The tarot is most commonly viewed as a tool for divination. A traditional tarot reading involves a seeker – someone who is looking for answers to personal questions – and a reader – someone who knows how to interpret the cards. After the seeker has shuffled and cut the deck, the reader lays out the chosen cards in a pattern called a spread. Each position in the spread has a meaning, and each card has a meaning as well. The reader combines these two meanings to shed light on the seeker’s question.
The answer lies within the unconscious – that deep level of memory and awareness that resides within each of us, but outside our everyday experience. Even though we ignore the action of the unconscious most of the time, it profoundly affects everything we do.
As humans, we all have certain common needs and experiences. The images on the tarot cards capture these universal moments and draw them out consistently. People tend to react to the cards in similar ways because they represent archetypes. Over many centuries, the tarot has evolved into a collection of the most basic patterns of human thought and emotion.
Meaning is a truly mysterious quality that arises at the juncture of inner and outer realities. There is a message in everything…trees, songs, and dreams. The tarot cards communicate many messages because of the richness of their images and connections. More importantly, tarot readings communicate meaning because we bring to them our sincere desire to discover deeper truths about our lives. By seeking meaning in this way, we honor its reality and give it a chance to be revealed.
If there is a meaning in a reading, where does it come from? I believe it comes from that part of us that is aware of the divine source of meaning. Intuition acts as a wise advisor who knows us well. It understands what we need and leads us in the direction we need to go.
I use the tarot because it is one of the best tools I have found to make the whispers of my intuition more available consciously. I can only trust my intuition and see what happens.