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Working with Tarot Cards

Updated: Apr 2

Allow the power to flow through you…

I’ve mentioned many a time that I was a French teacher in my former life. This fact is key in understanding my relationship with my boys. I encouraged each one to take French in high school and college hoping we would one day travel to France together. What I discovered is that my teenage boys would rather fail French than ask me for help. This was always a head scratcher.

How is it possible that they knew I taught this language, yet I am the last person they would go to for help? Not one to let their not asking stand in the way of my giving my opinion, I would also attempt to share my spiritual views on any situation they threw at me. Much like our experience with French, I had to divorce myself from the idea that they would embrace seeing me as a nonpareil source of wisdom.

That is, until now. For Christmas I gave each of my boys a tarot or oracle deck. With all of the shaving cream, chap stick and bars of soap I usually put in their stockings, I thought that having something personal of mine might be meaningful to them. I chose each deck from my stash based on their personality and interests and hoped for the best. Y’all, all I can say is that I received a true Christmas miracle. It was the moment every parent waits for, validation that I might actually know something useful. I’ve spent the last few days guiding my boys on how to work with this energy tool and it feels G>R>E>A>T! This brings me to the topic of this article, which is: a great way to get started with tarot or oracle cards.

Oracle versus Tarot

Tarot cards can help identify minor everyday themes in your life or work with overarching themes of consciousness. They work together and form a story that helps you understand what is swimming around in your seas of emotional debris. They have the same number of cards in each deck. The images can vary in theme from deck to deck, but all the cards in every deck hold the same basic meanings. They have structured ancient spreads that tap into wisdom beyond this lifetime. Oracle cards are more like general ideas or themes. They inspire self-discovery by helping you to build a relationship with the caverns of your soul. Oracle cards have no structure and the number of cards in the deck can vary depending on the author. One is not better than the other, but simply a matter of preference.

Best place to start

Once you get that you can’t mess this up, you can relax into the knowing that your intuition has your back. Put the little book that comes with each deck away for now. We’re jumping into the deep end of the pool of symbology, bypassing your mind’s need to adhere to form and function. For the first week, I’d like you to ask the question “what’s so that I need to know about today?” and turn over a card. By asking specifically about love or work, you narrow the field on what you can receive guidance on. Now, what is the first thing you see on that card? Write it down. What does that image mean to you? Take a picture of that card and look at again at the end of the day. Did anything transpire that day that you could relate to the image on that card? That will now be part of your vocabulary with your intuition.

How does this help me develop my intuition?

When you can make a connection between an image and an experience you assign a meaning to that symbol. Let’s say you asked the what’s so question and turned over the Justice card in a tarot deck. That card reminds you that whatever happens is ultimately divinely just no matter how your mind and heart perceived the situation. That day you happened to have had an argument with your friend about how you felt about their mistreatment of you. You decided to part ways. You can now see that exchange reflected by the justice card as necessary to allow the both of you to let go of a friendship that no longer supports your growth. In the future, if you have a situation come up in which you feel you are being mistreated and suddenly see the justice card in your mind’s eye, you will hopefully be thinking that whatever transpired has leveled the playing field resulting in a fair outcome. You just developed a deeper language with your intuition. That one image now replaces a lot of words and is conveyed on the fly.

Not quite ready to hang a shingle, but close!

Reading cards is a lot of fun if you are doing just that, having fun. Even the worst cards in the deck can be healing by using their meanings to empower your choices. One of my favorite tarot readers Elliot Adam wrote a book called Fearless Tarot that helps those of us prone to worst case scenario thinking, find the best case. Tarot is a great tool for visual learners as its images stir the unconscious. Practice each day drawing one card and before you know it you will be ready for the 10 card Celtic Cross spread. You may never be Madame Marie Castello giving readings on the Asbury Park boardwalk in New Jersey, but you can use your cards to build a symbolic language with your higher self that you can take anywhere and access anytime you need it.

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