Why pull a tarot card every day?

When I started researching the best ways to learn tarot, I saw two recommendations that resonated with me. The first was to keep a tarot journal, and the second was to draw a card every day and think about that card on and off throughout the day to see how / if the card’s energy manifests in your day. I was originally tracking them on a Google docs spreadsheet, but then it occurred to me to start sharing them on Instagram instead. I liked the synergy of that, because many years ago I taught myself photography through a photo-every-day project I called “Project 365.” I have often said it’s hard NOT build technical skills when you take 10 minutes or more to practice every single day.

Sharing the photos to Instagram has a couple of extra benefits. First, it gives me somewhere to talk about tarot, because I always want to talk about tarot. Second, it pushes me to be a little bit thoughtful about the card I’ve pulled and the context it brings to my day. And third, I just like the challenge of finding a little theme to make the photo more than just a tarot card lying on the counter. And finally, I’m starting to find a bit of community of people who also like to talk about tarot. (See point one above.)

Drawing a card each day has been an amazing way to be mindful and present in my day, though. How often do we look back at an ordinary day and say, “What did today mean? What was the dominant theme of my day? What energies were at play?” Sometimes if I don’t get around to pulling the card until later in the day, I’ll ask “What did I overlook today?” instead. Most days, I can see clear linkages between the cards and the overarching mood of the day. In the days when I am bursting with enthusiasm and creative sparks of ideas, I’ve pulled a lot of wands. Wands are about the fiery, passionate energy of intuition and inspiration. When work is heavy on my mind, swords come up. Swords deal with intellect, mental clarity and communication. And to be honest, some days I just scratch my head and shrug when I try to link the card to whatever happened that day, but even then, occasionally with hindsight the link becomes more clear.

I do find that pulling a single card every day doesn’t give me the same shiver of insight and connection that more complex or intentional spreads have done. I think one card on its own is sort of like an appetizer; it’s almost like the insight is a little diluted and non-specific, and you need a few cards interacting with each other to make a satisfying meal of it. It truly is a great way to not only learn the basic interpretations of the cards, but to see what they might mean playing out in real life.

Do you pull a daily card? How to you use it in your life?

Tarot reading: Past, present, and future considerations

This is a simple spread I did last weekend for myself. I’d been looking into what it would take to become a coach and mentor, so I asked the cards, “What from my past, present and future do I need to take into account when contemplating this path?”

“What from my past, present and future do I need to take into account when contemplating this path?”
(Everyday Tarot Mini deck)

Past: Six of Pentacles, the giving and receiving card. That makes so much sense. I’ve learned a lot in 50 spins around the sun and I truly believe it’s time for me to share that knowledge. I’ve learned from some great teachers.

Present: Page of Wands (the same card I pulled the day I launched my tarot Instagram account!) Embrace new opportunities and chase that creative spark. Amazing!!

And I laughed out loud when I turned the future card: the Nine of Swords. The nightmare card! It’s true, taking on this sort of role would give me a LOT of anxiety. That much interaction with people would truly be a challenge for me and I know it would cause me a lot of stress. Now I guess the question for me is to decide if I can manage that stress and make it all worthwhile. I do love it when the cards make me laugh out loud, though. What advice would you give based on these cards?

My (current, and probably evolving) approach to tarot

It wasn’t that long ago that I held my first tarot deck in my hands, and it was the first real exposure I’ve had to tarot. Looking back, it’s actually a bit of a surprise that I waited so long, because I know for a fact I read every single book about the occult in our neighbourhood public library when I was a kid, and I’ve always considered myself intuitive and open to things we can’t know through current senses or science. I can always tell you two minutes before the phone rings that it’s my mother who is on the line. Is that intuition? Psychic? I don’t know, but it has happened reliably my whole life.

Balancing that, though, I’ve also always considered myself a bit of a skeptic of things mystic and metaphysical. I know my zodiac sign and embrace my Leo-ness, but have been less open to other facets of astrology and the occult. To be honest, I’d never given tarot cards more than a passing consideration; I knew that they existed, but they’d never come into my space enough for me to form an opinion one way or the other. But something drew me toward them in the last year or so, and the minute I had my first deck in my hands and started to scratch the surface with my research, I was hooked. Obsessively, passionately hooked.

After reflecting on it for a while, I’ve come to understand that I have a fairly secular approach to tarot. I don’t subscribe to the theory that tarot can predict the future. I do, however, believe the tarot can be a hugely helpful tool to help you tap into your own inner wisdom, and maybe even the collective unconscious, to borrow a term from Carl Jung. I think you can use the cards to fine tune your own insight, in much the same way the corrective lenses of your glasses enhance your eyesight. I think tarot can give you a new perspective on your personal circumstances, help you make decisions or see unconsidered alternatives, and generally improve your own understanding of yourself. I don’t (currently) believe that tarot can tell you that a dark haired man will arrive next Tuesday bringing a message from the great beyond, or that tarot can predict anything that you yourself don’t already know.

I remember back a decade or so ago when I took my first Myers-Briggs test and learned what it meant to be an ENFP personality type. That self-knowledge rocked my world. I understood so much better my own motivations and interactions with the world, like how as an extrovert I process information outside of my head, by talking about it with others. Becoming consciously aware of my own strengths and weaknesses equipped me to play to my strengths and be aware of or maybe work on developing my weaknesses. I see tarot as very similar to this sort of tool, allowing you to tap into a set of archetypes for sorting the world and your relationships within it. I also see it as a way to step outside of your own circumstances to gain a better perspective of them. The tarot are like a trusted friend who tells you what you already know but maybe haven’t yet consciously realized.

We live in troubling, chaotic times. I think people are searching for meaning, trying to wrest connections from the chaos, and that the tarot card can help with that. I was very surprised when, starting out on my tarot journey and hungry for knowledge, I went to our public library and found most of the books on tarot had long waiting lists. Intrigued, I started looking for local courses and sources of information and found them quite lacking. That’s part of the impetus I felt for documenting all my learning with the tarot – I want to learn, but I want to share and teach others, too.

So here we are! I feel like I’m making progress on my learning journey and, extrovert that I am, I need to get that information outside of my head and interact with others in order to truly process it. Plus, I’m really excited about this new world I’ve discovered, and I like to share things I’m passionate about.

Shall we go?