Tarot Tips: Interpretation As Creative Recovery

Tarot interpretation and its use as a means taowards creative recovery and intuition. Introduction to techniques.

The stigma generally attached to tarot is disappointing, and terribly limiting. One has imaginings of pseudo mystical banter, or even better yet........it has long been derided as "The devils' picture book." I beg the reader to put aside his or her image of the guttural voiced old gypsy * crone clad in a bandana and rags peering into a crystal with a raven perched on her shoulder; emphatically gesturing with nicotine stained fingers and pointed indecipherable remarks...{* gypsy itself being a bastardized nomenclature for nomadic tribes mistakenly believed to have come from Egypt, when really India...I digress this is the sort of myth tarot is privy to}.

Tarot appears to have developed in the early part of the 15th century as Tarrochi, a game which seems to have come into being along side playing cards. The suits it encompasses are Swords which are representative of air and the intellect, Wands which symbolize fire and creation, beginnings, Cups which are water and the emotions, as well as Pentacles which are worldly or material matters. Each suit is composed of 10 cards as well as 4 "pip" cards which are the court cards of the deck. Depending upon the deck these are deemed page, knight, queen and king or perhaps sister, brother, mother, father etc...

There is also a separate and most compelling aspect. There are 22 cards called the major arcana, which seem to denote progressions on the spiritual path and are indicative of life patterns and cycles which are universal to human experience. They are numbered 0(The Fool) through (21) The World. The placement of the fool is heatedly debated. He proceeds The Magician(1),and he or she seems to be a transitory card representative of the seeker...i.e. The one using the deck or being read for. This all ties in quite neatly with renowned Psychotherapist Carl Jungs' theory of the collective unconscious, a sort of web of universal experience... a dream well that transcends culture and time weaving and connecting the very fiber of life. An example of Tarots means of revelation is indicated by the much feared death card which really symbolizes transition and renewal a sowing of new seeds as well as a reaping of the old. Decomposition harboring new Growth...etc.

When one suspends the doubt and rational of left brained thought, and allows for play with childlike expectation of wonder so many revelations and inspirations can be struck upon by merely shuffling a deck with abandon. The cards have a way of touching on so much. The key is the interpretation which can be so varied and unendingly diverse. The cards do tend to fall in patterns, but a thousand threads are woven.

One sees a myriad of possibilities when approaching the cards as a means of creative play. Whether sleeping with the deck under the pillow as a catcher of whimsy and dreams or shuffling into the deck ones hopes and fears, or developing the art of reading for others, So many creative possibilities ensue. One sees in a deck a reflection of what they are projecting and hence can discover and utilize a sort of self correspondence via these guideposts to intuition.

(I highly recommend seeking a deck one is visually drawn to, and a wonderful workbook entitled "Tarot For Yourself" by Mary k. Greer)

When tarot becomes part of a daily ritual, a sort of self guided meditational devotion, the creative self is allowed to play a bit. Images speak to the dreamer in us, they evoke the artist brain. This process allows us to tap into the part of ourselves which is infinite and undoubting, wonderous and unafraid. The symbols transend the pratfalls of rationality and its limits. One begins to allow feelings to emerge and barriers are overcome. one can reflect on a card and gauge their responses, and record them! As with any devotional or ritual, if adhered to so much can become unraveled; self realizations abound.

Objectively noting the patterns in life, seeing growth and catharsis in the struggles and glories; one can truly gain a sense of harmony; balance. Symbols put down for us what words cannot. Tarot aides in drawing the dreams and fears from nebulous darkness into clarity.

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