Divination has played a large part in my pagan lifestyle. When I first discovered Wicca (as we all do), the first thing I learned was how to shield. But the second…the second thing I learned was how to divine the future. I started with throwing stones in the playground, and it transformed into using the Ouija Board (until my mother found out, and banned it from the house). And that transformed into quartz crystals, and finally, tarot cards.
I can still remember my first tarot deck – a sultry purple, kept hidden in my underwear drawer until I felt comfortable enough to come out with my first altar (and that, I remember too – a pathetic thing, with four candles and a mirror – it took me a long time to realize that the “Wiccan” way of doing things meant little and less to me). The Mythic Tarot, a play on images of my favourite Grecian myths, which lead me and guided me through the bulk of my teenage years, and well into my early twenties.
I can still remember my trepidation, as I realized whenever I used the cards, they told me of ill fortunes to come – nearly all of which came true. I remember pulling the Death card, and the Devil, more times than I can count. I remember them telling me over and over, no matter how many different questions I asked, that my life would be a struggle, and I would come out stronger for it. My first breakup: you will come out stronger for this. My first surgery: you will come out stronger for this. The first time I failed a course: you will come out stronger for this.
I didn’t believe them. For the first time in my life, I didn’t believe them. Nothing could be worse than this, my young adult brain thought. This is the end of you.
And I put the cards away. I hid them, sequoistered within the confines of my altar cabinet, collecting dust. Coming with me move after move, and never being touched for years.
I became afraid of my cards. They only predicted the bad things to come, and I didn’t want to know. I wanted to live in the present, or be stuck in the past, but I definitely did not want to know the future. The future was a problem for my future self (and in some ways, I still believe this.)
Finally, two years ago, I bought a new deck of cards. And I finally have a new understanding. They don’t predict the bad things in my future. They don’t predict anything. They are a tool which lets me know, that if I follow on the course I’m on, they are one of a thousand likely outcomes. Now, sometimes my fortune comes true, and sometimes, in a rare while, I make a conscious choice not to let that future become true. And just sometimes, a bad thing still happens, but rather than wallow in my own self-destruction, I look for the other reasons that the fates have led me here, and I try to find joy in it.
Now, I have one tarot deck, two Rune sets (both handmade, one by me, and one by a long-distance acquaintance), and I can read the Homeric Oracle*.
And now, I let the Fates guide me, but I don’t let the Fates control me.
*For more information, please see my guest post over at nuannaarpoq.wordpress.com