notes on the future

A note on divination, fortune telling, and predictions.

There are those who believe services like tarot, astrology, sortilege, and others will predict the future for us—that we can ask a question, throw down some cards, or whatever tool we’re using, and with a little effort, we’ll know exactly what is in store for us. That belief requires the future to be predetermined.

That is a belief I do not hold.

Giving that power away to anything (or anyone) else leads down a dangerous path that can end with people being taken advantage of, hurt, or worse. Instead, I try to provide services that can help my clients empower themselves.

I firmly believe the best way to predict our future is to create it ourselves.


Yes, sometimes future predictions do come up in a reading, but I view these more as forecasts. Like weather forecasts sometimes they can be a little off. And yet other times they're eerily spot on. From my experience, this accuracy is the result of being so far down a path that options or variables are more limited than they once were.

With any divination, what we are doing is looking at a snapshot of a specific moment in time. When the cards are laid out, for instance, we’re seeing a bird's-eye view of a tapestry woven from the energy operating in and around a situation. We can examine the story in the cards and follow the currents that flow out in all directions. These, in turn, may lead us to any number of signs on the horizon—some we may not have even been aware of. However, even this investigation can alter the course of things.

I find this comparison of throwing a ball up in the air to be useful:

After we toss a ball up into the air, from our experience we can usually determine the arc of the trajectory, and likely even where the ball could land. But we don’t really know what will happen. Some things are more likely than others. We wouldn’t be surprised if the ball just falls to the

ground pretty much where we expect it to.

Some events are less likely. Maybe a sudden gust of wind throws it off course and the ball unexpectedly lands in a pond.

Then there are those things that leave us gobsmacked, totally amazed at how we’ve witnessed something so unbelievable. Imagine if an eagle swoops in, grabs the ball in mid-flight, and we never see it again. It could happen, but it isn’t anything we would ever expect until it does.

(A similar thing happened to a friend, except it was her small Yorkie that was out in the backyard, and then suddenly was up in the air being carried off by a giant bird. No one saw that coming, for sure... but I couldn’t really use a metaphor about throwing a dog up in the air.)

My point is, similar to Schrödinger’s cat or the observer effect, until one of these things actually happens, any of them could happen.

The purpose of any kind of divination is to call our attention to what’s going on around any of the balls we have in the air, or even what could be on the horizon. If we see the grass blowing in the meadow, we might expect the wind to affect the outcome. If we see the shadow of the eagle overhead, we might not be as surprised if it steals our ball—or we might change our plans entirely and hold onto the ball for the time being.

Why does it work? No one knows. Or at least, I have yet to meet the person who knows nor read the book they’ve written (and I’ve been to a number of conventions, and conferences, and have quite a library of books on these subjects). Answers range from the scientific (it’s our collective unconscious or our own psychology) to the esoteric (we are accessing the Akashic records or communicating with the gods). These could be messages from God/Spirit/Universe, or we could be plumbing our own unconscious minds. Really there are as many answers to these questions as there are readers. I don’t pretend to know how it works, and would be slow to trust anyone who claims to. The important thing is, it does.

I don’t let that lack of knowledge hinder my practice, however. I come from a scientific background (biology and chemistry) and I realized long ago that what we can explain is not even the tiniest drop in the bucket of what’s out there. Not only that, but, while science is pretty good at explaining the mechanics of things, it is not so great with the reasons that lie beyond those descriptions. There is a lot we don’t know or understand, but that doesn’t stop us from taking advantage of those things every day—divination is just one more.

I find it useful for clients to know where a practitioner is coming from when they book a service so that everyone is on the same page. In my experience, if you’re someone who believes in a predetermined fate, or is looking for a someone who just tells you what to do, I won’t be a good fit for you. But if you’re open to exploring possibilities, then we will get on just fine.

the best way

to predict the future is to

create it yourself.