a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Tarot and Destiny

To: alt.magick.tyagi,alt.magick,alt.divination,alt.tarot,alt.magick.theurgia,talk.religion.newage
From: nagasiva 
Subject: Tarot and Destiny
Date: Fri, 02 May 2003 10:20:58 GMT

50030428 VII om peace

#># ..."The Destiny", is really possible to change it?
#># What is the destiny? Characteristics of the destiny[?]

"destiny" obtains inside theories of the cosmos which
extend beyond the present into some kind of "Cosmic
Plan", typically set into motion at least, if not 
continually overseen, by some kind of Great Hierarch.

this kind of cosmology is in no way required, however.
for example, in Hermetic thought, the theory of
emanations (apparently traceable to Plotinus if not
preceding him to others) makes it possible, according
to Platonist and Neo-Platonist theories, to influence
the way reality "manifests" by having some kind of
influence on more subtle planes (often more rational,
intellectual, and sometimes intuitive). "destiny", in
similar conceptual structures, can attach to something
particular set into stone and restricted to certain
individuals by some kind of agent. 

an example taken from fiction, OUTSIDE that of the 
predesignation of a Great Creator God, would be the 
ascendency to the throne by Arthur King of the Britons, 
facilitated by Merlin who claimed that the destined 
king would be able to remove the sword he placed there 
and presumably manufactured by virtue of the fact that 
Merlin is the one supposed either to have put the blade 
there himself, or at least to have uttered some kind of 
spell by which it might be possible to constrain 
"authoritative succession" -- as in the case that 
Arthur's father wedged the blade into the stone in 
anguish or anger before his untimely demise, 
leaving no clear successor to follow him.

outside such theories of Cosmic Plans, whether made
by a Cosmic Divinity or some Magus, there is no
reason to suppose that "destiny" has much meaning
beyond aptitudinal predisposition and hope, and 
usually the term "potential" is applied to the cards 
indicating the future possibilities given the 
choices made by the querent in the future.

fortune-telling decks, as Le Normand or The Parlour
Sibyl, sometimes bespeak such certitude as destinies
in their Little White Books accompanying the decks.
as often as not, however, from what I have seen, 
they try to distance themselves from acts of 
prognostication. in no small measure this is 
probably done in order to avoid treading on the 
toes of Western religious who have been doing it 
and calling it "prophecying" for countless centuries, 
influencing secular society to punish those outside 
its authority who engage in competitive activities 
like magic and divination (demoted to "speculation",
"superstition" and "fraudulence" when not demonized).
the integration of some kind of *angelic agent* in
association with the decks (as with the Harris-Crowley
'Thoth' and precursing Golden Dawn decks from which
this is clearly derived) complicates matters. in his
"Book of Thoth", for example, Crowley repeats the 
old attention to the angel "H R U" (an acronym? some 
contraction indicating Horus? Thoth?) in consulting
with tarot, and by this we may infer that insight
gleaned from the deck using this recommended method 
is therefore as much theurgic as it is oracular.

overlapping consciousness between the tarot medium
cartomancer and that of the divine in some kind of
mediumistic trance was probably given its greatest
recent underscore by the Spiritualist movement 
during the turn of the 20th century (1850-1910),
whose focus on "Destiny" tended toward the 
Christian and predeterministic. presumably the more
faithful and sensitive reader would be given some
kind of insight by virtue of co-intelligence with 
the Cosmic God, or with some kind of proto-scientific
Cosmic Library by which all knowledge might be
accessed or attained (e.g. "the Akashic Records" 
so successful within quasi-Hindu propaganda).

#> For people here, I would hope the answer is trivial. 

of course it isn't trivial. the issue of "Free Will vs.
Determinism" is an age-old philosophic quandry which is
not likely to go away any time soon as it includes the
very real analysis of choice and predictive observation.
it is as much a psychological as a metaphysical issue.

