Two friends arrived for tarot / clairvoyant readings recently, clutching their lists of questions and glancing around nervously as they sat in the waiting room. Renee noticed the laminated questions menu and decided to re-word her own list, hastily scrawling a few new questions onto her pad. April sat still; gripping the strap of her red leather handbag with both hands. She had the look of someone who couldn’t quite decide if having a reading might be one of her best or her worst decisions this year. She wrestled with her hopes and fears about what might be predicted.

As the reading commenced April apologised for asking a question everyone asks but the hunger in her dark eyes suggested that her happiness depended on the outcome. She asked if she was going to marry her partner Luke in the next two years, which is the scope of the reading. She explained that she wanted to ask about children also but first things first.

Although her relationship with Luke appeared to strengthen and develop in the next two years, there wasn’t an indication of a marriage in that period. I explained that she was likely to marry within five years but not within 24 months. Upon hearing this, April was cut adrift from her remaining questions, about children, buying a home together and travelling overseas. Although her future looked rosy, she seemed unable to hear me. Despite enjoying a stable, yet challenging job, a loving partner, solid savings and an investment property, April’s happiness depended upon the next step; marriage.

When April’s friend Renee sat down for her reading, she began with a career question. I explained that when she had completed her current studies, promotion was likely. Renee then asked about relationships. She was hoping to rekindle a past relationship, but this didn’t look promising. Looking back at the past seemed like a stumbling block to current opportunities, so I urged her to release the past partner from her heart and look at present available prospects.

When she asked about having children, the cards suggested that she was presently single and focussing on her career plans before settling into a long term relationship. I clairvoyantly looked ahead to see one child, a girl but not a partner. I described how much Renee and her daughter enjoyed each other’s company and that the young girl was going to have a responsible attitude for her age. Renee was shocked at this possible outcome, as she anticipated enjoying a stable, loving family life with a committed long-term partner.

Sometimes readings can be stressful for both the reader and the client when the reader is confronted with the following choice. Do I tell the client what she wants to hear and keep her happy or do I tell her what life looks like from where we sit today and risk disappointing her? If I tell her what she wants to hear, she’ll tell her friends and there may be some referrals in the coming weeks but eventually she’ll be disappointed when predictions don’t eventuate. I’ll also be responsible for wasting precious years of her life as she waits for a rosy conclusion instead of creating a better outcome elsewhere.

If I describe a future that is unexpected, she may leave feeling disappointed, despite the predicted opportunity being positive. In a recent reading I found myself telling a client that unless she changed her life direction, she’d be imprisoned for two years. She knew that she was mixing with dangerous people and that she was skating on thin ice but was visibly upset when this likely outcome was predicted. I asked her how she might change the prediction, using it as a warning instead of a future set in stone. She had a two or three year lead time to change her life direction through distancing herself from some of the people around her but she seemed to have difficulty grasping this possibility.

When clients arrive for a reading, they sign a form stating that they agree that predictive readings are not absolute. In signing the form clients accept that readings only offer a glimpse of a most likely future where they presently stand and acknowledge that they have free will in all predictions. I naively thought that this might be sufficient to remind clients that they are creating the future by decisions and actions taken today but some clients still believe that life is something that happens to us, a process over which we have limited control.

April’s reaction to her reading was to discard the CD and seek another clairvoyant, in the hope that a different reader might give her a marriage prediction within 12 months.  This is like buying a lottery ticket. When you discover that it’s not a winning ticket, you immediately purchase another one in a different lottery draw.

Renee’s reaction was the opposite. Unhappy with the thought of being a single mother, she asked how she might change the future. I explained that she’d need to improve her self-worth, discover what she offered a relationship partner and learn to value these qualities in herself. If she takes these steps, Renee is likely to attract a different type of partner, one who wants to stay with her and raise their child in a harmonious environment.

After giving this careful consideration, Renee was keen to resolve her past issues and her current relationship patterns and is approaching this task from three different perspectives. She has taken up walking and attending a local gym, explaining that looking good is an important part of feeling positive. She has given up hope of a reunion with her past partner and is undergoing hypnosis sessions to build her self-confidence and self-worth.

Clients occasionally arrive for readings in vulnerable, highly suggestible states, so as a reader it is important to phrase predictions carefully. However, if the reader edits out too much that may upset or offend the client, there is a risk of only being told a confirmation of what she already expects of the future. If the client knows what the future holds, she isn’t likely to pay to hear it from a clairvoyant.

