Tuesday, November 17, 2015


By Judy Jennings
© Copyright 2015


Be the change you want to see. 

Whoever coined that phrase probably wasn’t thinking about Tarot, but it’s a great description of Tarot philosophy.  There is no good and evil in Tarot, no judgmental afterlife, and no proselytizing doctrine.

Instead, Tarot focuses on the development of a meaningful life in this world.  In fact, you could call it a sort of map, with meaning as the destination. 

A person in pursuit of a meaningful life is someone who is willing to change, because there is no predetermined script for authenticity.  Meaning comes from genuine connection, which can’t be bought, wished into existence, or captured with all the words in the world.

We don’t really decide what’s meaningful in this life.  But if we’re open to it, meaning chooses us. 

Using the cards to do readings is only one way to approach them.  You can also study them for personal growth.  The major arcana tracks the evolution of consciousness from formation to transcendence, with particular emphasis on personality development and stages of spiritual enlightenment. 

But why use Tarot as a spiritual teacher, when there are so many other possibilities?  There are, no doubt, as many reasons for that as there are people with decks, but here are mine: 

There is faith, but no dogma in Tarot.  Hidden wisdom, yes, but narrow mindedness, never, because Tarot is a celebration of the idea that there are many paths to Truth. 

Contemplative study of the major arcana helps to calm my mind.  Understanding the lessons that are contained in the cards calls for a balance between rational thought and intuition, thereby encouraging the development of both.  Domination by the conscious mind simply does not work in the Tarot system, nor is it based entirely on the sixth sense.

And finally, I follow Tarot as a spiritual path because when I look at the cards, they speak to me.  They communicate through symbols that create ideas and reactions, they call up metaphors that have meaning to me, and they unfailingly correlate with my daily life.  Most of all, meditating on the cards helps me keep my attitude pointed in the right direction.

In a reading, Tarot offers not only a reflection of who we are, but the potential of what we might become.  Ultimately, though, it’s up to us.  Tarot reminds us that taking one action at a time, committing one act of kindness, or standing firm one time in a resolve not to escalate hostility can make all the difference in a moment.  And a moment can make all the difference in the world.

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