Living each day much muchier
There’s a charity book stand at my workplace that sells cheap cookbooks and paraphernalia. Last week, the ‘book man’ brought a set of Oracle Cards promising ‘intuitive guidance to transform your soul’. While my workplace is full of scientists, economists and lawyers, they crowded around that deck, picking out cards with curiosity, laughter and a few raised eyebrows.
The seer is an old archetype. Misty eyed, bones jangling, cave dwelling, she weaves her story by stretching her gnarled fingers to summon past, present and future into prophecy. From tarot card to tent revival, we pay good money for insight. Who wouldn’t want greater clarity in the uncertainty of life’s purpose?
Our curiosity is fuelled by the idea that fate is something that happens to us. In the near future, we will meet someone or embark on a new quest. It’s fun to seek a glimpse of what’s ahead. Yet, the sight of the seer is clouded. She may cold read your heart and your habits, but your fortunes emerge from three things
None of them are entirely in our control, not even our choices (unfortunate, but true). The best we can manage is to nudge them and in turn, they influence each other. Your physical and emotional traits are carved from privilege and intersectionality, your circumstances, steered by other people’s agendas and happenstance. Your choices, the thing you think you’re most in control of, are swayed by unconscious bias, beliefs, culture and marketing.
Your fate is in your hands, but not directly like an artist with clay or a planner with a blueprint, more like a conductor with a baton, creating tempo, prepping the next movement, interpreting and unifying events into harmony or discord between the instruments in your life.
Your fortunes can easily bind or release you, depending on your attitude and discipline as conductor. These you have greater control over. The seer can’t tell your fortune, if she is sincere, she will help you to imagine, listen and connect with your deeper desires and guide you away from the shortcut solutions offered by people with an eye to their own needs. You must still conduct your own life.
Charms tinkling, tapestries waving in the breeze, the seer reads the cards and says “this is just one of your possible futures.” It sounds like a cop-out and maybe it is. You can angst about missing great adventure by turning left instead of right. Or, as the conductor of your own fate, you can learn to listen, prep and unify events into a life you love to live. No matter what happens, it will be a fate you can call your own and of which you can be proud.
Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
Franklin D. Roosevelt