Tarot, Best Buddies and Self-discovery...
‘’When the wise hear of the Tao, they recognise it. When the ordinary hear of the Tao, they ponder it. When the foolish hear of the Tao, they laugh at it. Without the laughter, the Tao would not be the Tao. Like the Tao, knowing seems like a contradiction; its light resides in darkness, its easiness is attained with difficulty, its purity is without ideals, its clarity is invisible. It cannot know of itself. Even when found it is formless, hidden and nameless. Getting it seems like losing it. Still, it nourishes and fulfils.Knowing is never quite knowing. It keeps escaping itself. Knowing seems like ignorance. Finding it is like losing it, like entering the Fool’s laughter.’’
The Tao of Being. Ray Grigg.
There is no doubt about it...
If you want to get the most and the best out of your Tarot cards then you have to become good friends, really good friends, if you can do that then you have acquired 78 best pals! Just like any other relationship, the depth of that friendship depends on just how much effort and mindfulness and affection you put into getting to know each other. If you love Tarot then Tarot will love you. I often marvel at how fortunate I have been. Because of my love of Tarot and my spiritual path I have been to some wonderful places, faced fabulous challenges, met interesting people and had fantastic moments of inspiration which have been sublime, stimulating and sometimes game changing.
I think it is also worth noting that Tarot is a language.
This language enables us to give a voice to spirit. One can see Tarot as an embodiment of spirit. When you have a relationship to Tarot then you have a relationship to spirit whether you are conscious of it or not! This is why you can consider Tarot to be a sacred tool that encourages self-discovery, personal growth and a worldly knowledge of all that is profound and purposeful. Lao Tzu sagely tells us that when we know ourselves we know the world.
You may find that each Tarot deck has its own personality.
Some decks like to work, others have a more ‘I wanna create’ vibe, others are more philosophical. Whatever your preferred deck or how vast your collection, the important thing is that you have a meaningful relationship with the cards.
So, how do we do that? Here are some pointers to help you along:
TAROT FINDS YOU, YOU DON’T FIND TAROT.
Although it’s nice to be gifted a deck and can be quite meaningful, we now live in times where there are such a lot of decks available. Go with the deck you most feel drawn to. Trust your intuition that this is the right deck for you and gift it to yourself!
We learn such a lot through playing with the cards. There has been such a lot of stuffy, superstitious theories about how to handle cards. It’s good to shuffle them, lay them out, try new spreads, read for your dog and the classic would be the bestie who has just been dumped, they ask the classic question, is he/she coming back? Go on, give it a whirl, what cards come up in this scenario. By the way, don’t forget the chocolate pie to accompany said friend’s dilemma!
Like any friendship it needs looking after and respecting. It’s ok to have them jostle about in your bag alongside all the gubbins that we chuck in there as well. It’s ok to wrap them in a tea towel because you don’t have the prescribed black silk. They are a part of you, an extension of your being.
Don’t forget to clean them. My favourite way of cleaning mine is to use a tuning fork that I regularly wave over the fanned deck. This breaks down stale energy imbibed by sticky hands and at the same time I can bring light into them. The tuning fork is also good for clearing spaces and chakra points.
FIND A REPUTABLE TEACHER.
I think that working intuitively with the cards is a good way of identifying with the feel and the imagery of your deck and certainly with intuitive perception you will find your unique meanings to the symbols. I feel it is a good move to find a teacher who will inspire you to truly develop your relationship to the cards on a wider, universal level. In order to do this it is worthwhile being guided through the archetypal traditional meanings to the cards and relate your own life experiences to them. The bonus of this is eventual self-mastery and insight.
JOIN A SOCIAL MEDIA TAROT GROUP OR MEET UP.
I know that this is not everyone’s cup of tea but if you have the inclination it could be worth it. Choose your group wisely, make sure that the banter is not just plain daft and it is administered well.
These groups can be a lovely informal way of connecting to your deck and reaffirming your insights. It’s also a great way of meeting like-minded people. Remember, the group emphasis should be on sharing information, your contribution counts as much as anyone else’s!
PICK A CARD OF THE DAY.
After your first cuppa of the day, take your deck and randomly draw one card, take note of what it is and maybe stick it up in a prominent place, the fridge door is as good a place as any, wherever it is, it should be somewhere that you can see it frequently. Keep your ears and eyes open. How does the card align itself to the day’s happenings?
KEEP A JOURNAL.
Note down these daily cards in a journal or notebook, add a summary of what occurred during the day, what was the outcome etc. Before too long you will have written your own Tarot guide book!
DESIGN YOUR OWN SPREAD.
Start by working a simple three card spread. Think about what you want to have greater clarity about. The art to a good reading is asking the right questions. What is the story? Once you have got acquainted with how you connect to the cards in your spread then you can progress by gradually increasing the questions and cards.
Sometimes we just want to know what are the general influences and trends that are flowing around us in the moment. Three cards should suffice. Working with your keywords as triggers to your deeper wisdom take the cards and see what and how they describe the energy of your current position.
Be prepared to grow. Own what you love about your path, enjoy the journey; the destination is not important.