How Does Tarot Work?

Tarot cards date back to the 1500s. Their origin is often debated and remains a mystery. It is rumoured that Leonardo Da Vinci introduced the tarot cards to Italian high society, where they were used as a parlour game for years before they were taken up for the purposes of fortune telling.

Occultism had a renaissance in the early 20th century, at which point the popularity of tarot increased, and 22  cards were added to the deck to enhance its utility as a method for mediumship. More recently, in the 1970s, tarot was revived through the surrealist movement. Notably, Salvador Dali was so fascinated by the practice that he produced his own tarot deck.

The language of the cards operates through archetypal imagery, astrological symbolism and numerology. The energy we put in to a spread is reflected in the cards that turn up, and we may resonate with certain symbols and imagery based on our current emotional disposition and situation.

My perspective on how the tarot cards work is always evolving. I believe the cards show us exactly what we need to see, when we need to see it. The tarot cards are effective as a medium for messages because they bring knowledge from our personal subconscious and collective unconscious to the surface so we can gain new perspectives, organize our thinking and use this clarity to navigate the challenges in our lives.

Sometimes the concepts that arise in a reading are not what we would expect, nor what we would want to see. It is in one’s best interest to remain open, grounded in reality and emotionally honest to enhance the experience of receiving a reading.

 

My understanding of tarot symbolism is informed by psychoanalytic frameworks like Freud's theory of the unconscious, and Jungian principles like synchronicity and archetype theory. Underlying this approach is the understanding that the unconscious holds instinctual desires and a universal symbolic language that have been repressed through the process of psychological development. Tarot can be used to access that which is buried in the unconscious.

When using the cards in this way, the practice can invite a renewed awareness of one's emotional truth and deeper understanding of the self. This connection with our emotions can strengthen our intuition, which supports decision-making, helps to repair self-trust and aids in healing early experiences of trauma or emotional pain.

What can I expect in a reading?
Does tarot predict the future?

Tarot is a mysterious craft which continues to perplex and intrigue me as a tarot reader. That said, I use tarot as a tool that facilitates introspection to inform the decisions we make in our lives. I believe that the cards allow us to access the magic within ourselves.

 

It is important to feel empowered through the use of tarot, rather than feeling like you are fate’s puppet. When we know ourselves, work to heighten our emotional awareness and feel empowered, we make better decisions and take better care of ourselves.

Tarot does not hold back and will tell you where you are headed given your current circumstances, attitudes and actions. Any future position in a tarot spread will reveal the direction in which you are headed, but whether or not you choose to pursue this outcome is entirely on your shoulders.

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