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?