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Why Tarot?

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

"You don't really believe in all that, do you?" Was a particularly sticky response I received upon bringing up my practice in conversation.


Is such a tricky & powerful world, now isn't it? A brief tangent on that note:

Four years ago, I participated in an excellent Artist's Intensive with Theater Mitu. One evening, we were asked to rapidly write down 20 sentences beginning with "I believe" on a sheet of yellow notebook paper and turn it in.

The next day, upon entering the studio, we were greeted with giant sheets of paper covering a wall with every "I believe" statement anonymously shuffled and copied, with punctuation and capitalization in tact, written in giant Sharpie. I noticed a friend of mine quietly take in that I was quietly crying. Seeing my beliefs, unquestioned & unaltered, mixed in with all the others was a massively moving experience. As someone who comes from a community whose philosophies are often quietly incongruent with my identity, standing under this Belief Wall led me to realize just how often my mind spends its spare time anticipating how to defend myself. Especially when it comes to the things that I quietly hold to be precious & true.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fervent supporter of regularly calling into question our belief systems. But when it comes to certain invisible understandings we hold about ourselves, what a gift it is to be heard and seen, down to the punctuation, before being questioned.

From an exploration of "The Architecture of Movement" during Theatre Mitu's 2016 Artist Intensive

Anyway, Regarding my beliefs for reading tarot:

  • There are as many ways to read tarot as there are tarot readers.

I don't consider myself a psychic or a life-coach; though these are titles which some tarot readers embrace. Personally, I regard the cards as a conversation starter. Drawing from each deck is a form of collaboration with the artist(s) that made them. Wherein their artwork, riffing off of centuries old patterns, creates a new story each time.

  • The thoughts, feelings, words, gut reactions, etc. etc. etc. evoked by each reading will be a unique creation built by the querent, the reader, the designer of the deck, and the cards themselves.

I believe there's power in patterns and metaphors that stick around; the set of 78 cards that comprise a Tarot deck have hung around for 7ish centuries, and counting. Do I think the cards can predict the future? Not necessarily. Some spreads may feel eerily accurate while some simply result in solid advice that's good to hear in any context. In any reading there is always an opportunity to process an ongoing situation in a fresh light after being prompted to regard it from a new angle. Thinking deeply about things from a different perspective is something I certainly believe in.

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