I woke up this morning thinking about tarot cards. That tells me that my unconscious mind has my back.
You see, I’ve recently been struggling with understanding some things about myself and about my current personal life. In my typical Virgo Rising, over-analyzey way, I’ve been wracking my brain trying to sort these things out. Sometimes I feel like some kind of mental ninja, attacking every thought and idea in my own head, tearing them apart to see what makes them tick. But this time, I wasn’t having much success at getting to the heart of them.
Enter the tarot.
A standard tarot deck contains 78 cards, with 22 major arcana and 56 minor arcana. The major cards deal with the larger turning points in life; the minor ones, then, are about the everyday events. Each card has a symbolic meaning, and the cards can be arranged in several ways to help us understand particular dilemmas or answer general questions.
Now, please don’t think that I am suggesting that tarot cards are for fortune-telling or magic in the Harry Potter sense. While I would absolutely love to have my own elder wand, I do not believe in fate or anything that would make fortune-telling possible. Predictions imply that I have no say in my own destiny.
Rather, I think tarot (and astrology and other similar sorts of magic) is for helping us to see what is in our own unconscious mind. The unconscious mind contains so much information, but much of it is too scary or heavy to deal with. That’s why we wrestle with stuff for so long sometimes. We might not yet be ready to hear the information the unconscious has to offer. So it gets parceled out in manageable bits.
By looking at a spread of tarot cards, we get information that we ourselves have chosen, and it’s in a symbolic language that forces us to slow down and think and uncover meanings for ourselves. In other words, we declared ourselves a willing student, we chose our own curriculum, and we went to work voluntarily. I don’t think that lessons that are handed to us really stick, at least not the same way that experienced lessons do. It’s the difference between being told not to touch the hot stove and actually touching the stove so you know for yourself that it’s hot.
For me, then, thinking about tarot cards this morning tells me that I am ready for more information and that I am ready for some new insights. My unconscious mind gave me a little nudge, suggesting a new route for my train of thought. Who am I to ignore that? So, if you will excuse me now, I am going to drink my coffee and ponder the Moon card.