Oracles have been given the reputation of future and fortune tellers. That's unfortunate.
It is similar to the faith that hypnosis has undergone. The hypnosis stage acts have given the impression that something spooky is going on - and with that a very valuable tool and aspect of ourselves is lost to many (read The ins and outs of hypnosis or in Dutch).
And so it goes for oracles like Tarot and I Ching. Many sceptics shy away from exploring it, because 'fortune tellers' claim to know your future.
This is a misconception. You should be sceptical when someone predicts your future. At the end, it's your free will to choose your future. It's your job. You should not outsource it.
However, what oracles like Tarot and I Ching can be are mirrors. And mirrors we all need for growth. Mirrors are difficult to escape in life. The impatient driver passing through a red traffic light nearly smashing into your car is an example of a mirror. The remarks of your parent, child, partner or friend on your cooking talents - a mirror. The pay raise you got or did not get - another mirror. Life can sometimes feel like a hall of mirrors.
Some of these mirrors are rather coloured though and not always clear enough to actually learn something from the reflection. This is where oracles like Tarot and I Ching can play a valuable role.
They are not future tellers. They are present mirrors. These tools are based on deep minded archetypes. Archetypes being typical examples of tendencies, cycles and characteristics of life. Those archetypical patterns can 'resonate' with elements in you that are at play. Reading the text or watching the imagery can help you 'bring up' the thought or feeling that helps you see the situation more clearly - and help you look at it from different perspectives.
It's always you that 'sees' into the oracle. That's because it reflects back at you something that resonates or 'rings true'.
The Tarot's major arcana deck is according to the Ra research project a reflection of the process of learning and evolution on the mind, body and spirit level. It is a symbolical interpretation of that fundamental archetypical evolution process. It is actually very logically and practically explained.
The process your mind goes through is like this:
You want something
You create it (consciously or subconsciously)
You receive / observe it (what you created)
You experience it (perhaps you enjoy the creation or not)
You learn from that (perhaps try something else next time)
You transform (your ideas, knowledge, believes, etc based on what you learned)
You are the new transformed personality
When you use the Tarot this way, you aim to get clarity which parts of you (mind, body and spirit) in which stage of the process (1-7) are influences and play an important role in the situation you are reflecting on. Perhaps it tells you to look closer at what you really want. Or that there is something you are supposed to learn. Or that it is time to let go of an old pattern that you already know is not helping you. It's not that the Tarot tells you what to do. It's a mirror that reflects an archetype that may resonate with your intuitive knowing about the situation - which you could have accessed without the mirror - and yet the mirror helps you get there.
The I Ching is a truly incredible set of texts. It may again seem like hocus pocus. It has 64 'hexagrams'. Each hexagram is a text about the interaction of elements. These reflect the cycle of life from beginning (birth) to end (death and rebirth). This is actually also very logical and practical. All the elements discussed are earth based, like wind, thunder and water. The texts simply reflect their patterns and behaviors when those elements interact. We know that fire and water interact in certain ways. When this cyclical archetype appears when you are reading the I Ching, how can it help you clarify your situation? Not in a future telling way - but in a present moment way. Can it help you see the truth in the situation?
These oracles don't replace your intuition. They help you develop and deepen it. They are different types of mirrors as those that appear in your interactions with your environment. Both can provide helpful feedback about where you stand, where you are going and how to get to your destination.
If you are interested in learning more about oracles and experience their mirror power, you can read more about oracles sessions we facilitate here.