What does work mean?
Does it mean telling someone they’ll be rich or marry well? Many people wanted me to read their cards to learn just that. I always disappointed that group.
Or does “work” mean that the Tarot offers another means of self-discovery?
There are a couple of scenes in my novel Defiled: The Consecration of Jacob Jordaens, where the characters consult the Tarot.
I thought I’d use this email to tell you what the Tarot means to me.
In following my Builders of the Adytum Curriculum (the relevant two posts are: What happened riding the Red Line from Harvard Square? and The Red Line Pamphlet: What was inside? , I became interested in Tarot. I did many hundred readings, even engaging in psychic-fair marathons.
I accepted I had a certain sensitivity about people’s character. Not that I thought that there were mysterious forces pulling cards out of the deck that would allow me to be a medium to reveal the person-sitting-across-from-me’s future.
No, it was more that the layout allowed me to build a connection with the other person, and to organize my thoughts into coherent statements that I thought might be helpful.
I don’t think Tarot can read the future, except in the sense that character is destiny.
If a layout shows a warning about a particular weakness manifesting, like uncontrolled anger, it’s not that unlikely that uncontrolled anger will cause problems for that person in the future.
The Tarot gave warnings rather than statements of what will happen.
One of my readings could take as long as two hours to complete. During that time, I sensed how someone was reacting to what I was telling them. Sometimes they’d be excited, as if the insight was brand new. Sometimes they’d become nervous, as if they didn’t want to hear what they knew was true. Finally, sometimes they’d resist and reject everything I was saying.
Forceful resistance or rejection was often a clue that I had hit a nerve. I’d back off and return later with another example from another area of their life, hoping to connect.
At times my hunch would be wrong. I’d admit the misinterpretation, and a deeper dialogue usually followed.
I made it clear that a reading was not about proving I had superordinary ability. I had studied human psychology, both formally and on my own, had a certain interest and desire to help others understand themselves better, and seemed to have an intuitive sense about character. This intuitive sense is probably why my fiction is so character- rather than plot-oriented.
Finally, this article, from Quora, best summarizes how I think the Tarot can be a potent tool for self-reflection and discovery.
So, do Tarot cards actually work? I have to ask again, what do you mean by work? For me, it was a an interesting way to link conscious intellectual thinking with what lay beneath in the subterranean recesses of the mind. It had nothing to do with fortune telling.
Until next time.