Using Tarot to Develop Intuition
In this chaotic and unpredictable world, it can be hard to parse out your intuition from the rest of the noise. Tarot is a tool you can call upon when you seek to raise the volume on your intuition and quiet everything else. And a daily card pull is a simple and easy way to integrate a check-up with your intuition into your everyday life.
What is Tarot?
First and foremost, Tarot is a tool, and just like any tool, it can work in varying ways and with varying degrees of usefulness for different people. It is important to understand your unique relationship to the Tarot and allow that to direct how you use it.
In a practical sense, Tarot generally refers to a deck of cards, often 78 of them, though some decks have more or fewer cards. The cards are traditionally split up into 22 major arcana cards and 56 minor arcana cards. The major arcana are numbered 0-21 and the minor arcana are organized similarly to a classic deck of playing cards, with four suits of ten cards and four royal figures, each. Unlike a deck of playing cards, the four suits of the minor arcana: classically pentacles, swords, cups, and wands, represent the four elements: Earth, Air, Water, and Fire, respectively.
Each card has an image on it that corresponds to its meaning. The major arcana cards are connected to major life lessons and cycles while the minor arcana are connected to smaller, everyday life cycles and events. Many decks come with a guidebook that offers the general theme(s) and meaning(s) of each card. And then the reader of the cards can interpret the meaning more specifically for the reading at hand.
As already stated, Tarot can work differently for different users, but generally Tarot might be said to function like a mirror. That is, the cards will show you an image and may have an accompanying interpretation to offer, but beyond that, what you take from the cards is what you see reflected of your own life in them. Tarot does not exactly offer answers, rather, it highlights lessons, feelings, or questions for you to focus on, but the answer must ultimately come from within yourself. In other words, the images and interpretations of the cards will spark your intuition and that is where the true magic lies, in tuning into yourself and listening to your inner voice(s).
I am fairly familiar with Tarot, having engaged in readings and studied with my own deck for multiple years at this point. I am not an expert by any means, but I have a foundation of experience and research to draw from. However, what was brand new to my relationship with Tarot was a sustained engagement on a daily basis. To prepare for this article, I pulled a Tarot card every day for two weeks. Below are my major takeaways:
- Engaging with my Tarot deck every day made me feel much closer and more aligned with my deck.
- Pulling only one card made me appreciate a slower, deeper engagement with the card. I found myself taking in each image, trying to observe every detail. I read each interpretation multiple times, trying to pay close attention to the feelings it brought up for me. I think this led to a deeper understanding of the cards I pulled than I had before.
- Looking back over my notes for the 14 days that I did this, I can track my emotional trajectory over those two weeks. Each day I used the card I had pulled as a guidepost, something to keep returning to when I felt unmotivated, confused, overwhelmed, etc.
- Doing a daily pull taught me about my own internal patterns and narratives. Multiple times I found myself surprised by the message of the cards, and as I wrote about that surprise, I learned about my habits and expectations, the ways that I am tough on myself, and the areas where I give myself a pass.
- I really enjoyed this practice. When the 14 days were over, I had to convince myself to stop because ending the 14-day trial period felt important to my ability to comment on my experience. What I can say is that I think I will integrate this into my daily rituals because it felt so helpful. I miss it, now that it is over.
- Optional: Cleanse your deck. I started the 14-day trial period off by cleansing my deck, just so that I could get a sense of a fresh start and reconnect to my deck for this specific purpose. There are a multitude of ways to do this. I opted for a combination of methods: first I sorted the cards into major arcana (in order) and minor arcana (in order and by suit), then I shuffled the deck seven times, then I meditated with the deck on my intentions and desires.
- Ground yourself. Before pulling my card every day, I took some time to ground myself. Again, there are a number of ways to do this. For me, it looked like closing my eyes and breathing deeply until I felt firmly present in my body, and then envisioning energy from above and energy from below meeting in my center.
- Shuffle your deck. While you shuffle, either focus on that feeling of groundedness or focus on an optional question you have in mind like “What do I need to be reminded of today?” or “What will help me achieve balance today?” etc.
- Pull a card. When you feel ready, pull a card. Sometimes a card will jump out of the deck and other times you will just reach a point where you feel done shuffling and ready to pull.
- Study the card. Notice which details of the image you feel most drawn to. What colors are present? How does the image make you feel? Give yourself some time to just be with and react to the image on the card.
- Read the interpretation. If your deck comes with a guidebook and you get value from it, read the significance of that card. Re-read the whole thing or just the portions that call to you.
- Optional: write about what the card brings up for you. If the image and/or the description made you think about anything that’s going on in your life or brought up any feelings for you, writing about them can help you process and integrate that.
- Closing. This process will be unique to you. Do whatever it is that you feel called to do for closure or ending your engagement with the deck at that time. My closing process is close the book, hold the card, and take in the image once more. Then thank the deck, return the card to the deck, and put the deck and book away.
Tarot Will Surprise You
While Tarot is a specific tool that works differently depending on the approach of the person wielding it, I think there may be benefits for most people in trying a daily Tarot pull for even just two weeks. You may decide at the end that it’s not something you want to continue, but even if that’s the case, there are likely still a myriad of things that this practice can teach you about yourself and what does work well in your relationship to your intuition. In my experience, it was a grounding force to turn to amidst daily ups and downs.
Tarot card readings give you a deeper connection to Spirit. This means you’ll get the unadulterated insights you need about your past, present, and future, but only if you read with a tarot card psychic.
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