By Francisca Hernandez
Friday, October 18, 2019
I’ve been clearing out space in my home lately. I came across some old journals. Of course, I stopped to read some of my sporadic entries (back then, I didn’t use to journal daily).
I came across my first few Tarot readings. It got me thinking about how I came to love reading Tarot.
I picked up my first Tarot deck years ago, Sunday, June 14, 2015, to be exact. I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I was feeling lost.
I had been feeling lost for quite some time. I remember driving around the Montrose area, smoking pot, and drinking from my stainless steel water bottle that wasn't full of water, but instead, was full of Lone Star beer.
I pulled into the metaphysical store a co-worker had introduced me to the week before. My co-worker happened to be our exercise therapist at the time. Aside from her many specialties, she was also very spiritual.
Although I would not have described myself as spiritual back then, she disagreed. I had been meditating off and on for a few years. But that year, my doggie, Isabelle Tigerlilly, had become increasingly ill. So I’d been meditating more often.
Along with labeling me spiritual, my co-worker also told me she thought I was empathic. I’d never heard the word before that. But once she described the traits, the definition resonated.
So there I was, feeling lost and buzzed, poking around the metaphysical store. I had no idea what I was looking for, but I felt pulled towards a corner of the store where they had Tarot cards. I immediately picked up the Gilded Tarot deck set. Then I put it down. (I didn’t entirely trust my intuition then.)
I explored the rest of the store. I picked up several items only to put them back moments later. I was so confused and doubted myself with every piece.
But the Tarot set felt different. It felt like these cards were calling me.
I logically justified the pull to purchase because the deck came along with a book and was reasonably priced. So I went back to the Tarot section, picked up the set, and bought it.
After I stopped by the gas station to pick up another six-pack of 16 ounces, I eagerly went home. I opened the book and read what all the cards meant while my Isabelle Tigerlilly lay quietly at my feet.
The first card in the deck was The Fool. I can still remember how I studied the card’s intricate, colorful detail.
I wasn’t sure if it was because I was five Lone Stars in, but for the first time in a long time, I felt like I was on the precipice of something new.
Over the next year, through my dull and buzzed haze, I looked forward to studying the diverse meanings of each card. I bought more Tarot books and different sets of cards.
As my Isabelle’s illness progressed, I meditated and pulled spreads more often.
I started pulling out my Tarot cards in the middle of 2 AM party nights to read for my friends and family.
Most of the time, my readings were spot on, though I had no clue what I was doing. Even in my coked-up drunkenness, I knew better than to use my prized Gilded Tarot set.
Fast forward to today, and my first deck, the Gilded Tarot cards, are the only to have survived three dogs. They are still, by far, my favorite set to use for readings.
There are so many reasons I now love reading Tarot.
Here are a few:
Tarot helps you connect with yourself. If someone else is reading for you, it builds a relationship between yourself, the cards, and the reader. Tarot establishes this connection because it helps you catch of glimpse of who you are in that moment; your dreams, hopes, wholeness, evolution, and hidden self are all brought to the light.
Such unveiled feelings and desires leave no choice but to allow Tarot to build a connection through the vulnerability.
Aside from meditation, Tarot is also one of my favorite ways to connect to my intuition.
And, believe it or not, you don’t need to be psychic to read Tarot. This is because the cards have a way of physically presenting evidence of something you might have been pondering but haven’t yet outwardly processed or expressed.
That’s why readings typically resonate with the receiver and not the reader.
Often, while reading for others, I’ve pulled a spread that didn’t quite make sense to me. However, I’ve learned that intuition doesn’t typically make logical sense.
A Tarot reading will strengthen your intuition whether you read the cards intuitively or not. If you go with your intuition, you’ll build your confidence. If you don’t go with your intuition, you’ll know what it feels like to not trust yourself. Either way, you’ll have something to measure your gut instinct.
