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Tarot for Self-Enhancement

by Angela Kaufman

Tarot Cards originated during the Renaissance, and were used for a game based on allegorical lessons of virtues trumping vices. Although Tarot began as a game with illustrations based on spiritual principles following humankind’s struggle from base desires to enlightenment, it evolved into a system of divination. In the modern world thousands of decks exist and more artistic renderings of these concepts are published every year. Why do we need so much to look into the future that we would entrust a deck of cards?

It is believed that Tarot provides a forecast of events likely to occur based on the patterns in one’s life in the present. It is difficult to pin down exactly what mechanism is at work in a Tarot reading. The cards present symbols including archetypes, colors, and numbers that can be aligned with several mystical systems including Hermeticism, Kabala, Paganism, and Alchemy. The diversity of cards available to the public results in a wider scope of systems from which to draw meaning. It is believed that when cards are shuffled and then selected at random, the symbols provide messages needed by the seeker like the process at work in what psychologist Carl Jung called “synchronicity”. The results of the reading are believed to enhance a client’s understanding of their past, present and likely direction for the future. Unlike movie portrayals of “fortune tellers” many would be surprised to find that a Tarot reading will not give a play by play of every step a client should take between points A and B. The goal is not to have life directed to the client. That would destroy the client’s free will. Tarot readings can be a great framework for setting and achieving goals and with an open mind one can find the path to live up to their potential with the assistance of the Tarot.

The client seeking a Tarot reading, called the Querent, may have specific questions they hope their reading will answer. It is important to communicate your intent to the Tarot reader. Some argue that the psychic connection between the reader and the client should be enough to elicit any information needed, but it is helpful to have an understanding of the Querent’s question ahead of time. Each card has a general meaning but detailed meaning can be gained from knowing what part of the Querent’s life the card pertains to. To further clarify information, readers will often use a spread, or series of cards in positions with predetermined meanings. An example could be “past, present future” or can be more complex. I like to use a spread with categories that will help define the information so that the client can access as much information as possible. Assigning categories for cards in a spread is similar to the process in algebra of assigning a meaning to the variable. Rather than saying “let X equal the unknown” a Tarot reader will select cards with the declaration that the card represents a specific category such as “ a source of conflict”, “ a source of support”, etc. By doing this a second level of information is added to the reading. For example, the Three of Cups usually depicts a joyful occasion in which friends and family gather to celebrate. However, if this card is drawn in a category that represents a challenge to the Querent, the interpretation is seen in a different light. This event is revealed to be a source of stress or difficulty for the Querent and other cards in the reading could elicit why and how to manage in the situation. It is important to remember that there are no “bad” cards. Each card provides a message that carries the Querent closer to understanding of themselves and their choices. Even cards which traditionally depict challenging times or conflict carry a hopeful message about the nature of losses and the individual’s inner strength. In order to make a reading useful it is important to explore the potential roadblocks or setbacks one is encountering as well as the messages in each card that pertain to choices, growth and spiritual development. After all, the original Tarot was an illustrated story of humankind’s spiritual development through trials to triumphs, and the lessons learned about the nature of temptation, success, loss, empowerment, and hope.

While a reading can be fun, helpful, or even enlightening, it is important to note that readings are in no way a substitute for professional medical, legal or financial advice. In
New York and other states, readers must place a disclaimer that readings are done for entertainment purposes. While many find the information useful it is important to keep in mind that it is no substitute for free will, personal choice and common sense. It is also important to remember that people and events change on a continual basis. A promising relationship may grow into a catastrophe, a great job may become boring, a good period of financial growth can plateau. It is important to use judgment and common sense when making life decisions and of course, never feel tied to a decision because a year ago a Tarot reading suggested it would be promising. A reading is for entertainment in accordance with state law, and information that is found to be useful can be incorporated into one’s life, information which feels counterintuitive or seems irrelevant can be discarded.

If you are curious about Tarot and would like the opportunity to receive a complimentary Tarot Reading via Wisdom Magazine online, please contact me at trionfi78@gmail.com. If your question is selected, you will be notified and a three card reading will be published in the next online edition of Wisdom. Please submit the question you had in mind. Hope to hear from you in the future.

Angela Kaufman is a Certified Professional Tarot Reader who resides in upstate
New York. A Social Worker by trade, Angela sees providing Tarot readings as an extension of her goals to assist people in better understanding themselves and their choices.
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