Updated: Nov 25, 2020
In this introduction to 'The Truth of The Tarot Be Told' series, I'll cover what the Tarot is, and what it isn't. The reality may not be what you previously believed.
Photo by Fiona Sommer
When I first began my transition from Christianity to Spiritualism, I was met with all sorts of resistance and fear.
There was the resistance from my friends, the resistance from my family, and even the resistance within my own self.
Growing up in a toxic sect of Christianity, the only notions I had concerning the Tarot (and other forms of divination) were negative, holding basis in fear. Once I accepted that it was time for me to accept the call to pursue my own spiritual path, I had to combat not only my own fears, but the fears and resistance of damn near everyone I loved.
Truth be told, even as someone who was willing to open my heart, my mind, and my soul to the unknown, I wasn't too willing to open myself up to the mysticism of divination. After all, that was blatant witchcraft, and would ultimately be the final nail in my coffin... Right?
That's what I thought at the time, and it's still what many of those in my life, today, believe. I get it. I understand the difficulties of moving yourself from a place of fear to a place of love and acceptance. I can understand the unwillingness to learn about any religious beliefs or paths that are not your own, as I stood in those same shoes for many years. I'm not here to push my own beliefs or ideas on anyone, but I am here to share and guide those who may be called to the spiritual path.
If you have an interest in learning the Tarot, or simply want to have a better understanding of the craft, I'd love to share my own ideas of what the Tarot is with you. Take what you will, and leave what you may. Again, this is a series that is meant to inform and help individuals develop their own beliefs and perception of the Tarot. At the very least, I hope to shed a little light on the subject and bring clarity to what the Tarot is and what the Tarot is not.
"You're Future is Coming in Clearly"
...Except it's not.
I'm sorry I'm not sorry. In my belief, those who provide psychic, spiritual, or clairvoyant services who claim to be able to see the future of others are full of a bunch of hocus-pocus daddy-ocus. Why? Well...there's no short answer to that question.
To begin with, spiritual journeys are typically deeply personal to the individual. While I 100% believe that every one of us has certain gifts that we can learn to tap into, I don't think they're foolproof. I also have a suspicion that these gifts are our own, and that in the majority of cases, the individual cannot clearly see every life path of every individual who crosses their path at any given moment.
Can you even imagine how overwhelming that would be? Yikes!
While I believe it possible for individuals to have powerful gifts that cannot be explained in the natural realm, I don't think it's possible for anyone to see the future clearly.
You see, as a spiritualist, I believe that there's a good chance that there are multiple realms and universes out there. I also believe that we are capable of making choices and taking action to alter the course of our current reality, thus altering the future, at any given moment.
Furthermore, clairvoyance is a spiritual gift, while the Tarot is a material one. The Tarot deck holds the information, while the conduit holds the key to interpreting that information. Without the interpreter - a conduit who is willing and able to tap into the spiritual realm, in this case - the information provided may end looking like a whole bunch of mumbo jumbo. But anyone can teach themselves to simply read tarot. The tricky part comes into play when it's time to decipher the message and determine which areas of your life the Tarot is speaking to.
If you've ever watched a live 'pick a card' reading, or even a general reading for your sun sign, you've likely noticed that the readings are very general and in-depth. In these instances, the Tarot cards are explained from nearly every aspect, because the information provided is to be interpreted in different manners according to the individual. Therefore, with general and overall energies, the message cannot be pinpointed and can appear to be very vague.
That does not make the reader any less credible, or the message any less meaningful. It just requires more interpreting to be done on the part of the listener, than the reader, in these instances.
If you've ever had a personal reading done, or done a spread of your own, with a particular question being presented, then it's likely that you've noticed the exact opposite to be true. Most readers who provide personal readings, especially those centered around a question, are able to provide a much more accurate interpretation of the information since it is pertaining to one specific energy - yours.
In either case, I would never advise someone to believe that information that is coming through and being delivered through me is the end-all, be-all. Quite the opposite, actually.
The Gift of Tarot
In my opinion, the Tarot is a tool that can be used to reveal the likely outcome of a particular situation, if everything stays on the current path it's on. On some occasions, the tarot can even provide a direction that you should or shouldn't take, resulting in different outcomes.
It's important to always remember that the information revealed through the Tarot cards is merely a representation of what could happen, or what may even be likely to happen. But this is if, and only if, everything remains on its current course.
