Tarot Talk: Finding Meaning in the Cards.

Welcome back to another Tarot Tuesday! You can find the first ever Tarot Tuesday here.

Today, I want to bestow onto anyone who’s willing to listen, some realness. Instead of a spread, I’d like to discuss something that has been bothering me of late. There is a sickness traveling through our community, and it’s quickly becoming a global pandemic of epic proportions. From the fledgling witches who are just stepping out onto their brooms, to the seasoned witches who have been cackling at the moon for eons- I’ve seen it affect us all.

And, no, I’m not talking about the flu.

What I’m talking about is worse, and far more reaching. It’s an idea, and where it originated from I’m not sure, but it’s a dangerous one- and it needs to stop. This sickness is the concept that there is a right and wrong way of doing things in our craft, and that all beliefs or reasons that work for one person (or even a group of people) are the only way it’s allowed to be done.

Still one of my favorite Dustin Hoffman movies

This idea starts with a seed, planted in the beds of insecurity, and it grows with the watering of others who have either been taught in the same fashion, or who project their need of control onto the rest of us. However, what it grows into is a strangling vine of doubt; causing many of us to become a shadow of what we’re meant to and never fully experiencing the spiritual connection we hope for. Even worse, it can culminated into the reason someone leaves their craft behind entirely.

I have seen it a thousand times on YouTube, or even popular websites. Labelled as “Ten Things Every Witch Needs To Know”, or “You’re Not A Witch Unless…” all sales pitches aimed at making you feel less than for not already knowing what they know. When in reality, they learned it from someone else who learned it from someone else, who had no idea whether they were right or wrong to begin with.

It even infects esoteric groups and small interactions. People will ask if a particular stone can be used for an “abnormal” or personal correspondence and the responses will range from “no, use this stone instead” to “absolutely not”. I’ve seen questions from new Tarot readers that preface with the phrase “I’m sorry if this sounds stupid but…” simply because they’re afraid of being judged for not interpreting the cards exactly as someone else would- and seeing responses from snobbish people, demanding that there’s only one way, I completely understand why the need to put up such a wall before posting.

It hurts my soul, every time, to see demoralizing closed-mindedness in a group of people who are supposed to awakened.

Telling someone their spirituality is wrong is wrong, no matter what religious umbrella you stand under

I am usually the small voice shouting to the witch, or reader, or even the dieter (because this disease doesn’t just apply to our community, it’s rampant everywhere), that there is no right or wrong way to express your individual uniqueness. Its a wholly personal experience that can neither be confirmed nor denied until long after we’re dead (if even then)- so to propagate an idea, or opinion, as biblical fact is just cutting ourselves short! Unfortunately, both as a witch and a tarot reader, I’m usually barreled over by the loudmouths who discern that someone bestowed upon them the right to dictate what someone else does- and with gusto, even.

I’m here to tell you something what those loudmouths don’t want you to know: THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES.

Even the by-the-book interpretations of tarot cards are open ended, allowing us to mold them to fit the shape of our question and experiences. If we had cards that said “Karen, you will stub your toe on Tuesday the 5th” how the hell could we apply that to “What does my financial future look like?” Especially if our names aren’t Karen! Specificity and Correspondences are more like guides, ideas from another human being that came from either a divine source- or let’s get really real, their wallets. Gurus have been taking advantage of those of us trying to find answers in the vastness of the Universe for as long as there’s been exchangeable currency. There’s no rule anywhere in our spirituality that says you have to listen to any of them. Just like there’s no rule that says you can’t!

Now, let me clear- there is a difference between guiding someone or teaching them, and proselytizing them. If someone wants to learn why you think a certain way- why you light a green candle on Thursdays instead of Tuesdays, or why you think the Magician is the mot magickal card in the deck- by all means, explain away. However, be careful not to push your opinions as fact and, instead, allow your student the freedom to choose for their self; you’ll often see me preface my opinion with “for me, it works this way” or “personally, I feel..” because I don’t ever want make myself seem to be more than I am. If people disagree or choose not to see things as I do, that’s fine- neither one of us are more right or wrong than the other person. That’s the beautiful thing about the human experience- we have the freewill to select our realities!

