The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson: A Powerful Divination Deck and a Suggested Triquetra Spread



The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson is a masterpiece. The tone of the deck and Dowson’s artwork invokes the full spectrum of powers within the tarot practitioner for spiritual divinatory work. As a Golden Dawn study deck, the card images are fundamentally focused on alchemical and astrological references such as the decans in the Minor Arcana, with the deck outfitted for theurgy. It can be integrated into personal rituals, meditations, and ceremonies and in fact is probably far better suited for such work than, say, the Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or even the Thoth decks.

bellwen-Hermetic-KnightGodfrey Dowson draws heavily from elemental dignities and affinities, Western astrology as interpreted by the Golden Dawn, and the Qabalah. Corresponding alchemical symbols for the four elements and astrological symbols are embedded into each card to denote the attributions. In the Major Arcana, the Key’s corresponding Hebrew letter appears on the top left corner. In the court cards, the alchemical symbol corresponding with the classical element that the card itself represents appears on the top left and the symbol for the element corresponding with the suit appears on the top right. The Knight of Swords, for example, represents Fire (for the Knight) on Air (for the suit of Swords). For practitioners who adopt interpretive methods reliant on elemental dignities and affinities, that is a godsend. The backs of the cards are illustrated with the Hermetic Rose and hexagrams. As they are non-reversible, it may not be an ideal deck for reading with reversals. That being said, the little white booklet that accompanies the Hermetic Tarot provides the meanings of the cards in the “ill-dignified” position, as reversals are called in the booklet, which suggests that the deck is nevertheless intended for reading with reversals.

The anatomy of the Hermetic Tarot is the same as the Rider-Waite-Smith (RWS) (e.g., VIII is Strength and XI is Justice or their equivalents) and there is substantial crossover of subscribed card meanings to render the Hermetic Tarot user-friendly for anyone familiar with the RWS. At the end of this deck review are correspondence tables that compare the RWS with the Hermetic Tarot. Note the card titles assigned to each card in the Hermetic deck. The essences of the cards as denoted by the titles are almost transferrable onto the RWS.

Continue reading “The Hermetic Tarot by Godfrey Dowson: A Powerful Divination Deck and a Suggested Triquetra Spread”

Your Life Path, Pythagorean Numerology, and Your Name

Numerology has fascinated me since childhood, back when I would input into a calculator telephone numbers or dates of birth of crushes with mine and stare at the sums or products like they might mean something. Since I have never been good at mathematics, it is only natural that I’d gravitate toward pseudomathematics. =)

Life Path numbers purport to reveal insights about your innate capabilities (and weaknesses). Furthermore, our development is divided into three stages, each corresponding with one third of our life span and the potential for accomplishments during that stage. Life Paths are based on your date of birth. Take for example John, who was born on December 26, 1978. To calculate the three stages of development for John, take the sums of the month, the day, and the year as follows and if a sum is 10 or greater, add the digits again until the sum is a single digit:

1.  Life Path = Month + Day + Year

2.  Life Path = 12 + 26 + 1978

3.  Life Path = (1 + 2) + (2 + 6) + (1 + 9 + 7 + 8)

4.  Life Path = 3 + 8 + 25

5.  Life Path = 3 + 8 + (2+ 5)

6.  Life Path = 3 + 8 + 7   [Note: These 3 numbers represent the 3 stages.]

7.  Life Path = 18

8.  Life Path = (1 + 8)

9.  Life Path = 9

John’s ultimate Life Path is 9. The Life Path represents what his innate capabilities (and weaknesses) collectively can achieve with great success if John exercises his will in a way to nurture those capabilities and manage those weaknesses.

Note  Line 6 above. These 3 numbers represent the 3 stages of John’s personal development.

In the first third of his life. which is the number corresponding with the Month, Life Path 3 qualities will govern; these are the qualities he must pay closer attention to, that will either guide him toward achievement or hinder him in the future if he does not adequately manage these qualities.

The second stage of his life, and this best represents the core of his Self, his essence, corresponds with the Day sum, or 8. This represents his inclinations, what he will seem to naturally gravitate toward, and what will probably make him quite happy, but isn’t representative of the zenith of his potential.

The third and last stage of his life, which is the number corresponding with the Year, is denoted by Life Path 7. This represents his personality and outlook in his final days, the ideal state for him when he leaves this world. The third stage number is how he will find his peace.

