Okay, so I’ve had a few people contact me here asking for pointers on how to start reading tarot cards. This is awesome, because I have a LOT of resources to share.
I’m very much a hermit (haha? actually agoraphobic) so I don’t really get out to libraries and bookstores very much. I have relied on a plethora of information on the internet to teach me in my sort of self-guided learning.
Let me share with you how I began my Fool’s Journey.
So one night my very close friend paid me a visit. He brought along his deck of Dragon tarot cards, I’m sure with the intention of cheering me up and possibly sparking my interest. I had absolutely zero previous knowledge of Tarot cards or anything really that could be labeled “arcane” or even “mystical”. However, this year has been one of some serious shifts in my spirituality… I am pretty sure I’m in the process of an awakening. (Or I’ve finally gone insane. Who knows.)
My friend taught me some basic things like how to shuffle (which I absolutely could not do correctly for weeks or more), how to do a basic but really cool yes or no spread, and some things about tying the cards into a story. The last part there is, of course, a lot more advanced than I could comprehend at the time. But anyway, we asked a few questions and I was blown away by the insights the cards gave us both. I remember feeling like… this is all stuff we both know about our situations, but the cards are shining a light on this information inside our brains. It was eery. I took many notes.
The second time he came by, we did each other’s readings again. My reading was based on the question “are these synchronicities I’m noticing in my life just coincidence, or do they mean something more?”. The reading was… shiver-inducing. I wrote it all down and later typed it into a word file that I will cherish forever. That night, he left the cards with me. I was so excited.
Right away I set off into an obsessive research project. I got someone to go to the library for me and pick up all Tarot related books (which, I believe was only one at this little town’s library). I scoured the internet for everything Tarot related. I checked out the “free reading” sites and had fun with those for a while (until I realized I wasn’t learning much and didn’t’t feel very connected to the cards on the screen).
I then got obsessed with spreads. I must have close to 100 spreads saved in my Evernote/bookmarks and even hand copied. I wanted to do every spread on myself right away! I usually always have a notebook that I’m using as my current journal, and had just started with a lovely little college-ruled notepad. Every day I started pulling three cards and recording them, along with the meanings I found by looking them up on Google. I’m glancing at the first page:
Woke up at 9:50, crying again, scared to drive to dr. appt.
1. Six of Swords
2. Ten of Cups
3. Death (r)
Oh boy, did that death card freak me out. I looked for possible reversal meanings and was somewhat comforted. Still, I was filled with fear when I encountered traffic from an accident. This was around the time I was also discovering what being an “empath” means and have since realized that I am one. Negative energies all around… the death card in my future…
The very next day, 9/11/13, I received the best news of my life.
It was completely unexpected.
It was news that I was freed from the nightmare I had been stuck in for over a year.
I was so overjoyed, I have trouble remembering how it felt exactly, but I remember going straight to my dad (he had also heard the news) and we hugged, cried together for the longest time. “Maybe this is a gift from Papaw,” he whispered. “Today would have been his birthday.”
My grandfather had died in July.
Looking back on my three cards from the day before, I see where that Ten of Cups made itself known. The good news involved much celebration within my family. We went out to dinner and I just remember sitting there, beaming. Barely able to take in all of it. My life had just been handed back to me, after a fourteen month struggle. Fourteen months of fear about the future. Would I have a future? Would this nightmare ever end? Would I ever have my chance to speak out about what had happened? It was SO much to comprehend. It’s interesting because just today I was studying the Ten of Cups a little, trying to figure out it’s possible meanings in a spread. I came across something on crystal-reflections.com that says:
You will know peace within, contentment and joy at last after pain.
You find it difficult to accept that everything is working out well – things will happen suddenly.
And how true, how true.
It has been about two and a half months since I got my amazingly wonderful news. I have been really struggling with feelings of disappointment with myself for not acting more grateful, feeling devastated when every detail of my post-victory life (the one I had imagined for so long) didn’t work out as I thought. As my journey to getting back into LIVING again and letting go of the painful past has moved at a snail’s pace, I have at times let my spirits drop to an almost hopeless level. But how dare I? I was given such a gift…
I see that reversed Death card now. It was in the “future” position of my three cards, and the notes I have scribbled in my journal are:
– resistance to change, unable to move on
– on the verge of major change but for some reason resisting
– still shouldering the weight of harmful habits from the past which are interfering with the opportunity for a new beginning.
– pursuing your new journey now without having resolved the past may lead to unintended outcomes.
… Wow. And this, folks, is why a daily tarot journal is such an indispensable tool in your journey.
Do you know what I did when I got the good news?
I encountered an insurance issue which I could have fixed, but didn’t, and thus lost my therapist. So I am no longer in therapy— and I was no where near having resolved any of the PTSD symptoms or the pain.
I’ve gotten WORSE with my habits of not sleeping or eating or taking care of myself (which I am positive has led me into depression).
I feel there are so many loose ends still; so much pain is still there, despite the actual burden being lifted. Well of course there are! It was not the right time to abruptly stop therapy.
Well, I understand now what went wrong. I’m pretty clear too on how to turn it around.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in my country. I’m going to do my damnedest to focus on gratitude and the things I’m thankful for. From the amazing people in my life down to these silly striped socks that are keeping my feet warm at this very moment.
After the holiday is done, I am on a mission. Get back in therapy. Face my fears of the phone and talking to receptionists. Stop living the OLD way, and start trying the NEW way for a change.
Have a wonderful holiday and remember what you’re grateful for.