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Answers, Probabilities, Insights and Guidance: What Astrology and Tarot Can and Can't Do

· Why do I never get anywhere in my career, no matter how hard I work?

· Am I destined to always have this much conflict in my relationships?

· Last year was one bad break after another; where's the silver lining to this cloud?

· I just haven't figured out my purpose in life; what do my chart and the cards say?

· What can be seen regarding my health and income challenges?

· What am I supposed to be learning from this experience?

· What are the risks I need to take to get past this stuckness?

· Will moving to this new place give me any better chances in life?

· When will I stop worrying, stop feeling so scared or angry, and just be happy?

· My daughter seems so different from me; how can I parent her more effectively?

Burning questions like these and many others are among the reasons that thousands of people across the globe seek out an astrology or tarot reading each year. Many people simply want the experience of getting deeper perspectives on their challenges, life lessons, personality traits and hidden talents. Others seek clear insight and spirit guidance on specific problems or events. Some are looking for answers for which common sense, personal growth, and even psychotherapy are better equipped to provide.

As a psychological astrologer and intuitive reader (as well as a mind-body therapist and solopreneurs marketing coach), I am frequently asked by hopeful clients to use astrology or tarot in providing them with answers, insights, and guidance. I usually preface what I see in an astrological chart or tarot card spread with a few thoughts about what these tools can and can't do so as not to encourage unrealistic expectations, and so that the correct tool is used for the central question(s) at hand.

Astrology Presents Probabilities, Tarot Gives Perspectives

Astrology is, in one respect, a science of mathematical probabilities. It can show you the "if this, then that" relationship possibilities of how you might behave, and how interactions with your environment -- including the people in it -- could evolve if you are unconsciously reacting to the inner impulses for getting your personality, financial, intellectual, emotional, relationship, creative, professional, and spiritual needs met.

Psychologically speaking, we are all born with a unique temperament that may respond to various events and people in positive and negative ways. I like to refer to astrology from the perspective of it being your cosmic DNA, the subtle energy code for what experiences and responses you are likely to have unless you become more aware of your tendencies and options, and develop the critical thinking and empowerment skills that change the conditions enveloping you.

Whereas astrology is based on calculations of degrees of influence and patterns of archetypal and energetic relationships, tarot works in a different manner by providing a more direct channel of communication between the spirit world and you. Because the spirit world often communicates in metaphor, imagery and esoteric correspondences, many people have difficulty interpreting the messages that tarot cards can uncover. A skilled intuitive reader helps untangle the unfamiliar symbolic language of the tarot so that you can receive the perspectives and guidance that your spirit allies intend for you.

In general astrology best answers what and why questions such as what traits and conditions have set the stage for which likely events to occur, and in what ways might you be astrologically "hard-wired" to unconsciously respond. It is particularly good at answering questions about understanding the why of past events, but because of the human capacity for free will, astrology is less accurate in predicting specific future outcomes beyond what probability suggests.

Astrology can also indicate what types of efforts might be easier than others, or more rewarding, and where the stars line up to make things difficult most of the time. It can suggest where to focus your personal development work in order to minimize innate weaknesses or maximize inherent strengths. Essentially, astrology gives a road map, but how you drive with it and where you go is up to you.

Tarot can best answer how questions such as how can you start creating a new direction for your life, or how would taking this risk or that option help you be more grounded or heal an old hurt. I find that tarot is especially good at validating my own instincts, broadening my viewpoints, and giving me confidence to go forward or wait things out.

Sometimes tarot can also give who answers, providing information to questions such as who is my hidden enemy in this situation, or who is my best or surprise ally.

What neither tarot nor astrology can do is give you guaranteed answers to vague questions. And, neither tool in modern usage, in my opinion, is ethically appropriate for providing predictions about time of death, amount of or pending inheritance, how to injure someone else, or whether you will live happily ever after.

Insights and Guidance

There are many different forms of astrology, just as there are many different tarot card spreads and decks. In getting a reading it is important to match your question to the field of expertise your reader is capable of. Not all readers have the same level of knowledge or interpretive skill.

For example, I would not be the best astrologer for individuals wanting to use astrology to play the stock market. Nor am I the tarot reader to hire when you wish to connect with your deceased grandmother, or to do entertainment readings at a birthday party, as these are not my particular intuitive gifts. But other readers do have skills in these areas.

