Legal Liability and the Risk of Error

From time to time a sensational news article appears about a fortune-telling scammer who has bilked a naive client out of a considerable sum of money by proposing to free them of an imaginary curse. Some US States have laws that restrict the practice of divination to “entertainment” status, which makes it clear that no reliance should be placed on its legitimacy. This attitude is an insult to the “true believer” who has only the noblest intentions in trying to help others steer a course through an uncertain future, but there is no question that navigating the minefield of official suspicion is a risky proposition. The prudent professional will have “limit of liability” clauses in their offer-of-service documents that should be presented to the client before any counseling session, but at a more fundamental level we really don’t want to mislead our sitters into thinking that we are giving them the “absolute truth” about the subject of a reading when the best we can do is advise them of forthcoming circumstances that may pertain in the matter.

Personally, I make two things very clear: the objective of the reading is to explore potential developments in the form of likely tendencies and trends rather than specific events, and the favorable outcome of any such possibility depends upon the active involvement of the querent in either seizing the opportunity to make it happen or striving to soften the blow of a less fortunate projection. I use the aphorism “Forewarned is forearmed” in my presentation to clients, with the understanding that the prediction will not relieve them of responsibility for their own destiny; they must still make the most of any insights received, even if it is just to position themselves to absorb the impact. A “good” result must still be encouraged through timely and appropriate effort, while a “bad” one is best handled by “dodging the bullet” via some form of evasive action. If I can accurately inform them of the environment they are likely to encounter going forward even if the specifics are still up-in-the-air, I feel that I have accomplished my mission.

But if online chatter is any indication, not everyone brings such a resolute manner to the table. I often hear the lament “Why are my predictions always incorrect?” My opinion is that these readers are trying to put too fine a point on the precision of their forecasts. They need to relax a bit and recognize that they must accept a certain amount of impressionistic leeway in their pronouncements. After all, divination is an art, not a science, and it partakes as much of the storyteller’s skill as that of the analyst. Turning these narrative observations into actionable objectives is the “Holy Grail” of effective prognostication. The aim of “empowerment” involves getting querents to see where the story-line is headed and preparing them to intercept it at just the right moment to achieve maximum benefit in turning it to their advantage.

The risk of error comes with the territory since we are at best “looking through a glass darkly.” As I see it, we are tapping into the seeker’s “inner landscape” of subconscious awareness that serves as a channel for a much broader reservoir of foreknowledge, and the most we can do is try to shift our own preconceptions aside and let it flow. (This is not always easy since we must necessarily put our intuitive impressions into words that carry the weight of our previous experience.) For this reason, I always approach a reading with the assumption that the querent’s understanding of his or her private reality is inevitably superior to my own even if they don’t know it yet, and my task is to tease it out and help interpret it in practical language. As Joseph Maxwell said, “Coming events cast a shadow before them; each individual has a presentiment about his own destiny, which may remain latent: the normal processes of consciousness do not include such presentiments.” That’s where we come in.


One thought on “Legal Liability and the Risk of Error

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s