I know its trending and that hundreds of people are using Tarot cards all the time and everywhere now. Tarot decks are all over Instagram. The imagery of Tarot even found its way onto the catwalk this year. When exciting underground things become fashionable and a bit more mainstream, we sometimes either dismiss them or try to take a stance of having been in on the secret for years to project authenticity in our love for them. I'm not sure why we have the urge to do that and I going to try not to do that here. My new love for Tarot cards is puppyish and well behind the curve. I am nervous about sharing the fact that I have a new interest, but here it is; Its a novel and exciting habit for me and an expression of a girlhood desire to connect with and understand the world within and around me through mystical symbolism. I am only 9 months into ownership of my own deck(s). Maybe it will just be a phase, but for now it feels grounding and permanent.
I first became aware of the existence of Tarot cards when I watched the James Bond film 'You only Live Twice'. A marvellous film, still my favourite of the genre. I wanted to be Solitaire for a long time. My sister and I, always into witch museums, knowing about our birthstones, the idea of feminine magic and making secret toothpaste/shampoo/lotion-potions, added reading each other's fortunes in the aloof enigmatic manner of Solitaire, to our repertoire of mystical activities (using playing cards). We played unselfconsciously at being able to predict each others futures.
Recently my sister and I talked Tarot when I dragged her, in the rain to Mysteries New Age store in London. I recalled that I had craved to buy my first Tarot pack during my first term at University, to be admonished 'you can't buy yourself Tarot cards, someone has to buy them for you' by a person who seemed to know about such things. The law abiding soul that I was, I hung my head and accepted that I would have to wait indefinitely for someone to buy me a pack, wait to be invited in to the tradition. At roughly the same time, my rad sister on the other hand, gave herself permission and bought herself a Rider Waite pack which she referred to regularly during her first years in her big city job. My rad sister, gave herself permission....
Decades later, in the last days of 2016, I shrugged off the ridiculous commandment about not buying cards for myself and had my first full deck The Wild Unknown by New Year's Eve. Then The LineStrider Tarot found its way to me (from me) in early 2017. I love these cards. I am still a total beginner and revel in feeling like a foal tottering about in a new and unknown environment when it comes to knowing about the cards. I feel the pull of a community (I haven't yet got to know) of Tarot people. There are so many hundreds of beautiful cards out there to use and explore. In spite of the ubiquity of Tarot cards, I adore that this is something that feels so personal, I have a deepening relationship with my beautiful picture cards, every time I use them. The cards help me to look within and listen to myself. Through the cards I have been able to feel a deeper sense of connection to my whole self, the difficult darkness and illuminating strength of my own being.
Most of all I love that I bought the cards for myself. I discarded internalised sanctions: broke someone else's imposed rule, I proactively didn't ask permission or seek advice. I just allowed myself to cross over into a place of listening to my heart even about something so seemingly small and inconsequential. I ignored received wisdom and made my own decision.
My process of coming to the world of Tarot reflects everything that Tarot cards are about: Making space to hear and listen to your self. Allowing your intuition to help you to interpret your world, with a little help from visual archetypes and carefully constructed symbolic images. My coming to Tarot was a quiet journey of soul awakening and an effort of letting go of false wisdom or the need to be invited to participate in something, by someone else. Sharing my new affection for Tarot cards with you is an important part of that journey. In first listening to myself and exploring something new, then pushing myself to be open about it, even though it feels uncomfortable, I am allowing another part of me come into the light.
When we left Mysteries New Age store this summer, my sister passed me a small delicately patterned box. 'Here' she said smiling. She handed me the invitation into the fold, a box full of secret wisdom: Tarot cards in gift form! When I stopped waiting to be invited in, along came the invitation.
- What are you waiting for an invitation for, because of someone else's rule?
- What's your closet passion?
- Could you dare yourself to share? What might it feel like to have people in your life know about your secret passion?