PROMPT: What is something about you someone might misinterpret that you want to explain?
Well! I am one whole mess of misinterpretation to be honest.
My family spoils me by seeing past my someone tactless dialogue to the meaning of my words. I have to back pedal a lot with strangers because they don’t quite understand my particular brand of communication. This is why writing is so much easier. Backspace button, YEAH!!
I cry at everything, even when I’m not sad. I cry at dog rescue videos on Facebook. I cry during movies, sometimes at the same part every time I re-watch it. I cry when people do nice things for each other. I cry sometimes when people compliment me. (I blame this on my tear ducts being probed a couple of times as a kid. They’re extra-large now, ya know?)
But for this particular prompt I wanted to talk about something that is passingly familiar to most people and yet widely debated.
Quickie history lesson:
A set of divination cards most commonly used by pagans and occult groups but there are variations used in many different cultures. They originated as a simple card game called “Triumph” or “Tarocchi” brought over from the Islamic countries into Europe. Then certain occult groups saw further meaning in the cards and adapted them into their philosophy.
The deck has 22 major arcana cards and 4 suits of minor arcana 1-10 plus 4 court cards. The suits are the cups, swords, wands and pentacles. Each suit has a general meaning and each card an individual one, which play an important part in interpreting the layout of the cards in a reading.
Now I get why there’s so much controversy surrounding the Tarot. I’ve heard all the arguments and I’m not going to get into them. What I want to tell you is how I use them and how they’re helpful for me.
I’ve been interested in Tarot since I was a kid. I came across a young adult book series called Circle of Three by Isobel Bird (FABULOUS! I’m re-reading it now.) It follows three girls as they explore Witchcraft for a year and a day and one of the things they learned about was Tarot. I read about them in books but I was never given my own deck (because Tarot works best when gifted and not bought.) As an adult I remedied that. But I don’t really use the tarot to try and divine my future, as is the common misunderstood use for them.
What I use tarot for is to focus my thoughts.
Sometimes my head gets so muddled and confused about an issue I feel my brain is going to wring itself to death. So when I get out my deck it’s with the intention of trying to focus on the heart of the issue, which is the first step. How do I put what I want to know into a single question? This intention stops my brain from being a headless chicken for a second and it’s forced to think of a single line of words.
While I think, I shuffle the deck, which has always been a long time relaxation method for me. I would sit for hours in my room just shuffling cards as a kid and letting the rush and thwack of the plastic lull my mind into quietude. Then, when I felt the cards had been sufficiently shuffled and my question was clear in my head, I would lay out the cards.
There are different kinds of “spreads” you can do in Tarot depending on how in depth you want to go with a question and what kind of question it is. If it’s a simple advice question like “What do I need to be reminded of today?” then usually a one card draw is sufficient. If one needs to ask a question that has choices, it might be better to use a two or three card draw. If one has an in-depth soul-searching question like “Why do I have so much anger?” then a larger spread might yield more answers.
Now I’m not proficient at reading the individual cards yet. I still need google to help me figure out what they all mean. But this, again, helps me focus my mind in an orderly and step by step fashion. Even if some folks believe Tarot manipulates people into believing in generalized advice (like horoscopes), I still like to use it. It often gets me to realize things I didn’t notice before; a branch of thought that may be the lynch pin for all my turmoil. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful and soothing, adding another layer of distraction.
I find that after doing a reading, my mind is a lot calmer and I feel less stressed. So isn’t that a good thing? I don’t care about controversy. I care about a peaceful mind. Tarot is my counselor and trust me, it’s a lot cheaper. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.
(P.S. Were you wondering why magick with a ‘K’? To differentiate from sleight-of-hand magic 😉 The image featured is the tarot deck I use drawn by the super talented Stephanie Pui-Mun Law)