#> If you can't change the future, then what is the point 
#> of doing a Tarot reading?

this is a very important question. in order to answer it,
one must initially resolve some fundamental philosophic

	* is the future extant and/or determined, or can 
          decisions be made today that will affect it?

this issue usually underlies a good number of religious
testimonials which support conversion and explain the
purpose for evil in the world. if such a Plan obtains
and it includes us (the back door to conversion is to
claim that our choices are the only ones not strictly
determined by the God, since all of the universe is set
up to test us, morally), then there is no reason for us 
to carefully consider the argument provided to us as to 
why we should act morally, or along certain moral lines 
described as 'Good' or 'in line with the divine' because
our behaviours don't influence the course of the future. 

without evidence of some kind of "multiple universes"
or a "cosmic plan" by which the cosmos is unfolding
(different than natural principles which guide such 
extension), there is no reason to think that anything 
exists beyond the present moment, all previous moments 
passing on the raw materials by which, through causes
and their effects, the present has come to be. 

	* can insight be obtained into the future, 
          whether or not such a future is predetermined?

even if the future is changeable in some sense, this 
is no guarantee that there is a method by which we 
may obtain an accurate assessment of its configuration
and content. presumably those who rely upon cartomancy
for this kind of insight (whether by extension as just
one of a number of means mediums use, or by virtue of
the pre-eminence and power of the actual object itself
in a grand sense -- like 'The Yijing' -- or in small,
as in 'my cards which I have treated and empowered')
will start with the presupposition that such insight
can indeed be obtained and that they are using the
means they trust to so obtain it -- in this case we
are considering the use of tarot cards to glean it.
having arrived at certain metaphysical doctrines which
will support our conference with tarot, the issue of
what point there might be in engaging a tarot reading
will vary according to these.

for example, if we can't change the future because it
is mediated by a variety of presently-contributing 
causes, rather than that it has been preplanned and 
destined by some incontrovertible divinity, we might 
assess the circumstance as 

	without any changes of attitude or intent 
        to the contrary, this appears to be the 
	expectable outcome. 

in this case the previously-destined future might be 
changed by alteration of thought and deed on the part
of one of the previously-contributing factors to the
overall outcome gleaned by insight from the cards. as
such, tarot might be a means to gauge the likelihood
of any particular outcome, an orientational device
that helps those who otherwise tend to operate by 
consideration of immediate, rational evidence. this is
not "changing the future" so much as taking an active
part in making the present come out as one would like.

even if the future is COMPLETELY set into stone and
there is no chance of altering the course of events,
only knowing more about them, then consulting the
tarot may be rationalized as a means of coming to
INNER PEACE with respect to it, at least, possibly
even protecting oneself against any suddenness and
irritating character we have the indiscipline to
allow -- much as hearing a weather report for the
region to which one is travelling will allow one to 
bring along appropriate gear and prepare oneself
emotionally for the impending event beyond one's
control. forewarned is forearmed, so it is said.

# I think like [P.] when he says (the destiny) 
# " not fixed". Ok, its really so. 

having decided that, you are free to participate in the
way things come to be the way they will be. tarot becomes,
from this perspective, a way to orient and profit from 
a kind of insight into the present and possible future,
at best. at worst it is a flimsy placard upon which to
project our fears and hopes through its symbolism, being
consigned to the favour of the gods and alerted to our
fortune or misfortune through the mechanism of the cards.

# But I belive the destiny is "manageable", too. 
# I think it exists with a "big destiny", this is not manegeable, 
# it is our big mission in this world, but the way to finish it, 
# we are in a travel with very ways, good ways and bad ways (i 
# don't to mix with religious ideas), I talk about ways with 
# problems the they have more or less difficulty for each person. 
# I call to these ways, "small destinies". Both, small destinies 
# and big destiny, are to predictable with a Tarot desk. 

if big Destiny includes all things great and small, and all of
it is predetermined, then tarot can add nothing to help us. it
can only give false hopes and pre-planned feelings to us but
offer us no leverage to change a pre-designated future.

if small destinies in the form of individual lives are for
some reason excluded from this big Destiny (as is often
described by the religious for the purpose of moral testing
by the Cosmic God), then tarot only helps if it illuminates
the areas which are distinguished between big Destiny and
small destinies. 

