A little while back I got a reading done by my friend Erik Roth. He does shamanic astrology, and I highly recommend his services. I've gotten my astrological reading done in the past, and each time what has struck me about the readings has been the accuracy of the description of patterns in my life. It's not so much that the person has read my future but rather has shown me some existing patterns as well as other ones to be aware of. I've found the same to be true with Tarot readings and other forms of divination. What is being read are patterns of information and behavior and from that a person can get a good idea of what s/he needs to anticipate in the future.
Pattern recognition is the recognition of certain patterns of influence in your life. Those patterns of influence originate from both within you and the environment around you. One of the reasons I'm willing to consider the validity of Astrology is that I do think we are effected by the cycles of the planets around Earth. If nothing else there is a gravitational effect of some type and who is to say that doesn't have some influence on us? Even if that isn't the case, being able to look at your life in relationship to specific patterns can be enlightening in terms of what it helps you work on. For example, I've just entered into a cycle with Pluto, which astrologically speaking is the dark night of the soul for me. The recognition of this pattern allows me to prepare for it. The Pluto cycle is about breaking things down, but this doesn't have to be a negative experience. Instead it can be a positive experience, where I plan for and use the cycle of Plutonian energy to my benefit.
The same applies to a Tarot reading. Someone does a reading for you and what it supplies you is an awareness of patterns of information. The cards don't reveal the future but they show you what to look out for. Of course the only problem with this approach is that when you are looking at specific patterns you may not be aware of others. Pattern recognition helps you to be aware patterns, but it also acts as a filter so that you may only see those patterns. This is why although getting a divinatory reading can be helpful, sometimes it can be just as helpful to leave yourself open to experience to see what happens.
I think that what I found most helpful about the astrological reading is that it gave me a general sense of what to be aware of and provided some focus on key areas of my life that may need some work. All of it was accurate and how I knew that was because even without the reading I was already working on the issues and patterns the reading described. In that sense it affirmed my current work and showed I am on the right path. Never hurts to get some confirmation...though as always keep yourself open to whatever comes your way. The obvious perspective can box you in and cause you to miss out on other opportunities.