Thinking About: I’m Still Lousy With the Tarot

It is no secret that most of my daily Pagan and Druid path does not include magick or even divination tools such as the Tarot. I have always had a certain level of reluctance when things start to bend in those directions, but not because I lack the ability for such things. My reticence comes from a lack of experience. That, and my strong belief that I have no need to add my own push to whatever the Universe is going to bring about. I view magick, divination, and many other aspects of the Pagan Path to be tools. But tools that are a last resort after you roll up your sleeves and get on with the work that is stacked up directly in front of you.

This is also an area that I do not readily discuss with others. As such, I do not have a lot of information to gauge against my own to determine how common my approach may or may not be. I just know that it is my own way of seeing things in the overlay of the land as it is set before me.

Oddly enough, I have had a frame of mind that equates magickal usage as something common and everyday in the life of a Pagan. Sort of like the moment where Anakin Skywalker uses his force powers to cut up food for Padmé Amidala in one of the Star Wars movies. Where magick is one of the first tools that a Pagan might reach for. This is probably a silly thought, and my approach that magick is kept as a tool of last resort is probably more appropriate and practical within the Pagan community at large. However, I have no empirical data to back up that perspective from either direction.

Not that long ago, I took some initial steps into the Tarot, which resulted in a particular interpretation of a reading that I did for myself. Well, I found out how bad I am at doing readings using the Tarot. Going back to that reading, which was done in early October of last year, I can see where I misinterpreted certain aspects because I was certainly too close to the subject matter to come back with a concrete meaning. In other words, I was too close to the forest to see the trees. That has brought me around to the notation that I am excruciatingly bad at doing Tarot readings. I have heard that doing readings for one’s self should be far easier to manage than those for others. There is no way that I would ever unleash my horrible interpretations onto others, particularly when I have become to realize how bad I am at it with myself.

However, I also now that experience helps attune one’s self to a task at hand. Thus, I am not throwing the Tarot tool into the trash and labeling it as “useless.” Rather, I have labeled it as “unrefined” at this point and have started looking at ways to fine tune what I am trying to do. I know its not the deck, The Celtic Tarot has provided good readings – particularly at one-card draws, which I have been using to refine my knowledge of the cards themselves. Perhaps, I need to look to other layouts to see what might work better for me. Or perhaps, I need to loosen up the interpretations I have made a bit more, so as not to make my readings so uber-specific. Whatever the case may be, I am trying different approaches, methodologies…and going into the future, maybe even a different card set. However, at this point, I do have to remind myself that I am the ultimate day-on novice at all of this – and not be too hard on myself over the stumbles and failures. Learning takes time. Time means patience. I am not going to be a Tarot expert over-night, that is for sure. 😊

However, all of this does remind me… everyone has these moments. Moments where they fail at something that they thought would be easy to put into practice, easy to be excellent at immediately – only to be sitting in the dust, wondering how the Nine Hells you got there. Being humbled in a manner like this is a royal kick in the pants, so to speak. But it is also a lesson. One can be confident in their ability to learn, but not so over-confident as to over-extend one’s weight over one’s skis. Yep, learned that lesson in the sixth grade. Skiing. Broke my tibia and fibula in my left leg. Wore a hip-high cast for nearly two months. My over confidence of my ability to ski was the cause of my injury. I was the only kid to suffer an injury during that trip. The only kid whose parents had to drive down to where we had gone on our trip to bring me home. For a sixth grader… it was quite a blow to the ego. Even if my fellow classmates were all more than gracious about it. There are all sorts of places you can find these little lessons…and most of them aren’t even magickal or even Pagan in nature.  😉

I will continue my journey to learn about the Tarot and how to use this tool in my daily Path. I will learn as much as I can, but I know there will be so many others that learn more than I do. That’s awesome though. Because they learned as much as they could. We are all individual from one another. Our strengths are often different. The depth of our learning in a variety of subjects is as varied as the material presented. I will eventually discover my depth in the Tarot. Right now, I have only got one toe in the water. And I can’t even tell if the water is cold or hot. At least not yet.