Some will limit readings to the insights contained within the chart or cards only, while other readers with a background in the helping professions such as myself offer guidance in how to apply their interpretations and insights to your daily life. Providing grounded, practical, and uplifting guidance is central to the role of a psychological astrologer and intuitive reader.

Most Common Types of Readings and When to Get Them

The Birth Chart / Personality Profile Reading

In astrology, everything starts with the construction of the birth chart. Even if your first reading is focused on a relationship or health or career question, your birth chart forms the basis for all other astrological work to be done. As a therapist, I use the birth chart as a personality profiling system that tells me much more about my counseling clients than the standard types of psychological tests would do. So a birth chart reading is the one to get when you have never had a reading before.

The Birthday Year (Solar Return in Astrology) Reading

Some clients get a solar return reading every year to see how their astrological energies will be impacting them and in which specific areas of life over the next 12 months. This reading takes your personal birth data and advances it to the current time in order to see what energies are strong or weak for this year. Often karmic lessons or challenges are revealed when the solar return chart is compared to the birth chart. A birthday year reading can also be done with tarot cards instead, and frequently I do both for myself, as well as for my more inquisitive clients. A "birthday" reading can also be done for the New Year, rather than waiting for your personal birthday.

Relationship Readings

When relationships have gone sour, people in pain and grief feel the need to know why. Smart couples in process of taking their relationship to the next level like to see where pitfalls and problems may arise. Parents having conflict with their children sometimes seek deeper insight into what their family clashes are all about. Some employers want detail profiles on prospective new hires, and many employees hunt for ways to get along better with the boss. All of these situations are appropriate for a relationship reading. I even drew up a relationship chart for my business before I registered for a business license. Depending on the specific information you are seeking, a tarot reading that centers on the relationship in question can also provide useful insights and guidance.

Daily Energies Reading

Sometimes we have days when unexpected things happen, or we feel strange, or like we've been taken for an emotional roller coaster ride. A chart drawn for that day, compared to your birth and/or birthday chart, can show exactly what astrological energies are impacting you. People who are highly susceptible to subtle energy use this type of reading to plan their coping strategies accordingly. Tarot can be similarly useful, and would likely suggest how to change coping strategies to incorporate more effective ones for the energies involved.

Relocation Readings

Special astrological techniques can superimpose chart calculations on maps of the continents to provide an interesting glimpse into which planetary energies may be influencing your daily life in a particular location. This is a very useful reading for people who are contemplating a move to the other side of the country or world, or who have already moved and are wondering why their personality seems so different. I generally recommend several additional readings, including tarot and feng shui before making the decision to move, when choice is an option. I'd never be happy in the desert, for example, regardless of the strength of my Jupiter energy there.

What You Need to Provide to Get a Good Reading

For any astrological reading, you will need to give the astrologer you birth date, place of birth, and time of birth. The time requirement is very important, but many people don't know and can't find out the recorded time of birth. In this case, several processes can be used to determine the most likely accurate time so that a chart can be constructed.

One process called rectification uses various significant life events that can be accurately dated to trace back through the astrological configurations at those times to arrive at the most plausible birth time. This is labor intensive and costly for both client and astrologer, but does yield the highest probability of accuracy.

The process I use relies on subtle energy and the radiesthesia of the pendulum to narrow down a possible time. When necessary, I double check the reliability of this process with the second step of having the client confirm several key personality traits that would be present if the time deduced by the pendulum is correct. I have used this process for myself and for many clients, and it provides a birthtime that is quite useable for almost all astrological readings.

For a tarot reading, the client needs to focus on a clear and specific question for the best interpretation of the cards. Some people arrive with their question in mind, others develop their question with the assistance of the reader. Individuals who want a reading simply for the experience of it rather than for some specific guidance might use as their question: how is my life likely to unfold over the next six months; what energies will be helping me and what will be hindering me?

If you're looking for answers, insights and guidance, and want to expand the range of information that will possibly help you, an intuitive or astrological reading can reveal aspects of your situation and uncover hidden strengths that may not be knowable through other means.

© 2008 by Dr Deah Curry PhD, www.WiseWomanArts.com

Deah Curry PhD has developed her astrological and intuitive reading skills over the past 20 years. Her training as a psychologist and experience as a therapeutic coach brings grounded, practical, healing-oriented advice as well as spiritual insights to her readings. More details are available on her website, or email Deah at Readings@WiseWomanArts.com. See ad in Natural Choice Directory under Astrology.