How does a reader’s own preconceptions, often based on society’s expectations of family, marriage and home ownership, impact on a Tarot reading’s accuracy?

When I was in my early twenties, my older sister and I went to a Tarot reader who was famous for her uncanny future predictions. To this day, my sister still talks in wonder about that reading. I always shrug my shoulders and reply: “she got it completely wrong about me”. And this is something that’s happened to me several times.

Twenty odd years on, and a whole lifetime lived, I think I can see the issue: I think that some tarot readers have a mental blueprint of what people want to hear and of what most people’s lives are like. Chances are that you will end up in a relationship, move in together and having children. I’m not saying these tarot readers are lying, specially when I’ve seen their predictions becoming reality for others, but my theory is: that oftentimes, our own perception of what life is about, what querents want to hear about, or how the world works, is clouded by a propensity to choose the relationship escalator type of template, and describe other people’s lives along these lines.

My Tarot readers of readings past, were very accurate when dealing with people who follow the relationship/mortgage/family path. They described relationships, your future home, how many children you were likely to have: what most people do. But what about people who do not conform to this template? I’ve always wondered, because, well, I didn’t follow it. My life has followed a very different path, and no tarot reader in my past saw it. They did, however, describe the husband and children I’ve never wanted to have. Back then, I was aware that I was young, and that even if it didn’t really sound like me, I conceded that I could change my mind in a few years time. After all, more people get married and have a family than not.

These cartomancers of my youth, were following an age old, revered template that most people follow, often blindly and unquestioningly. Chances are that you won’t misfire if you stick to it. But what about the queer, the non-conformists, the disenfranchised, the rebellious and the misfits of this world? When I do a taro reading for a total stranger, now that I’m older and I don’t know if wiser, but certainly more pissed off, I’m daunted and excited at the prospect of jumping into the deep end, head first, into a stranger’s unsuspected life and dreams.

I feel, however, that some readers, specially those who do a lot of professional readings for a lot of different people, use stabilisers or inflatable armbands, to save themselves the embarrassment of misfiring. After all, you can always say to an unconvinced querent, no matter how old or how young: “you will change your mind when you meet the right person”. Being a cartomancer gives you, after all, a certain authority of infallibility. I know that from the way my own querents look at me: they want to believe.

I’m not calling these card readers charlatans so please, don’t rush to assume that they were that, or just crap tarot readers: as I mentioned earlier, they gave other people accurate visions of their future, often uncannily so. I was a witness of their talent – but only as long as their querents were fairly conventional in their life choices. Any straying from the norm went over their heads. What I think I’m trying to say, is that we are human. We have our own preconceived ideas and mental templates. Our prejudices. A tarot reading works when all this mind noise is put aside and we are channeling the message without any “filters” modifying the message we give our querents. Ultimately, it’s a life long learning thing, to conduct the unbiased information, intuitively, without leaving our human, rational mind get in the way. May we all master it one day.

I have been told on a handful of occasions, that my reading did not resonate with my querent. Some people are definitely hard to read, while others are like open books. But my musings are about something else: it’s about how conventions, assumptions, prejudices, get in the way of seeing and understanding a client’s individuality. If I go a bit further, it also makes me wonder, how do we condition others to follow the path of least resistance? We live in a society where people are expected to get in a relationship, move in together, have children. Even LGBTQ people do it, getting a huge sense of validation from following the norm.

How can we be useful to the ones who ran away with the circus? Because I did run away with the circus, in a big, big way. I was already pointing in that direction, even then. Yet no Tarot reader saw this coming. All they described, was the woman they thought I’d become: with the same goals and dreams as most women around me, in that time and place.

Actually, it was when I heard the very wonderful Becky Walsh, Intuitive Coach, telling me during a consultation: “you aren’t a relationship type of person”, that I thought I’d found somebody who could understand people like me. But maybe it’s because we are Londoners and we are so used to the weird and wonderful in every day life…