Pathways chapter #14: Tarot

 After perusing numbers of books on Tarot, we settled on Tarot for Beginners, by Meg Hayertz, published by Althea Press in 2018. The following is a brief summary of Meg Hayertz’s book.

Ms. Hayertz received her first tarot card reading in Portland, Oregon, at a psychic fair at the age of 19. And due to some issues in her life, she found that the reading helped calm her, which then resulted in wanting more.

 Kent reports: I recall a similar kind of fair in Berkeley some years back and another one in San Francisco later on. Though a Christian at the time, I was stunned if not overwhelmed by the spiritual power I witnessed. If it had not been for my Christianity, I might well have been attracted to that which is psychic.

 Still in the introduction, Hayertz says it is not enough that the cards shine a light on what goes on in a person’s heart and mind; this must be put into action. “I suggest we use the 78 archetypes of the tarot to empower ourselves to become more loving and free” (p. IX). And to this end, she dedicates her book.

The origin of the word Tarot goes back to the mid-15th century. In various parts of Europe games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot, and Austrian Königrufen were popular, and the general term tarot attached itself to what became the present-day tarot. 

Part 1: Tarot Then & Now

The origins of the tarot are murky, but they are cards, 78 of them, divided between Major and Minor Arcana. The Minor Arcana are much like the standard deck of 52 cards but instead of spades, clubs, hearts, and diamonds, there are cups, pentacles, swords, and wands, but with four additional cards. The Major Arcana contain 22 cards, four of which are The Empress, The Hermit, The Fool, and the Devil. Each of the cards have several meanings that can be attached to them depending upon the reader.

The author states that when Napoleon brought back artifacts from Egypt to Europe, there grew an interest in divination. In 1887, A. E. Waite, a member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, developed occult symbolic systems around divination and astrology, which in time became related to the tarot. He then asked an artist, Pamela Colman Smith, to create a deck of tarot cards using symbols that were known at the time. This deck was published by William Rider & Sons, of London, in 1910. 

The author claims that reading tarot cards can reveal one’s potential future, and rightly evaluate one’s present circumstances, help with making decisions, help one to understand life, plus develop self-knowledge, intuition, and creativity. 

Tarot is a form of divination, a magical technique, not scientific, for gaining knowledge about the unknown and the future. And as a form of divination, it is condemned in Deuteronomy 18, verses 9–12: 

[9] “When you come into the land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the abominable practices of those nations. [10] There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer [11] or a charmer or a medium or a necromancer or one who inquires of the dead, (ESV) 

Hayertz states that divination is a form of magic as well as most forms of meditation, “since a meditation practice can bring self-knowledge and spiritual knowledge from beyond our rational mind” (p. 7). She wants to dismiss the idea that there is a divide between the magical, or divine, and the ordinary, thus making tarot divination ordinary and common. 

In regard to the two major divisions of a tarot deck, the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana (Arcana means mystery), which come from Catholicism and Judaism, as well as Greek and Egyptian mythology, she notes the Major Arcana reflects Gnostic, Catholic, and Pagan imagery. There are also many spiritual traditions that have come to be associated with the cards, such as astrology, Kabbalah, numerology, and alchemy, as well as still more spiritual traditions that have found parallels and connections with the tarot, including crystal healing and Ayurveda (the traditional system of medicine in India) (p. 7). 

It is clear then that our author places tarot solidly amongst occultic practices.

Part 2 Tarot Mechanics 

Tarot card reading fits clearly into what is known in the occult world as divination. The cards are used to answer questions about the past, present, and future, and it is said that tarot is an opening into one’s spiritual self.

The first step for a person who wants to do tarot is to select a deck. Meg uses the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, otherwise known as RWS, but there are many others. And before making the first reading one must both purify and attune to the deck. Once readings begin, the deck must be cared for by keeping it clean and cleared of extraneous energy. 

Here in the process of purifying and attuning the deck reveals the occultic, New Age, divination, fortune telling nature of tarot. 

A deck can be purified by placing the deck on a “windowsill or outside during a full moon.” Or, one can bury the deck in salt for a few days, but in a plastic bag so that the salt does not touch the deck. 

Alternately, sage or a smudge stick can be burned while the deck is held in the smoke. Another way to purify the deck is to put the 78 cards in order, first the Fool (O) then on until the Word card (XXI), then observe through that suit all the way to the King of each suit. Once the deck is in order, it must be reshuffled. 

Attuning is the next step, and it means forming a connection with the deck—in other words, attuning to it. This means treating the deck with respect and trust. It takes a week to attune to the deck, gazing at the images on the cards to determine if there is any intuitive sensing—emotional, mental, or spiritual connections that come up. 

The deck must be cleansed regularly, as the deck can pick up unwanted energy from previous readings. There are two rituals that can be performed. One, shuffle the deck rhythmically and tap the deck on the table in order to release any extra energy. Two, fan the deck out in your hand, blow softly on the edges, and with the whole deck knock once on the top of the deck. 

It is this purifying and attuning process that brings the one selecting a tarot deck into a spiritual arena, and this is an evil arena. Indeed, this is the door opening to the demonic realm. This need not be a terrifying experience at all, but a change has occurred—a new and amazing ‘spiritual’ life and experience comes to life. And these supernatural experiences are real and not imagined. In fact, they can be quite exhilarating and captivating. 

There is a definite procedure to begin a reading; one needs to prepare a space and deck. Some tarot readers will create an altar where are placed the reader’s personal spiritual items. In any case, one needs to turn off phones, light a candle, play some music, and then invite the guidance of any higher power in. Be open then to any wisdom or insight that might be communicated in the reading of the cards. 

