The Tarot represents the journey of human experience. Over the past seven centuries, Tarot has enjoyed its own journey, from its humble beginnings during the Renaissance as a card game played by nobility to its somewhat less exalted reputation as a fortune-telling tool common at carnivals. Today, the Tarot still fascinates and continues to evolve in exciting ways.
During the last twenty years or so, the Tarot has been enjoying its own renaissance. Not so long ago, there were only a few decks, and those decks were used mainly to tell fortunes. Now, there are hundreds of decks.
Tarot As Art Form
In addition to the cards themselves, there is the using of them. The Tarot is a wonderful divinatory tool—and much more. In this article, we will explore the rich and exciting world of Tarot. You will learn many ways to use the Tarot to enhance and enchant your life. Fortune-telling or divination are two of the most popular uses of the Tarot. Besides discussing divination, we'll explore how the Tarot can help solve problems, add variety and depth to meditation, and focus spell working. Tarot is also an excellent tool for changing your life through self-improvement, healing, journaling, and more.
Tarot As Magic
Telling the Future
Tarot expert and scholar Mary K. Greer in The Complete Book of Tarot Reversals says this about Tarot readings:
"A Tarot reading is about becoming aware of what you are creating with your current attitudes and choices. It can help you make new, conscious decisions based on what you have clarified and affirmed in the reading. While some situations are more difficult to change than others, every decision made and every action taken creates a new future."
Considered in this light, a Tarot reading is certainly a magical act. The Tarot has a way of illuminating alternate possibilities and helping create a path to achieve those possibilities.
Greer sees reversals as a portal to the other points of view.
"They allow us to go beyond the limits of the known. In offering further possibilities and insights that are not immediately apparent, they provide an opportunity to reach beyond logic and lead us into the realm of potentials and underlying causes where everything is connected and magic happens. We are invited to look beyond the obvious to a place of richer meaning."
Reversed cards have this numinous power because of our habit of seeing archetypes as having positive and negative manifestations. Because we create these dichotomous images and then denigrate the negative (assigning them to the reversed cards), we are less comfortable, less able to navigate this realm. Greer continues:
"Our attempt to split a card’s meanings through the use of reversals tends to throw us into the unconscious realm where fear and the shadow dwell, along with other fringe or culturally unsanctioned modes of operating, such as the shamanic and the magical. Yet, it is through knowledge of the tension between the opposites that we sharpen our sensitivity and increase our self-awareness."
Tarot As Meditation
Greer provides twelve ways of interpreting reversed cards. One way is the "unconventional, shamanic, magical, humorous" method, which could be extremely useful for meditation as well as divinatory interpretations.
"The shamanic or magical view, in particular, asks you to enter the card and journey in an Alice-in-Wonderland realm in order to bring back a vital message or understanding. It suggests viewing things from a different perspective than that of the ordinary world, and assumes that what we normally view as a metaphor is a living reality, and that what we call reality is merely a dream. This view represents the 'esoteric,' that is, secret or hidden, teachings."
If your meditation practice seems in need of revitalization, try meditating on a reversed card and see what adventures await you.
Barbara Moore (Saint Paul, MN) has studied and read tarot since the early 1990s. She wrote the bestselling Tarot for Beginners and more than a dozen other books, and she has contributed to many bestselling tarot kits, ...