July 23, 2024
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Prediction vs Forecasting

Prediction vs Forecasting

Why do people consult astrologers, tarot card reader, psychics and so on? It is not always about prediction.

The Reasons

Broadly speaking their reasons fall into these categories.

  1. They need greater clarity on a situation and are seeking guidance. They may be struggling with a tricky decision and hoping for clues to help them work out what to do next.
  2. They are grieving, but instead of going to a priest or counselor, they come for a psychic reading. They are seeking comfort, and to receive a glimpse of possibilities beyond the limits of everyday experience.
  3. They want an insight into their possible future. They want predictions. They want answers. This is risky because there can be no guarantee of accuracy and they might not like the answer. However, like it or not, the answer might come in useful, depending upon how they choose to respond to the advice.

Fortune teller Albert Anker 1880

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Image, the Fortune Teller; Albert Anker: 1880 Source: Wikimedia Commons

The Prediction Problem

Is prediction possible? Of course, it is. We all do it every day of our lives without giving it a second thought. We do not think of it as a psychic activity. We ‘look forward’. We expect. We assume. We anticipate. We plan. These are words and activities based on a prediction.

We can all expect with a very high degree of certainty that the sun will rise tomorrow. This kind of prediction is simple common-sense, based on an exceedingly high degree of probability based on historic data.

But, like the old joke says, ‘nothing is certain but death and taxes.’

Some modern astrologers and Tarot readers, including Alejandro Jodorowsky, art-film director and co-author of the Jodorowsky-Camoin Tarot de Marseilles deck, declare psychic prediction is not possible.

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‘Tarot is a sacred game,’ says Mr. Jodorowsky, “You must not talk about the future. The future is a con. The tarot is a language that talks about the present. If you use it to see the future, you become a conman.”

He is entitled to his opinion and many will agree with that view of things. But this is to simplify the issue.

In any activity in life, and in any profession, there will be those who are less skilled than others, or worse…insincere, making promises they can’t deliver; the liars, fraudsters and con- artists.

Buyer beware. Go by recommendation when choosing your astrologer or psychic reader, but the psychic prediction is an activity as old as humanity itself.

To ask about the future, and to try and predict it, is simply to explore possibilities.

Some will always be more likely than others. The future is not a lump of rock waiting to fall on our heads.  But if we can get a clear enough sense of what is coming, just as with a weather warning, we can prepare for threat or opportunity. If we can just get a sense of the odds, we can decide whether we want to continue with something or walk away.

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But sometimes our heart does not agree with our head. Or our gut feeling does not agree with our head. This is where a reading is potentially useful. This is where astrology etc is more than just entertainment. This is the point, purpose and value of prediction.

  • You look out of the window. It is not snowing but the sky is a funny colour, and you decide to wear your warmest coat.
  • You see someone coming down the street. They have not done anything wrong, but you decide uh- oh, I don’t like the look of this person, and move out of the way.

We predict on instinct and take steps accordingly. We do it every day. Astrologers and psychics just take it further. But this is one of those discussions that could go on forever.

Here is a real problem with psychic prediction

You asked, you got an answer, but you do not like it. No,w what are you going to do about it? Some people go from reader to reader asking the same question till they get the answer they want.


You ask the question and you really like this answer. Now you just sit back and wait for it to happen. What if it doesn’t happen? What if the reader didn’t get it right? How long are you going to wait? What clues will you miss while you are waiting? What opportunities might pass you by unnoticed?

Either way, you have traded away your initiative and with it, your power of self-determination. You are now just waiting for something to ‘happen’ to you.

But there is another approach to prediction that works with the principle of free will and that is psychic forecasting.

Prediction is one thing, forecasting is another.

Forecasting vs Prediction

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Prediction talks about the future as if it is a statement of fact. This suggests that we do not have free will to change it.

Forecasting via Astrology etc reads the present conditions and offers an estimate of likely future developments, presenting these in terms of probability or likelihood.

For example, I use counting spreads to form a quantifiable answer in response to a given question.

Let us say I decide to use my deck of playing cards. Now let’s say I will work with this the traditional way and I will count a ‘red’ card (Hearts ad Diamonds) as a ‘yes’ answer. And I will count a ‘black’ card, (Clubs or Spades) as a ‘no’ answer.

I shuffle the deck, and then draw out 5 cards, lay them out in a line and count how many red cards and how many black cards.

Example Question: Who will win this football match?

Real Madrid versus Juventus (June 2017)

Real Madrid vs Juventus card draw

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Top Row: representing Real Madrid. 4 red cards, 1 black card = 4/5 positive

Bottom Row: representing Juventus: 2 red cards, 3 black cards = 2/5 positive

Conclusion: Real Madrid looked more likely to win. Not certain. But more likely. 4/5

The score: Real Madrid 4: Juventus 1.

Why not try this yourself?

In Summary

Psychic prediction in itself does not deny free will. But over–reliance on prediction does deny the principle of free will and could sabotage your options. Having an astrology or psychic reading is a source of extra information and insights but it is not a substitute for your exercise of judgement.

You will need to decide how far to trust the accuracy or meaningfulness of the reading, and how to make the best use of it. Does the reading make sense to you? Does it feel right? Or is this about your own wishful thinking?

Free will, Fate and Destiny work together

This may appear contradictory, but these concepts do not conflict with each other.

Your ‘destiny’ represents your greatest potential.

Your destiny is what could be, what you could do, or become, or have if you follow the signs. This is the road ahead if you stay on track, follow your nose, trust your guts and use your best judgement going forward.

This seems obvious, but all too often we ignore the signs. Like Red Riding Hood, we ignore the warnings, wander away from our own instincts and then we might meet The Wolf.

The Wolf is the face of our own self-betrayal. If we fail or refuse to listen to ourselves the mistakes can be costly. Mistakes are not the problem. Mistakes are inevitable and natural. They can be valuable learning experiences, but failing to learn from them so that we keep on repeating the same mistakes – that is a problem.

We explore, reject, sabotage, accept or realize our destiny as an exercise of our own free will. Fate is another word for luck – those things, good and bad, over which we have no direct control. But it is still a choice of free will, deciding how we will respond.

I wish you the best of good luck!

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