for example, if all the universe is some kind of Cosmic 
Classroom for souls and our decisions within it (as to 
worship or support one religious faction or another and
thereby come to benefit or suffer according to allegiance
with the cult and its God), then tarot only helps us where 
it makes it known what our actual choices truly are, what 
our actual influence might be, and how we might best 
conform to the Cosmic Plan as we encounter it in our 
daily lives.

it is for this reason that some religious will maintain
that tarot *itself* is evil, because it might give the
mistaken impression that truly variable options, such as
what deities we worship, are unimportant, or that since 
we can't obtain insight into the nature of the real 
through a method not approved by the cult and its God,
tarot serves merely to confound and confuse, leading ever
away from the Grand Architect of the Cosmos and Hir boons.

# Normally, 
# when a person go to a Tarot reader, he/she asks for a "small" 
# destiny, they aren't interested for the big destiny, 

sometimes those who go to diviners of various types hope to
obtain insight into "life's meaning" (i.e. big Destiny), 
thereafter settling for small destiny's reflections -- and
these latter can more easily be recorded and compared with 
experience, whereas the big Destiny is more difficult to
understand and see how it might apply (besides being far
more difficult to support or falsify than a prediction
about future life events).

# and often the Tarot reader only can offer them this, 
# because Tarot readers are not enabled to start a 
# reading about themself  "big destiny".

I don't understand this completely so may be responding to
something you didn't intend, but it seems less the case
that tarot readers are UNABLE to read on big Destiny as
much as that one has not the presupposed coincidence of
authority to do so by the querent (unless the reader is
simultaneously a clergy of their agreed Cosmic God, 
which is sometimes the case, but not usually).

of course some presuppose a strictly *technical* and
often unexplained restriction on readers that we can
not read for ourselves, but I'm unsure this is your
meaning. perhaps you were saying as I have above that
the authority to do a big Destiny reading is not given,
and this is in no way conferred upon the reader by the
querent when the querent establishes that the reader
will be doing a reading (whatever this may include).
i.e. it is a social contract for insight into small 
destiny (fortune-telling, or present-orientation) and 
not for big Destiny (general orientation and initiation, 
which typically only pertains within chosen cults or 
occupational aptitude-testing institutions).

all the above said, I find it valuable to use, without
certain belief, specific predispositions of "Destiny"
in a combined cosmic and personal sense. some mages 
describe this in their preferred metaphysical or
symbolic terms (e.g. "Taking the Oath of the Abyss"),
and my use of such paradigms of Destiny functions
more as an operating platform than it does as some
kind of Ratified Truth About Authority (TM).

the most common personal Destiny I can think of is
that of the Special Cosmic Role. within it, one may
presuppose one's special position and active part
in an unfolding, if not completely predetermined,
cosmic outcome. examples of this are numerous, and
particularly within religious doctrines about unique 
(and usually fictional) personal experiences, such 
as the role of Messiah for the figure of Christ Jesus, 
Buddha for Siddhartha Gautama, and Rasul for Allah's 
Muhammad (may peace be upon him).

amongst magicians this can take the form of delusions
(or projections) of grandeur presupposing authority
and power which does not obtain except perhaps within 
their cult following. this role is given form in such 
fiction as that of Marvel Comics' Doctor Strange, who 
is variously, and more and more acceptably, "Master of 
Black Magic", "Master of the Mystic Arts" and "Sorcerer 
Supreme" or in the life of celebrity occultists such
as Crowley, proclaiming himself "To Mega Therion", and
"The Priest of the Princes" and "The Prophet of the
New Aeon". 

sometimes this merely resides in one's role as a 
"sensitive medium" or "soundboard for the divine", 
providing as it were a means for the prospective 
querent to access the hidden secrets of the universe, 
whether Cosmic Plans that will have an affect upon
a personal life, or Cosmic Mysteries of which those
who reflect on the tarot may come into experience.

emailed replies may be posted; cc replies if response desired; 
HOODOO CATALOGUE! send street addy to:

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races