These three numbers are not mutually exclusive. They cannot be cannot be analyzed singly in isolation from one another. They must be looked at as a whole for an informed and complete picture of John.

Now, back to the ultimate Life Path for John, which is in Line 9 above, or Life Path 9. This is the zenith of his potential, unlike the number noted in the second stage of his life. Note that the number of his second stage represents what he will most likely become, the personality he is most likely and will most easily manifest. The ultimate Life Path is the full spectrum of his capabilities. It is what he can achieve and it is the great difference that he can make in this world should he choose to live up to that high path.

The correspondences for the Life Path numbers are as follows:

Continue reading “Your Life Path, Pythagorean Numerology, and Your Name”

A 10-Week Independent Study Course with Paul Foster Case: A Review of Oracle of the Tarot (1933).

Paul_Foster_CasePaul Foster Case (1884 – 1954) is one of the most influential American occultists on modern tarot studies. His approach to tarot is influenced heavily by Western astrology and the Hermetic Qabalah, as evidenced in his tarot divination course, Oracle of the Tarot, and other writings, such as An Introduction to the Study of Tarot (1920) or The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages (1947). Oracle is keyed to the Knapp-Hall Tarot, which was first published by J. Augustus Knapp and Manly P. Hall in 1929. The Knapp-Hall Tarot differs significantly from the Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or Thoth interpretive traditions, so the card meanings in Oracle, in particular from the Minor Arcana, are not readily transferrable to the Marseille, Rider-Waite-Smith, or Thoth systems. Nonetheless, Oracle offers the beginner and intermediate student a strong foundation in the basics and anatomy of tarot.

Case opens the book with a strong statement: “TAROT divination is not fortune-telling. The practice of fortune-telling is based on the false notion that human life is governed by luck, chance, or fate–by obscure powers at work outside the personality. True divination rests upon the occult truth that the causes of all events in human life are really internal.” He thus begins by distinguishing divination from fortune-telling. Divination is an inward reflection process of using tarot to tap into the superconscious. The tarot utilizes imagery and symbols that communicate in the language of the superconscious and thus understanding tarot is in its essence the learning of a new language.

The introductory Lesson 1 warns the tarot practitioner to take tarot divination seriously and reviews a few ethical guidelines, in particular the practitioner’s duty of confidentiality and impartiality. Practitioners must remain non-judgmental when conducting tarot readings. Lesson 1 also subdivides tarot decks into exoteric and esoteric decks. Case provides the Knapp-Hall Tarot as an example of an exoteric deck, or one that operates in the realm of public knowledge, with imagery that more closely resembles the tarot deck originally used for playing games, and contrasts that with the Rider Tarot (or Rider-Waite-Smith), which he refers to as an esoteric deck. Esoteric tarot decks are the versions of tarot re-interpreted by occultists and used specifically for divination or other spiritual exercises.

Note that it is unclear and somewhat contradictory as to why Case expends the first half of the Introduction to describe tarot divination as an internalized process, but then applies an exoteric deck to teach divination, rather than an esoteric deck, which would seem to be more aligned with the internalized process of tarot divination. What’s more, the subsequent lessons in Oracle repeatedly reference esoteric tarot traditions.

The 10 lessons of Oracle are meant to be studied over a course of 10 weeks.

Lesson 1 then proceeds to describe the anatomy of the Major and Minor Arcana (referred to as the Major Trumps and Minor Trumps in Oracle). Case claims that his Hebrew letter attributions for the Major Arcana are the “correct” attributions and that preceding claims by such authors as Papus were wrong. Case sources his attributions from Eliphas Levi (1810 – 1875), a French occultist and influential writer on tarot. Case claims that his Hebrew letter attributions are better aligned with the standard astrological attributions of the Major Arcana, which he provides as follows:

