Recently, I’ve started to re-read Loving What Is, a book that contains a life-changing process that the author, Byron Katie, calls The Work. It’s an experience of inquiry that takes us out of our thoughts about the what-ifs, could haves, shoulds, and so forth that prevent us from living in the present. If we’re present, we can be joyful and see any person or situation as a friend who aids our personal growth.
Near the beginning of the book, Katie states that there are three types of business that occupy us mentally — our own business, other people’s business, and God’s business (I’d prefer a term more like Life’s business or Goddess’s business, but that’s just me). Other people’s situations are theirs. If my neighbour enjoys leaving her shopping buggy in front of her door, that’s her business, not mine to be concerned about. If a stormcloud is gathering over the Mid-West, I can’t do anything about it. That’s Life’s business.
Byron Katie suggests that if we feel uneasy or stressed, it’s helpful to ask the question, “Whose business am I in mentally right now?” It’s remarkably freeing to ask that question, because it makes me more conscious of those moments when I’m taking on what’s not mine to take on. Give it a try for a week or two and you’ll be hooked!
So, how does this fit in with tarot, you might ask. If I consult the cards about someone else’s situation without their consent, I’m getting into their business. If I lay out the tarot in order to outsmart Life, I’m getting into Its business. If I enter a tarot consultation with a clean intent for insight that will make me more conscious, I’m staying with my own business. Many tarot readers who read this entry will chuckle (or maybe shriek) as they think of the number of times someone has asked them, “What does so-and-so think about me?” or “What are hir feelings about me?” Author/tarot consultant/astrologer Gail Fairfield once said that a good response to that type of question is something along the line of, “Here’s the ‘phone. Why don’t you call and ask?”
All of this to say that the tarot is about insight into ourselves here and now, rather than a device to amplify our addiction to a “what-if, could have, should” mentality. Perhaps we could even use this two-card layout for ourselves:
1. What, currently, is my “business”?
2. How can I stay present with it?