Years ago my brother and I were in an airport hotel in Melbourne and he decided that we had to spend the evening watching the now-defunct Pyschic TV. It was on one of the home shopping channels and it seemed ridiculous. The first segment we watched showed a lady who channeled the energy of pets who had died and had messages for their owners.
I said this was dumb and could we please change the channel, but hey, younger siblings always get what they want.
As the more sensible people came back on I started thinking the thought anyone who has ever watched stuff like this while overtired and/or tipsy: hey, maybe I could be pyschic. Here’s why: the readers and mediums and stuff were just giving out really excellent advice like: find a second job to pay off your debts, or join a night class to meet a new man, or focus on the positives each day.
“There’s no such thing as pyschic,” Dad said the next day. “It’s just bullshit.” I probably tried to argue the point that they were just giving out life advice because every time we’d watch the Pyschic TV channel he would say the same thing. Because after the first fateful night (heh), it just became a thing that happened: if my brother was around and Pyschic TV was available we would watch it, or at least have it on in the background.
I think my dad was kind of half-right. Like, I don’t buy into everything and I don’t believe in magic powers and I’m not a witch. And I’m still 100% progressive Christian. There was something about the idea of looking at a bunch of cards and being able to help give some direction that appealed to me though and that’s not even how I became a card slinger.
I think it started because I’d been listening to some podcasts about astrology. Just before COVID started I binge listened to the Biddy Tarot podcast and bought myself my own pack of tarot cards. The first one I pulled for a daily reading was the Three of Cups which worked well: my day was going to be spent in creative reflection with some wonderful ladies I knew. I did daily readings and different spreads and even got some pro readings done (I love TheSearle on Fiverr AKA the Hardest Man in Tarot — he also does reading on YouTube).
I don’t know that tarot helps me see into the future. I don’t really want it to either. But I think that the one thing that keeps me coming back to tarot, despite how “bullshit” it may seem is that tarot cards each tell a story and give some kind of energy that helps label the way something feels.
Like when I wanted to know where someone’s spirit had gone and I pulled Ten of Cups: family, completion. It is done.
Like when I wanted to know how to process recognizing some significant hurt in a relationship that ended YEARS ago: the Tower, the Devil.
Like when I wanted to know whether I should keep pursuing my studies: eight of coins again, and again, and again.
I have always turned to people to get their ideas and feelings, and to seek out people who are intuitive. Using the tarot gives me the ability to tap into my own intuition — you already know — and it is fun and can be interpreted many ways. I particularly love Lindsay Mack’s work (Tarot for the Wild Soul) and I did one of her courses over winter which was an excellent foundation. Lindsay sees the tarot, even the ‘scary’ cards as medicine for the soul. For example, she talks about Death meaning rebirth and using reversals as a positive rather than the traditional negative people often consider them to be.
Nothing about this year has been predictable, even the pyschics wouldn’t have been able to foresee things the way they are. If you told me at the start of the year that I’m reading tarot for myself I wouldn’t believe it. And yet, here we are.
Tarot has been kind to me in a way I hadn’t expected and so desperately needed. And it’s fun, something I think we all need a bit more of.