I have been reading tarot cards since I was small. It was just one of the many skills my mom taught both her daughters at an early age. Though it is not something that any of us often openly talk about. I have no doubt that this fact will come as a surprise to many of our close family and friends but it should not be taken as a slight against them.
Our collective silence is not a product of some secret pact, fear, shame or sense of modesty. It is simply a private and personal practice that all of us rarely see reason to bring up. None of us are fortune tellers and our purpose in practicing tarot is meditative rather than predictive.
It is not a party trick or fader for superficial conversation. Rather, we all consider it a personal tool that should be used in order to make sence of the events in our own lives.
It is also not something that any of us would ever deny to anyone, I know it’s a skill we all take immense pride in. But, like what kind of panties we have on- it is just no one’s business.
One of the reason I don’t talk about it in mixed company is that after years of dealing with the misconceptions of the masses I don’t want to bother with the task of setting the record straight. I have no desire to compete needlessly with decades of movies and popular myths.
For me (and us I think) it is not some sort of magical window on what is to come.
To me it is more like a still pool of water. If you sit calmly, it can reflect where you are and why- as well as the possibilities for the future.
When I was 12, my mom grew tired of us always using her deck and we got to pick out sets of our very own.
Even though I love the traditional decks and all of their spin-offs and revisions, I picked a set that was wholly original very different from the deck I learned on.
The Haindl version contains original images for each card (both major and minor arcana) it also uses Qabbalah, Runes, I Ching, and Native American symbols. I find it has grown with me. With each passing year the meaning behind each card deepens.
My attitude towards a reading with any deck has changed drastically over time too. When I was young, if I saw a card I deemed undesirable in a reading or just seeing a reversed card from the back, I would shy from it.
If the top card of a shuffle was reversed I would shuffle till the one I could see on top was right side up- even though the next cards could be upside-down.
I tried to control the readings into saying the things I wanted. Desperately trying to make the message fit my expectations. My OCD has a lot to do with that.
Now, I let the cards come as they will. Even the scary/negative ones seldom mean the worst (Death and the Devil are not the cards’ literal meanings.) Often the unfavorable aspects of the situation that these cards express offer the most useful insight.
As I was consulting them today, I realized how grateful I am to have this relationship with such an ancient practice. Another amazing gift my mom made sure my sister and I learned well- so that we would have a plethora of resources in our adult lives to draw from.
It has given me so much solace and understanding. My most intuitive and useful readings have always happened when I truly clear my mind and listen. Ultimately it has given me the skill of accepting the cards I’m dealt in the order they appear.
Even when the top card is upside-down.