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How can you tell if it's Fate or Free will?

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 29 Sep 2003, and now archived in the Forum Library.



neptune  29 Sep 2003 
Hi guys. I hope you could help me. I bought 2 tarot books. One of them said if the majority of the cards in a reading are MAJOR Arcana, the person is in control of his/her spiritual path, hence, the person has free will. But the other book I have said that if the majority of the cards are MINOR Arcana, the person has free will. Which is correct? 


Umbrae  29 Sep 2003 
Neither.

Both books are opinions stated as facts.


Hmmm...so is this post.

But when some author tells you, "This is this!" or "That is that!" you know they needed to write a book to put bread on the table.

Reading for others is not based on rules (of the intellect). Reading for others is based on the heart - where rules dare not go...

So just read - you'll learn more by reading for others, than by reading books by others... 


Alex  29 Sep 2003 
No matter how much I try to look at Major cards as signigying major life events, I still fall into interpretations that pretty much resemble minor arcanum interpretations.

The question you have asked_ the difference between free will and fate_ is a rather complex philosophical question that could take as much as a book with 12 volumes to discuss in depth.

For example, literal Death is not a result of free will regarding "if", but it may be regarding "when" and "where". The card Death can be interpreted literally for everybody, because we're all going to die, but there are "deaths" that are the result of previous choices (not necessarily will, but choices) and there are deaths that are the result of fate.

There are things we keep doing, mistakes we keep repeating, that can be looked up as "fate" or "luck" but some but which a skilled psychoanalist would be able to see as "will", not conscious will, but the will of some part of us that does not account for reason.

May be you can ain at something like Freud's idea, that what we we do not know controls us.

If you can bring some of this unknown into people's consciousness, then the may have the choice to change their "fate".

What cards, if Major or Minor, does not matter.

Matters that you can identify the pattern and make it known.

Alex. 


Le_Corsair  30 Sep 2003 
You haven't said how new you are to the cards, so I will guess that you are fairly new and just becoming familiar with them. Unfortunately, with tarot there are so many individual interpretations of the cards, based on lack of concrete knowledge passed down through the centuries, that if often seems as if "anything goes." For someone with an orderly mind, this can be disturbing. As far as an answer to your question goes, books I have read tell me that the Majors are Fate cards, and the Minors are Free Will cards. If you analyze this for a moment, you'll see that this seems to be only proper. The archetypes in the Majors seem far above us mortals; although I often feel like a hermit, can I say I feel like a Hermit with a capital "H?" But the Minors, especially in the Rider-Waite deck, show ordinary people doing ordinary things, which seems to indicate Free Will. Even the court cards are ordinary people, if slightly above us in prestige. But can you imagine sitting down for a meal with Death, The Devil, and Temperance? (Death and the Devil would be talking shop, I suppose, and Temperance wouldn't want more than a glass or two of wine! :joke: ) Those cards are on a higher plane, so they represent Fate, obviously. (Just as obviously, someone will probably disagree with me.)

The main thing is to learn the cards. It is helpful to have a book, I still use one occasionally, but make a point of looking at the cards, trying to discover their meaning by paying close attention to the archetypes and symbols shown on the card; and try to relate those images and symbols to the person you are reading for. It is a talent you can develop, no mumbo-jumbo is required, just a matter of practicing until you recognize the cards as old friends. Don't make it more difficult than it has to be; in the end, there are no Tarot Police to haul you off to Tarot Jail, so if your thoughts and desires tell you that a card means something that may conflict with what you read in a book, follow your heart in the matter, and you should come out ok.

Good Luck!

Bob :THERM 


Teheuti  30 Sep 2003 
Quote:
if the majority of the cards in a reading are MAJOR Arcana, the person is in control of his/her spiritual path, hence, the person has free will. But the other book I have said that if the majority of the cards are MINOR Arcana, the person has free will. Which is correct? [/b]


It's usually said that the Major Arcana are fated, while you have more free will as regards the Minor Arcana. While I agree that such rules are merely opinions - they've sometimes been formulated by insightful people and for a reason. It's usually worth examining to see where such a rule will take you and where it won't. I've come to my own understanding of what this particular rule can signify although it may not work for others.

The Majors can represent an encounter with a divine quality or characteristic that usually represents some kind of important lesson or message. Simply by understanding this, it means that sometimes the encounter can be conceptual or symbolic and so it will never have to manifest physically - but it can't be totally evaded. Some of the more distressing manifestations of such cards as the Tower are the result of ignoring the more subtle levels of the message or lesson.

Although we can learn lessons from the Minor Arcana too, these are more circumstantial and able to be evaded or overturned. We can say "I don't want strife," so I'm going to change my pattern or direction and not have to go through it in this situation - and do so. However, if the lesson was "Temperance," it remains an essential part of the experience. It could be seen as "fated" no matter whether you learn the lesson or not.

I consider the lesson or message of the Major Arcana to be fated or essential and unavoidable. Even if you exercise your free will by refusing to get it, you still have to encounter it. Future Minor Arcana events surrounding the Majors can sometimes be changed by free will.

It's always interesting to ask, "In what way could this rule be true?" If you can't make it so, then the rule is not going to work very well for you.




The How can you tell if it's Fate or Free will? thread was originally posted on 29 Sep 2003 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

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