“The first thing you do with a new tarot deck is throw out the booklet. Trust your intuition to tell you what the cards mean.” (Every tarot card teacher I’ve met)
Pre Adventure Wednesdays
My biological father, who is now 74, recently became aware that people may have perspectives other than his own. And that theirs may be right too. Which dovetails into my having grown up, and through my married life, thinking everyone else’s perspective was right, except my own. I noticed after I left my husband that I had learned and continued to allow myself to think that although I’m “book smart,” I had no common sense, that most of what I did wasn’t good enough. I didn’t trust my decisions on too many things.
During my darkest time I was pulled in by a gypsy tarot card reader. She must have sensed my vulnerable black cloud as she talked to me on the streets on NYC. I wanted the magic of someone telling me my life was fine and going to have happy days. Instead, she spoke a lot of mumbo jumbo and said my tortured soul would need her intense prayers to heal (which of course, would cost thousands.). I am embarrassed to say that this gypsy had already taken me for $90. No wonder so many honest readers get a bad rep because of shysters like this woman.
Following My Interests
But the tarot cards continued to interest me. During my spiritual awaking phase, I dove into Native American healings and worked with Animal Spirit cards (Actually called Medicine Cards). These cards and their symbols helped me slow down my over-reactions and to start to see things from a different perspective. That maybe things weren’t all that I thought they were. One Christmas season, a friend produced a Holiday Bazaar at a local restaurant. At that event there was a tarot card reader who did mini readings for free. His business card was a miniature tarot card. I liked his approach and what he said sounded honest. I bought a session. Later the next year we met for my session in the City at the New School. A place that offers alternative classes on all sorts of interesting subjects. I wanted to know more about tarot card readings. So, along with his cards, he taught me a few layouts and referred me to a few books to read. His favorite was “The Tarot: History, Symbolism, and Divination” by Robert Place.
Over the following years, I visited different metaphysical stores and saw different readers. All were useful in their readings. I learned that they do not forecast the future, the common misconception about Tarot. It’s more like reading a current situation’s energy and where the situation could go. Several readers taught me tidbits. One woman knew she had the gift when she read a friend’s situation in regular playing cards! Another tried teaching a class, where we didn’t know the meanings of the cards, but had to “guess.” This was really my first exposure to learning to trust my intuition, to have faith my gut reaction, or guesses, were right. And the mini reading I gave to another student wasn’t far off!
Ever have things happen in such a way, there’s no explanation except that maybe you’ve been given a sign to do something? First, I had put the list of suggested tarot books somewhere, and it showed up what must have been a few years later. That day, I brought the book list to work, and then at lunch I went to the bookstore at the New School. I bought the book without really having a chance to look at it. While there, I also picked up some fliers on classes being offered and stuffed them into my bag to look at later. On the train home I started reading my book. I took a break and looked at the flier…a class on tarot offered by the author of the book I bought! To top it off, there was a class that following Adventure Wednesday…
Now, it’s not really common knowledge about my fascination with tarot cards. Most people pass it off as one of those things Scorpios do (my astrological sign). So when I attended these classes, I posted different things on Face Book to cover what I was really doing. One of these posts was actually pretty close to the truth – I had said I was learning about parades in the Renaissance. This teacher/author teaches tarot more as a study in art history- medieval to renaissance and even including how Leonardo DaVinci influenced Triomphes (trump cards) through religious parades. If only my college Renaissance art history class had been like this instead of a hundred similar Madonna and Child gold paintings! And if only my psych class focused more on Jungian symbolism.
Be The Fool
Learning history in this off beat way really was what Adventure Wednesday is all about for me…to be surprised by what shows up. In learning the colorful history of the cards, as well as how to read them, I learned something bigger. To trust my intuition. That even if I’m not 100% right, it’s ok because there is much I don’t know and the cards can’t (some say won’t) tell me. But I find my truths while remembering others have their interpretations, their perspectives.
I still have that little business card, the miniature tarot card. It’s the Fool. At the beginning of his journey, stepping off the cliff, carrying his tools in a little sack on a stick over his shoulder. Reminding me it’s ok to take a leap of faith into the unknown and leave the big baggage behind.