Hope for the future
By Alexis Zygan, Contributor
Tarot is a concept that has been around since the 14th century. Mystics used the cards to help reach out to the supernatural for insight. At that time, the practice existed behind the curtain to bypass persecution. Now you can learn the basics about tarot on Tik Tok’s community WitchTok or receive generalized guidance from one of the many YouTubers sharing pick-a-card readings. There are online communities established to help beginners learn the basics of tarot and websites where people can access psychics and pay for one-on-one interpretations.
My interest in tarot developed from an ex-partner’s curiosity for mysticism. When his birthday approached, I stepped into a local metaphysical bookstore to purchase a deck. His keenness never transpired; hence when we broke up, I packed the cards into a moving box—subconsciously, I knew that tarot would be imperative for my healing. Months after our separation, I hesitated to connect with the cards neatly tucked away from my view. I resisted anything involving spirituality due to the negative impact that coming of age in a tyrannical religious environment deprived of the liberty of choice had on me. For so long, I thought sovereignty only presented itself in the denouncement of a higher power. Spiritual nihilism permitted the commencement of unpacking religious trauma. However, atheism began to feel disempowering, and I sought for meaning in spirituality. The turning point presented itself in the form of a mental breakdown, which made me realize that alienation from a spiritual practice no longer served me.
For so long, I thought sovereignty only presented itself in the denouncement of a higher power.
I found the tarot cards covered in a layer of dust, slipping them into a tote bag before heading to a nearby park. My intuition guided me to a tree near a meadow. There I slowly unpacked the cards. I had very minimal knowledge of tarot. Thankfully, every deck includes a pamphlet that shares a brief history of tarot, an introduction to the symbols and deities, and a guide on the different ways to read tarot. For my first try, I tried a past, present, and future reading—the first of many spreads that would transpire into a quintessential aspect of my mental wellbeing routine. My practice of tarot taught me that spirituality and healing aren’t mutually exclusive.
When reading the tarot, I incorporate mindfulness, visualization, and imagination. There are two different types of cards that make up the tarot—minor and major arcana. I prefer to use major arcana to guide profound life changes and minor arcana for daily clarification. I use major arcana to seek a cycle’s meaning and closure for a full moon reading—incorporating minor arcana for clarification. Before proceeding with a reflection, I first cleanse the deck. I do this by situating the deck on a windowsill for a celestial full moon charge. Or use meditation to visualize a cleansing white light in the mind’s eye. After cleansing the cards, I shuffle the deck. There are many different methods to shuffle a deck. I usually implement cutting the deck method adapted from casino games. If I feel reckless, I lay the cards out on my bed and sporadically move them around until I feel called to leave them be. This method is likely to result in reversed cards, which alters the meaning.
Nowadays, I find myself gravitating to tarot when I feel the walls caving in, as many of us do during this pandemic—immobile in our homes with a creative funk. Tarot grounds me with hope for the future. A reminder that the lessons of the present moment are fundamental to what lies ahead. I receive guidance on how to alter my perspective to align with my higher purpose. I believe we are put on this Earth to fulfill our destiny. Every mistake and struggle bring us closer to uncovering our purpose. If you are new to tarot, I recommend visiting your local metaphysical store and finding a deck you feel pulled. If you feel uneasy attending stores during COVID times, you can also find many decks online.