Professionals have their regulatory bodies and codes of practice, but individuals involved in mystical work are often self taught. This can leave them feeling they are in something of a black hole when it comes to dealing with the public appropriately. From the point of view of the client, it makes it difficult to know who to choose for a reading.
Ethical principles should guide all practitioners of the divinatory arts, whatever their field. Talking with a group of astrologers confirmed for me that the same types of problems face all “readers” whose clients have come seeking advice: dealing with difficult questions; the possibility of tragic events; what to do when people have depression or issues they cannot handle alone, and especially, avoiding dependency and the pressure it places on the practitioner. It is dependency on the reader that I will discuss here and how readers and their clients can avoid the problem.
Initially, I would say, be clear about motives. As a practitioner, I think the best position is to have a set of strong values with regard to your work that accord with your spiritual perspective. Being a person who tries to live her life by only God’s teachings I ask myself, “What is my motivation in doing this kind of work?” The answer that initially springs to mind is to help others by giving them the insights gleaned from a reading, but it is more than that. It is to empower others to choose for themselves how to deal more effectively with problems in their lives by giving them information. Encouraging clients to become dependent on more and more readings is not ethical.
Client dependency usually occurs when people have a simplistic view of divination. They believe that a reading reveals “Fate” – a future written in tablets of stone that cannot be avoided. They see themselves in the role of puppets on a stage where larger forces are pulling the strings. If they get the “wrong answer” to their queries then real stress can result and clients can pressure readers to tell them what they want to hear by asking the same question again and again, until they get the “right” answer. It’s easy to forget how much the client invests in what a reader says and how careful readers need to be when faced with someone overwhelmed by life problems.
The Tarot cards show potentials, trends and possibilities for a person at any one time. At no stage does that person lose their free will. Readers need to show clients how they have choices and need to be proactive in their lives. “If you follow this path, then X may occur. If you follow that path then Y is more likely”. Does anybody get a new job or a new romance if they don’t make some moves towards their goal? A good reading should show ways of making desirable changes.
If you are a client looking for a reader who can give you real insight into your possibilities then you should be looking for someone who has the insight to explain things in this way. At no time should you feel you have lost control of your choices. The purpose of divination is to seek guidance not intimidation. Both “seers” and clients need to adopt an exploratory frame of mind in a reading rather than a predictive one and clients should ask, when they book a reading, “How do you work? Is there only one answer to a problem or am I free to explore the possibilities open to me?”