–T /|\

Photo by Lucas Pezeta on

Divination and Journal Writing

I used to do an anonymous question segment over on Facebook, until someone decided to grind an ax because I apparently didn’t live my life to their expectations. So I decided to end that particular segment rather than deal with a troll or spend time ignoring that person. But I did so with a handful of questions unanswered, which I decided to answer privately. I had another slew of questions asking if I did other things. So I thought it would be interesting to answer those.

Q: Do you do tarot readings or some other form of divination, fortune-telling or gazing into the future?

To be honest, I am reluctant to do things like this. In truth, everyone has the capacity to do tarot cards or any other form of divination. With more experience, and belief in yourself and your abilities, I believe that one can make those abilities quite good. But not me. Its not that I don’t believe I could do tarot readings or crystal scrying or any of the rest of that; its that I don’t want to know. I really don’t want to know about the future. While I can do the readings and the scrying, I suffer from analysis-paralysis. I do a lousy job of trying to read the layouts correctly. I put too much personal bias into what I read, so my readings are either way underwhelming for what happens or way overblown. However, that’s just one part of things. I truly do not want to known the coming future. For me, life is about experiencing events for myself. I don’t need an early warning of what is coming. I need to be ready to experience life as it shows up at my door frame and I need that experience to be honest and clean – without bias. So, no, I do not do any such thing as divination.

Moments like this, standing in front of the fire and thanking the Gods for the safe travels of all, used to frighten me. (Picture by John Beckett)

To be honest, that has gotten in the way of some of my studies, as there are some requirements to take up and continue a divination practice. That’s really hard to do when I have avoided divinatory practices for so long. To snip that issue off at the stem, I have chosen to utilize divinatory practices as something akin to a study, more than anything else. The results that I achieve through tarot layouts are for studies of how to read the layout and interpret the cards, but I choose not to apply what I read there into daily life and events – again, because I do not want to know. So far, this methodology has worked for me, for the most part. Super strong events in life are hard to keep from bleeding through into card readings, but I do the best that I can.

Q: How do you keep your daily journal? Do you use a digital format or do you hand-write?

I keep three different journals. The first, my daily journal, is kept in digital format. I find it easier to have at my fingertips most of the time. I use Evernote for this function. For me, its easy to use, does everything I need to, and allows me to search through gobs of notes that I have. My other two journals, my Gwers work, and my poetry journal, are handwritten. For these two, there’s something more intimate about handwriting things. And in all honesty, I tend to retain knowledge when I physically write items of knowledge. I use simple, lined notebooks (single subject, not spiral bound) for both of these endeavors. I have a shelf in my home office where I keep these journals, but the shelf is not even one-sixth of the way being full. I hope one day soon that changes.

I don’t write everyday in my Gwers-work or my poetry journals, but I try to get something in each of them at least four times in a week’s time. My daily journal, on the other hand, I write in everyday. The subject matter is exactly what you think it is – what happened to me over the course of the day. Occasionally, I will leaf through the pages and see how things were going on a particular day. I not only find it cathartic to write and read from it, but I also find it informative. Sometimes, I have found emotive patterns that I have developed over and issue or towards a person. Analyzing those patterns has helped me to find better, more informative, less tense manners in dealing with those issues or people going into the future. In essence, I have managed to find far more Zen-like approaches to some of the more difficult issues and people in my life. Applying those is where much of the difficulty comes in because…well, people. I can predict how I would like to approach something, but other people do not always help with the approach. 🙂 But that’s a topic for another time.

Well, that’s all I have for the moment. I’ll have a few more things coming up in the next few days. With the work schedule being 10-hour days, Monday through Thursday, I have to pick my times for writing smaller essays and the such. Speaking of such, I have a few short essays that I am writing for a few publications. Hopefully, some of them get published. I am spending time writing, revising, rewriting and polishing those particular pieces. Best foot forward, ya know? As the status on those pieces changes, I will let you know. In the meantime, pushing forward on those pieces…and fingers crossed. Have an awesome day!