A Contemplative Approach to the Tarot
There are many ways of approaching and reading the tarot, and in what follows I will try to explain something of my own approach. My approach to the tarot is contemplative. This means that I see the tarot primarily as a wisdom tool, or a method whereby we can learn to attune to our inner wisdom and to live our life in the light of that knowledge.
This also means that since the tarot is a mirror of the universe, both in its microcosmic and macrocosmic aspects, understanding the message of the cards requires that the reader be able to attune to his or her inner wisdom.
Such tuning inwards is the key to unlocking and interpreting the symbols of the cards in response to the querent’s specific question, and this is best achieved, I feel, through a form of contemplative practice.
People come to a reading from all walks of life and with all kinds of concerns. A reading is particularly helpful if the tarot reader is able to respond to these concerns from a space of deep inner stillness and compassion, without being drawn in to the habitual concepts and judgements that make up our ordinary consciousness. It can therefore help if the tarot reader is somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life, so as to preserve this inner stillness and solitude that are such an important component of a contemplative approach to the tarot. In my own experience, such stillness provides the space within which the message of the cards becomes clear; the reader’s task is then to give voice to that message.
While this may seem surprising to some, I have found over the years that my tarot readings are most effective and accurate when they are performed in inner silence and solitude. This allows me to tune in to the deeper aspects of the cards’ message, without being influenced by the querent’s reactions to the reading (such as hopes and fears, expectations and doubts, etc.).
This is why I perform distance readings. Some clients who call me worry that if they aren’t physically present to draw the cards themselves, this might have a negative impact on the reading’s accuracy. I always reassure them by telling them that in spiritual matters there is no such thing as distance. What matters is not whether the client is physically present or not, but rather whether the reader is able to connect to the querent and his or her question, and tune in to the inner dimension of wisdom during the reading.
A tarot reading is a precious gift of great value, both for the person requesting the reading and for the tarot reader. It is a moment of deep spiritual exchange and it provides a clearing, a breach in time wherein a hint of eternity can be glimpsed.
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