Do you remember the first time you saw tarot cards? Do you remember when you fell in love with them? I do.
My college roommate and I threw a party. We were both non-trads, which is a fancy way to say â€śolder student,â€ť and we lived in a condo off-campus. At some point she pulled out this fancy, carved box. From it, she took out a bundle wrapped in black silk. She unwrapped the fabric and revealedâ€¦a deck of tarot cards! She didnâ€™t read with them herself, but instead just handed them around. I couldnâ€™t stop looking at them. I was just amazed. I read the scant instructions in the little white booklet. I shuffled the cards. I spread them out according to the directions. I read the cards. I told everyoneâ€™s fortune. I never questioned whether I was doing it right. I just did it.
This was the 3 of Cups phase of my relationship with tarot.
After that, I purchased or borrowed every book I could get my hands on and collected different decks. Even though I knew they were just pieces of paper with pictures on them, I knew that they represented so much more. I knew that through them secrets could be revealed. I knew that through the cards, I could discover entire worlds.
The funny and sad thing is that the more I learned, the less confident I became. The less clear the cards were. The more I read about them, the less I heard their voices.
This ended in my 10 of Wands phase.
The cards and I are doing pretty well now. I am working on my listening skills and they are willing to forgive my over-intellectualizing of them.
Reading the cards is, I think, a complex practice. It requires study, an understanding of the cards and all various nuances of meaning for each one. But it also requires an ability to listen with something other than the mind. When you lay down five cards, you have potentially thousands of possible permutations of meanings. How do you pick the right meanings to weave together? That is something the mind cannot tell you. Another part of you makes those decisions. What is it? Intuition? Psychic ability? Something like that, although Iâ€™m not entirely sure. After spending decades on studying books and books of meanings, I am finally working on learning to listen differently.
I think I am approaching my Temperance phase. Wouldnâ€™t that be lovely?
Whatâ€™s your tarot story?