I have to start off with this disclaimer: Tarot is not fortune-telling. There are many people who believe that it is fortune-telling in its literal definition, however, there are some differences.
Tarot is a guidance, a set of cards that taps into what is already in your subconscious and tells you what you don’t know you already know. There are some very talented people out there who can turn what they see in the cards into a fortuitous telling, but the cards themselves are simply a tool. What these people do is use their own intuitive or clairvoyant talents in combination with the cards, but even for them, the cards act as a guide for their intuition.
Then what exactly is the tarot?
I already mentioned that the cards are a tool, but more explicitly, it is a set of 78 cards with specific imagery that connects the conscious self to the subconscious self, or the mental, physical world self to the spiritual self. The images in the cards show the querent—the person asking the question—what they need to know.
I want to point out the important note in that last sentence: a reading shows what the querent needs to know. This might not be the answer to their direct question, but instead can be the key to finding the answer to their question on their own.
I was once facing a big move with a partner. I was quite nervous about the move since our means of income at the time had fallen through, I didn’t have enough money saved up, and then I got slammed with a hospital bill (it was minor compared to what it could have been, but certainly set me back). We weren’t just moving out of town, across the state, or across the country—we were moving across the ocean. I was worried about money. But the plane tickets were bought, the plan already in motion, and to stop it would put us at a bigger loss than we were already at.
I turned over card after card searching for something that said it would be alright, looking for a suggestion of how to fix it, seeing if there was anything at all that was telling us just not to go—any answer at all! And to my frustration, the cards kept pointing me to look at my love life, and to consider the possibility of an abundance of love. I just couldn’t understand it.
But time reveals all.
As it turned out, that ‘abundance of love’ was actually the end of my partnership when I discovered he was more invested in polyamory than he was in monogamy (Note: I don’t have anything against it, but it’s not my relationship style, and more importantly, it wasn’t what I agreed to in the relationship).
Little did I know there was more than one partner involved in the relationship I thought I had. Once I got over the shock of it, I realized that I had known for a while that this was coming, or something like it was on its way.
What’s more, the cards did tell me, I just wasn’t open to seeing what they were telling me.
The result was that I made the move somewhat on my own, and it resolved my money problems. It’s a lot cheaper to look after one person than it is two during an uncertain leap like that one.
This is why I say that Tarot is not fortune telling. It’s a tool to tune in to the inner self and understand what it is you need to know, what can be shown to you to help you on your journey.
If you want a device for fortune telling, I recommend the Lenormand, another card reading form that can be extremely literal (It once told me to look out for a car accident. I shrugged it off, but two days later found myself writing off my car after a messy hail storm). One day I’ll write about this style of reading, but not yet. For now, my focus is on the tarot.