Welcome to 2011. So far it feels like 2010 but for me just a little more organized. Due to an extended Christmas holiday on the family farm my secular New Year’s planning was a bit delayed. So yesterday I spent much of the day organizing my resolutions and working on my forecasts both I want to touch on but I’ll focus on forecasts.
While I think reasonable planning and goals are some of the best tools for a successful magickian I cannot deny the role that forecasting has. Anyone, magickian or not, can learn how to set strategic and reasonable goals, so the advantage we have here is divination. We can glance ahead in ways other people can’t, so why not take advantage of it?
When I talk about my forecasts some people ask “Why don’t you just do a forecast when you need the information?” It is a good question and while I’ve dialled back on my divination in the last two years I still do random divinations when the need arises but I find forecasts have a different feel. Usually when you “need the information” it means you’re already knee deep in a situation but forecasts give you a greater look ahead so you get some information and time to plan before you’re engulfed in the situation. Generally the sooner you’re aware of the something the sooner you can start to work with it and the more you can do.
Personally my forecasting is done in multiple systems because I find there are different strengths. My only true yearly forecast is astrological. I’ve spent quite a time studying astrology (and have multiple posts or one huge post about astrology in the process) and I find it makes the best forecast. Astrology is very predictable and time specific, so in my forecast I can generally place an influence within a week of it occurring, to do that with a system like the tarot would be harder and require far more work. So I use my chart and my transits for the year and write out a month by month forecast of the year. Some people are content with using more generic horoscopes, but I have a lot of issues with them and figure even if they do work (I have issues with that assumption) why not use one that is extremely personalized? This forecast probably takes more time than all the other forecasting I do for the rest of the year but it is by far the best to set goals with.
Once astrology has given me insight to the forces that will be at play throughout the year I bring out the second forecasting tool, the tarot. Now with the tarot I do monthly forecasts. While the astrological forecast can’t change (and if it did somehow we should be worried) the way the themes and influences play out can. For example with my life the way it is now most of my Jupiter influences relate to university so that’s the way I interpreted most Jupiter transits and this year is full of Jupiter for me. Though say during the transit that indicates Jupiter being afflicted and reworked I drop out or get expelled or start a career, then Jupiter would be about my career. Unlikely, but possible, so the influence will stay constant but how it presents itself will change. This is why tarot is useful it tends to reflect the current state of the influences and as those change so will the tarot forecasts. Since tarot takes a more “ground level” view that is more suitable for planning and changing I do monthly forecasts because what I predict far ahead is likely to flux somewhat. So monthly forecasts with the tarot are preferred here as they address the current state of things, and if that changes I only have to redo a monthly forecast not the entirety of the remaining year. Tarot also works better with specifics in the month I find. Astrology gives me the theme or current to look for and the tarot makes it more specific. An analogy I like you use (not just for this so it may show up again) is that of a military general and a soldier. Astrology is the general and tarot is the soldier. The general is farther away, tends to see the entire battlefield at once, sees a bigger picture and the currents at play. The soldier on the other hand sees far less of the field and the current, but what they do see is more specific and in greater detail. Both are valuable in their own way and both have to be applied to their strengths.
My tarot spread morphs over time as I find some questions less important and as I think of other pieces of insight to look for. Currently my monthly spread is nine cards.
In order the cards represent: The theme of the month; what I have working for me; what I have working against me; what I have to let go of; what I have to embrace; what I need to do to make the best of the month; what is the lesson of the month; who should I be; who shouldn’t I be. Now from there I plan out my month because I find a classic mistake people make with tarot readings (or any divination) is to take the reading as information and assume they’ll remember and make use of it.
Now since I tend to work well with tarot and astrology this gives me an opportunity to test new systems, and people who know me know I enjoy my testing. So I do another monthly forecast with a different system and see for a few months how well it works for me or doesn’t. For the next few months I’ll continue to explore my creation of Smarties divination, which sadly I found out isn’t a unique idea but I’ll still explore my take and understanding of candy divination. It may sound silly to some but the amount of overlap between my Smarties oracle and my tarot and astrology is actually quite surprising.
So while the future may only reveal itself reluctantly I think as productive magickians we should take advantage of forecasting and how it lets us plan ahead and act, rather than always reacting to what the world places on our doorstep. This is only January 2nd, so if you haven’t done a forecast then perhaps now is the time.
If people have other systems they use and want to mention the pros and cons of different systems I’d love to hear what other people do.