Thursday, February 2, 2012
the mysterious other ...
I've been reading tarot for thirty years now and it's an activity that I come to love more and more as time goes by.
To me, a tarot reading is a process that takes place between two people, a deck of cards and some mysterious Other. Some readers call will it God. Some call it angels and some guides. There are as many explanations as there are readers.
So, what do I think that Other is?
Well. Hmmm. Um.
I'm sorry to disappoint you but I have no idea! Oh, I suppose that's not strictly true. Of course after all this time, I have some ideas about what happens during the profoundly mysterious process of a successful tarot reading but I will never know for sure whether I'm right or not until after I go to The Big Reading Room in the sky.
All I really know is that a person, often a stranger, comes to me and we take a small amount of time to tune into each other by each shuffling the cards in silence. I do have a couple of mental rituals that I go through while I shuffle but these rituals are not noticeable to the person I'm reading for and are much closer to meditation than they are to magic. I simply try to clear my mind to allow whatever intuition is released by the spread of the cards to come through more clearly.
The amazing thing to me is not when I am proven wrong - and I freely admit there are such times - but that the information I get through these mysterious means is so often right. Why should it be so?
Most readers use a combination of academic knowledge and intuition. That is, they have studied the meanings of the cards and can get a general meaning from any tarot spread. But once the cards are out, intuition overlays another level of interpretation.
Intuition is information that comes to you through a channel other than your average five senses. Intuition works for me the same way as trying to remember the details of a movie you saw a long time ago; you've got the general gist of it - but it's not completely clear.
It's like someone is prompting you to remember it, giving you little hints, and you're saying, 'Oh, right! Yeah, there's a guy, isn't there? - but I'm not sure what colour his hair is. Oh, hold on - wasn't it black? And yeah, I think he was tall. Wasn't he? And good looking too! Oh, right - it's coming back to me now! He saw this girl he'd never met before and...
And that, is approximately the process that leads a reader to pronounce those infamous words: You are going to meet a tall dark stranger.
I've spent thirty years learning the meanings of the cards, how they relate to each other and how to read the story they are trying to tell me - which is, of course, the life story of the person I'm reading for. I believe we all have fascinating lives which contain meaning beyond that which we can see, hear or understand through everyday means. I believe that pretty much all of us want to do what's right and best for ourselves and those we car about. I believe the journey depicted in the tarot offers us all guidance on how to best live our lives to our own greatest fulfilment.
But you know, after all this time, I'm still no closer to understanding the nature of that mysterious Other, present in all helpful readings, which steers us in the best direction for our future success.
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