Pagan News and Views Since 1998
"The Magician card affirms that my alter ego today is the Imagineer or Director, whose superpower is a state-of-the-art design force. By bringing free will and intention together with natural principles, the creative process is transformed into a blueprint for success. The spell is cast, and I don't have to see it to believe it. As a creative wiz, I have what it takes: the presence of mind to do what I do best. I can apply or advance new ideas and entertain new possibilities with resourceful and inventive attention to detail. I lay it on the line. I set the stage for performing my own enterprising experiments to make it over and make it work. I leave it all behind so that I can simplify or renovate the formula. I read between the lines for tips and tricks to following conventional methods and guarding my reputation and my privacy."
I recently read a post abut Tarot cards. The author told his story of how he was unable to understand the meanings of the cards as a child, due to the large amount of conjecture within the practice. This lead to a "lifetime of skeptism" about the occult and the world in general.
So here is my rant/counter-arguement:
First of all, an affinity to magick, i.e. the ability to influence change through will(directed energy), is as much learned as it is inherited. Some people are born witches with the power to move mountains. Magick is simply as much a part of them as the color of their eyes. These individuals often become spiritual leaders, healers, our medicine men and gurus. The energy which surrounds them is near palpable. Remember magick has no religion, it simply is and belongs to everyone.
Others in the world are born with much less affinity for the occult. They must study and memorize and work hard to find an appropriate balance of the cycles within themselves. The Goddess' power is obviously inside them, they simply have more layers to dig through to reach it.
If I am correct than strong reliable magick comes from a combination of both areas. A witch who spends their whole life studying but has no affinity for the forces of nature will have a hard time suspending reality long enough to make magick. Likewise a witch who can reach deep into the energy of the universe, but has no understanding of what magick is may never quite reach their potential or master their control.
As I've said before, if magick is not reliable than in all essence it is useless.
So one argument can be made that the author had no affinity for the tarot nor the required understanding of them to overcome where he lacked. Divination is a form of magick and requires energy to fuel it.
My second opinion is that tarot cards in and of themselves have no more value than the pages of a bible. Unlike with other religious artifacts, wiccans do not find our Goddess inside books, tools nor tarot cards. We find God out in the world as the spiritual shadow of the physical life. Although She is in all things, she is most active within the living.
The only power stored within the tarot comes directly from the witch who wields them. They may become attuned with energy over time and become strong objects of power, making their readings more accurate for the appropriate wielder, but it is the power of the witch that drives them. They simply have no innate voice except the vibrations of their creation. So, unless the cards are hand crafted with charged natural materials, it is unlikely they are "alive" with power.
Tarot cards complexly offer a reflection of truth already possessed by the reader. When a medium uses tarot cards to predict the future, they are using those cards to direct internal energy and present truth in a visible form.
I find that it is infinitely more likely for a person to get an accurate reading when another person is handling the card. I believe this is because the secondary person is not the target of self-criticism. They do not influence the cards with their own expectations of what is and what isn't. If I strongly deeply believe I am in love with someone and they in love with me, then despite the protests of the cards and the lingering doubts in my belly, I'll see what I want to see. We are all victim to this criticism.
A third-person medium can avoid such traps of the subconscious. They most likely have no investment in the outcome of the cards and can use their personal connection to magick to help offer a true and accurate reading.
Like all branches of witchcraft, divination and the occult; tarot cards can be very difficult to understand. There are thousands of energetic influences taking place at any given time(the weather, the location, feelings of the reader, feelings of the querent, star positions, etc..) and any one of these can be powerful enough to mislead the cards. I believe that unless you are born with a natural affinity to the cards, it can take years of practice before your inner truth reveals itself.
So, without an understanding of the process, the cards themselves say nothing; unlike arguably fire scrying or runestones. It is easy to see where the author became frustrated.
Tarot is a very complex, rich branch of divination and magick. No one person knows the correct way. Trusting your intuition is key.
All said, this is my own personal opinion. Divination has never been my strong point, but I felt slightly compelled to have my voice heard on the subject. I should also make clear that these are generalizations made from the point of view of my own particular path. I strongly believe in the exceptions which may further down prove the rule.
- Your Uniwitch