A reading can be a journey of discovery, for both the reader and the client. Together we pull back the veil to glimpse scenes from events that are likely to occur in the future, if the client continues on his or her current path. Perhaps I need to add a few new questions to my current questions menu, including

  1.         How can I avoid this outcome?
  2.         What steps do I need to take to achieve my desired outcome?
  3.         Is the outcome I want the most beneficial outcome for me?
  4.         Will I be happy with the predicted outcome?
  5.         Is my current life path appropriate for my spiritual development?

Sometimes clients don’t want to shape their destinies. Occasionally they simply want a clairvoyant to tell them that they’ll live happily ever after. In some instances clients have returned to tell me that events have turned out as I had predicted and that to their surprise, they are enjoying their circumstances more than ever before. When I hear a client say “You never said it would be this good,” I guess that I actually tried to tell them that they’d enjoy the predicted outcome but first it is necessary for them to release their expectations for a different, more desired goal.

A client returned for a reading recently and told me a harrowing story. Anna explained how she had consulted me 11 years previously and that I told her that I could see her working in a shop. She laughed openly at the time, shaking her head and dismissing my statement as a beginner’s attempt at being psychic. She explained that she had never worked for a living and that her days consisted of driving her sons to school, shopping, lunching with the girls and entertaining. She updated her car every year and took overseas holidays regularly.

She explained that several years later her wealthy husband died suddenly. Anna’s son, still in his early twenties took over the running of the family business and was soon drowning in problems. He started taking drugs to cope with the pressure of a business he wasn’t trained to run and eventually the bank seized the business and most of Anna’s property to cover outstanding debts.

womens clothes

At 48 years of age, without any job training, Anna had to find a job to support herself. Several months later she was standing in the fashion shop where she worked part time and she remembered my reading. She vowed to return and this time to listen carefully to what was said to her. While explaining her arduous journey, Anna began to cry.

“Do you know the hardest part? She asked. “The hardest part wasn’t losing my home and many of my friends, although that was a bitter blow. The most difficult part is that it has taken me three years to save enough money to return for this reading. I’m listening now.”

I was silent for a few moments, trying to catch my breath before speaking.

“You know, I try to concentrate and to remain focussed to be accurate and even then it’s not always possible, but that time, I wish I had been wrong. I wish I had seen a summer for you instead of a long cold winter.” I was relieved to see that in the next few years life was full of promise. I knew that this time she’d make the most of opportunities and guard against possible winters ahead. I saw one of life’s summers unfolding before her within six months.

In a reading I gave several years ago a client admitted that I was his fifth reading in three weeks. He wasn’t having readings; he was undertaking a survey! At the end of the reading I asked him how my predictions compared with the other four readers, and he explained that four out of five had given identical predictions for each of his questions.

I consulted a clairvoyant when I was 21 years old and he told me that one day I’d be leaning back into a comfortable chair, admiring a cluster of white roses in bloom across a fence. I told him that he was crazy. I left the session dejected, reasoning that there must be something wrong with my health if I had time to stare at a rose bush in the late afternoon sun. “May I never get that old,” I muttered as I left.

climbing roses

Recently, I heard the echo of his words as I sat down on the back porch and ate a crisp green apple, while surveying my five climbing roses, all white. They stretch out across the 33 metre back fence and the one closest was flowering wildly. In a world where individuals have zero control over the weather, wars and wildly fluctuating international economies, I can briefly sit and stare at wild roses above a neatly trimmed lawn and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. I feel responsible for the lawn while nature can take credit for the snowy white roses.

As a younger man I wasn’t sufficiently aware that my needs were probably going to change along with my energy levels, so that simple, comfortable routines were likely to become a fundamental part of an enjoyable life.

As an energetic young person I wanted to conquer the world and was unable to appreciate the value of a secure, unadventurous life. So what I originally perceived to be a negative reading was really a promise of a relaxed, happy life.

This led me to ask myself “How do I know if I’m giving the client bad news? Perhaps I’m assuming that he or she will be disappointed with what I’m about to say.” In a reading a few years ago a woman asked about her marriage. I tentatively explained that it was likely to end soon and she sighed with relief.

“That’s great,” she said, leaning forward to ask the next question. “Will I be out of there before Christmas?” I was shocked. It was as though I had just told her that she’d soon be winning lotto.

© 2009/16 Paul Fenton-Smith.   Paul teaches a range of courses in Sydney and Melbourne.