In a more old-fashioned, “fortune-telling-ish” style of working with tarot, the reader made pronouncements about the seeker’s life and the person was left to try and make their life fit the cards (or not). It was all about being right (or not).
Aren’t we happy that the tarot and how we work with it has grown up?! In the more counselling, “dialogue-ish” way of working with the cards, we have a real conversation with the querent, letting the images and concepts of the tarot take us into interesting territory. This conversation helps us to find what the card is most likely about in the context of someone’s life. It’s all about being helpful.
For example, my own Card of the Day today is the 10 of Blades from the Daughters of the Moon Tarot. I pulled it at random this morning after asking, “What do I most need to know or learn today?” The picture is of a group of women engaged in talking piece council in a tipi. For me, Tens are about transition, taking a break, time out, pausing, putting on hold, etc. and Blades (the Air suit) are about ideas, thinking, communication, learning, etc.
So, how have the notions of council, pausing, and ideas/communication played out in my life today? In a ‘phone conversation with my mother, I knew enough to sit back and listen when she needed to speak about what was on her mind and in her heart. When feeling a bit tired and grumpy this afternoon, I knew it was time to give my brain a break from words, so I sat with a cup of tea and did Sudoku — very centring. I have engaged in honest, attentive listening and honest, intentional speaking with someone close to me.
All of this to say that it’s good for us to make the cards fit our lives, not the other way around. Cards don’t make things happen, people do. The tarot is a tool, just like a hammer, computer, or oven. The living is done by us.