Reinvigorating Our Lives with the Mythic Power of the Tarot

The Chibi Tarot - 14 Temperance - Medium Vieville1650-TheStarI struggle a lot with the use of the tarot. I am not naturally a tarot reader, at least, if I am I haven’t discovered the way that works best for me. I struggle with the phrasing of the question and the structure of the answer that the tarot provides. I struggle with structuring the cards into the shape of a narrative that’s meaningful to the querent, whether that’s me or someone else. The Celtic Cross, that sham of a structure that’s so often foisted on beginners, is clumsy and awkward, a poor way to read, and an even worse way to begin. And yet, I have not found something to take its place. Even the simplicity of 3 card readings escapes me. There is something missing for me still in regards to reading the tarot for others, and despite my limited knowledge of minors and court cards (which makes me uneasy, I’ll admit) there is something else to it.

This morning that I had an insight into the importance of the tarot for our lives, whether it’s something as simple as a card a day or something more complex like an in-depth reading (or creating your own tarot deck and companion book!). The tarot, like so many of the humanity’s storytelling tools, is a lens that allows us to refocus on and reenergize the mythic and heroic aspects of our lives. Reading, drawing or meditating on the tarot allows us access to the millennia-old stories that we have created and collected as cultures, and gives us access to the energy and wisdom that they contain through an instantly accessible visual medium. Reframing our struggle in a mythical/magical context can shift our perspective immeasurably and provide us with answers that we never realized were applicable.

It is so easy to be overcome by the mundane aspects of day to day living that we forget the spiritual, heroic parts of ourselves. The tarot allows us to tell our own story, populating it with legendary characters from all of mythology, and can allow us access, if we allow it to, the powerful magical matrix that surrounds us everyday. It helps remind us that we are heirs to a long and powerful mythic history, full of beauty, tragedy and power that can inspire and guide us as we walk through our seemingly mundane lives, can remind us of the power that we have to shape and influence the lives we lead and the way that we lead them.

That reminder is deeply valuable, and we can find it in many places. The resurgence of fantasy in pop culture, from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings to the Twilight Saga is, to my mind, a culture struggling to regain its connection the powerful magical traditions that have for so long informed it, but lived outside the walls of acceptable Christian myth. The tarot is a piece of this resurgence and is uniquely placed, because it doesn’t tell a single story, it tells every story. And for those that embrace the tarot’s power and heed its lessons can always return to it for all the wisdom and reassurance that our shared mythic history can provide.

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