Among my long list of eclectic skills is the ability to read Tarot cards. I’d imagine that Card reading is a natural fit for a storyteller. Seventy-eight cards, four elements or “suits,” twenty-two majors representing the archetypes, that when placed in patterns reveal a story. The story of things to come . . . Perhaps.
I can’t tell you why they work as they do or why they work for me. I’ve read the Cards for many people. There is always enough truth in the outcome to make me a cautious believer.
I can’t tell you if the Cards are a doorway to the Divine Plan or simply the whispers of dark forces who desire our souls.
My esoteric beliefs allow for all possible reasons, and my education informs me that humankind’s knowledge does not extend to the knowing all things.
Magic and Science is the same practice. The “Leviosa” incantation may not make objects defy gravity, but most people agree that words do have power.
Synthetic medication is indeed science brewed in research facilities. But Jewel Weed, a natural antidote, grows nearby the poison ivy plants. One cannot deny nature has its own laws even in the absence of our understanding the “why” or the “source” behind those laws.
Maybe the Cards are magic. A series of symbolic keys that unlock things science cannot. Maybe it’s just another version of magical thinking.
Maybe I’m just good at reading people, and the power is one of my insight. Maybe those I read for merely carve out a particular truth from the story I convey.
To that last, it is undoubtedly what the skeptics claim. Tarot, astrology, palm reading, psychics, Ouija boards are all just self-deception. A sham for the weak-minded. All forms of divination only appear to work because the individual sees what they wish to see and the messages are so vague they could apply to almost any situation. Divination is as illogical as saying protons can be in two places at once - until quantum mechanics showed it could.
The religious claim God would never reveal things in “that way.” That cards and stars can’t tell us our purpose or destiny - only prayer has such power.
I don’t argue with skeptics. I don’t argue with the scientist. I don’t argue with the religious. They are all entirely correct, and they are all completely wrong. We all have to decide for ourselves the reality we can live in.
I can tell you, however, that Tarot cards have a long history and that even in our modern world of unbelievable technology people still believe.
I can tell you I am the Tarot Reader non-sequitur. An educated, business executive, a pursuer of truth, a student of science and philosophy. I don’t dress like a wizard. I don’t take mushroom infused trips to higher consciousness. I don’t use the word goddess in sentences.
But I do believe there is something to the stories revealed in the Cards. I can marvel at practical outcomes without understanding the reason. In much the same way that I can accept the distance between Earth and Sun without any firm understanding of the math involved.
Knowing the future, understanding, in advance, our life’s outcome is a primary drive for most people.
The curse of knowing one is alive is the burden of accepting that one day you will no longer be alive. Recognition of mortality, for some, creates a need to believe in something other than cold science, the draconian click of the clock, or thinking its all just randomness without purpose or plan.
And yet, seldom do I read my own Cards.
Is it because I am not a true believer? Do I think myself above such inane activities?
First, in my study and practice of Card reading, I recognized a pattern that in time became an understanding. The Tarot Cards, in predicting an outcome, behave the same way as any trajectory calculation. At the point the question is asked, the individual has made decisions and consequently has pointed him or herself in a direction. The outcome is merely the result of that past and current trajectory hitting what it is aimed at.
Second, within the readings there are exits. Opportunities to make different decisions and change the outcome. A person knowing their trajectory can self-reflect and decide to make different choices that thus avoid the unwanted result. There is also, with knowledge, the opportunity to stay on the path and end where you were always going to arrive. To the last, the Cards merely facilitate psychology’s self-fulfilling prophecy.
And being aware of these two aspects, I can ask the question, apply introspection, and come to the same choices without ever flipping the cards. In other words, I don’t ask “what do the cards say for me?” Instead, I ask, “why am I asking this particular question?” And the answer allows me to chose, by my actions, my future.
But I said that I “seldom” read my own cards. I did not say that I never read them.
There are times, for all of us, when we need a vehicle to consider all our options, our choices, the things we should consider, the things we’ve ignored, and have an opportunity to view our situation from a higher level. To put all our cards on the table and exam our path by talking it aloud.
In my belief system, these forms of divination represent the greatest power and magic that humans wield: The power to know thyself, the magic of intentions, and ability to choose our individual path.
By Raymond Esposito
Raymond Esposito is an award-winning dark fiction author and Amazon bestseller. His articles and interviews have appeared in a variety of publications including Family Circle and Sanitarium Magazine. He has a degree in Cognitive Psychology and has spent over 28 years as a criminal behaviorist.