What the hell, Tarot? Last two draws for this column: the Death card. And today? The Tower. The Blasted Beech (Tarot of the Hidden Realm deck). Will they make it? They are falling from a great height. Will they make it? The one with the fiery red hair reminds me of our friend from the […]
A gal in one of my chat rooms was talking about work-avoidance. She’s got a big project that she’s been putting off. Not just putting off the fine-tuning detail work, but avoiding the whole shebang. Watching make-up tutorials on YouTube instead. I think there’s a time and a place for everything, including watching make-up tutorials, but I could tell, and she mentioned, that she wanted to get back to work.
I drew one card to start. What was she actually avoiding? And then another. What action did she need to take?
The Hanged Man: I believe she was avoiding the process itself. Avoiding the fact that she didn’t know where to begin. She had to ask more questions before beginning. Had to discover a starting point. The starting point was missing. She felt “hung up.” Stuck.
I started to see her as avoiding the stuck feeling more than avoiding the work per se. Know what I mean? Avoidance of emotional quicksand which was part of the process. She was avoiding surrender.
And when I asked what action was needed I drew the High Priestess. The need to go deeper in and listen. Interesting to me because these are “passive cards.” These are not cards of rushing or running or even of working, but of calming down and sitting still. Could she trust this process instead of fight it? These cards insist on quiet.
It’s really up to you how you want to approach the cards. You can learn individual card meanings from books. You can memorize meanings or just loosely familiarize yourself. You can study the symbolism from classic decks. You can dip into numerology or the history of Tarot. You can learn nothing in advance but make intuitive leaps based on what the images “tell you.” You can study the Tarot masters. You can buy deck after deck and explore and discover. You can even use different cards from different decks. You can read for yourself or read for others.
A few months ago, in Tarot class, we were discussing the Moon card and some of my students were surprised to learn that the Moon was associated with deception and confusion. For them the Moon was more about dreams, not necessarily illusions. The Moon was about cycles, powerful feminine energy.
If someone came to me and said, “The Moon card is about eating hamburgers,” I may raise my eyebrows but if their message rings true for me in the moment, who am I to argue? The Moon as a symbol, in astrology, rules food and comfort. The hamburger example may be extreme, but I hope you get my point. For you the Moon may be lies. For others the Moon may be unconscious urges. For me the Moon could be secrecy, privacy, or a really good nap or nighttime. Or something completely out of left field because that’s exactly what needs to happen. We must lower the gate of our conscious minds and listen, like the High Priestess.
What I like to do is learn as much as I can and then adjust in the moment. Make room for more meaning. Lower the gate or at least replace the solid with something permeable. We need space, we need room, so the messages can relay back and forth.
What was the young woman actually avoiding? The feeling of feeling stuck. The fear that this state wouldn’t change. What did she need to do? Not fight, but wait.
And I actually heard from this gal earlier today. She made progress. She broke through. She lowered the gate. I don’t know how she did it, but I am glad she did. It’s her victory.
I drew another card: the Empress. Another card of distinctly yin, feminine, energy. All the cards to me point in one direction: rather than pushing hard, Aries-style, for results, she needed to pull back, into herself, which is different than distraction or clubbing herself on the head until the discipline to do the work magically arrives. See the difference? She couldn’t do X hoping for Y. She had to BECOME the magic.
Aliza’s Rule Number Six for Tarot Reading:
The poetic intuitive leap is your friend. Look up Lorca’s concept of “duende.” We’ll discuss this next time.
Dear Readers, do you leap?