Why You Can’t Read your Future for Yourself (and Sometimes for Others)

When I first began meeting “intuitives,”  I heard several of them say that they could not read their own futures.  I thought it was odd at the time, given that some of them had told me amazing things about my own life–right down to  names, ages, locations, specific projects I was working on that I’d not told anyone about.  They said that they could read Tarot, runes, and other methods of divination to give them insight into their present or even their past, but not for the future.  In addition, most could no longer read futures for their closest loved ones, even if they’d been able to when they and their loved ones were mere strangers.

I can’t read for myself either, when it comes to the future.  I can throw out a card to meditate on or divine to determine the current state of things, but I can’t get a fix on what’s ahead.  I can have a subtle “knowing”—particularly about something I don’t want to see—and completely ignore it until after the fact. THEN I recognize it and that I knew all along.  I’m in that state now, where I remember an odd feeling of something coming up but I couldn’t fathom it so I pushed the intuition aside.  Now I stand back and try to figure out if I have the same feeling about something coming up in the future, but I cannot quite catch the right feel of it and follow it to ground.  It’s like being caught in a lightning storm and feeling the crackle all around me but not knowing where the next bolt is coming from, just that it’s there somewhere.   Intuitive friends can tell me with great clarity what to be careful of, and be much on-target.  Sometimes I have a strong knowing about the good stuff, but the bad stuff, I just can’t always find the armor in time for.

But I can often see the bad stuff coming for other people.

Back in late summer, someone asked me to give a reading from my favorite Tarot deck, the Arthurian Legend cards.  I didn’t really want to but felt obliged to give it a try.  I don’t consider myself a reader and I never know when I throw down the cards whether I’m in the zone or not.  The last thing I want to do, as a High Priestess, is lay out cards and then shrug.  High Priestesses are supposed to be consistently excellent at Tarot, according to some handbook I must not have read. 

It was a valuable lesson to me.  Honestly, it was one of the worst readings, as far as circumstances and outcome, that I have ever done or witnessed in my life.  It almost hurt to have the cards between us.  I could offer absolutely no hope based on the layout and on my intuition.  They were full of oppression.  I’d add anger or hate, but those emotions didn’t really fit.  This was simply oppression, maybe with some despair thrown in.  I felt horrible because I really could not say anything positive about the situation in question.  I tried to temper my language for the querent, though, because I know what it’s like to have a reader say something really callous, like “Why the hell would you want to be with this person?  Is your self-esteem that fucking low?”  Been there.

Despite my gentleness, the querent began to make excuses before I could move on to the next card, telling me, “Oh, that’s probably just XYZ” or  “Maybe what you’re seeing is XYZ.”  It wasn’t XYZ.  The querent wasn’t listening and didn’t want to listen but because of hopes and fears, could turn even the worst card’s meaning into something fluffy.  I couldn’t lie though.  All I could do was to explain that as of that moment, the entire situation was oppressive and would bring great pain if continued.   I didn’t express some of the more upsetting impressions I was getting because they were bad enough that one of us would have run screaming from the room.

Another lesson was in watching a not-too-experienced psychic  read for himself.  I hadn’t watched anything like this in about 10 years, and I was very new to metaphysical practices then.  The past and present cards seemed accurate, from what I knew of the questions and situations.  The near future/outcome cards were lushly read, with great positivity, his hopes and dreams coming out with every syllable.  The energy of the cards did not match what he wanted for himself.   He saw what he wanted to see.

And that is why we cannot read for ourselves (most of us, anyway).  The source of our ability to read for others is in the same location as our own hopes and fears, and our own hopes and fears overshadow the intuition.  It’s far easier to read for a stranger for whom we have no hopes or fears–because the thing that is speaking loudest is our intuition. We need that lone voice to guide us in our readings, not a howling cacophony of our own worries and wants.