Reading the Cards
Anyone can read the cards, provided that they are willing to be honest and stay open
to receive guidance from within. If you can read a book, you can read the tarot.
But - never read the interpretations of the cards from a book when you are in the
process of a reading. This is a guarantee that your own intuition will become
suffocated. Trust yourself and look at the cards for your answers. There are many
levels of interpretations and your intuition will never unfold if you only wish to
have black-&-white answers to your questions. Reading the Tarot is learning to trust
your intuition. And the best way to learn is through practice and practice....
To get the most out of your tarot deck, each one of the cards should mean something
special to you. This should not begin and end with the traditional meaning given to
the card, but rather each should be an expression of some part of your own expeience
and have some special relevance for you. So ideally, you should begin living with
the cards, weaving their characters and the attitudes they portray into your
everyday life in much the same way that a child will do with his or her storybook
Actually strive to feel the heat radiating from the solar orb depicted in the Sun
card, or the cold mist rising from the waters in the foreground of the Moon card, or
the crack of thunder & lightning playing about the blasted Tower. Really invest your
imaginaton in the fantasy. This is where the secret of magical success lies.
There are many ways for shuffling and selecting the cards. We consult the tarot
through making a layout or spread. This is a symbolic, geometric diagram composed of
various positions representing questions or issues. The structure of a layout offers
a convenient, comprehensive and integrated way of reading the cards.
Eventually you will develop your own methods of consulting the tarot. Regardless of
which layout you choose to use, the main thing is to shuffle all the cards while
focusing on your question. In the final analysis, it is not so much the pattern of
the layout which counts but the frame of mind of the reader. Therefore, it is
desirable to achieve a feeling of detached, introspective calm, a wise passivity, as
it has been called.
Reading the cards is both a science and an art. The science is that of knowledge of
the cards, yet no matter how much you know about the cards themselves, when it comes
to doing a reading you have stepped into the realm of art. Interesting that the
Dictionary suggests that art is a nonrational process of knowing - the exercise of
intuitive faculties. Art also involves the "production of the beautiful", and truely
a reading can embody grace, harmony and balance - or can be awkward, limiting and
not flowing. Much depends on being able to see the reading as a unified whole, as
well as a collection of parts.
How can it be so accurate?
That is indeed the mystery of tarot. Theories of "synchronicity" or psychic powers
are intellectual explanations for this phenomenon. Reading the tarot helps you to
accept and live in harmony with the magic and mystery of the universe.
Is Tarot deterministic?
No - unless you want to read it in that way. Tarot, in presenting possibilities,
gives you information with which you can make choices. It therefore, assists you in
having greater control over your life. Tarot gives you power to either manifest or
deter what you see in the cards.
So does it tell the future? Both Yes and No. It indicates the probable future which
is a extension of your present. Once you have seen the possible future, your
awareness has already begun to alter it. Tarot is dynamic rather than deterministic.
This is why Tarot is like having a spiritual master with 78 faces in your pocket,
whom you can call upon at any time! You are being subjected to another order of
intelligence when you sincerely work with the cards. The Tarot Master may decide to
throw you certain cards to make you more aware of what you are doing. In this way,
Tarot is most definitely a teaching tool for self-evolution.
Divination and the Tarot
The first question anyone will ask you if you let it be known that you are
interested in tarot cards is, "Can you tell my fortune?"
What is the use of owning a deck if you don't know how to use it? Therefore, before
going into a deeper study of the tarot, nearly everybody starts with Tarot as a
But how can so many rational persons in our modern day believe that a deck of cards
could in any way accurately reveal the future or the solution to a tough problem?
If they do, and many highly intelligent people believe they do, then the key to the
riddle of why tarot should works probably lies within the mind of man himself rather
than any magic in the cards themselves.
In the ancient past, people spoke of other worlds, or the land of the Gods, today we
speak of the unconscious. The terms change, but the underlying experiences remain.
Methods used to contact the unconscious have not changed from those employed to
listen to the Gods thousands of years ago. The Gods speak through code, that is
divination. This could be a dream, trance, use of coins, the cards, in fact anything
could be used as a device to act as a bridge to conscious perception.
Divination is one of the oldest of tools for discovering meaning. To "divine" means
to discover the Will of the Divine. Divination means to observe signs and see them
as symbols, that is, as reflections of a higher meaning, images or representations
which point to something essentially unknown, a mystery. Divination therefore,
involves the apprehension of relationships on many levels, It points to a
multidimensional reality. Divination and Psychological insight go hand in hand,
because what is happening outside is linked to what is happening inside.
The one who can read these signs-as-symbols is a "Seer" - one who looks within. The
role of the Seer is to pierce with their inner gaze at least some of the veils that
mask the Divine.
Tarot - Overview