I do not write of the tarot often. As a tarot reader, I have a moderate skill but today, I contemplate the art.
Within the last year or so, there were a series of posts by the bloggers' cabal, which consists of myself, Jason Miller, Frater RO and My Gal with contributions from IDP and Lavanah, in which we discussed group leaders. Jason posted about a Buddhist teacher who made a pass at a student. The student thought he should be above such desires. This is a common failing of students and teachers alike. Students want to look up to their teachers as an ideal. Teachers let them. Who can blame either side? I know I needed someone to look up to when I began. And who blames a fellow for enjoying such love? The problem with this arrangement is when the teacher stumbles, and they all do, the student is left shaken. If the teacher falls, the results can be disastrous. The solution is for teachers to make it very clear to their students that they are not perfect. They will stumble from time to time. That does not diminish the message or the aspiration.
I have some friends whose lives were changed by a tarot reading. A reading that predicted an event three years before its occurrence in such a startling fashion that you'd have to be a skeptic of considerable blindness to refute the facts. The Amazing Randy and Penn and Teller need not make inquiries. My friends' lives were not changed as much for the event as for its prediction.
These two thoughts, the role of the teacher and the tarot reading, have left me to ponder the role of the tarot reader.
As a tarot reader, I have taken some pride when I hit the bull's eye. You've been in FIVE abusive relationships, not four, not six, five. And, I've also been aware of things I did not say that were so uncanny one can not possibly believe in anything other than some psychicism. For instance, there is no way I could have known a person's real question involved the selling of marijuana.
I can see how some go to readers for the entertainment value. Getting an 'unknowable' fact correct would offer that entertainment. Others go to ask questions that, while very mundane, are of real import to the querent. Sometimes, a hero arrives who wants to know of his or her relationship to the gods or God. They want to know how to better than they are, more attuned. They want to manifest more than a personality. One could view himself as providing a service to each of these and tailoring their readings accordingly. The problem there is that one never knows. My friends sought entertainment. Yet deep inside was really a spiritual need made manifest by that reading.
While many want to hear 'unknowable facts' as 'proof' of the reader's talent and I think the reader should offer such when the information makes itself known, no tarot reader should seek this. Instead, the reader should seek to serve his client, as the client needs. He who seeks the unknowable fact may become so proud of himself, that he misses the underlying question being asked. Does it matter that the querent has been in five abusive relationships? Did I think she did not know? Then of what value was that information to her? Of what value was the information that her 'need' to be in such situations came from her father, who was also abusive? Would it not have been better to offer a way of changing that internally should she so choose?
As in many things, the answer is to serve those that appear. Serve the kind. Serve the mean. Serve the seeker. Serve the buffoon. For service is, in and of itself, a sacrament.