I don’t think I ever really understood the wisdom of the cards when I first took up with them in the early 70’s. I had an “enlightenment” experience that drove me to seek an explanation of what had happened to me.Somehow, I landed upon the Tarot.
I just liked the cards; I liked what they seemed to claim; they claimed to hold every experience in life within them.I had an old deck, and it was passed down through many hands. When it arrived with me, I placed them in an old silken pouch and said, ‘These are precious; they will help me face life with more wisdom than I can conceive through my ordinary mind.”
And it was true.When I became upset, they calmed me; when I was fearful, they assuaged my fears; when I foresaw horrors, they diminished them. How did they do that?When I looked at my cards, my mind would become still and focused.Some of the images would beckon me in a bolder way, forcing me to look at them first.Some of the colors or numbers would start dancing.Oh, not really dancing, but somehow in my mind’s eye, they took prominence.And I would be lifted up from my ordinary, fearful way of viewing life into another space.The space was absent of fear or questionable morality and understanding.I would have to say it lifted my ordinary consciousness into another dwelling space.
Each decade or less of my life brought me to a clearer and sometimes different understanding.I would have to say that it dovetailed with my own hard learned life experience.As I became older and wiser myself, I saw different meanings in the cards; it was as if they revealed themselves in a much more profound way.If I could say anything, I would just say it was really me talking to me, but the other me was more together in a spiritual sense. I think what happens is that we begin to merge with our higher self and are not as separated from it as when we first start out on the path.
I had to learn how to surrender to the cards.When I read for somebody, sometimes I see them initially through my ordinary ego or consciousness and I would be impatient and want to tell them to get on with their lives and just drop their obstacles.That would be my personality talking.But when I take a breath and allow my cards to guide me, somehow my awareness expands and I no longer see the aspirant through egoic eyes; I am guided past the personality into the soul’s wishes and into the soul.Sometimes people need to experience more pain before they let go, and I cannot rush them on their path.
When I am able to lift myself from my small consciousness and judgment and come into what I call the “God” space, where there is no judgment, what occurs is a quality of communication that at times leaves me breathless. I would call this communion, communion between souls on a similar journey.
Since I consider myself a meat and potatoes reader,( just the facts, ma’am), I never really spent much time considering the history of the cards.I like to get to the nitty-gritty meaning of them and help put some person’s mind back onto a different and more favorable track.
One day, however, as I was researching some of the cards again in preparation for teaching, a new revelation came to me of the extraordinary depth and wisdom of the cards and how they reflect true spirituality.When I say true spirituality, I mean an enlightened awareness of the universality of spiritual disciplines that are drawn across the spectrum of religion, mysticism, astrology, Kabbalism, etc., the recognition of the true equality of the sexes and the possibility of our androgynous natures.
I had suspected that I was always carrying a kind of embarrassment at doing the cards.I had taken on a kind of shame that I had chosen a profession that was not as reputable as a doctor, lawyer or teacher, etc.Trying to make a living in a small town only too happy to reinforce bigotry or small mindedness, I remember being called the devil by some small town preacher visiting our area when I was reading at a Fair.Trying to laugh it off by replying, “Do I look like the devil?” I actually had to threaten the guy with the Sheriff to get him to stay away from my table.He was actually surprised that I called him “arrogant,”I don’t think anybody ever said that to him before.
I now know why this guy was calling me the devil.The tarot was very antithetical to the teachings of the Church.There was no equality of sexes, no inclusion of other types of religion. The Pope was the designated Leader of the Church and he and the Church were considered the only intermediates between man and God. The idea that one could find God through solo self-inquiry or meditation would have been heresy.Cards such as the High Priestess standing alongside the Magician and the Empress drawn with equal standing to the Emperor was certainly heretical.Even the Pope was given the lowly number of 5 within the 21 cards of the Major Arcana showing his conventional wisdom to be but an early step along the way towards true enlightenment. And finally, the last card of the Tarot, signifying the end of the Journey for the Fool, there is depicted an androgynous figure, free at last from the confines of not only the elements of earth, fire, water and air, but free of the duality of sexuality.
As we travel a path of spirituality, if we are lucky, we realize that in the end we are only becoming conscious of what has always been.So, too, I traveled along the road of the Tarot, first thinking of it as but a vehicle to focus the endless mutterings of my mind, but now I’m so grateful to recognize it as a remarkably wise if unconscious choice that I made. I’m so glad I did.
INTUITION IN ITS MOST HIGHLY DEVELOPED FORM
IS NOTHING LESS THAN THE VOICE OF GOD OR SPIRIT WITHIN.