Tarot— predicting the future or spotlighting the present?

13 Coins QueenAs I think back, I realized I shied away from tarot cards and tarot readers. Fast forward, and here I am — both a card designer and card reader! Among my interest in all things mystical— Kabbalah, I-Ching, crystals, enneagrams, astrology, palm-reading, tea-leaf reading and extensive study of mystical traditions from lands far and near, why not Tarot? Although I would not have been able to name it as such, I have always known that what we believe deeply affects what we expect – and what we expect shapes the way we experience our lives.

Like many, I was under the mistaken impression that the only purpose of Tarot cards was to predict the future, which I felt was disturbing and somewhat scary. What did I know of Tarot in my formative years? I had seen pictures of the all-knowing gypsey woman, who, after having her palm crossed with silver, could describe the future. I had also seen the media use of cards like the Death card, implying something bad was about to occur— especially as the image used was from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck complete with horse-riding skeleton trampling bodies beneath them. I believed this WAS the Tarot, rather that the illustrations of one interesting woman Pamela Colman Smith, working together with the occultist, A.E Waite.

It has taken me a long and circuitous route to discover that Tarot, an ancient wisdom tradition being offered today by many artists interpreting the teachings in new and varied ways, provides a deep, rich and clear snapshot of all the interconnections, concealed and revealed, that draw our experiences together as chapters in the book of our lives— a story we are writing, directing and acting as we live it, the climaxes and endings uncertain and dependent on the choices that we make each and every minute of the day.

The cards offer archetypal images that mirror the circumastances of our lives and the aspects of our personalities on which we can call to live each day as fully as possible. Over the course of the next weeks, I will draw and describe cards from both the Major and Minor Arcana from my new deck, The Sacred Mandala Tarot and would welcome your questions about the cards and how they mirror different scenarios in our lives on which we can reflect, gain insight and decide as consciously as possible how we choose to live our lives and exemplify the best that is in us.