Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Omily Tarot: Are We Looking at the Same Spread?

You know that moment when you lay out the cards, not for a professional, or even a semi-serious reading, but more just playing around, with a friend who enjoys the tarot as well, and who you trust...and then they start talking complete nonsense about the innocent spread you just revealed??


Sooner later it will probably happen. You find yourself face to face with just how little of the tarot is about the cards themselves, no matter how much has been written about what each one means, and how much the tarot is about the reader.

Of course, that's why we love the tarot! That's why it's awesome! But sometimes, that very aspect of it can also be confusing.

Like when you suddenly want to defend the Page of Coins from an accusation of gazing lewdly at the High Priestess. The feck? He would never!

Or like when you're giving a reading to someone you care about and you know what the cards are saying, and they're blithely absorbing a message from them that you fear, or even know, is more what they want to hear than what they need to hear.

What do you say?

Well, it's always worthwhile and interesting to suggest alternative interpretations. It's quite possible, and in fact quite common, for a single card in a spread to have two contradicting meanings at the same time.

But, it's never good, or helpful, or ethical to tell your querent, or your friend, that he or she is wrong. Each person absorbs from the tarot the wisdom she or he ready to receive at that given time. You may think you know what wisdom this person should be receiving, and maybe you aren't entirely wrong: maybe the alternative message you're seeing is another shade of the truth, but it's not the one this person is ready to receive.

If you throw those seeds down on frozen, or even unplowed ground, they may germinate, but they won't take root and grow.
So, you may be tempted to put your hand to the till, and rip right on in there so the tarot can get through!

Bad idea. This is not a process that can be rushed. And, it's not your job as a querent, or even in this case as a loved one or friend. To assume that you know what message this person needs, and when this person needs it is to misuse the gift the tarot has given you. You'll almost certainly do damage to your relationship with this person, and you may make her or his journey to enlightenment that much longer when he or she quite reasonably, resists your meddling, and moves away from where you're shoving her or him.

You may also be wrong! I know, sounds crazy, but it's true! Even with the tarot at your disposal, you don't know everything! Join me, won't you, in one of my favourite, and most useful mantras for personal growth: "I don't know."

Practice biting your tongue, nodding your head, and saying something along the lines of, "That's an interesting interpretation!"

Trust me, you'll be a better, more ethical tarot reader for it.

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