The word prediction comes from the same root as predicament, which is nearly always something unpleasant; prophecy, however, implies collaboration with the divine in order to co-create the most interesting, ingenious, and loving world possible. Our work together is thus a prophet-sharing venture.* ~ Caroline Casey ~

I had a question from a reader about my tarot posts; to summarize, they wanted to know why I thought the general nature of my readings are worthwhile since they could apply to anyone.

My answer surprised them, “they are valuable because they could apply anyone.”

Tarot cards are not (in my not-so humble opinion) some kind of mystical magical substance that foretells the future. They are pictures on pieces of cardboard. They are no more (and no less) magical than clouds that darken the sky above you which is a sign of rain. They are no more (and no less) magical than buzzards circling above a deer carcass, a sign that food is available. Many creatures – human or otherwise – can learn to read signs and symbols. Some can read signs and symbols that we cannot, such as a dog reading a scent trail.

The skill is in the reading, not in the cards. And the skill is not predicting the future but understanding the past — and more important — the present, in order to make our futures more satisfying.

The skill is in knowing that the reading could apply to anyone. We all experience change, love, death, and victory. None of us is exempt from the full experience of the human condition … even if we try to exempt ourselves. We each have the experience in our own unique ways.

In reading these blog posts, you have the opportunity to do the work of applying the generalities of my writing to your life. Whether I write about loss, about gratitude, about the beauty of the natural world, or the complicated human world; it’s your choice to breeze through or to stop, contemplate, and come away with more.

If I were sitting with you, doing a reading, then we would stop, contemplate, and go deeper together. I would not tell you about your life, I would ask you about your life as it relates to the cards. You would be the one doing the work of gaining insight – often based on questions, observances, or stories that I might tell about the cards, about my experiences or the experiences of others.

Caroline Casey, who has a degree from Brown University in Semiotics ( the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation) and went on to become an extraordinary astrologer, often says: believe nothing, entertain possibility.

I also have a degree in Communication with a focus in Semiotics. I know that for most of us (though not all) signs and symbols relay information in a way that words cannot. Neither the cards nor the stars predict your future, they are tools to inform you as to the best path to create your future.

* Read the full excerpt from Caroline’s article here (scroll down a bit to access).

Are you interested in a tarot reading? Contact me to set up a reading.

2 thoughts on “Predict?

  1. kbcrogan says:

    I’m going to dig out one of my tarot decks…

    Hmmm…. I never am sure what card to use as my “significator.” I usually pick Queen of Cups because of the sea/water connection, but Q of Pentacles has black cat at feet (and I have two).

    Such a conundrum J Were life only so complicated as that choice. Appreciate your thoughts, Emma.

    We mentioned you last evening at Adventurers.. hope your ears and spirit caught the love/respect.



    • Emma Deva says:

      Hello K! I stopped using significators decades ago, right around the time I stopped using the Celtic cross layout. Always thinking of my Qi sisters on Tuesdays. Bright blessings!


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