Daily Archives: September 30, 2014

In which there are Tarot readings


Special disclaimer: If you saw the title and rolled your eyes then do yourself a favour and read something else.

I’m normally not that abrupt but I’ve had a pretty tiring weekend (fun but emotionally and physically exhausting) and unfortunately for me, time for introspection. Never a good idea in my case. And yes, I am aware of how hypocritical this sounds coming from someone whose writing usually is some form of stream-of-consciousness. But! Some context: In an effort to procrastinate last night I half-jokingly offered to do Tarot readings for my flatmates. It wasn’t supposed to be a serious thing, just a sneak peek on how our week would go. I really don’t think they expected any specifics but long story short, the general sentiment hanging in the air by the end of it was: how the heck did you know that?

I wish I had an answer. I’discovered I was good at this short of reading when I was thirteen and I jokingly guess my then-best friend’s entire report card before she got it. I didn’t use cards then, frankly I didn’t even know what Tarot was. I kept doing the occasional “educated guess” and never thought twice of it, until I discovered a book on Tarot readings in my school library and had one of those precious “aha!” moments. Since then I’ve gone through two or three different decks with varying degrees of success and my experiences can be summed up on two points/questions: How the heck do I do it? and What does it say about me?

I’m not writing this post as a bass-akwards compliment to myself. I truly do not know how a combination of random pictures can give me answers. The best comparison I can make is trigonometry. You know, when you first start talking about triangles and angles in math class and you have to learn to see how the different shapes correspond? It’s a bit like that for me. I’ve read different books with different interpretations on each card, and they have certainly influenced my understanding, but in the end I prefer a more personal touch. Take the Tower for example. According to Wikipedia it usually symbolizes ruin and destruction. No arguments from me on that one. But I have found the card to also function as an early warning system: there’s trouble ahead, so get your act together buddy! If I’m doing a reading I’m more likely to use my personal understanding instead of the more generic one. Nobody wants a generic answer when they get their fortunes told (or at least I don’t…). They want specifics and usually a definite answer to whatever question plagues them at the time.

As for question number two, what does it say about me, well… If you ask my brother, it means I’m naive and spend too much time with my head on the clouds (he didn’t say that, but it was implied…) If you ask my flatmates, especially after last night, my guess is that it’d be something along the lines of “freaky but cool” (or at least I hope so). If you ask me, I’ll tell that I have an eye for patterns. After nearly six years of doing readings for myself I can see the same cards cropping up again and again. And it’s not even a matter of shuffling because goodness knows I make sure the cards have been shuffled properly. The way I see it, people need to believe in things (natural, supernatural or anywhere in between). It creates a comfort zone for them to reside in or return to after trying something new. My comfort zone includes the idea that there are ways to influence the energy of the world around us and things like the Tarot are a way of testing the waters, seeing if our latest bright idea is also a good idea, before plunging in. Not much different from a scientist working out his equations on paper before attempting to accidentally-on purpose blow up his lab.