An empress, a freak and a fool…

For a good few months now, I’ve been learning the tarot. I know it freaks some people out. Others just tut and roll their eyes and think ‘sweet Lord, is she serious? What a load of old ridiwizardry!’ (I just made that word up… it’s a blend of ridiculous and wizardry, but I think it’s quite fitting in this case).

I know the majority of people think it’s bollocks but you know what? Lately I’ve been having these really weird psychic moments with them, (DON’T MOCK) so I think maybe they’re trying to connect. Or maybe that’s what everyone thinks, before they’re sucked into an inescapable void of the blackest of black magic, spouting things about voodoo and talking rabbits and men with very long beards. Maybe that’s what all the loners tell their mates before they move their cats in and their dignity out, and their families stop calling.

Ah fuck it, I don’t care. The tarot and me, we’re friends.

I like the cards. I like the pretty pictures on them. I like the fact that no matter how many times you look at one, the next time you see it, it can reveal something totally different. I’ve been to a zillion tarot readers in the past and you can always tell the fakes and cold readers from the ones who are truly connecting.

I’ve often thought with tarot readers, though, perhaps it’s not always a case of these people really connecting, spiritually… after all, they’re just cards, printed and boxed in a factory… that much is obvious. I always look for the passion the readers have for what they do, for the spark in their eyes when they study the symbols and designs in relation to a new spread. If they show a compassion and a kindness, a need to read deeper if it looks like I need more… that’s what I’m paying for, that’s what will make me feel better! If they believe, I feel like it’s OK to believe, too. I know the tarot isn’t a religion but… I guess… if you go somewhere seeking hope and you come away having found it, what’s the difference? And more to the point, what’s the harm?

With the tarot, the fact that a picture is worth a thousand words has never been more true. As a writer, I see the creative thought behind each one. I see stories, and meaning and reason. I see the past as clear as the future and sometimes, I make sense of the present when nothing else is making sense at all. Is this a dangerous escape route for a wandering mind, do you think? Or is it helping me to focus? I guess it depends which way you look at it.

I even see the cards in my dreams lately! I’m serious! I’ve seen The Fool, telling me to jump in with caution. The Empress, for creativity and destruction; the Page of Wands standing at the threshold of a new direction. They’re like new friends, telling me secrets, whispering in my ear… and occasionally, freaking me out. The other day I dreamed I did a reading for a friend and the cards told me he was thinking of a buying a house with his brother. Turns out he’d discussed that very thing the day before. Spooky eh!

I have an awesome book. It’s called Tarot for Life, by Paul Quinn. It explains every card individually and gives you stories about each one to help understand the meaning.  It’s definitely the best one out there for beginners! I actually bought it for the first time in New Orleans but left it in the UK. Then when I found it again in Sydney I had to get it. Oooooh maybe it found me!?

I don’t want to turn into a bushy haired gypsy who spends Sunday mornings sitting at a stall outside supermarkets stroking a purple velvet tablecloth, but I think I might continue on this path and see where it leads. I’m loving my tarot friends so far! I highly recommend you meet them yourselves, if you dare.