I think magic is all around us. I think the world is woven together with magic.
In our day to day lives, we catch tantalizing glimpses of something more, something other, something winks at us from beneath the facade of the mundane.
That’s why we love stories and fairy tales with the secret hero, the ordinary kid who turns out to be a witch, wizard, a king or of otherworldly origins.
We know there is MORE, and that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves, but we don’t always know how to access that source or that higher level of ourselves.
Tarot is a way to connect with that magic.
I think the cards are both mystical and practical. They can inspire us and fascinate us with their symbols and stories and history and mythology, as well as giving us practical advice and information that we can use to improve our circumstances.
Tarot readings should be useful, but I don’t think this means we also have to suck the magic out of them.
When I read the cards, I’m looking at them from at least three different vantage points:
- The Universal or Archetypal meaning. I look for how this card features in the epic life story and life purpose of the person I’m reading for. I look for how this card can inspire, awaken, or remind the person of what they are here to do in this lifetime.
- The Practical Meaning. I look for how this card is connected to the situation that the person is currently experiencing. I look for how this card can bring insight, clarity or information. I take it back to why they are here for a reading in the first place.
- The Action. I look for the beneficial action that the card suggests. I look for something concrete, an actual step that the person can take, something that they can actually do, or a ritual they can enact in order to activate the reading and to achieve their desired result.
Quick example: The Empress
- The Universal or Archetypal meaning: You ARE the Goddess. You are the embodiment of the divine feminine, of love, of growth. Feel your power, be at ease with it.
- The Practical Meaning: You are in a situation where you have responsibilities, you have people that rely on you and you want to care for, but it would also be beneficial to create some boundaries and put yourself first sometimes, otherwise you’ll have nothing to give.
- The Action: Spend some time in nature. Beautify your home or work environment. Do something that pleases you or gives you a feeling of physical ease and wellbeing. Call your mother.
When you’re reading the cards, it is always good to go in with an open mind, and without expectations or presumptions. The person you are reading for may be consulting the cards about something very specific, perhaps a conflict at work, or a desire to improve a relationship, so we want to divine the information that they need.
But, along the way, if we can give them a reason to feel inspired, and to see this current situation in a larger context, or to help them to change their assumptions about themselves, that is a powerful thing. Even better if we can suggest something that they can DO to take power and responsibility for what they want to create for themselves.
This goes for YOU too, when you’re reading for yourself. Look for the mystical and the practical, they are both there in the cards, and they both serve a purpose.