Wednesday, 20 August 2014

5 Reasons to Read Tarot



Last week in 5 Reasons to Study Tarot I wrote about tarot history, occult symbolism, traditions, spiritual practice and entertainment. I said that 'reading' is just one aspect of tarot. But you know what -- it's a very good aspect!

5 Reasons to Read Tarot



1. Explore your inner world

Tarot can lead you to insights about yourself that you might never have otherwise considered. When we learn the archetypal meanings of tarot and begin to apply them to ourselves, we are forced to acknowledge aspects of ourselves that might have remained hidden from our awareness. For example, you might think of yourself as being a very emotional person who has trouble making decisions. Yet, when you ask the tarot to show you one of your greatest traits, you draw King of Swords. King of Swords! It contradicts who you think you are. This is your cue to explore ways in which you really are decisive, detached, and capable of making firm decisions based on your principles. The card invites you to think of examples of how you've been King of Swords in the past, and how you could apply his strengths in your life right now. It encourages you to remember that you are not just emotional or wishy-washy, but you have strength and steel in you as well. Drawing and pondering a tarot card has helped you make this realisation, a very powerful one indeed. (Image from Radiant Rider Waite).

2. Make connections 

Reading tarot can help you connect the dots in your life. Sometimes things just don't seem to make sense and don't seem fair, and tarot can give you tremendous food for thought in figuring things out. You can ask 'What is the lesson I am meant to learn from this?' or 'What is the reason this is happening to me right now?' or even 'What behaviour or attitudes on my part are leading this to occur at this time?' The tarot will offer you many ideas and suggestions to consider. For example, let's say everything seems to be going wrong at once. You've been told you might be made redundant at work, your boyfriend has lied to you and even though he's apologised you're still really pissed off, and you're getting hives all over. Why you!! You want to know. So you ask tarot -- What is the problem here?? And you draw 9 of Cups. What! The problem is contentment? But I'm anything BUT content!  Wait though -- you asked 'what's the problem here?' And if you work with the card, maybe, just maybe, the problem is created not by the events of your life (because you cannot control when you're made redundant or when your boyfriend makes a mistake or when your skin breaks out). Maybe the problem is how you're looking at life itself. Are you making an irrational demand that life always be 'perfect contentment?' If you're angry and upset and shaking your fist at the universe for handing you such crap -- why? Is there some cosmic law that crappy things will never happen to you? All human beings, to a greater or lesser degree, tend to make irrational demands of life, and one of these is that 'Life should always be easy and peaceful.' Tarot could be suggesting to you -- if you were to release this irrational demand, and accept that sometimes things don't go perfectly, would it be a relief to your mind and spirit? What if instead of demanding it be perfect, you instead focus on how it is still good - you still have a job and time to look for a new one, your boyfriend has apologised, you can get some skin cream from the pharmacy -- what's causing you to feel so bent out of shape? Maybe it's your reaction, your demand for 'perfect contentment.' 

Could you have made that connection on your own without the 9 of Cups? Maybe not as easily!
(Image from Robin Wood Tarot)

3. A framework for thinking about life

The Fool The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Deck is a part of the public domain, and all pictures for this article were taken personally by the Author.The structure of tarot, specifically the Fool's Journey, can give us a framework for aligning the events of our lives, and connecting them to our spiritual evolution. The Fool's Journey is a metaphor for our path through life, and once you learn it, you tend to apply it to everything! When pondering events, you realise you have just been experiencing part of your Fool's Journey -- that it's a normal and natural progression.
(Image from Rider Deck)

Here is an article and a video to introduce you to the Fool's Journey:






4. Think outside the box

Reading tarot can help you find creative solutions to your problems by encouraging you to look at your life from a completely different perspective. The cards are entirely randomised and when you draw a tarot card, no matter what your question, you will have to think hard about how the card applies to the situation. This forces you to move away from the worn path of your current thinking and stretch your mind around new perspectives. Now, this is where having a reading from someone else can help you, because sometimes our thought patterns become like hammers, and when we have a hammer, we tend to see everything as a nail. By that I just mean, we have a knack for interpreting the cards to reinforce what we already think. But if we are honest and draw from the full complement of meanings in the cards, we will certainly be led to looking at things from a new angle. You could do a journal entry detailing possible interpretations and spend some time ruminating upon those. This exercise will certainly take you outside your engrained thinking pattern. (Image from Wicca Moon Tarot)

5. See a bigger picture 

After all this navel-gazing talk, it's important to remember that reading tarot helps us see the bigger picture.Tarot constantly reminds us that we are not self-contained entities. We are connected to each other by our universal experiences and parallel spiritual evolution. Not only that, we are connected to every material object on this earth because we are made up of the same stuff. And even beyond that, we are connected to the entire cosmos, because where did the world come from but the dust of the galaxies? The tarot always holds these concepts at its heart. It never lets us forget these divine connections, this complete lack of separation, and in fact, works tirelessly to help us realise that there is no such thing as separation at all. All that from a deck of cards. (Image from Star Tarot)








6 comments:

  1. All the things I wish I had on the tip of my tongue to say to people who ask what tarot is all about... You put them so eloquently.

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    1. Thank you, Kate. That's very nice of you to say. :) Your website is lovely. x

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  2. The complexities, nuances and depth of the Tarot gives meaning to our lives as humans. It is really a remarkable thing indeed, and you express all of this in your post Carla.
    I have also felt a greater connection with those that I read for, and it gives me a deep sense of gratitude for this and that I was drawn to learning and studying Tarot cards.

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    1. Our lives may or may not have meaning depending on your cosmic view, but our lives are very important to us, and while I don't believe tarot itself gives meaning, it certainly provides a rich framework and versatile tool to help us reflect upon our lives - ourselves, our relationships, and what we want to do with our brief and marvelous moments under the sun.

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  3. There you go! Great post. While reading it, I came up with some great questions to help me figure out something that I am currently struggling with! Thanks. xo

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    1. Oh, that's excellent. I wish you all the best in finding your way forward. :)

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Share your wisdom, please! Comments welcome.