The Magician, in my opinion, is the most Magickal card because it symbolizes the ability to create whatever you think. It’s the Manifestation card, and it means “that which I believe, I receive.”

And, there will be some people who say “but what about hard limits? You’re telling me you believe in murder and sacrificing children?” Um, no, David- I don’t. However, I don’t have to include that in my ideology of spirituality, because it’s also against the law. There are things you CAN’T do, and luckily for me, they’ve been written down since Hammurabi’s Code- so I don’t have to specifically list them for you here.

Putting that Art History degree to good use.

So, what does this mean when it comes to Tarot? It’s simple. Tarot is what you make of it.

I always tell people that the quality of your question will denote the quality of your answer- and that’s not because I’m some Tarot Snob who believes there’s only one way. I am a reader who understands that there are no definites in the cards- and I personally, don’t like reading them as such.

If you want to ask yes or no questions, by all means- do it! For me, generic answers are very hard to interpret openly- but it might end up being your specialty. My explanation and reasons for not asking them stem from my inability to see the cards as separate things. A ten of swords may seem like a no, but paired next to the Sun, I’m left wondering which card is more important to listen to. Instead, if I phrase the question differently, those two cards- along with one or two more- may give me the answer you’re most hoping for.

Does that mean you can interpret the cards your own way? Hell yes it does. I know several readers, who are scary accurate, who’ve never picked up a tarot book. They are intuitive readers only, and go based on what they feel the cards are telling them- not what some other person said they mean. In my practice, I do a bit of both. There are times when a card will mean exactly what the keywords say, and there are other times when it’ll mean something completely different- but still relevant to the read. Based on the feedback I receive, I’m highly accurate either way- and, it’s the freedom to use my intuition that allows this.

If you read my first Tarot Tuesday post, you know that for me, Tarot is a divine communication tool. For others, it might just be a stack of cards. No matter what it is to you, there is not a single soul out there who can tell you it’s wrong.

Great tools for those who want to learn with them, but absolutely unnecessary for those who don’t

Bear with me while I make an abrupt left turn that I promise will lead us back to the start:

I’ve always had a theory about Jesus, and if you know me, you’ve probably heard it before. Christians speak about their savor’s second coming- believing he’ll descend once again to save them before the apocalypse, giving rise to the mass exodus of souls from Earth and signifying the beginning of the end. However, I often wonder, with the way we treat our fellow humans, believing that we have the answers to everything in absolute fashion, if he wouldn’t be labelled a forgery before he ever got off the first words of the End of Times. People, and I’m not speaking of Christians as a singularity- I mean everyone who demoralizes others with their absolutes, would hear a man claiming to be the reincarnated Messiah and they would tell him all the reasons it couldn’t be so. They would believe so much in their absolutes that they would deny their own saving for the fear of being wrong.

Because, if we think about it- that’s why those nay-sayers with the stones, and the correspondences, and the cards scream so loud. They’re terrified that they’ve given faith to an idea that might not be true (or at the very least, uncertain)- and so they yell their absolutes with justifying fists of moralization, believing if they convert one more person to their side of things, it’ll tip the scales in their favor.

I’m here to tell you there are no scales. At least, I don’t think there are 😉

There is no answer that we can give that is right for all of us, and if we think about it- that’s pretty damn awesome. It proves that even though we are a singular species, we have undeniable individuality!

Learn your cards your way, interpret them your way, and grow from your experiences. The more you handle those cards, the more you get to know them and listen to them, the more accurate you will become.

Damned whether your interpretations come from a book or your guides- or straight out of your butt. If it works for you, my love, then I’m going to tell you what they won’t:

It works.

Until tomorrow, my friends…

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