In his book The Horary Textbook, John Frawley makes the point that divination shouldn’t be attempted unless the querent (who is often oneself) has a legitimate need to know the answer. Anything other than that is just idle curiosity about circumstances that don’t directly concern us, and therefore a misuse of the method. I’ve been contemplating why it’s ethical under those rules for me to interject myself into missing-person cases through my attempts via tarot and horary astrology to find out what happened, when those most closely involved in the matter haven’t asked for my assistance. I certainly have no vested interest in the outcome and I’m not trying to make money at it, so my only real justification is experimental in that I want to test my techniques for accuracy. Of course, I don’t mind helping those who do have such interest as long as all it costs me is a little time and effort.
The best argument for doing so is that it can’t hurt and it might even be advantageous, as long as unrealistic expectations for success aren’t imparted in the process. The customary turn of events seems to be that, when all conventional investigative techniques have been exhausted, we call in the mystics, psychics, astrologers and cartomancers; the difference here is that I’ve been inviting myself to the party. For me it’s primarily a scientific mission since, lacking a steady stream of “live” sitters to practice them on, I’m always looking for ways to apply my theories and innovations. If and when the cases are solved, the results go into my running database of predictive “successes and failures.” Recently I stopped pursing long-outstanding “cold cases” since the authorities have been chasing them for years or even decades without closure, so it’s unlikely I will turn over any rocks they haven’t already touched.
While the focus is nowhere near as empirical, much the same ethical perspective is true for what I call “psychic fishing expeditions.” Querents often want to know what someone else thinks or feels about them, and the target of the inquiry is almost always ignorant of the prying. There typically isn’t a vital “need to know” on the part of these seekers (it’s not like they actually intend to do anything about it), they’re just speculating about their romantic chances with their presumed quarry. Should I fuel their superficial fantasies by trying to satisfy their curiosity? Although much of the commercial traffic in professional divination revolves around such amorous trivialities, I have a strong aversion to mind-reading excursions of this kind. On the other hand, if they want to know whether their prospect is likely to ask them out in the near future, I’m good with it. In other words, it’s not what the “persons of interest” might be thinking but what they’re potentially going to do that I find worthy of exploring via the cards.
Even as a retiree I don’t have a lot of time to spare for such pointless daydreaming, if only in the sense that I’m keeping one eye on the relentless passing of the years. After all, none of us is promised Swinburn’s “beauty and length of days” (although I never had any pretensions about the former). At this point, divination isn’t going to be a career for me and will remain an absorbing pastime for the rest of my life. So I try to pick my shots by aiming for action-and-event-based “situational awareness and developmental insights,” and by asking my querents to frame their questions in as concrete a way as possible.