Updated: Aug 2
One of the most common misconceptions about the Tarot is that what comes forth in a Tarot card reading is always written in stone, that the Tarot cards will reveal a series of "fated outcomes" outlining a future destiny we cannot avoid or escape, no matter what actions we take or how we might go about adjusting our behaviour to sidestep certain predictions (typically the unwanted kind) made by the cards. I have been reading the Tarot cards for several decades and assure you that the concept of fated outcomes versus freewill, as it relates to fortune telling in general,and Tarot card reading specifically, is not this black and white...
Tarot Readings Tend to Focus on Probable Outcomes, Not Fixed Experiences or Destiny
When you receive a Tarot reading for a specific question, or for discussion of a particular situation, The Tarot cards focus on pointing out where you are likely to be headed, based on your current course of action or your exisiting attitude towards a certain situation. The implication here being that you have freewill; there is potentially room for course correction, and therefore opportunity to alter the trajectory of things, should you choose to try. You have freewill, and by recognizing this and taking measures to apply it in an effort to steer the outcome in a preferred direction, you may very well alter the predictions given to you in your Tarot card reading. Tarot cards pick up on the vibrations and energies that are around you (and the situation) at the time of the reading, and it is from this basis of tuning in to the current energetic trends around you that predictions or forecasts are made. The Tarot cards should be viewed as a guide, rather than a provider of insights that relate solely to fixed events, written in stone predictions or "destiny".
Tarot Readings are not Necessarily an All Seeing Eye - The Unexpected Can Happen
Let's consider one more example of how a prediction made by the Tarot cards might be changed. Max comes to me about a job interview coming up in a week. Naturally, he wants to know the outcome - will he get the job? The Tarot cards indicate this is highly likely - it's all looking really good, with the energies around things being super positive. The most probable outcome is YES. The night before his interview, Max bumps into an old friend. They go for some drinks. Max forgets to set his alarm clock, oversleeps, misses the interview, and doesn't get the job. Here we have an example of a last minute "unexpected event" that throws the trajectory of the prediction off course, big time. Does this mean that the cards are unreliable as a predictive system? No. It just highlights that more than one reality tunnel can be knitted and traversed by an individual, and sometimes - due to possessing freewill - a person may not choose the optimal tunnel to travel through, and may not realize it was a mistake until he comes out the other side!
Reality Tunnels? What on Earth are you Talking About?
Let's go back to the concept of " the most probable outcome" for a moment. Tarot cards pick up on the strongest energies around someone at the time the Tarot reading is done. Think of a Tarot reading as providing a snapshot of an energy signature - these are the vibrations and forces swirling around the person/the situation that are most dominant. While there will always be dominant energies at play, there will also be lesser or weaker energies running in the background. It's these less obvious energies that can suddenly jump into stronger focus with little warning after a Tarot reading has been conducted, going on to create or "knit" a new "probability line" or "reality tunnel". The Tarot cards don't pick up on it at the time of the Tarot reading as the Tarot cards tend to connect with only the strongest forces swirling around the querant. Life can often deal us an unexpected event or an unanticipated meeting or an individual may utlize their freewill in some manner that causes a last minute change, as that is the nature of life, and human beings ! The Tarot cards are not an all-seeing eye dealing always and only with fated outcomes or destiny, and a Tarot reading cannot account for ALL "reality tunnels" that may be knitting around an individual- they tend to deal only with the dominant one that comes through in the Tarot spread.
Freewill as a Tool For Altering Tarot Card Predictions
Let's consider an imaginary client called Tara. She comes to me for a Tarot card reading due to going through a rough patch with her partner. She thinks they may be headed for a separation. The Tarot cards she receives pick up on a lot of heavy, negative energy and seem to confirm her intuition strongly - the Tarot card in the "final outcome" position indicates a break up is imminent. However, over the next couple of weeks, Tara decides to recognize the power of her own freewill and makes some radical changes to the way she relates to her other half, and by doing so, she avoids the prediction made by the Tarot cards. Of course, for every Tara with a story like this, not all Tara's will avert relationship disaster. I am simply pointing out that there is very often an opportunity to change the trajectory of a Tarot card prediction through actions taken as a result of you possessing freewill - things are not necessarily "fated outcomes". Was the Tarot wrong? No, not really. Tara's Tarot card reading acted as a warning - unless some dramatic change occured, the relationship was on course to break up. She could have responded passively to the Tarot guidance and experienced a very sad event, but she chose to heed the warning and ACT on it.
With the above in mind, it is best to approach the Tarot cards as a tool to indcate the most probable or most likely outcome, rather than to assume what it tells you is written in stone. Sure, some things that come through may well turn out to be unavoidable - in which case, it may be your "destiny" to experience a certain outcome, even if you try to avoid it.
Often, a Tarot card reading will reveal new opportunities in front of someone, but it is up to that person to recognize the signs of this and to act with their own freewill to sieze them. Just because something shows up, it does not mean it will definately happen. There will be times when YOU have to help things happen, and to do so you must acknoweldge the prompts the universe might be giving you and act upon them.
Why Some Tarot Card Spreads do Actually Deal With Aspects that are Destined
This might sound like a contradiction, but bear with me! There are a multitude of Tarot card spreads that a Tarot reader might use for your Tarot reading. Most Tarot card spreads are divided into sections with their own sub headings, as each section will deal with different angles of insight. The vast majority of the most popular Tarot card spreads, like the Celtic Cross reading for example, have sections with titles that clearly indicate that they are dealing with energies/vibrations. Other spreads, like one I personally devised, called Your Future Lover, have sections that deal with less abstract matters. In this special love Tarot reading, I outline various details of the next love interest set to enter the querant's life. Across multiple sections, I discuss looks, personality, field of work, how they will meet, and so on. Here, we are dealing with things that are definitely more "fixed" - the concept of freewill does not really come into a reading like this. Instead, insights that come through in the Future Lover Tarot reading are of the fixed/fated/destined kind.
I hope this article has helped you to understand that when we are dealing with Tarot card readings and the concepts of freewill, destiny and fixed outcomes, the situation is rather more nuanced than might be commonly understood. Always remember that you possess far more power than you give yourself credit for!