What happens if a lover abruptly decides to alter their behavior?
What happens if you suddenly decide to quit your job?
The same thing that happens if a third party interferes: the current course is altered, in effect changing the projected outcome.
But this is a good thing! It certainly isn't a reason to get frustrated with the Tarot or to have disbelief in your reader. The ability to alter our current realities is a major blessing.
You come to me to get a reading because you know you royally screwed the pooch by stepping out on your significant other. Your question for me is: will they find out? I conduct a reading and deliver my findings to you, confirming your suspicions that your partner is going to find out sooner, rather than later. Not only that, but the combination of pain, dishonesty, the inability to trust, and the unwillingness to make it work will be the demise of your relationship - IF everything stays on its current path.
If you then, of your own volition, choose to be honest and forthcoming with your partner, sharing your infidelity, you then alter the course of your path. At this point, the outcome could be similar, or you could have completely changed the outcome with that one action.
Let's say that your honesty didn't change the outcome and that your relationship still ends. Are you going to be upset with your reader for presenting you with a likely outcome to your current path, because your choice of action didn't change that projected outcome?
Now let's say, instead, that your honesty is what your partner needed to save your relationship and that your bond then grows stronger than ever - resulting in the exact opposite of the projected outcome. Are you going to be pissed with your reader for providing you with a likely outcome to your current path, because your choice of action completely altered the course and resulted in a better outcome?
Probably not; but if so, that's your prerogative. In all reality, the more realistic reaction would be to hold gratitude that the unfortunate outcome had been altered to a positive outcome, through your action. Personally, I love the reminder of power that comes when a path transitions from what the Tarot or runes previously predicted.
Ultimately, when doing your own readings or seeking out practitioners, you should always keep the truth in the back of your mind. We should honor and respect the Tarot for the clarityand inspiration it can bring, the warnings it can provide, and the direction it can suggest. However, we should also always be wary of putting too high an expectation on this tool and do our due diligence in ensuring the accuracy of the interpretation.
The Tarot is not the creator of your destiny; you are the creator of your destiny.
The Legend of The Tarot
Amongst the spiritual community, there is a widespread belief that the 78 cards within the traditional Tarot deck can depict every spiritual lesson we encounter on our journeys. When taking into consideration all the various combinations of cards that could be chosen (without even counting their reversals), I certainly wouldn't rush to challenge the belief.
When working with a gifted individual, or when tapping into Spirit on your own, the Tarot can truly provide a great deal of insight. The explanation of each card holds special meaning, and even further information can be hidden in plain sight. Some of those who are spiritually aligned with their greater and highest good are able to find deep meaning simply by studying the photo depicted in the card, without ever even looking at its synopsis.
With there being so many different styles of Tarot decks, this makes the possibilities truly endless.
When first starting off in your dance with Tarot, it's important to note that the cards are split up into two groups - The Major Arcana and The Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana is further divided into four suits:
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Swords
The Suit of Pentacles
The Major Arcana
The Major Arcana makes up the core of the Tarot, and tells a story within itself. Have you ever noticed that every Tarot deck begins with The Fool? That's not coincidental, in the slightest. The final card of The Major Arcana is The World. These two cards, and all of those between, are representative of humanity's journey through spirituality, from eyes closed tight to eyes wide open.
Therefore, when we study the cards of the Major Arcana, we can often recognize the similarities in the journeys of The Fool, The Empress, or The Hermit in our own journey towards enlightenment and awakening.
The Major Arcana includes:
The High Priestess
Wheel of Fortune
The Hanged Man
The Suit of Wands
The Suit of Wands is the first suit amongst The Minor Arcana and possesses only 14 cards, as do the three remaining suits. In some Tarot decks, you may notice that the Suit of Wands is referred to as the Suit of Fire, as this is the element that the Suit of Wands is associated with. If you're a fire sign, or in the habit of reading up on your astrology, you may already know that fire energy is representative of drive, passion, and inspiration.
With The Wands positioning in the Tarot deck, they are known for encouraging action to be taken by the individual to spawn creation or the beginning of a new cycle. When The Wands are presented in reverse, the message can be the same, but delivered in a harsher manner. Instead of suggesting that you take creative action in your life, The Wands in reverse have been known to call individuals out for throwing caution to the wind, along with their ambition.
