When people first start doing readings, there comes a time when we are confronted with an answer that does not bode well. Many people panic and that is usually the time a lot of people stop doing readings. For a magician, once you step onto the path of divination, there is no real going back, but there are many ways of going forward and as a tool, tarot plays a major part in the magician’s learning journey.
When a magician is confronted by divination that tells of upcoming disaster, there are a series of choices that can be drawn from in order to move forward. Part of magic is about dodging the bullets that life and sometimes magical morons throw at us.
There are times we just have to buckle down and deal with the oncoming onslaught: sometimes it is a necessary obstacle that will teach us a great deal. Other times it is fine to avoid something, and the wisdom is in the knowing what to dodge and what not to.
The first practical consideration when confronted with an oncoming disaster in the cards is to get a time frame. If the disaster is a big one, even if it is pretty far off in time, it will show in the reading as it is the next big thing that is going to happen to you. So getting a sense of time from the general reading can be hard.
The next step would be to do a reading to see if it is going to happen in the next 3 months, 6 months etc: read for each block of months until it appears. Once you have got an idea of roughly when it is going to strike, then you need to narrow down exactly which part of your life it will strike in and that is done by using yes/no readings… will it strike my health, relationship, magical practice etc.
Usually by that time you have a rough idea of what form it will take. From that information you can quietly consider alternative modes of action in order to avoid the oncoming speeding train. Often fate patterns are like interconnecting train tracks: you can switch tracks while still going in the same direction. Sometimes though, there is no switching, and if that is the case, then your time is better spent looking at how best to deal with the event so that you survive and learn. This would be the point where the magician looks to see if working magically with inner beings or ritual patterns to help modify the event without taking away the needful learning, experience and sometimes new and better paths that emerge out of the disaster: not all bad things are bad in the long term.
This is where tarot can be an enormously useful teacher to magicians: you slowly learn through trial and error that there are certain unpleasant things that it is important to experience in order to move forward in life and magic. Tarot can help you navigate that.
In these circumstances the important thing to do is establish a time line, see if it is avoidable, if so how, if not look at different options for coping. In such a circumstance, it is also useful as well as a good learning tool to know what inner powers and outer dynamics are flowing through such a situation. I use the Inner Landscape layout (http://www.theinnerlibrary.org/magical-beginnings.html) which shows me specifically, what inner or magical powers are at work, what current fate path I am on, where will it go, and what needs to be overcome. From there I would use this layout again to look at how the future would change if I did X or Y.
Sometimes, when there is a major even coming and it is important that you do not avoid it, the readings will appear vague and the more you try to look at a serious situation the more it will evade you. When that has happened to me, I have gone through the event and then seen how it was important for it to happen without interference.
There is also a problem that is specific to magicians and that is where the future is being veiled from you by other magicians. This is usually done if you are being magically manipulated, attacked or pushed away from something. If their actions are being magically veiled, your readings will not make sense or you will not be able to get a clear view. That is the time to work with inner beings and simply ask them to pull the veil to one side; then you get to see what is being thrown at you and why and by whom.
The flip side of seeing potential disaster is where a reading shows a wonderful fruitful time span ahead of you, so you decide to kick back and enjoy the ride. That action changes the future: you cease to act in the way you had been acting and that shift can obviate where that path is taking you. Time and fate are funny things and the more you delve into it, the weirder it gets.
Lastly, bear in mind that the closer a situation is to you, the larger it looms in the readings and what can appear as a total disaster in a reading, is actually just a bump in the road: it looks big because you are almost on top of it… So if you do a 3 month reading and it is full of swords, towers, death etc… don’t just jump out of the window, do another reading and pull the timeline out further, say to 9 months… and most of the time you find all the bad cards vanish. That tells you whatever the event is, it has no lasting effects for you and life goes on.