IN DEFENSE OF TAROT
My cappuccino came in an emerald green mug, with a delicate sugar cookie balanced upon its saucer. I took a sip then several deep breaths. In and out, quietly meditating in the cafe while I waited for my client to arrive. I had chosen a quiet nook in the corner by the window. We would be far enough away from the other patrons so that our conversation would not be overheard by others. When my client arrived we hugged and chatted a while over our coffees. He was one of my regular clients and I had been seeing him every other Tuesday morning for several months now. I now knew about his life, his family, his struggles, and his hopes. He trusted me and in return I pledged to keep his secrets and help guide him towards his goals in life. The life of a tarot reader is anything but boring. Yet, in the wider world, I occasionally lie about what I do. Why do I do this? Am I ashamed? I don’t think so. Instead I think that perhaps explaining why tarot is important every time someone asked “what do you do for a living?” would just take too long. Not exactly the best frame of mind I admit, so here it is - my defense of tarot and why it matters in our modern world.
WE DON’T TALK TO EACH OTHER ANYMORE
The first thing you reach for upon opening your eyes in not the warm embrace of a loved one, but instead the glowing screen of your phone. Daily we poke, swipe, and drag our fingers across these screens. A death by a thousand emails. We are strangled by alerts, notifications, and badges. The truth is that we’re filming life, not living it. And yes, we need to admit that in many ways our phones and the internet has improved our lives, but I ask you to not give up on the simple human connection of a conversation. Our technology often saves us from awkward real-life moments; a softly glowing comfort blanket we carry everywhere we go. Yet, how does avoiding the difficult conversations help us grow and develop as people. Instead of retreating into our individual worlds we need to talk to each other. And not just small talk, we need to discuss our dreams, our desires, and our fears.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk about these things with a trusted stranger, someone that can give you an unbiased view. That’s where I, and other readers come in. A tarot reader functions in part like a psychiatrist. We listen to our clients and help them through the difficult parts of their lives. Saying your fears and hopes out loud is a deeply cathartic experience. Having a deep conversation for a full hour with someone is not something we often get the chance to do in our day to day lives. It’s something we need to do more. It reminds us that we’re human in what often can feel like a cold and sterile world.
DON’T JUST LIVE YOUR LIFE - STRATEGIZE IT
Now that you’ve expressed your true desires, it’s time to figure out a way to achieve them. And that’s really where the fun begins.
Why do we admire Alexander the Great? I think it’s mostly because he was a master at battle strategy. If you review the specifics of his battle tactics, you discover how he carefully thought out every move. He played a chess game in his head, maticulously calculating each and every outcome. He knew his enemy, he knew the land he fought upon, and he studied the history of past battles so he knew what would and would not work for each scenario.
This ability to strategize key aspects of your life is common among leaders throughout history. Yet, when it comes to our own lives we often tend to ‘wing it.’ Tarot at its core is a tool to use for planning out your own strategy for success. While tarot can often show us what events might occur in the future, it can also create a roadmap to lead us to our goals. It can motivate us to improve our lives and inspire us to think bigger. Tarot allows you to see your own life from a different perspective. We can look from above onto a table of cards that represent us and where we're going. Combining this different perspective with the knowledge inherent in the cards helps us direct our path towards success.
WE NEED TO CONNECT WITH SOMETHING GREATER THAN OURSELVES
I often give readings for ‘tarot skeptics’ - people who don’t believe that tarot connects to anything beyond their face value. I always tell them that even if you don’t believe you still can gain benefit from the aspects I mentioned above. I myself was a skeptic when I started reading the cards. “How could some pieces of card stock with images tell me about my inner thoughts or my future?” I thought. Though as I continued to work with the cards, I slowly started to believe that they connected to something greater. Whether that’s our own subconscious, our collective unconscious, or divinity I’m not sure. All I do know is that tarot helps me tap into something that is greater than myself and the experience is extremely humbling.
Through tarot I can help people uncover their own innate intuition to help them see this greater power for themselves. I can help them heal from past difficulties and lay a foundation for the future. Most importantly I can help people realize not only what their true purpose is in this life, but also how to achieve it.
This is why I dedicated my life to tarot. Tarot has changed my life in countless ways and has helped me find my path, one step at a time. This is why tarot is worth defending; this is why being a tarot reader is something I am proud of.