The Suit of Wands includes:
Ace of Wands
Two of Wands
Three of Wands
Four of Wands
Five of Wands
Six of Wands
Seven of Wands
Eight of Wands
Nine of Wands
Ten of Wands
Page of Wands
Knight of Wands
Queen of Wands
King of Wands
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Cups is next in line in The Minor Arcana. Some artists and conduits choose to present the Suit of Cups as the Suit of Water, due to the element this suit is associated with. Water energy, and coincidingly the Suit of Cups, is the ruler of our unconscious selves and intuition, as well as our emotions and creativity.
When The Cups appear within a reading, you can almost be certain that the Tarot is pointing to a relationship that needs to be addressed - perhaps even the one with yourself or your Higher Power. While The Cups can suggest love and light and all things good within our relationships, they can also easily pinpoint a lack of control in emotions and the disconnect an individual may have with their inner, guiding voice.
The Suit of Cups includes:
Ace of Cups
Three of Cups
Four of Cups
Five of Cups
Six of Cups
Seven of Cups
Eight of Cups
Nine of Cups
Ten of Cups
Page of Cups
Knight of Cups
Queen of Cups
King of Cups
The Suit of Swords
The Suit of Swords is the third suit within The Minor Arcana. In some Tarot decks, you may notice that the Suit of Swords is swapped out with the element it coincides with: air. As the ruler of air, the Suit of Swords appears to lend its direction in regards to all things related to education, logic, and truth. In addition, the Suit of Swords comes to point out areas of conflict, perhaps where communication can be altered to change the outcome of your story.
The Suit of Swords is often far from being kind with the messages it has to share. Sure, The Swords may give you that pat on the back for your superior intellect, yet they come with the reminder that even our blessings and gifts can become a double-sided sword. When observing The Swords in your own Tarot reading, consider that they may be directing your attention to a misuse of power or position that is mere moments from causing a catastrophe in your life.
The Suit of Swords includes:
Ace of Swords
Two of Swords
Three of Swords
Four of Swords
Five of Swords
Six of Swords
Seven of Swords
Eight of Swords
Nine of Swords
Ten of Swords
Page of Swords
Knight of Swords
Queen of Swords
King of Swords
The Suit of Pentacles
The Suit of Pentacles brings a close to The Minor Arcana, as well as The Tarot. You will notice below that The Suit of Pentacles comes with an additional exception. While some Tarot decks represent The Suit of Pentacles as The Suit of Coins, others pay homage to the element of earth that these cards have a foundation in. As the Suit of Earth, these cards regularly expose the need that our Spirit has to connect with nature, or towards issues regarding health and wellness. In addition, as the name 'Suit of Pentacles' suggests, these cards can often highlight areas of prosperity, security, and stability that are either about to blossom like never before, or that need to be addressed by the individual.
Being grounded in earth energy, The Suit of Pentacles often presents messages with the long-term picture in mind. The information could appear as a blessing or as a warning, but almost always points towards career, finances, business, and even that sensual nature within you.
The Suit of Pentacles includes:
Ace of Pentacles
Two of Pentacles
Three of Pentacles
Four of Pentacles
Five of Pentacles
Six of Pentacles
Seven of Pentacles
Eight of Pentacles
Nine of Pentacles
Ten of Pentacles
Page of Pentacles
Knight of Pentacles
Queen of Pentacles
King of Pentacles
Of course, this is an overall introduction of The Tarot that doesn't even begin to touch on the messages that can be contained within each card. To learn more about the mysteries of The Tarot, follow along as 'The Truth of The Tarot Be Told' series unfolds.
All Tarot images were created by Fiona Sommer and pulled from Maggie Stiefvater's 'The Raven's Prophecy Tarot'.
Fiona Sommer originally got her start in freelance writing by ghostwriting blogs, ads, reviews, and how-to guides for pennies. A few years later, she found a platform on Medium to share her own voice, and share she did. She created not just one, not just two, but four radically failed blogs. After spending a lifetime of being buried beneath the bullshit, she finally stopped resisting the universe and chose to grow through the bullshit, instead. This resulted in her accepting the calling on her life to create a transparent space for the collective community to come together, and grow together. Thus The Growth Getter was born. Fiona is a firm believer that if she can find a way to grow through the bullshit, rather than allowing it to keep her buried, that there's absolutely no reason that the rest of her community can't join her on the mission of growing through it. She hopes you agree and will partner with her in choosing growth through all things, no matter the challenge.