Leviathan 6: Truth and Fantasy.

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Fortune-telling can be used to deceive consensual sitters and spin pure fantasy for straight profit. This sounds deeply cynical, and I suppose it is, but it’s the truth and no cause for shame. The only thing which need cause you shame is becoming a shut-eye. In the parlance of magicians like Mr. James Randi, a shut-eye is a performer who becomes so adept at executing illusions that he or she comes to believe that he or she actually possesses psychic powers. I'm absolutely willing to suspend disbelief and indulge in the fantasy of psychic foresight, but I'm absolutely going to keep fantasy separate from reality. 

So said Anton LaVey in the opening to the Satanic Bible, "What you see may not always please you, but you will see!" One of the advantages to temporary self-deceit and the ritual of Tarot is that you can re-interpret your reality through another filter. Tarot can provide an unbiased perspective that doesn't involve the fortune-teller divulging his or her own secrets to another person.

I'm much too old to believe in imaginary friends, but when I deceive myself with the Tarot I do so as if I were sitting with another person—my demonic self, perhaps?—and the cards on the table are what that demon has to tell me. Is the demon critical? Encouraging? Conciliatory? Or simply belligerent? I may not like what the demon has to say, but if I'll suspend disbelief then the demon’s message can provide the opposing viewpoint necessary for me to see things I couldn’t or wouldn’t see before.

Even if the fortune told by the Demon is totally irrelevant, its irrelevance can be the very thing to cut through my stubborn ignorance. Whoever said that self-imposed deceit wasn't useful? Not me. In fortune-telling you'll find both truth and fantasy. Remember the difference between the two, and use both appropriately.