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"Although we human beings have our own personal life, we are yet in large measure the representatives, the victims and promoters of a collective spirit whose years are counted in centuries. We can well think all our lives long that we are following our own noses, and may never discover that we are, for the most part, supernumeraries on the stage of the world theatre." Carl Gustav Jung - Memories, Dreams, Reflections; Student Years (1961)
You are holding a deck of Tarot Cards in your hands. With a selection of a few cards from this inanimate collection of 78 pictures on card stock, you are going to delve into the mysteries of existence and foretell someone"s future, or explore the very depths of their psyche. Can this be?
Well, it is true that you are holding magic, but the magic is not just in the cards in your hands - it is within YOU and the universe around you!
So how do you get at that magic? How does Tarot work?
We already know that the images on the Tarot represent archetypal truths and human conditions that we encounter and experience on life"s journey, along our path to enlightenment.
Now we will look at how, by randomly shuffling, laying out and interpreting the cards that we draw, we arrive at some ultimate truths. Can these cards show us any great truth? In spite of this seeming to be, as some would say, a random game of chance? Yes, they can! This is the beauty of Tarot. The images are anything and everything - the reader interprets, but the truth is always revealed if we trust our intuition.
Sometimes when I first began reading tarot, I used to worry "what if I cut the cards at the wrong place to get the answers I am seeking?"
There IS no wrong card or choice of cards and there IS no wrong interpretation!
Firstly, from a purely practical stance, you must realize that with so many images and symbols in the Tarot deck, you will ALWAYS find the right cards to represent the truth of the situation no matter which cards you pick, or what question you are seeking enlightenment on.
Secondly, no tarot reading is purely a one-dimensional snapshot of the immediate actions you are taking. It is the culmination of a long series of actions which have led you to this point. At one time, you decided to study the tarot. Then you obtained a deck and learned to work with it. Then you decided to take the cards out for a particular reason, at a particular time, and you shuffle and cut the cards according the feelings and circumstances of the present moment. Is that random? No. Then you read the cards based on what is flowing and happening in and around you, and all that which has brought you to the NOW.
At every step, you are actively involved and your reading is based on all that has brought you to this point. And where does the information that you glean from the cards come from? For our modern day practical and scientific minds, it is hard to comprehend the magic of divination. It is not an empirical, quantifiable or qualifiable experience or event, yet we are all fascinated with it! We are all familiar with the ancient phrase, "As above, so below" - which we still abide and live by, in fact, seemingly more and more so as we enter the Age of Aquarius. Not 25 years ago, it was a bit of a challenge to even find a deck of tarot cards. Unless you had a metaphysical bookstore in your area, or belonged to some occult society, you"d be hard pressed to run out and grab a deck of Tarot cards, let alone begin to learn how to read them. Now - just go to any larger bookstore, amazon.com or ebay and type in the word Tarot - or do any search on the internet - and you will find more information and tools than you could read in a year! There has to be a reason for this huge proliferation of interest in the Tarot - and I say it"s because this is one of the most efficient and yet mystical methods of tapping into our psychic gifts and the enigma of life and spirituality.
The occultist Arthur Edmund Waite expressed the following thesis, much in line with Carl Jung"s view of divination. "The Tarot embodies symbolical presentations of universal ideas, behind which lie all the implicits of the human mind, and it is in this sense that they contain secret doctrine, which is the realization by the few of truths embedded in the consciousness of all."
Personally, I find that Jung"s theories of archetypes, the collective unconscious and, my personal favourite, synchronicity, resonate best with me in terms of how I understand the working of divination tools and methods.
And this leads us to look at the greatest modern day figure who is associated with Tarot, Carl Gustav Jung. Jung founded analytic psychology in response to his predecessor, Freud"s, theories - but went much further in bringing insight and clarity into not only human psychology but the abstract areas of our awareness possibilities. His theories and discoveries brought us into the realms of the occult, looking at the mystical and the mythologies of the ages. Although he worked with another divination method, the I Ching, more than with the Tarot, Jung"s views apply to all divinatory tools and methods and have become a foundation for those studying how divination can accurately access personal and universal truths. Jung defined the unconscious of a person as comprised of both a personal unconscious gained from an individual"s experiences and a collective unconscious which is common to all humanity. I believe that in working with divination, we access universal truths from the mirror of the collective unconscious, where archetypal information is "stored".
Synchronicity is the coincidence of events that appear to be meaningfully related but cannot be explained by accepted mechanisms of cause and effect. We have all experienced synchronicity, from being delighted at little surprises such as the phone ringing when you are thinking of calling someone, or larger events of time, space and circumstances coming together to create an event which is beyond coincidence. Tarot invariably brings synchronicitous realities together in a remarkable but reliable pattern. However, even if you don"t believe in any special esoteric information which would allow access to other realms of time and other planes of reality, a spread or a single card can be used for meditation and contemplation with great benefits based on the archetypal imagery. For me though, I have seen synchronicity at work in my calling since the very first day of embracing spiritual work.
When I am doing a reading, I call upon all the powers that be for help and guidance in interpreting my reading for the highest possible inspiration, guidance and benefit of whoever I am reading for, but as for the mechanics of it, I know that divine synchronicity is doing its part to make sure the right message gets across at the right time. It truly is magic!
Happy Tarot Reading!
© 2003 Zsuzsana Summer
Author Bio :
Zsuzsana is a renowned professional psychic, syndicated columnist and New Age authour. Visit Zsuzsana at http://www.arcanamatrix.com for everything from Angels to Wicca and lots of metaphysical goodies in between! Her new book, The Now Age is available at http://www.arcanamatrix.com
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