Case’s Hebrew and Astrological Attributions in the Major Arcana


Major Arcana Hebrew Attribution Astrological Attribution


Le Fou (The Fool) Aleph (A) Air; Uranus


Le Bateleur (The Magician) Beth (B) Mercury


La Papesse (The High Priestess) Gimel (G) The Moon


L’imperatrice (The Empress) Daleth (D) Venus


L’empereur (The Emperor) Heh (H) Aries


Le Pape (The Hierophant) Vau (V) Taurus


L’amoureux (The Lovers) Zain (Z) Gemini


Le Chariot (The Chariot) Cheth (Ch) Cancer


La Justice (Justice) Lamed (L) Libra


L’ermite (The Hermit) Yod (I) Virgo


La Roue de la Fortune (Wheel of Fortune) Kaph (K) Jupiter


La Force (Strength) Teth (T) Leo


Le Pendu (The Hanged Man) Mem (M) Water; Neptune


La Mort (Death) Nun (N) Scorpio


La Temperance (Temperance) Samekh (S) Sagittarius


La Diable (The Devil) Ayin (O) Capricorn


Le Feu Du Ciel (The Tower) Peh (P) Mars


Les Etoiles (The Star) Tzaddi (Tz) Aquarius


La Lune (The Moon) Qoph (Q) Pisces


Le Soleil (The Sun) Resh (R) The Sun


Le Jugement (Judgement) Shin (Sh) Fire; Pluto; Vulcan


Le Monde (The World) Tau (Th) Saturn; Earth

He attributes the Minor Arcana as follows:

Attributions in the Minor Arcana

Suit Divinatory Representation

Elemental Attribution

WANDS Work, enterprise, ideas; the energies of the spiritual plane or archetypal world (Plato’s world of ideas)


CUPS Desires, hopes, wishes; emotional activities; the states and forces of the mental plane, the creative world in which mental patterns are formulated


SWORDS Action, and therefore conflict of forces; the states and activities of the astral plane; the formative world of unseen forces, which build the conditions of the physical plane


COINS orPENTACLES Things, possessions; the concrete objects and bodies of the physical plane; the objectification of the energies and forces of the higher worlds or planes represented by Wands, Cups, and Swords


As for significator cards, Case’s approach is to simply use Key 1: The Magician for male seekers and Key 2: The High Priestess for female seekers. That differs from the more popular modern approach of using the court cards as significators.

Oracle also teaches an initial divinatory method called the First Operation, which seems to be an antiquated practice now, as few modern tarot practitioners adopt the First Operation. It is nonetheless a method that the serious tarot practitioner should be familiar with. The First Operation is to be performed prior to a question. The significator card is shuffled in with the full tarot deck and then cut into four piles as follows:


The tarot practitioner then proceeds to locate the pile that the significator card is in. That pile, be it I, H1, V, or H2 (reading right to left respectively), will indicate the nature of the seeker’s question. The four piles correspond with the Hebrew letters Yod (I), Heh (H), Vau (V), Heh (H), which is a transliteration of the four constants forming the Hebrew name of the Supreme Being, again showing the strong influence of Qabalistic tenets on Case.

The four piles of the First Operation correspond as follows:


Personal Development; Health & Wellness. Seeker is asking about matters of personal development, such as work or career. Could indicate an interest in beginning a new venture or carrying out a new idea. Pile is also associated with the physical, such as body, health, or wellness issues.

H 1

Love, Marriage, Family. Seeker is asking about emotions, feelings, personal relationships, or desires. This pile pertains to the domestic sphere and interpersonal matters.


Politics, Ambitions, Social, Intellectual. Seeker is asking about ambitions and high aspirations. This pile could also pertain to conflict resolution, imbalances or disappointments. This is also the pile that corresponds with the Seeker’s intellectual faculties.

H 2

Money, Business, Property. Seeker is asking about a material matter, finances, property, or wealth.

If the significator card is in a corresponding pile that is consistent with the seeker’s question topic, then the First Operation has confirmed that the subsequent tarot reading will be accurate as applied to the question at hand. If, however, the significator card appears in a pile during the First Operation that is not consistent with the seeker’s question topic, then it shows that right now is not an appropriate time for the tarot to answer such a question.

Lessons 2, 3, 4, and 5 deconstruct the Suit of Wands, Cups, Swords, and Coins (Pentacles) respectively, keyed to the Knapp-Hall Tarot. Contained in the lessons are also simple 3-card spreads for divining past, present, and probable future influences.

Lesson 6 on the Major Trumps (Major Arcana) can be applicable to the prevailing tarot interpretive systems used today, though note that the Key 8 referenced in Case’s Oracle is “La Justice” (Justice) and Key 11 in Oracle is “La Force” (Strength), which is similar to the Marseille, but the reverse of the Rider-Waite-Smith (Key 8 is Strength and Key 11 is Justice).

