Hello friends. Today I'm going to talk about tarot, and the different parts of my relationship with it. First, lets do some stage-setting. I'm an atheist and a skeptic. So, for me, tarot isn't about divination, fortune telling, prophecy, getting messages from the universe or anything like that. That being said, unless your beliefs are hurting someone, you do you. I'm just laying the groundwork for what it means in my life, and how I interact with it.
I can really break my tarot relationship up into a three different parts (plus a bonus deck listing):
I'll talk about each one in a little more depth in a moment. But first, an interlude on how I got into tarot in the first palce. I'd been vaguely interested for a while, largely informed by pop culture, and a more-than-comfortable helping of "recovering Christian" skepticism for anything even vaguely connected to the spiritual/metaphysical/magical/religous. I don't remember all of the surrounding conversation, but for Christmas, one of my friends gifted me my first deck, The Lost Forest. The artwork is beautifuly simple, the card quality is very impressive, but its just slightly too big to be truly comfortable (I find this to be true of a lot of decks, making the shuffling portion awkward). The theming is centered around nature, and the suits are elements. The guide with it was extremely simplistic, really letting me focus of vibes rather than get down into the weeds on meanings.
Overall it was a wonderful introduction to tarot, and a good foundation on which to build out my practices. But, enough of the interlude. On to my breakdown (for now, without the slow pounding bass) of what tarot does mean to me.
As inclusion, title, and position of this section, as well already talking some about it might imply, the artwork on the cards is a big draw for me.
There are a lot of choices out there for tarot decks. So, to get me to plunk down my hard earned money on one, it has to either fit part of my vibe almost perfectly, have a super compelling theme, or some other niche gimick to catch my eye.
Most of the decks I have lean either "highly thematic" or "dark and twisted". I also tend towards minimalistic artworks. Limited color pallets, simple designs, things that manage convey their meaning very simply.
I have a set of vibes that resonate with me. I try to be introspective about them, but at the end of the day, what calls to me calls to me.
So, with all these pretty cards lying around, what do I do with them? That's really a two-part thing
Daily Practice / Meditation
I've incorporated tarot as a part of my daily meditation/mindfulness practice. Both the simple act of shuffling a deck, which can be very soothing on its own, and then drawing a card to reflect on. I pick a deck based on my mood, shuffle it until I feel like I am done shuffling, draw a card, look at it, read up on its meanings, and then sit and reflect on how that might be relevant in my own life. I find this a good tool to keep me from getting stuck in the same mental paths. Adding an input to the process to force new and different analysis. Its a nice thing I do for myself, it helps me remain mentally flexible, and reminds me of the value of fresh prespective.
Sometimes, outside of my daily practice, I find myself mentally "suck" on something. I go over it again and again, come to the same unsatisfactory conclusion, and then start over. When I recognize this, I sometimes use a tarot deck to help break me out of the loop. The ideas behind this are mostly the same, but its more of a "break/fix" than it is "daily maintenance". Sometimes, I'll even look up a multicard spread that can help me fully articulate the issue, compartmentalize the different bits of it, and consider them each in a new light.
BONUS Deck List
Hey, why not throw in a list of the decks I've got on the shelf right now, huh?
- Lost Forest
- Lost Hollow
- Tarot of the Abyss
- The Buddah Tarot
- Sugar Skull
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Supernatural (the TV show)
- Tarot Del Torro
- Mystic Mondays
- Neon Moon
- Classic Ryder Waite
- Gilded Tarot
- Tarot of the Divine
- Spirits (podcast), this deck is being published in parts and is incomplete at this time.
- Yggdrasill Oracle deck (not tarot, but everything else in this post still applies)
Editors Note: The picture at the top is of my "Death" tattoo. Its an amazing art peice that I get to carry with me every day