As someone who is very technical and logically minded, listening to my intuition is not something that comes naturally. I struggled for years with trying to “go with my gut” and listen to what my body was trying to tell me, as opposed to the story my mind was making up about the situation.
For some people yoga and meditating is where it’s at. But I’ve never been very good at sitting still, so those haven’t had much luck with me.
It wasn’t until I started exploring the idea of tarot cards that I really began to understand the whole intuition thing everyone was talking about.
Now, tarot isn’t for everyone, I get that. It’s a little too “woo woo” and out there for some people. But I grew up with a family that didn’t shy away from mysterious and misunderstood things. I remember some of my family members owning ouija boards and runes, so the idea of tarot never scared me. However, I didn’t really understand what it was about until I started doing more research.
Tarot often gains the reputation of being used for fortune telling and psychic readings. And while it is somewhat along those lines, it’s not exactly fortune telling. It’s more of using pictures (the cards) to create a story, which a person can project their current situations onto.
For example, my favorite spread to do, is a three card pull about Obstacles, Opportunities, and Outcome. Each card represents one of these, and I’ll ask a question that has been on my mind a lot.
Now the key is not to take the cards literally. When I look at the card, for example “Death”, I don’t assume that I’m going to die.
Instead, I look at every aspect of the card, the minute details of the image, and let my mind project its thoughts onto the card. Like any piece of artwork, each person is going to see something different. Often times, those interpretations are based on real life experiences and what’s going on. Which is how you can start to use the cards to understand yourself a little bit more.
Usually I know I’m feeling some sort of way, but I can’t always place why I’m feeling that why, or how I might be able to work through it. Obviously, those answers are in me somewhere, but it takes a little story-weaving of the cards and admiring the images in order to pull it out of my logical, to-do list creating brain.
Since grabbing my first tarot deck (the Rider Tarot Deck) I’ve made it a habit to check in with my intuition every morning. I’ll usually pull one to three cards while I’m eating breakfast, and journal what the interpretation in relation to my question is. It’s been an amazing tool for keeping myself from getting too hung up on things, and for making sure I’m in a good place with my thoughts and how I’m really feeling about various aspects of my life.
So here are the quick steps that I go through every morning when I practice my tarot readings. (A lot of my process comes from listening to Bridget’s advice over on Biddy Tarot.)
1. Shuffle the cards thoroughly. I made the mistake of only doing this once or twice and had a few cards show up too frequently.
2. Decide what question you’re going to ask today. It can be about money, relationships, work, family, whatever. It can also be something as simple as “What do I need to know before moving forward today?” This is a good one for checking in with how I’m feeling before my day begins.
3. Decide if one card will be enough or if you need multiple. I usually pull one, but my favorite spread is the 3-card Obstacles/Opportunities/Outcome. Biddy Tarot has a lot of super easy three card spreads if you want to explore.
4. Pull each card and assign it a position before you look at it. Then flip them over.
5. Study each of the cards, one at a time.
Describe the actual image you’re seeing. What does the card look like? What sort of emotional descriptions can you use?
Go back to your question/position. What did you need to know with this card?
Describe the image as if you/whoever it represents was in it. Are they climbing a hill, struggling to carry something, happy and frolicking? This will start to connect the card to your life.
5a. If you pull a card and it’s upside down or “reversed”, first take the time to look at it as if it were upright. Craft that story. Then take the time to reverse that story for what your pulled card is suggesting. Reverse meanings are often times just the opposite of what the upright meaning is.
6. Now, taking all of those descriptions, combine them into a paragraph-like answer to your main question.
Another really awesome resource I use, specifically surround my creative projects, is the book, The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life, by Jessa Crispin. She has a ton of insights on applying the cards to your creative thinking and craft as opposed to life as a whole.
Is tarot something you’re interested in? Do you already have your own practice? What sort of techniques do you use for getting in touch with your intuition?
P.S. If anyone wants to talk tarot, send me a message! I’m all about getting my “woo woo” on. 😉