“From the crucible of bitter experience, our soul becomes tempered like gold.’’
It is said that we do not find Tarot, Tarot finds us...
and in my case, this is definitely true. I was a cosmic young woman. My head in the clouds, interested in all things spiritual. My dabbling took me to Buddhism, Spiritualism, Aliens, Herbalism, Wicca, numerology, Goddesses and everything in between. You name it, I was into it. I had an old head on young shoulders and, with hindsight, I can see that I was in constant contact with other realms of thinking. Some would call it the higher self or Spirit or even Spirit consciousness. Whatever it was (and still is) it inspired me, taught me many things and shaped who I am today. It was very much the Ace of Swords.
The connection to all that is was an opportunity to step back from the drudgery of getting by as a lonely single parent and adopt new perspectives through a fresh lens. My daughter was born prematurely and had several physical challenges. The relationship between me and her Hare Krishna devotee father had broken down, largely due to economic stress and each of us fighting off our respective demons. Sometimes I wonder if the demons won.
Life was hard
Money was always a challenge and I had very few friends. I was new to the area I was living in and having a small and needy baby was not conducive to getting out there and socialising. I was 23. Again, with hindsight I can see that this was all part of the training for what I do now. I was on the frontline and I was becoming a first class survivor.
It is my opinion that Tarot readers are very special. They are the people who have accepted the contract of a testing physical life and then turned these lessons of being in the physical world into a resource, and indeed a documentation, of humanity at large. I remember no carpets on the floor, very little furniture, a mattress and a carrycot. I considered myself lucky to have a TV, although it was a black and white portable which had split down the middle and was held together by duct tape. Such luxury!
Being a bit cosmic and having a spiritual language was enormously helpful. I have wondered if there was an element of escapism involved, but I also realise that spiritual language allows us breathing space, bringing a sense of calm and hope to seemingly insurmountable problems. Life teaches us through experience the necessity of developing spiritual qualities such as courage, hope, faith and determination. Our will is honed through these experiences and nothing is ever wasted.
It was a sunny day, too nice to stay in. I strapped my daughter into her buggy and we set off for the park. Rambling around the duck pond I bumped into a tall, blonde stranger. My Knight of Wands. He was an adventurous type, broad minded, open and clever. A risk taker, which made him ever so exciting, and he made me laugh. We became a couple. Life was fun and exhilarating. We were like kids and my daughter thrived in this hectic, zany and uplifting environment. I was happy.
It is funny how life pans out.
We went on to have two daughters of our own, needless to say I am incredibly proud of my girls and we are still very close. My girls were not the only thing I received from him.
One day, he gave me something very special, something that was going to wire itself to every aspect of my life. He thrust a box into my hand. He announced that he didn’t understand them, he didn’t want them and I would probably love them. In the box was a deck of Spanish Tarot cards (based on the Marseille Tarot design). It was indeed love at first sight. I instantly knew that these cards were going to be a huge part of my life and I set about the task of trying to understand them. I still have the copy of The Tarot by Alfred Douglas. It sits on my shelf, dog eared and battered. Learning the pips without artistic imagery has stood me in good stead and Mr Douglas’ wise observations have laid the foundations for what is now my life purpose.
It is difficult to explain how I knew Tarot was going to be such a major aspect of my incarnation, but I trusted my intuition and have never looked back.
The relationship between my partner and I began to deteriorate. Life’s challenges were once more stacking up and he turned to drink to help him through. Eventually we came to a very difficult place and long story short, arguments and violence became the norm. I had to get out. The well being of my young daughters was paramount. I had nowhere to go and no money to go with. So it was that I found myself in a Women’s refuge. I unpacked our scant belongings into our one room, making it as cosy as possible. Amongst the essentials were my Tarot cards.
Life in the refuge was not a picnic.
No-one was at the refuge because they chose to be. At its busiest the house had 8 women and 15 children. Each of us had one shelf in the cupboard and one shelf in the fridge. Woe betide anyone who thought that they had an entitlement to more. There was one washing machine for all of us and some days the rota was forgotten and arguments, sometimes very fierce ones, would break out. Everyone was under so much pressure. Life was a roller coaster ride and emotions were often running high.
The stigma of being in the ‘battered wives home’ hung over us like a thick pall of dark fog. It could and did get scary when an assailant would get wind of the address of the refuge. At such times, we women would put our differences to one side and support each other. These occasions were filled with The Star energy; hope, a sense of purpose and fulfilled dreams. When the children were in bed we would sit around the big old kitchen table and put our world to right.
Early readings and my developing Tarot insights.
When a disagreement erupted in the house, I would get out my Tarot cards with the book balanced on my knee and offer sagacious words. Developing Tarot insights with my psychic faculty turned up high, I would do my best to mediate and repair flagging friendships.
My Kitchen Table Tarot sessions were remarkable in so far as they lifted the intense emotions, a constant backdrop in the house. The women loved having their cards read and it provided new and exciting topics for conversation. I was always thrilled when someone would uncover a new area of interest or have a personal epiphany moment. Best of all when one of us might get a message that their predicament would soon be coming to an end, tears of joy would flow and one could look forward to a new chapter of stability and peace. I reflect on those early readings and those women with great affection. It was raw but honest. Real life. I feel very privileged to have met those girls. In many ways they were my first spiritual teachers.
Life has taught me much, and to that end, so has Tarot. It has been my path to observe Tarot from a psycho-spiritual perspective. I am interested in the journey of the spirit in human form. By working with our own life material with Tarot we can truly become our own masters. By allowing experiences to flow throughout our understanding of Tarot we can truly relate to the cards not just as archetypes but as living dynamics. Allow life to show you the way, our spirit is not ethnic to us but an important part of our whole being.
A question to ask yourself could be, in what way do I demonstrate my wholeness today?