Tarot cards aren’t really a deck of cards. We call them that out of convenience and people know what we are talking about when we use the word deck. What the cards actually are is a book. It is a book of life that discusses our hopes, dreams, love, temptations, joys, and sorrows. Each time a person shuffles a deck of cards they are actually organizing their life in an easily understandable spread. (Even the word “shuffling” is inappropriate. What we are actually doing is organizing the cards.)
The tarot is really not about fortunetelling. As tarot expert and creator of the Voyager Tarot James Wanless has said, “The tarot is really about fortune creating.” What the deck actually does is give us glimpse of the future. Our job is to take that information and use it to become better and stronger and create our own future. The does not give us a future set in stone. It gives us a future that we can change and create and make ourselves better. What good would it be to know the future be if we couldn’t do anything about it?
The tarot teaches us to take charge of our lives. It doesn’t take away any of our ability to make choices. In fact, the tarot seems to scream at us to take charge and to take action. It says don’t stand still…MOVE. Don’t be complacent be ACTIVE. Don’t do nothing DO SOMETHING. The tarot does not encourage us to be idle. It actually encourages us to live.
That is one of the biggest and most important lessons of the tarot. Our lives our unique and they are our own. We own our lives. We are sad because we allow ourselves to be sad and we are making progress because we allow ourselves to make progress.
One of the most important things to remember when the tarot talks to us is to listen. We need to be open to its messages. The tarot should not be an inactive or passive process. It shouldn’t be an experience where only the reader speaks. In order for this process to be truly inspirational it needs to be a give and take experience. It is a process where the reader discovers meaning and the client places understanding on the meaning.
Many first time clients like to play a game called, “Stump the Psychic.” This is where they fold their arms and have a very stoic expression on their face and they never react to anything. This type of client is not looking for self improvement but just for some amazing psychic hits. This is the worst kind of reading situation. It sets up the atmosphere of a challenge and any sort of camaraderie between the client and reader is already sabotaged. The tarot teaches us that such arrangements almost end up with anything fruitful or good for either party.
The reason for this type of attitude among many clients is that they want to make sure that the psychic reader in question is someone who is legitimate. While there is a part of me that understands this there is another part of me that feels that legitimate readers need to educate their clients on the real function of a reading. We cannot change attitudes or help our reputations, or the cultural misconceptions of tarot, until we educate and inform the public about tarot and what it truly is.
The experience that occurs between a reader and a client can be a scared one. It is a special bond that can elevate both parties to try to be better than they are and to reach and search for meaning together. If the tarot teaches any concept more than balance I really do not know what that is. In cards like The Lovers, The Chariot, Justice, The Hanged Man, and so many others the tarot teaches us that in order to be happy and live a life of joy we need to be as balanced as possible. It makes sense that if balance in all things is important then balance should be maintained during a reading. The reader should not hog the conversation and the client should not be quiet all of the time. A healthy dose of give and take is good for any reading.