Now its the weekend, I’ve finally had chance to make a proper start on the Alternative Tarot Course. Week one is all about me as a tarot reader, why I want to learn to read the cards and create something to look back on when I’m more experienced. I’ve also found out how to calculate my tarot birth card which is apparently The Hierophant. But more on that later…
Its interesting to think a bit more about why I’ve now decided to start to seriously learn how to become better at reading the cards and I’ve used the prompts in the course to help me think about it.
What was my first experience of Tarot?
My first reading was about three years ago with a lovely lady who I knew (she was also our cat sitter amongst her many other talents). I thought I’d get a reading just for fun really but was blown away by the reading she did for me. I was going through a difficult time at work at the time and all of the cards I drew seemed to point to that situation and what I needed to do to protect myself. I think it was also a big moment for her too as I drew something like 6 Major Arcana cards in a 9 card spread. She said that had never happened to her before and that it was unusual for anyone to draw even one in the readings she had done for others.
I had another reading with her again maybe a year later when I was going through another difficult situation, this time personal. Again, all of the cards seemed to be talking to me about that situation and at that point I knew it was something I wanted to learn for myself. Sadly, my Tarot lady moved to the other end of the country so I’ve not had any more readings from her since but I still have her notes on those readings and I’m going to dig them out and reread them.
Why do I want to learn Tarot?
I bought my first (and so far only) deck not long after that second reading along with some books. I went with the Rider-Waite deck as it was the one she had used and appeared to be one of the most widely used. I’ve played with it a little since but have never really got to grips with it. For some reason, I’ve felt a calling to get back to it just recently and signed up the course to help me. I think that this has happened now because I’m at a low point in my life, health and work wise, and at some sort of crossroads. I’m feeling a pull towards living my life in a more spiritual way and Tarot fits in to that. I want to be able to use the cards to guide me, help me to answer questions and help me to find myself. I would like to get the confidence to read for others at some point but its more for me at the moment.
How do I feel about learning Tarot in three words?
Excited, inspired, daunted
Tarot’s main purpose for me?
To guide, to show the truth of a situation and to help provide answers.
Anything I don’t believe about Tarot?
I don’t believe it can predict the future but other than that, I’m opening to believing anything at this point.
What do I think the most important qualities of a Tarot reader are?
I’m struggling to answer this question. Maybe conviction in their own interpretations of the cards and a calm, unthreatening manner?
What do I hope to gain from learning Tarot?
More self assurance in my decision making, peace and calm in knowing I have some guidance, a more spiritual way of life, a deeper understanding of myself and others.
What will my main challenges be and how will I overcome them?
I think my biggest obstacles will be time and energy. Also I do have a tendency to be impatient and get disheartened quite easily. I’ll try to overcome them by allowing myself as much time as I need, setting aside time each day and using other resources such as other peoples’ blogs to inspire me.
So back to the Hierophant…..
My first reaction was that I’m more elephant than Hierophant! I saw that there is what appears to be a religious figure on a throne. It reminded me of a Catholic priest, dressed in fine robes and a crown of sorts, holding a gold cross. The figure appears to be ‘preaching’ to the other two figures. I couldn’t see much of myself in this scenario, I’ve never thought myself to be a leader of any kind and would hope that I don’t preach to people 😉
As I was struggling to relate to this card in any way, I decided to look up a few different interpretations of the Hierophant.
The fifth card of the Major Arcana, it represents traditional values and convention. I guess that is where the religious feel of the card comes in and why the card is sometimes known as the ‘High Priest’. The card suggests the desire to stay within the boundaries of what is acceptable, adapting to an existing set of beliefs. It can indicate a spiritual leader, guide or institution. It can relate to identifying with a group, belief system or following the rules. It can be about ‘doing the right thing’.
Now I’ve found out a bit more, I can identify a little more with the Hierophant. I have been told I have a strong sense of right and wrong and that I will always stand up for my beliefs. I am guilty sometimes of thinking I am right and therefore others must be wrong and when its an issue or cause I feel passionately about (such as animal cruelty), I do refuse to accept viewpoints other than my own.
I do also have an ingrained fear of breaking the rules and I have always been someone that people come to when they need someone to listen or need advice. I wouldn’t ever see myself as a leader or guide although I guess its possible other people might see me that way. Also, although I don’t always get it right, I do generally try to do the right thing.
So it turns out I do have more in common with my birthday Tarot card than I first thought. I’m loving this course and how its making me think not only about the cards but also forcing me to be more honest about who I am.