Learning to read Tarot

by on November 9th, 2010
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In my last post, I talked about how we have been schooled to value the authority of others and consequently obscure our connection with our own source of intuitive knowing. Another way to frame this – as a friend cheerily pointed out – is that the bright light of consciousness has a way of obscuring the flickering candlelight of intuitive intelligence…

Even the presence of a word on a Tarot card can hijack our awareness to the degree that the image falls into the background and the word becomes paramount. We think we know what words mean so we no longer look at the picture. Worse yet, the picture is not immediately graspable. So we go with what we ‘know’ and ignore the source of real knowledge
in the psychic and somatic unconscious.

All that it takes to activate this knowledge is a fragment of a pattern, something that our conscious mind cannot explain or pigeonhole. Then the unconscious starts to yield its bounty. Often first, a thread: nothing more than a sensation, a feeling, a glimpse of an image. Patiently holding this thread we find ourselves on a path. Nothing about this process resembles the kind of knowing that is associated with learning from books. We don’t ‘know’ something intuitively like we ‘know’ something intellectually.

The vague formulations of intuitive knowing reflect the limits of the conscious mind. We can help ourselves grow more comfortable with these less substantial kinds of information first, by taking our intuitive faculty seriously, and then by practice. Learning to return to the image or the thread and giving it time and openness is the essence of practice.

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Categories: Tarot

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