What Tarot Means to Me

In my previous post, I described how my study of Tarot led me to discard its negative association with fortune-telling. But if I’m not using Tarot for that, what exactly am I using it for, and how? My journey continues to grow and change as my study and experience deepens, so my answer today may be different from next week or next year.  But right now, I’m having amazing experiences both in studying the symbolism of the cards as archetypes, and in using them for intuitive readings for myself and others.

I first studied the cards to be able to use them in readings, but I quickly found that the study alone is rewarding as a journey into mythology, archetypes, and our experience as humans here on Earth. I was drawn to resources that encourage students to trust their own intuition to interpret the 78 cards. There are plenty of authors out there that will give you a list of predictive meanings, like “you’ll be moving to a new house” or “expect a message from a dark-haired youth.” Those books went straight back to the library. The resources I most enjoyed taught deeper, far more layered meanings that ranged from everyday struggles to the soul’s journey to enlightenment. Beyond that, my favorite teachers argued that we as readers bring our own life experience, and our unique intuitive knowledge, into the mix. Therefore, it’s critical for our study of Tarot to take the traditional meanings as a foundation upon which we layer the thoughts, feelings, and insights that the cards evoke in us individually, and in our clients. That’s the approach I’ve taken, so my study will never be complete – which I love!

Once I had a handle on the cards’ meanings, I began giving readings to myself and others. Here my fascination with Tarot really ignited, and deepened into a passion. When I give a reading to myself or another, I focus on the present, and how to better understand the issues in my current life. Often, we’ll ask for guidance on a specific problem or situation that we’d like help deconstructing. Or, we might look at what kind of energy surrounds the seeker’s life right now, and what kinds of life lessons they’re currently integrating. Both approaches have yielded helpful and supportive guidance from the Tarot.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of magic that happens during a Tarot reading. It’s not magic in the sense that the cards are imbued with some kind of otherworldly power and know more than we do as humans. Nope – the cards are simply paper. But I’ve discovered that if we ask the energy of the Divine (or God, or the Universe, or the Collective Unconscious) to work through the cards, amazing things happen. When we set that pure, heartfelt intention, the Tarot cards do appear in ways that feel magical. Regardless of the question or situation we’re considering, each card prompts us to reflect, look within, see things from a new perspective, or jolt us into recognizing a truth we’d been ignoring. Tarot cards don’t predict our future, and they don’t hold our secrets. The Divine simply uses them to help us see what we already know deep within. From that place of real empowerment, we can then take actions and make decisions that honor our soul’s wisdom.

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