudge, or an air traffic controller trying to talk down a runaway jet plane! Either way, as the reader, your job is to view the map provided by the cards, understand their positions, and help the client choose the best route to finding their best results.


I am very wary of any reader who offers a guarantee of 100% accuracy. True, a talented and experienced reader can be spot on most of the time. But there is always room for free will, course corrections, and intervention. As a reader, it’s important for you to remember that the only true authority in the client’s life is the client themselves. You can and should empower your clients, offer them insights, and provide them the benefit of your talent, experience, and intuition. But nothing is ever set in stone!

Knowing this can be a blessing. For instance, every time I see the Tower in a personal reading (especially if it’s in the present or future position), I feel a sense of relief. The Tower can be a terrifying card, with huge changes and pressure. But seeing the Tower in a reading is like seeing flashing red and blue lights ahead on the freeway. It could be an accident or road construction or anything, but at least you can see it coming. With the Tower (as with flashing emergency lights), you know to slow down, pay more attention, and proceed with caution. And just as those flashing cop lights don’t automatically mean you’re going to get pulled over or be involved in a terrible crash, the Tower doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to suffer. With sufficient warning and the proper attitude, the Tower doesn’t have to be painful. You know something big is coming, you know it’s going to involve change, and you know that the harder you fight it, the worse of an experience you’re going to have. Perhaps, with this warning, the client will decide to pay more attention to personal care, self-nurturing, and planning in order to be at their best during a traumatic time. Or maybe the advanced notice will give them time to look at the areas in their lives that need dramatic change, so that they can see this time as a period of opportunity instead of stress and destruction.

In the end, as a reader you have the opportunity to be someone’s guide, teacher, cheerleader, and early warning system. That’s so much cooler than just ominous music and scary predictions, isn’t it?

Next week, we’ll wrap up this series with a summary of what we’ve learned. Until then, if you liked this post and would like to follow us on social media, please visit our Facebook page. We are also available to readings in person, over the phone, or online. As always, please don’t forget to like and share this post. Comments are greatly appreciated.

Peace and Love,


P.S. If you like the image on this post, please check out The Enchanted Tarot by Amy Zerner and Monte Warner.  To access the entire Tarot 101 series, click here.

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