Last week, I had an intriguing conversation about my latest blog post. In the post I had touched on my belief that the cards can be a tool for connecting to the divine energy, or to whatever that “higher power” concept may mean to each of us. After he read it, my friend J commented:
I just don’t think they are imbued with, or are a conduit to, any magical or supernatural powers. Which is why I’m so skeptical of people making life decisions based upon what the cards say. I’m only comfortable when the decisions are arrived upon based on their own rational conclusions and not because they think “God” spoke to them through the cards.
This was such a great prompt for me to dive into the mystical, mysterious side of Tarot and clarify my own beliefs along the way. So thank you, J!
First, I did mention in the post that I don’t believe the cards themselves are inherently magical. I don’t feel the need to protect cards by keeping them away from people or places where they might absorb negative vibes, as I doubt they hold onto energy long-term, any more than the table we sit at or the cars we drive do. But in a Tarot reading, I do feel a connection to divine energy is coming through, and I think it’s mainly due to the intention we set of inviting it in. This doesn’t happen exclusively during a reading, of course; the cards are just one tool we can use to connect with that energy more clearly. When we quiet our minds and set the intention to connect with our inner wisdom, we allow the cards to be the portal inside, in that moment.
I see two sides to how the divine connection presents itself in readings. The most obvious is in the cards themselves, in the synchronicity of the perfect message showing up exactly where we need to see it. I don’t know how divine energy connects to card shuffling and deck cutting, but in my experience there’s something going on besides randomness. A few cards come up all.the.time in readings for myself and others, almost to the point that it’s rare to have a reading without one of them. Then there are several I’ve seen only once or twice. Sometimes I associate a card with a person and then see it in their reading, or I pull the same card when asking a similar question for several different clients. While I believe we can create a meaningful reading from any combination of cards that arise, that something that presents just the right cards is what gives the reading its power to inspire, change, and even heal us.
Which leads to the other side of a reading’s divine connection: the revelations the cards inspire within us. I say “within” because, to answer the title question, I don’t don’t believe the divine uses cards to speaks “to” us. But I do believe, when we’ve set the right intention, they will spark a conversation within our mind and heart that is more centered, present, and truthful than we might be with ourselves otherwise. So in that sense the cards do indeed help us find answers – answers we already know on some level, but perhaps haven’t had the perspective to see clearly. The beauty and richness of Tarot is that each can card evoke a whole network of energies, situations, people and emotions, beyond what any book or reader can tell you. So the meaning of any card is constantly evolving, and is determined by your reaction to it at this moment in life.
Whatever we call it, it’s fascinating to ponder how divine energy interacts with us in our everyday lives and in a sacred space like a Tarot reading. What is the force at play in that moment we set our intentions, that sheds light on our inner world, at times with startling accuracy? That is a mystery, and as much as I enjoy pondering such mysteries, I don’t feel the need to rationally know how or why it works. This is the magic that keeps drawing me back to Tarot each day.