Case claims that the timing of events can be revealed by looking at the astrological attributions of the cards, and the lessons in Oracle set about explaining how the 12 astrological houses can be used to divine the timing of events. From there, Lessons 7, 8, 9, and 10 teach complex tarot spreads, most notably combining astrology, the Tree of Life, and tarot, and further provides an overview of elemental dignities. Lesson 10 also provides an overview of numerology and its application to tarot.

Though some of the historic references in the book have since been disproved as myth, Oracle of the Tarot is still a work that every serious tarot student should have read. Not having read Paul Foster Case if you are a tarot practitioner is like not having read Anton Chekhov if you are serious about writing literary fiction. Though written over 80 years ago and keyed to a tarot deck that is, as of this writing, long out of print, Oracle nonetheless holds relevance today and every practitioner, no matter how advanced, will find at least one nugget of new information from Oracle.

So. Can Oracle teach tarot in 10 weeks? An operable foundation in tarot, yes, probably, though generally I am doubtful of any program that claims it can teach tarot in anything under 10 years. Learning tarot is nothing like learning to ride a bike. It’s really more like learning to play violin. In 10 weeks time you can probably learn no more than just how to properly hold the bow.

NOTE. You can download a PDF copy of OracleOracle of the Tarot by Paul Foster Case (1933). Download by CLICKING HERE (Source Credit: TarotWorks).

UPDATE (6/2/13). Read more about the First Operation: The First Operation: Adapting a Traditional Method in the “Opening of the Key” to Contemporary Tarot Applications.

Yin and Yang Crystals


The crystal pictured to the left above is considered a yang crystal. The one to the right is a yin.

Yang crystals are glass-clear and transparent. There may be fire-like refractions of rainbows inside. Yang crystals are power crystals. They’re an amazing supplement to our work when we are seeking creative, active energies, power, strength, ambition, control, and aggressive healing. The elements of fire and air tend to be dominant. In other words, they correspond with the Wands and Swords of the Minor Arcana.

Yin crystals are milky white and translucent. The rainbows they refract are subtle, muted, and soft. Yin crystals are receptive. They channel love, enhance communication, spirituality, and intuition. They help us make sense of emotions. In yin crystals, the elements of water and earth tend to be dominant. They correspond with the Cups and Pentacles of the Minor Arcana.

As applied to tarot, when reading for questions about work, career, professional or personal development, creative projects, or ambitions, I like to keep a yang crystal nearby.

When reading about love, relationships, making sense of emotions or internal flux, I like to keep a yin crystal nearby.

For questions about finances, wealth, or property, it will depend on the question. Yang crystals are helpful around questions about wealth creation and asset acquisition. Yin crystals are helpful around questions about wealth management or the nurturing of what one currently has already.


Not that it’s necessary, but I keep the yang crystal in the red pouch and the yin in the blue. Just totally random info I wanted to share.

Anyway, I recommend to practitioners to have in their arsenal both yin and yang crystals. Don’t take my word for the differences between the two: just handle both and you’ll see for yourself. (Psst… a set of a yin and a yang crystal also make for a great gift to your favorite metaphysics buddy!)

Charging Fees for Tarot Readings

Whether it is appropriate to charge fees for tarot readings and other similar spiritual or divination services is a divisive and controversial topic, even though I don’t think it should be. The conclusion seems rather simple and unequivocal to me: yes of course one may charge fees for tarot reading just as one may charge for any sort of professional service, though when it comes to tarot, due to its more spiritual nature, we must be even more cognizant of ethics.

Yet indulge me for a moment while I reflect.

When I was a child, I met several Buddhists with an inexplicable empathic or intuitive connection to the universe and none of them charged fees when they interpreted their visions for seekers. At most they would accept donations. They would be conscientious of how they used the money from these donations: only for necessities; only for further helping others.

Their approach has always stuck with me, perhaps because of how impressionable my young mind was back then. Couple that with growing up in a Puritan society and that is probably why I feel intense bouts of guilt when I charge people for tarot readings.


And so I don’t. Instead, I insist that I’m okay with giving the readings free, but will accept donations of any amount. I say this with the hope that the donation amount will be proportionate to their satisfaction with my work. If I provided zero insight and could not have been more wrong about their situation, then truly I am okay with nonpayment. If, however, they left feeling inspired, enriched, and empowered, then I hope they’ll show their gratitude by giving money that will reaffirm to me that I’m doing something right and continue on with my tarot reading adventures. Do not let my offer of free readings “for donations” fool you: I am very, very human, and very, very capitalistic. It is impossible for me to not measure the value of my tarot readings to others by the dollar amount I find in the coffers.

