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Expanding the Tarot

I was stuck when deciding what to write about for this post. So I decided I’d consult the Cards. Using the Wild Unknown Tarot, I pulled Strength.

I reflected on the lion holding the rose in the card, and considered what Strength was asking of me in this situation. Sure it’s about bringing out compassion and using that as a form of strength/resistance/resilience, but what else?

When placed in the realm of humans, lions are seen as powerful beasts that are predators first and foremost, and thus they’re dangerous. Yet this card shows an animal with calm, docile eyes, holding a rose in his mouth, and an infinite symbol on his brow. The sun shines over him. He is a peaceful creature.

Understanding is a strength, and to find it in the lion, we have to put aside our assumptions and look at it differently.

The Tarot is the same way.

How Tarot is Often Known

If you’re a regular follower of my blog, you’ll notice that I use the Tarot for writing-related purposes. This is a connection I’ve seen since I started reading when I was 17, and then finally found a book on years later. Using Tarot as a writing tool has become increasingly popular as the cards themselves have increased in popularity.

This is just one of the alternative uses for Tarot.

For many, the Tarot is simply a divination tool used for prediction. It’s to know whether or not s/he’ll take you back, if the unborn baby will be a girl or a boy, if you’ll get the job, when your sister might get married, and so on.

It still carries with it the stigma of fortune-tellers in traveling shows, draped in wispy clothing, face shielded behind a hood, and a crystal ball to the side of the Tarot table. This view, while somewhat intriguing and mystical, thus alluring, creates a lot of myths about the Tarot as well.  To this day I have people ask me if Death means they’ll die.

This, also, unfortunately, gives the impression of scam artists as well. However, Tarot readers, as a whole, are not scam artists, it should be noted.

Which is why the normalization of Tarot is essential, and with that, comes the expansion of its uses.

The Tarot is a tools that has a wider variety of uses that aren’t tapped into nearly as much as they should be. I think of Tarot a lot like Microsoft Word (stick with me on this one).

Everyone knows that Word is used for typing up and formatting documents on Windows-run computers. But this is just the surface of what it’s capable of. For example, did you know that if you use the Styles feature at the top of the document that you can create a Table of contents that will link to different parts of the document? Or did you know that if you click on the Learning Tools option under the View tab that you can have your document read to you? Did you also know that I create all of my spread images in Word?

It’s a very diverse and multi-faceted program, which makes it absolutely invaluable to me as a content-creator.

Tarot is the same way. When you spend enough time with the Tarot and really work with it and look at it in different ways, you see that there is so much more to it than surface-level interpretation.

Tarot for Creativity

I’ve already talked about how I use Tarot for my own writing, and shared how you can go as far as structure and begin to edit your novels or short stories via the Tarot. I regularly post writing prompts that I develop via a 2-Card spread.

In A Tarot-Inspired Life, Jaymi Elford goes over the various ways Tarot can inspire creativity within the practitioner, including creating Tarot Bags, using the Tarot as alter pieces, using them as talismans, etc.

The Tarot Lady, Theresa Reed, created a coloring book designed to relax and put you in a meditative space in regards to the Tarot Cards. It engages your creative side of the brain with your analytic side of the brain.

Tarot for Healing

This of course doesn’t mean physical healing. I think the most that your Tarot cards are going to tell you is maybe to seek a medical professional or to rest, regarding your physical health.

However, as a therapy, Tarot is an extremely powerful tool. Lindsey Mack makes her entire profession about Tarot as medicine, and does a beautiful job of it. I highly recommending checking out and binging her podcast, Tarot for the Wild Soul, if you haven’t already done so.

Meditation

Meditating on the meaning of a card can bring you insights and understanding in your own journey. As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, through meditating on Strength, I was able to find another understanding of the card. If I were to apply the meaning of the card to my own life I would be able to crack open another meaning.

Healing is done through self-reflection, and reflection is a form of meditation. By focusing the mind on one aspect of the self, we can learn to see this aspect in different ways, just as I saw Strength in a different light.

When we participate in this exercise, then we can see flaws and strengths. By seeing the flaws, we can then direct our energies toward healing them.

Likewise, when we’re dealing with difficult aspects of ourselves, meditation on a card can help give us guidance on how to deal with that difficult aspect.

Reading

Reading the Cards in a spread can provide a rich message for how to heal. Depending on the deck and the relationship you have with the particular deck you’re using, you can get very real and in-you-face messages about the direction of your energy. They will tell you where it’s misdirected, and where you need to focus it in order to do self-work.

One of my decks, the Spiral Tarot is extremely sarky, and I often find myself laughing at it because the answers are so blatant and in my face. Other decks are more methodical about how they relay messages. My Aquarian Tarot will give me very methodical and almost academic messages (this of course how I read it. Again, different people have different relationships with their decks and will receive messages differently), while The Wild Unknown Tarot feels as though it gives me gentle messages that I need to sit with quietly for an hour before I can reach its depths.

Positions in a spread will give you some very direct messages. Instagram is full of beautifully created spreads to help with exactly this. Some great accounts to follow if you’d like this are @OwlandBonesTarot, @TurntTarot, and @EmeraldLotusDivination are some wonderful starting points (Emerald Lotus also has a blog).

Tarot as Therapy

There are many wonderful professionals out there who incorporate the Tarot into their practices. These folks include Life Coaches, Therapists, and Psychologists.

That’s not to say that those with medical licenses use it to make prognoses, but rather that they use them as a tool for guidance for their patients/clients.

All the applications for Tarot are for self-development in some way, and this is something that is grossly neglected. We live in a society that wants instant fixes, and we don’t’ want to do the work. The Tarot itself reminds us that we don’t have that luxury, that we need to spend the time developing ourselves if we want to find contentment.

When we expand the Tarot from quick readings that are surface-level (which of course have their value in daily living and have a purpose of providing peace of mind) to tools for deep learning and self-work, then we can find the source of our discontentment and work to solve it.

There are many blogs and YouTube videos revolving around what’s called Shadow Work, so coined by Carl Jung, in which you spend the time to find the recurring triggers and sooth them. I won’t go into it here. However, I wanted to spend some time examining the potentials of the Tarot.

Discovering the Wild Unknown

I started this blog entry with pulling Strength from the Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans. I’ve spent past posts discussing non-traditional decks and talked about the varying definitions within the deck itself when I wrote my review of it.

Today’s post highlights the ways in which the Wild Unknown can be used and examined to enhance understanding of the Tarot.

Thus, Beginning May 1, 2019, I’ll be starting my series, ‘Discovering the Wild Unknown.’ I will pull a card a day (though refrain from repeat cards) and write my meditation and reflection on it. The posts will be two-fold:

  • To provide more information on the Wild Unknown
  • To give examples of Tarot Journaling.

I’ll be using entries from my personal Tarot Journal to write the posts, and thus, I’ll refrain from too much editing.

I want to provide more information on the Wild Unknown because of the conflicting reviews I read on the deck when I was researching it before purchase. I personally found it fantastically intuitive if the time is spent considering the cards and their design. I wanted to share this in hopes that others can use similar methods to discover their own decks.

Be sure to look out for this series, starting May 1st.

Helpful Links

What other ways have you used Tarot in your life that is beyond the ‘norm’? What did I miss out on? Let me know in the comments. I want to hear what you’ve got to say!

In the meantime, here are some helpful links:

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