I don’t like ‘outcome’ cards.
As a non-predictive reader, I have a pretty big, and pretty self-explanatory, dislike of the traditional ‘outcome’ card in many tarot spreads. As Teresa Read aptly points out, “the cards tell a story, but you write the ending”. I don’t think you can believe in self-determination and still support the idea of a card which tells you the outcome of a situation.
So here are a few alternatives I use in my own spreads, or swap in to existing spreads when I need to:
1. Where the situation is heading
Okay. So this is a lot like an outcome card. But it’s focus in on the path the querent is on. Truth be told, I’m not 100% sold on this one, but it has its moments.
My favourite position to swap into the ‘outcome’ position on the Celtic Cross spread. The other nine cards in this spread give so much indication as to where the querent is headed, that it seems redundant to offer an outcome when it is so much more useful and proactive to have an advice card.
3. What the situation needs
I suppose this is rather like ‘advice’, but it’s less direct. It’s not an instruction or advisory to the querent, so much as an indication of helpful energies to bring in. How the querent will interpret or do this is up to them.
4. Nothing. Or, if you must draw one more, a final card for clarity
Often when reading using, let’s say for example the Celtic Cross spread again, I’ll stop when I’ve drawn the first nine cards. I’ll read these, and discuss them with the querent. If we have enough, then so be it. But if things feel complete, I’ll offer a final card and place it at the head of the staff. This last card is a simple clarification card.
5. Something else entirely
Tarot readings usually take care of themselves, don’t you find? One last option is to leave the ‘outcome’ position open and see what feels right. Maybe you need to go back to a tricky point in the reading and explore it further. Or maybe there’s a sense that there’s *something else* that the cards have not revealed – something they’re asking you to ask them. By leaving the ‘outcome’ position open, you give yourself the opportunity to discover this.
Do you believe in ‘outcomes’? Do you think tarot can predict the future?
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.