When my buddy Kat requested if she might follow studying tarot playing cards on me slightly over two years in the past, I hesitated.
My previous experiences with fortune-telling had not been good ones – a palm reader as soon as adopted me round a Christmas occasion ranting about my eczema, and extra lately, I’d had a colleague learn my rune stones, just for her to declare loudly, in a crowded pub, that I used to be about to have a sexual dysfunction downside. Evidently, I wasn’t chomping on the bit for one more divination expertise.
However I like Kat, and I’d by no means tried tarot, so I mentioned sure.
A fellow author, Kat advised that we pull playing cards for steering across the novel I used to be writing on the time. It felt like a secure choice – one that might both assist me muster the motivation I wanted to maintain writing, give me permission to desert the factor, or possibly even supply a brand new thought altogether.
I doubt any horoscope, palm reader, rune-caster, and even tarot reader might have predicted what would occur when Kat laid three playing cards down in entrance of me: The Six of Cash, The Hanged Man, and The Queen of Cups. As we poured over Kat’s tarot books, crafting a story that introduced the playing cards collectively to information me in my writing, one thing simply clicked.
The playing cards’ story felt correct. Sure, I was struggling to stability my vitality between my job, my dwelling life, and my artistic pursuits, simply because the Six of Cash indicated.
And I was at a stand-still on my ebook, simply as The Hanged Man discovered himself suspended.
And I did have to refocus my artistic vitality towards what I cherished, as an alternative of what I believed I must be making – Queen of Cups’ recommendation that I nonetheless maintain near my coronary heart in the present day.
But it surely was greater than that. I used to be electrified by the expertise of discovering a real story based mostly on the photographs in entrance of me. It felt enjoyable, it felt pure, it gave me house to mirror and picture and problem-solve in a approach I’d by no means completed earlier than. It felt expansive.
I purchased my first tarot deck on-line that very same evening. Some folks will inform you which you could’t do this, purchase your personal deck, however some persons are obnoxious gatekeepers and I say add to cart.
I went with the Rider Waite Smith (RWS) deck – a superbly illustrated version created in 1909. The RWS is essentially the most generally used, and essentially the most beneficial tarot deck for newcomers.
When COVID-19 lockdowns took impact shortly after, I used to be past grateful for tarot – a device that allowed me to higher perceive myself when all I actually had was time to spend with myself.
Whereas caught at dwelling, I enrolled on a digital tarot course provided by the Zen Store in Birmingham – these Wednesday nights had been life rafts amidst the lockdown loneliness, and helped me develop a behavior of pulling each day playing cards, and studying up on all types of various approaches to tarot.
Crucial factor I discovered over that point is that there’s no proper or unsuitable option to learn tarot. Each reader has their very own method. Some lean closely into occult traditions, some swear by the playing cards’ accuracy in predicting the long run, and a few readers, like me, see playing cards as prompts for reflection.
All that basically stays the identical, from one reader to the subsequent, is the deck itself, which consists of 78 playing cards, and is predicated on a mediaeval parlour sport standard amongst French and Italian nobles.
However even that may range – lots of of various artists, from Salvador Dali to comedian illustrator Tillie Walden have designed their very own model of the tarot.
You’ll be able to learn tarot for your self, or you’ll be able to see a reader. I love to do a little bit of each – I sit down with my very own playing cards often, anytime I would like a little bit of perspective, or really feel slightly misplaced.
I’ll pull one card and meditate on what it means to me within the second, or I’ll pull a number of in a tarot unfold – which is a sequence of playing cards laid out to corresponding prompts, like previous, current and future.
I usually take an appointment with a reader for particular events, like my birthday, or once I’m feeling like I might actually use a recent pair of eyes on an issue.
For instance, I lately noticed a reader as a result of I felt overwhelmed by my many tasks – the playing cards she drew and the shared brainstorming we did collectively helped me provide you with an actionable step towards fixing my downside: I wanted to rent a digital assistant.
Over time, I began to attach my lifelong love of tales to a singular tackle tarot playing cards that felt wholly mine. I’d pull playing cards to encourage brief tales and poems, utilizing them to reinforce my understanding of the characters and themes in my novel.
Lately, whereas growing a brand new challenge, I linked every of my 4 heroines to a tarot Queen – this has actually helped me guarantee they’ve separate personalities and journeys, and has given me a great deal of new concepts about how they assume, act, transfer, and communicate.
All through my life, I’d turned to work and pictures for inspiration, so tarot match into my artistic follow naturally, offering good prompts for writing. The photographs are simply the correct mix of wealthy element and dreamy, summary visuals rife for interpretation.
Combining my tarot and artistic practices in the end prompted me to launch a enterprise in 2021: Pip Cards Tarot, via which I host workshops and 1:1s to assist writers, artists, and entrepreneurs generate concepts and work via blocks utilizing the tarot as inspiration. Tarot would be the topic of my first printed ebook, out subsequent yr.
Studying tarot for myself has been game-changing for my artistic and psychological wellbeing; in the meantime studying tarot for others has enriched my relationships.
It’s opened up new friendships, and unlocked new layers of outdated ones. Studying for my family members is a approach of exploring new territory we would not in any other case talk about.
Within the early days, I practiced on my associate. Whereas he was, and nonetheless is, sceptical of tarot, our time spent poring over the playing cards collectively opened up conversations about his work life and his personal artistic pursuits that he’d been conserving to himself.
My curiosity within the playing cards additionally created alternatives for difficult however significant conversations with my household – my mum has come round after some comprehensible discomfort early on, and so has my grandpa, regardless of being initially shocked to see ‘tarot reader’ on my enterprise card.
‘Since when had been you a witch?’ he requested, with a barely accusatory tone. However the dialog that adopted, smoothed by the assistance of a cousin who owns her personal tarot deck, led to a very candy second of connection through which my grandpa received to higher perceive my private artistic course of.
The reality is, nobody’s been extra stunned by this plot twist in my life than me. Wanting again on that first evening in Kat’s flat two and a half years in the past, I envy myself slightly.
I used to be on the cusp of one thing actually magical, and I didn’t even understand it but. The push of discovering resonance within the playing cards is at all times a pleasure, however nothing can beat that first ‘aha’ second.
However then, I do know that previous model of myself can be astonished and pleased with what tarot has helped me grow to be in the present day: a small-business proprietor, a soon-to-be-published writer, a greater buddy and a kinder, extra considerate person to my very own self.
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