Saturday, September 22, 2012

Ethics for Magical People: Divining (2 of 2)

In the case history of Diana overhearing a Tarot reading, she noticed that the reader violated many of the suggested principles for diviners.  The most obvious was that the reading was not private, since people in the hall could hear it.  He did not keep his voice low or advise his client to keep hers down either.  This compromised the reading because the bystanders became invested in the outcome.  Moreover, the reader used the audience to manipulate the client, who could not make a scene in front of strangers. 

Then the reader put on an act for public consumption and to bolster his ego.  With a phony accent, he surrounded himself with the air of mystery of an esoteric occultist.  He wanted to impress his clients with an “aura” of his authority, so that they would heed his advice.  Dishonest in his presentation, the reader wanted to entice clients to rely completely on his judgment.

As the reading went on, it became evident that the reader had a hidden agenda.  He was either looking for women to date or wanted to take this particular woman out.  He deliberately misread the cards to encourage the client to break-up with her current boyfriend.  The boundary between the reader and his client was porous to allow him to manipulate the reading to his advantage.

The reading featured the Tarot cards which were the Six of Swords and the Two of Cups, which have multiple shades of meanings.  The Six of Swords could mean relief from recent problems.  Instead, the reader informed his client that the card meant that her boyfriend broke up with her.  Meanwhile the Two of Cups could mean love or reconciliation, but he told his client that her boyfriend found someone new.  The reader then manipulated the client in her distress to achieve his objective of dating her.

After presenting the reading with dire consequences, the reader told his client what to do.  Instead of offering any choices, he instructed her how the reading should be carried out.  Playing on her vulnerability, he became the final authority on her fate.  By manipulating his position, the reader exploited the client for his own ends.

Finally through his actions, the reader showed total disrespect for the act of divination.  Instead of acting as a conduit between the Universe and the client, he abused the reading to meet his own ends.  He caused undue suffering to his client and her boyfriend for his short-term gain.  This will backfire once the client realizes what the reader had done.  Also, the Universe will interfere in the reader’s life by convincing others that he is a manipulator and deceiver.

Works Used:
Bennett, Stella, “The Star That Never Walks Around,” Weiser: Boston, 2002.

Carroll, Robert, “Confirmation Bias,” The Skeptic’s Dictionary, 27 August, 2012,

Chametzky, Marc, “Ethics of Divination: An Exploration of the Wiccan Rede as It Applies to Divination,” Ecclasia, 10 March, 2004,

Drury, Neville, “The Tarot Workbook,” Thunder Bay: San Diego, 2004.

Ellison, Robert, “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids,” ADF, 2007.

Hrafn, “Weaving Wyrd,” blog,

Matthews, Caitlin, “The Celtic Wisdom Tarot,” Destiny: Rochester VT, 1999.

Wild Leon, “The Runes Workbook,” Thunder Bay: San Diego, 2004.

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