Why do we use Tarot?
"Poems reach up like spindrift and the edge of driftwood along the beach, wanting! They derive from a slow and powerful root that we can’t see. Stop the words now. Open the window in the centre of your chest, and let the spirits fly in and out."
Today for me is ‘Let’s celebrate Tarot day!’
I shall take out my collection of decks, blow the dust off some of them and wander down the endless corridors of fascination as I reacquaint myself with the images, the smell, the feelings and the weight of the cards in my hand. I will snuggle into the feelings of awe as they rise up in my being and for a moment I shall be that neophyte once more standing, as the Fool, on the precipice of a new beginning, a journey into the unknown.
I have had the privilege of Tarot in my life for 35 years.
I never cease to be amazed by the sheer truth, beauty and frank audacity of the images; how they all work together and how they speak to us of life itself on many levels and in all its glory.
Papus, allegedly said that if we were deserted on an island without anything but a Tarot deck, we would not need for books, the cards contain all wisdom and information that we would ever require.
Ibn Arabi stated that the archetypes came from the logos of the Earth and have been ‘alive’ since the beginning of time...who am I to argue with the masters?
I have said many times that Tarot finds you.
When those cards pitch up in your life you just know that this is going to be a lifelong friendship. Indeed I never stop learning, I never stop being enthralled by the inspiration and insight offered from a deep well of language, signs, symbols and dreamscape.
Tarot gives the unconscious part of ourselves a language.
The unconscious longs to merge with the conscious world but has no language to do so. The unconscious speaks in images, pictures from a gallery of millions of years of human evolution. Tarot assembles these images into some sort of cohesion and in effect we are giving the unconscious, spirit, a voice. If we think that the unconscious is largely responsible for the world we create then to have a dialogue with the secret entity of the deep unknown is an absolute gift.
Those pieces of cardboard suddenly become a valuable dynamic in understanding the nature of the world we have inherited. We can see how to deal with the chaos we have been born into and how to give structure, meaning and clarity to what would otherwise be a swirling miasma of experience.
So, why do we use Tarot? Use it for what?
The Tarot journey is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The images hold up a bold mirror that reflects the self to the self. We can see all our cycles, circumstances, achievements and pitfalls, we learn that nothing is random; all that we do is a chain of events that link us to where we are now.
Tarot is especially wonderful at provoking thoughts around energy, will power and how or when we utilise these...or not!
Over the years, I have witnessed profound shifts in the seeker and student alike.
The shift has enabled people to move forward, to harness galloping horses, to recognise their place in the grand ephemeris and to own their essence as a person.
One of the beautiful aspects of Tarot is that reading cards bring texture and contour to our understanding, a weaving of threads, uniting many layers into a whole. We are reminded that there is no such thing as a two dimensional life, unless of course we choose it.
I drew a card for today, something symbolic from the collective mind, to demonstrate the multifaceted imagery in a card. It is the 5 of Cups.
I must admit, my first reaction was to put it back and draw another. I didn’t want to pursue crisis as the fives often are. However, that would not be honouring the versatility and synchronistic value that is Tarot.
This 5 has its own power, a power that can be troublesome, spelling regret and sorrow. We are being asked to review our circumstances, do we honour our emotions or do we scatter them to the wind and hope for the best?
We are reminded that it is wise not to give our love away but to give it to those that deserve it. Do we love too much? Are we perpetuating a cycle of emotional unavailability grounded in our childhood experiences?
It is surprising how many people who work for charities, the public sector or who volunteer receive this card. Through pain we learn how to love.
Pain changes us, then comes release.
There is a spiritual lesson in this card; everything passes, we are able to express our story, there is still much to look forward to, the divine spirit can still hear us. When we recognise this we can be free from our suffering. We can then be of service to others.