Tarot card spreads often look to me like the storyboards that screenplay writers use to develop their plots for movies. And this is no coincidence as in the days when tarot cards started to be used in the 15th century, very few people could read or write so story-tellers may have used tarot cards for similar purposes.
But perhaps one key difference is that the tarot cards tell the universal story of medieval Europeans that is also the basis of life today for many people. Indeed the human condition today has hardly changed since medieval times and the psychology of people also remains remarkably constant.
In my coaching practice, I use tarot cards to gain insights into the psychology and philosophy of my clients, and this process, in turn, helps them to understand their current situation better.
So, for me, the tarot cards put my clients and me in communication with both our inner and our outer lives.
How can tarot cards help?
Well, there is a clear basis for seeking answers from tarot cards. It is almost a spiritual exercise that inevitably yields useful and relevant information.
Furthermore, the more you consult the tarot cards the more you will develop your intuitive and creative sides of your mind. Tarot readings contain food for thought. So don’t look at the information you get during a reading as forever true, but more as a necessary and notable selection of possibilities.
Finally, by focusing on the cards during and after a professional reading it’s as if you were meditating on the issues at hand, and many answers pop up from the depths of your mind that would normally be simply left. Thus, the archetypal images can be awakened in our minds and energized in ways we don’t foresee or expect.
In these ways, growth and transformations occur.
Meaning as developed using the tarot spread is always interrelated and interconnected with other aspects of your personality and you need to be actively involved.
What is important also consulting the tarot cards is the attitude of mind of both the reader and the client. The client is inevitably curious but sometimes overly serious and possibly rather heavy or displaying gravitas.
So a balance needs to be sought between being overly frivolous and overly ponderous. This is part of the “trick” of a tarot consultation. The participants need to tend towards nonchalance while at the same time being ready to pounce on meanings that display themselves for a fleeting moment. It might be thought of like a cat stalking a bird. The bird needs to be caught off-guard in order to be captured.
This unique practice of the tarot is to bring together in a creative partnership the physical nature of the tarot cards and the insights, intuition and experiences of the reader on behalf of the client.
Soul of the Tarot
Again, this is the unique feature of a tarot spread in that it is not simply the physical world of the senses and nor is it simply the dreamscape of the inner world of the client, but the magic that occurs in the union of the two.
It reminds me of the quote from Novalis where he says,
“The seat of the soul is where the inner world and the outer world meet. Where they overlap, it is in every point of the overlap.”
This is exactly where the spot that the tarot card spread shines a light, and it is no wonder that marvellous insights and new possibilities are generated in this space between those worlds.
Tarot insights truly come from the depths of the psyche and perhaps even from the seat of the soul.