So when I get nothing, I feel like that’s my value. Imagine how that must feel after diligent focus on a tarot reading. Performing a one-card reading, thinking about it thoroughly, and writing up an assessment for the seeker takes 20 to 30 minutes, and that’s just for one card. I am very meticulous about how to apply that one card to the seeker’s question. Most of my readings are through written e-mails now, so then I need to write up something coherent. That, too, takes time. Ten plus cards can take up to an hour plus or minus. Many times, especially after repeat exploitation from seekers, I literally want to stop offering tarot readings altogether. I don’t think I even expect that much.

When you dine out at a restaurant, you expect to pay for the food and services. So when you request a tarot reader and the reader offers them “free, but accepting donations,” at least consider donating the cost of one restaurant meal. Isn’t that reasonable and the very least one can offer for another person’s time? In fact, when you request any kind of professional service at all, you expect to pay. So why would anyone go out of their way to seek a tarot reading and not expect to pay? Why would anyone take the initiative to contact me for a tarot reading and then not even consider how much time it must have taken me to do a reading and how much money they would want from a stranger if they put in that kind of time, commitment, and diligence for someone they didn’t even know? The more I advance down that line of thought, the angrier I get at the selfishness and lack of consideration of others. Is my time free? What makes them think I do not need to be compensated for in any way whatsoever for the work I do? Especially when I devote so much of myself to my work?

And that is when I start to think that the professional readers who charge $100 for their readings got it right. What is something I often say to seekers? Do not ever let others determine your self worth. You define your own worth. And yet here I am, a hypocrite, letting others determine the worth of my tarot readings rather than defining it myself.

Yet before I can change my mind and start charging for my services, that guilty conscience kicks in. I don’t know where it comes from, but I wish I could send it back.

More than that, though, I wish others applied the golden rule. I know I am.

UPDATE: I’ve since changed my mind on this topic, but instead of deleting the post, I’d like to leave it up and simply add this note. The tarot reader offers a very specific form of guidance and provides insight in a way that I have not seen any other service be able to do. On a certain intellectual level, I do not believe in charging fees for healing (as in doctors, medicine) or advocacy (as in lawyers and the practice of law). Generally the idea of commodifying social service is, again on a certain philosophical level, loathsome to me. However, in the reality we live in, money is the current that keeps society thriving and what governs the quality of our lives. So a tarot reader charging for services is no different from a doctor or lawyer, restaurant owner or plumber charging for their services rendered. If anything, given the nature of the work a tarot professional does, this should be an occupation held in high esteem, at the same level as other high professionals.

Myth of the Divination-Fulfilling Prophecy

There is a view, a fear of so-called divinatory practices that many hold, which I don’t think had a name before. I’m hereby referencing it as the Divination-Fulfilling Prophecy.

“I’m afraid to get a tarot reading. If the cards predict something terrible, then I’m scared that it will happen for sure, because the cards predicted it. Tarot reading is a form of tempting fate. As long as I never get a tarot reading or partake in divinatation practices, then my future remains uncertain, and that’s better.”

As a tarot practitioner I often hear that sentiment from would-be seekers. A commonly held belief of the tarot, or any form of divination for that matter, is that it possesses the power to fulfill its own prophecy. If the tarot predicts an unfortunate outcome, then even if a person’s future was unfixed before, the power of that prediction will now make the unfortunate outcome fixed for sure. Thereafter, nothing a person does can prevent the outcome because the act of the divination has caused the future to become fixed. Had a person not sought divination, then that future would have remained unfixed. I refer to this belief as the myth of the divination-fulfilling prophecy. The divination-fulfilling prophecy assumes that the tarot, or any divination tool, possesses the power to nullify free will, and divination simply does not have that kind of power. I find the divination-fulfilling prophecy concept to be gravely suspect. I hope this article will explain why.


The future is never certain. Rather, there is a mathematical probability that an outcome will happen based on certain decisions made in the present. That probable outcome is rendered even more complex based on the decisions that others make. Events are one variable. A person’s attitude is another. His or her personality characteristics are more variables. Nature is a factor, so is nurture. Other people’s actions that lead them to either cross paths with the person also have an impact. There is a formula that can take these variables into consideration based on the given moment and that metaphysical formula of sorts will calculate the most probable outcome. That is the so-called future predicted by the tarot.

