“I’m surprised I’m still into this,” I told my husband as I laid my cards out on the bed.
“Me too.” He didn’t look up from his comic book. “Usually your phases last about 34 days.”
My husband knows me well. I bet if we collected official data on my obsessions, the average shelf life would be exactly 34 days.
When I get interested in something I can’t just be like Yeah, ok, that’s cool because I have no chill. I have to read all the books and all the blogs and watch all the videos and buy as much stuff as I can because I MUST KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT THE THING. Until I get bored 34 days later and find a new thing to obsess over.
So I thought I’d get bored with my tarot cards a while ago, but I haven’t. Why is that?
First, in case you’re not familiar with reading tarot cards, I want to tell you what it’s not. I had a lot of misconceptions before I started. Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. It’s not going to connect you with evil spirits.
Unless you’re calling on Beelzebub for insight into your tarot reading, Beelzebub is probably not going to show up. (And if you’re calling down shit like that you’ve got way bigger problems than tarot.)
Whatever you call on to help you make good decisions – your insight, wisdom, the Holy Ghost, your Higher Power, good common sense, past experience, your education – that’s what’s going to show up at your reading. If you do believe in spiritual guidance I’d say reading tarot is 99% decent thinking skills and 1% spiritual woo-woo.
2. It’s not going to tell you the future.
You explore what might happen, but the answer comes from your brain and your experience of cause and effect, not the cards.
You will probably come to a similar conclusion with a cause/effect diagram or a pro/con list. The cards are just a different way to help you get the information out of your brain and somewhere more concrete and organized so you can make a decision.
(As a side note, there are other readers out there who practice and believe differently than I do, and that’s totally fine.)
So, now that we’ve covered common myths, here are the reasons I’m loving tarot right now:
1. There’s a large body of knowledge to learn from.
Since I’m the kind of person who has to know all the things about a topic, a large body of knowledge means I don’t get bored as quickly. And there is a lot out there on tarot – it’s been around some five-hundred years.
Additionally, there’s no wrong way to read tarot. Each person’s experience with the cards adds another layer of complexity, so the well won’t run dry for as long as people are conducting readings.
2. It lets me explore my intuition.
I think of intuition as part “the stuff I store in the 90% of my brain I’m not using” and part spiritual guidance. Tarot helps me dig out information that I may not have known I knew – an exercise in using my brain in a different way.
3. It gives me a visual language to describe feelings and experiences that I have struggled to name.
I’m a visual person. I write because feelings, ideas, and experiences make more sense when I can see them on the page. Tarot does something similar – the visual metaphors often help me understand concepts that I have a hard time putting words to.
Once these things have a name they’re a lot easier to deal with in a productive, healthy way.
4. It’s fun as hell.
At some point I’m sure I’ll move onto my next phase. But at the moment I’m having a ton of fun!