My new Tarot deck I ordered is coming in today! I’m really excited to open it up and meet my new cards. My journey into the world of Tarot began about 3 years ago, around the same time I started my general exploration of the occult, and this is the third deck I’ve purchased. From the moment I got my first deck, I formed a strong attachment to my cards and they began to take on a life of their own. Most of what I’ve read on Tarot mentions that you need to protect them and treat them with respect, almost treating them as individual entities. My personal experience with the cards has taught me that yes, they do require respect, regardless of whether you see them as simple cards or actual energetic forces. My personal belief is that the only energy that resides within the cards, if any, is the personal energy that I impart into them. I feel like anybody can read Tarot cards, as the archetypal themes are universal, but it takes an opening of the mind and spirit to be able to use the images to interpret their meanings. Even after the few years I’ve been using my cards, my understanding of them continues to change and evolve reflecting the personal changes I’ve experienced in my own life. It seems that the wisdom that lies within the cards is limitless, and by using different decks it adds to the meanings of each card depending on the style and imagery of the deck.
I was reading a recent post by Frater Acher over at My Occult Circle that discusses using the Tarot as a foundation for all of our spiritual work, and it got me thinking about my own relationship to the cards. When I look back now at the progression of this spiritual journey I’ve been on, Tarot has been there since the beginning and continues to function as a guide through every step of the way. The struggle to find a solid base to build from has been a consistent burden while I’ve gone from book to book trying to find the perfect teaching that will guide my next step. I’ve gone from Wicca to Ceremonial Magick to general Witchcraft and then back to Wicca, feeling dizzy from all the bouncing around and not realizing that what I was trying to find has been with me all along. I’ve confused my need for stability with a desire for new knowledge, and in doing so I haven’t been able to build a solid personal practice that is uniquely me because I’m constantly looking to others to fill that void. Both needs have their proper place in my life, but it wasn’t til now that I realized they both have different ways of being fulfilled.
Without being properly initiated into any magical group setting, the stability required to build a proper magical practice must come from internal sources rather than external structures. This is where Tarot plays such a crucial role in teaching me the basics of all magic, and even life as a whole. Regardless of the history and origins of the cards, I can’t deny the significance and beautifully perfect system found within those 78 cards. They operate on so many levels that anytime I need advise, a word of encouragement, or even a slap on the hand, they always come through and I find myself aligned with the universe. Going even beyond the technical aspects of the cards, Frater Acher discusses that using Tarot allows us to test our assumptions and build relationships with our inner guides that will direct us on the correct path to chose. That’s something that no one book will ever be able to teach us. Most of the books written today, although insightful and educational, can only teach us based on another’s experience. In order to mature and build my own practice, I will need to search within, using Tarot as my guide. The knowledge acquired from books allows me to see what others have experienced and learn from their wisdom so that I may travel out on my own to create experiences unique to my life.
It’s been almost two months since I decided to put witchcraft aside and continue expanding my studies, but I can’t ignore the yearning in my heart to return to the path that pulls at my heart. Last night I pulled out my Tarot cards to receive any welcomed advice from them, and they were eager to answer me. The first card I pulled was the 4 of Swords, and I immediately realized that it was time to put all these worries to rest. A spiritual path can have moments of confusion, but my mind shouldn’t be cluttered with the stresses I’ve been carrying around lately. My next step was clear, knowing that I have to lay it all on the table and give up whatever is weighing me down. The next card I pulled was the 8 of Wands. This card has always been a difficult one for me to read, but in referencing my Tarot book the keywords “momentum” and “flow” stuck out to me. I then realized that once I lay all these worries and thoughts aside, only then will I be able to flow with the current of my path leading me forward. I pulled the third card, and there She was.. the Queen of Cups. Now I know that there are so many ways to interpret the Court cards in the Tarot, and I see the validity in most of them, but the Queen of Cups has always been my direct connection with the Goddess. I can’t explain it, it’s just one of those personal things, but I always know she’s around when I pull that card. I immediately felt at peace, knowing that she’s been with me all along, and that I never was too far away from home. My studies in magic and hermeticism will most definitely continue, but I just need a little more paganism back in my life.
I hate days when I wake up with all intentions to have a great day, then I sit down in front of my altar only to find I’m all alone. I can’t understand my Tarot cards, my mind becomes so scattered I can’t even meditate, and I reach out to the gods only to find that nobody is answering. What do you do in those moments? I’ve grown up enough to know that it’s not that my cards are “broken” or the gods have turned there backs on me, it’s just their way of waking me up a bit. I get so comfortable in my everyday life, and I’m so blessed, but comfort can be such a dangerous thing when living a magickal life. Comfort makes us vulnerable, relaxed, and we definitely let our guard down. No, I’m not saying we don’t need to relax every so often, I’ll be the first to say I love just chilling out, but I should be grateful to know the universe keeps me in check and lets me know when its time to get back to business. So instead of getting down on myself for feeling disconnected, I can be reassured that I’m doing something right, and the gods are making sure I continue to grow.