Friday, July 25, 2014

Tarot Demystified

Tarot as something that isolates us vs something that connects us

This is something that I think about sometimes, and it just seems interesting to me that something that has so much potential to create and maintain connection in life (as does Tarot) can also have the opposite effect and disconnect people.
Of course there are still so very many superstitions, misconceptions and misunderstandings, and just faulty information out there about Tarot, and what it is and can or can't do.  It seems that because of that for most people who have no first  hand experience with it, and even for some who do, that is all they know. And it forms their beliefs on the topic. Which is why I write this column every month, to try to undo some of that and to show a more accurate vision of it. What we tend to see in movies and books that mention Tarot, when it is mentioned at all, tends to lean towards the negative and very inaccurately so.  
Eery/scary music and the Death card is pulled. And then sometime dies. When there ARE no negative card OR scary cards in Tarot. It's a tool designed to help us live our best lives, so what purpose would it serve to include that kind of thing in such a system?  And no the Death card does not mean actual death. That is not even it's meaning at all. And no the cards cannot make anything happen and anything they do show in the future can pretty well be changed if you decide we want to change it. There really is nothing scary about it, in reality. Tarot is a tool to help us create and live our best lives. And an excellent one, at that.

Unfortunately though, because of all these misconceptions and some mistrust that comes from them, the beautiful tool that is Tarot does at times seem to disconnect us, even though it has enormous potential to do just the opposite.  I know very few readers who openly just tell anyone and every one that they read the cards. Most of us have grown a bit wary of the reactions we may get.  And pick and choose who we let in on our little secret.  
And that is sad a bit.  I probably would not volunteer that information on a job interview for example, or when first meeting my potential in laws.
In my experience, when I do tell people there are a variety of reactions. Some people are actually accepting and even fascinated by it. I've also gotten a lot of just plain misunderstanding. It's happened to me a number of  times that I tell someone I am a Tarot reader and they thrust out their hand to me, palm side up and ask me to read their palm. It's almost a bit funny I have seen this happen so many times. I then tell them I do not read palms, I read Tarot. And they just stare at me blinking as if I just told them I was about to fly around the room. :-)
And then you get the people who get angry about your being a reader. And some even quite  insulting, about how you can be so stupid as to get into that. (sigh)
And you get the looks to mistrust and fear, The people who back away and look at you funny. Or the ones who try to warn you and beg you not to get involved with reading the cards, as don't you know that is voodoo, or connection to something negative. Which believe me NONE of this is true. Just more misconceptions and superstitions.
So yes, unfortunately, being a reader still in this day and age can separate us. Telling people you are a reader, can serve to push them away from you. It can create a wall or barrier between you. Many of us have loved ones too who reacted rather badly to us becoming readers and it created some discord between us. I personally had a lot of that with my mother and boyfriend.  It's unfortunate, because it's so unnecessary, and the reasons for it are all based in misunderstanding.
But yes, Tarot can also be a great tool to create and maintain connection in our lives. And that can be and is an amazing and empowering thing. Of course there is the connection between the querent (person the reading is being done for) and the reader. But Tarot can bring a sense of connection to each of them individually as well.
Tarot can be used to ask about how to better our relationships, how to resolve conflicts, how to better and more deeply understand loved ones, how to have more patience, how to feel better in any life situation....the questions we can ask are almost endless. The answers we get in these types of readings help of deepen our relationships and our connection to the people in our lives.

Questions about our life purpose can help us connect more to that purpose. And direct questions about our connection, eg about our connection to nature, can help us sense that connection more deeply as well. And just seeing Tarot at work, seeing it work, infers that there is something in life we can connect to that will answer us if we ask. Seeing that in action can help strengthen our belief in and connection to that (although opinions vary greatly as to exactly what that is.
Being a reader (and even the act of learning to read) is greatly connecting as well. It can connect you to parts of life you never knew existed, beautiful wondrous parts.  It teaches you about, and connects you more deeply to the "magic" within yourself. We all have it, it's part of what it means to be human. But Tarot is a tool that brings it out and strengthens it.  There is something magical about the cards telling you the exact right answer. And as a reader that answer is coming from and though you. The cards are just paper. The magic is something coming through you. You are the one who finds inside you how to connect to that. And that truly feels magical.
I've found that being a reader gives you a deeper understanding of life and a deeper connection to the world. For me that is a side effect of being a reader. And a good positive one. As I need to be in an open calm state of mind to connect and read, it keeps up to date on my meditations, which is even more connecting.

Reading Tarot is very much one of life's greatest and most fascinating gifts to us. And it tends to lead us to curiosity to open up and explore other areas of who we are as humans. We all have the ability to make that connection with us. The cards are a tool to let us do that. And when you do do that, worlds open up to you. Worlds or wonder that you never imagined existed. 
Coming next month: Sharing our hopes and dreams (and sometimes what lies beneath them)

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