However, changes in those variables will change the probable outcome. If the tarot reveals an outcome to be unfortunate, then that is an indication that the inputted variables need to be adjusted. Isn’t that information anyone would want to know in advance? Thus, while some view the tarot as a tool for the passive, I view it as a tool for the assertive. The tarot is for the person who likes roadmaps and milestones, the go-getter who likes to chart his or her progress through life, write resolutions, make checklists, or carry a planner.

The cards tap into your limitless subconscious to mine out what you already know. Every decision we make affects the path we’re taking toward our future. A decision could keep us on the same course and lead to that most probable outcome if we stay the course, or it could take us off course on a new, different path. That is why the future can never be set in stone. The divination-fulfilling prophecy is a myth. When people say the cards can predict the future, what they really mean is the cards can reveal to you the most likely destination of your current journey based on which forks you’ve chosen to take in the road. When you make adjustments, you change your future.

I do not believe for a second that what the cards reveal will absolutely happen. I believe that the cards are a flashlight that you can use to illuminate the dark terrain we walk through in life. If there are jagged rocks up ahead, the flashlight will shine on that, and we can diverge in time to take a different route. Shining the flashlight and seeing the jagged rocks does not mean we must walk straight onto them. Likewise, using the tarot to illuminate where we’re going does not mean we must continue on that path. As mentioned earlier, the tarot is also a flashlight that helps to illuminate our subconscious. It draws out what we already know but are not consciously aware of. It presents that information in the cards so that we may confront it. When we confront it, we can make adjustments to our actions, our attitudes and outlook, and thereby change the variables for a better tomorrow.

While there may be no such thing as divination-fulfilling prophecy, there is such a thing as self-fulfilling prophecy. Even when an outcome was never meant to happen or was an entirely fabricated prediction, our unshakeable awareness and anticipation of that outcome in effect can cause the outcome to happen. The self-fulfilling prophecy is a very real phenomenon. Our outlook, our selves is what causes the prediction to come true, not the act of divination itself. There is a clear distinction. Divination-fulfilling prophecy claims that the objective act of divination causes an event to happen. Self-fulfilling prophecy contends that the act is and has always been arbitrary, and it is the subjective meaning we attach to that act, our outlook, that causes the prediction to come true. Self-fulfilling prophecies still occur because of free will, albeit poorly controlled free will.


The tarot is a tool, much like a calculator. A person does not need a tool to calculate the square root of a number; it can be done in the head. However, human ingenuity invented the calculator. One is now at our disposal. Why not use it? We all have the capability of calculating square roots in our heads, but not all of us are skilled enough at math to do so competently. That does not change the condition that the innate capability is still there. When we use the calculator, the tool is doing the actual calculation function, but the human is still in control of the operation and input.

The tarot is also a tool that calculates a most probable future based on the decisions we are making in the present and our current mentality. These are inputted into the tarot through personal qi. Qi is the Chinese concept of life energy. Qi runs through us connecting the disparate parts of our body into one. That is referred to as personal qi. We, then, are connected to the many disparate parts of the universe, other people, other living things, the constellations, to form an infinite one. That is referred to as cosmic qi. Cosmic qi contains the full body of truths and information of the universe. Some may consider this the god principle. It’s linked to our subconscious, which as we age, grows harder to access consciously. The so-called future and every truth we wish to know are there, in the god principle and our subconscious. We are each capable on our own of extracting those truths from the deep ravines of our minds. We do not need the tarot to know the answers, just like we do not need the calculator to compute square roots. And yet it is a very effective, very efficient, and accurate tool for tapping those ravines. Having the independent capability to calculate square roots, many of us have come to acknowledge, is very different from competently doing so without that calculator. The outcome based on the variables inputted may in one sense be fixed, but it is no divination-fulfilling prophecy. All we need to do is change the variables, and that is always within our control.

The tarot doesn’t know the future. No one does because the future does not yet exist. Instead, the tarot is a calculator. We concentrate your life energies into the cards, which represent the input variables, and the cards generate a most probable outcome based on those variables. If you don’t like the most probable outcome, all you need to do is adjust the input variables. It is like any mathematical formula. A tarot reading will guide you through the variables one by one and offer insight into what you need to do to improve your future. That is the full power and the only power of the tarot.” That is what we tell would-be seekers who express concern for the divination-fulfilling prophecy. It is a myth, we must assure them. The tarot is not fortunetelling. It is empowerment.