If you’ve ever had a Tarot reading before, you might have had a spread that includes your past, present, future, outcome, influences, hopes, etc.
When I first started reading Tarot, I used the typical layouts that I saw in the books.
However, over the years, I developed a different spread, one that feels good to me.
The layout I use now touches base on most aspects of life. It’s a seven-card spread. These days, I use a mind, body, spirit, love, expected, unexpected, and action spread.
No matter what type of spread you use, it all tells a story. And that’s one of the primary reasons I love reading Tarot. Each card individually has a story for its area. And each position builds on the overarching story of your life at the time of the reading.
Just like any story, a good spread has characters, a setting, a plot, conflict, and a resolution.
The Fool card usually indicates new beginnings and unexpected opportunities that might bring about welcome changes. It can represent traveling unknown paths and taking a leap of faith. Growth usually follows these experiences.
Although I didn’t pull the Fool in my first spread, I knew I was on the brink of something when I picked up my first Tarot deck.
When my Isabelle passed away on April 2016, I was devastated. I put away my cards and vowed never to use them. I was angry. The cards hadn’t indicated that I would lose her so soon. What ignorance, those stupid cards meant nothing.
A week later, I came home from work and saw that the pet memorial company mistakenly left her ashes on my doorknob after I had specifically chosen not to receive her remains. I went straight to bed and cried myself to sleep. In the middle of the night, I swear I felt my Isabelle jump on the bed next to me. The waterworks began again. But through my sobbing, I felt the overwhelming urge to go to my nightstand. I immediately got up and took my cards out of the drawer and pulled an eight-card spiritual spread.
The question that I instinctively asked the cards was, “When/how can I move forward?”
Here are what I pulled and my notes from that spread.
Three of Swords: Strife, disappointment, followed by restructuring & renewing.
Three of Wands: Faith, testing, checking theories or beliefs, unexpected wins.
King of Wands: Feeling like I have nowhere to turn for help, support, feeling played false, hurt & disappointed.
The Magician: Thou shall decree a thing, and it shall be established unto thee. Take the best from it and move on because it is through this that a new potential will emerge.
Two of Wands: Step by step, don’t do anything that I’m not completely sure of or don’t want to do, or I’ll regret it. Only do what’s required.
The Emperor: Accept that which is coming your way & don't delay. Four of Cups: The Buddha became enlightened only after he’d done all he could do & had given up.
Ace of Wands: New avenues of promise & fulfillment that can come out of the blue. New start of a new way of life will be realized & will hope that things continue in the future.
As I look at my journal entry from April 14, 2016, I’m taken aback. If I had that spread in front of me today, I would not read those cards the way I did that day.
But that’s one of the things I love about Tarot. It takes a snapshot of where you are in the moment of the reading.
I’m so far removed from that person three years ago. These days, I’m more in touch with my intuition. And I know without a doubt that my Isabelle was guiding me in that reading. Not only did I feel her presence consoling me, but I’ve also never used the words thou or thee. And I know that she was right about the way she interpreted those cards, especially the Four of Cups and Ace of Wands.
I also know she’s one of my guiding forces to this day.
Tarot helps you shape your reality.
The beauty of a Tarot reading is that it helps you shape your reality. You always have control over your future choices. Tarot isn’t an end-all-be-all.
If you’re feeling lost, it reveals where you are in relation to where you want to be.
Tarot is a way to peek at your future route. A Tarot reading shows you if you can expect a traffic jam on your way to the destination.
It helps you focus. Now that you know what to expect, you can choose to stay on the path, turn around, shift direction, find an alternate route, or be prepared for the slow down.
Looking back, I see took the long way and went straight through the traffic jam. But, it's probably what I needed at the time. Even so, I can see how I was supported the whole way.
It’s up to you to decide where you take the story after a reading.
Where are you taking your story?
I’d love to hear from you. Why do you like Tarot readings? Have you looked back at a reading and had it resonate in the present moment?
Comment and let me know.
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