By Dianne Hardwick
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 Buddhist 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?"