From six to ten minutes before beginning a reading for oneself, quietly focus the breathing and/or visualize a beam of light entering through the top of the head, which will fill the body with light. 

When one is in the right spiritual state of mind, one asks a question, but the tarot does not answer back with any direct answer. Instead, the reader, as he or she examines the cards, will relate ideas and events and reveal areas needing growth. The future is never spelled out in terms of certainty. 

On page 14 and 15, Meg Hayertz writes about Tarot Symbolism and states that symbols found on tarot cards come from a variety of sources. The version she is speaking to is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, or RWS. 

The first is Christian mythology. Adam and Eve are depicted many times, and there is the Devil and the snake of Genesis chapter 3. There are images of a church, the pope, two monks, and more. 

The second is Egyptian mythology, or more accurately the European interpretation of Egyptian mythology. 

The third is source is from Kabbalah, a Judaist offshoot. 

Each sign of the zodiac is also found amongst the cards. 

Interpreting the cards takes practice, the author states. As we read through materials on tarot, it seems apparent that any counsel or direction from an intuitive framework could result in almost anything. (Toward the end of this chapter are some statements found on interpretation of the cards, mainly focused on intuition.) 

Our author claims there is both an intellectual and an intuitive side to determining what the cards are saying to the reader or to the one who is consulting the tarot reader. There is an opening of “your intuitive associations sparked by the cards.” Then, “note how your associations and intuitive messages match up with the meanings of the cards.” Third, note how the cards’ symbolism matches up with one’s experiences. Last, consider what actions one should then take. 

The author next moves on to which spiritual practices are connected with or are tied to tarot card reading. These are Astrology, Kabbalah, Numerology, Rosicrucianism, and Alchemy. (Our view is that there are many other spiritual/ occult practices that could be included here.) And each of these fit snuggly into and are recognized as occult practices. 

This association is an eye opener, as tarot is placed among very direct forms of the occult (pages 16 and 17). During long years of casting demons out of people, so many of them attracted demons into themselves by means of the occult. This is not child’s play nor adult play but is extremely serious. We are reminded of a most important verse at this point, 1 Peter 5:8, since this is what is going on in our world today with the wide open and public embracing of the occult arts, of which tarot is only one among many: 

Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 

In chapter 3 of part 1, the author begins to explain how one decides what the card spread means. One card, two cards, three cards, or more are pulled from the deck and spread out. Then the reader considers the meanings of the cards and how it all applies to him or herself, or to the one for whom the reading is being done. 

After examining this material, it is obvious to us that a reader could interpret the cards in many different ways. There is no concrete counsel, no clear solving of a dilemma, nor help with making a decision. It seems that a professional tarot card reader could bend the reading to just about anything, including flattering or messages that the “client” was clearly hoping for. There is obviously much room here for deception. 

Yet this is not the very worst outcome, which is giving oneself, however unwittingly, to an occult practice, which is animated and realized by demonic power. And the outcome of this is nothing less than judgment and an eternity in hell. Is it worth that? 

Chapter 4, part 1, is titled “Growing From the Tarot.” No comment is needed on part 2 of the book by Meg Hayertz, as it only presents each of the cards, the Major and Minor Arcana, and possible meanings for each. 

She begins this section by saying, “I use the cards to help my clients.” 

We completely believe her. Based on what we have encountered with psychics of many different persuasions, very few of them are aware of the evil nature of their work and do not care one way or the other. Either that, or they fear the loss of income, or are afraid of being tormented should they turn from their practices. 

Yes, Meg is probably sincere when she says for her clients that she wants to “unlock creative blocks, deepen their inspiration, and become more aware of issues and values that underlie their personal lives and creative work” (p. 62). 

To read tarot cards is simply to meditate on the cards “to see what feelings, associations, and narratives arise. Then, we match the experiences that arose during meditation to the definitions of the cards” (p. 63). 

Using only a broad-brush stroke to report on this process, it begins with “Connecting with our Intuition.” 

Intuition: this word can be so difficult to define, but after encountering it hundreds of times, it is apparent to us that it involves impressions that come to one while engaging in the process, and this process is usually meditation and focus of one’s breath or something else linked to gaining a state of so-called mindlessness. 

The term used here is “meditative inquiry into your inner life.” When this is achieved, then Meg says one is to “sit with what arises and open to it” (p. 64). Meg then concludes this part with, “This first step is noticing and illuminating our experience and connecting with our intuition.”  

We wonder, whatever in the world does that mean? 

The next step is to select a card or cards from the tarot deck, lay the card or cards down in front of you and meditate on these. One must look at the artwork, note the name of the card, like “The Emperor,” consider it’s also-known-as name, in this case the Grandfather, then note the keywords, in this case, Reliability, Fatherhood, and Responsibility, the element associated with it, here Fire, and astrological sign, here Aries, and then numerology, in this case 4. 

These clues or cues, which may be the right word here, are to be meditated upon. If there is more than one card spread out, then think about what might be at play between the cards. Then one can ask oneself questions such as, “Do the dynamics between the cards feel tense? Or, what are the relative ages of the figures in the cards? Or, are they facing each other? Or, what are the cards’ similarities and differences? 

The next major step is “Integrating intuition with conscious awareness.” Something is then stirring in one’s mind, and the goal here is coming to a place of understanding. And it is here when meditation is core so that the meaning of the cards comes into one’s awareness. 

We must say that the process described to grasp the message of the cards is very elusive, fanciful, lacking substance, and unrealistic. It could yield almost anything. 

Meg describes how it is that one integrates insight brought by the card reading into action. Mainly, this happens by reliance upon your intuitive sense. 

Finally, by means of meditation, envision yourself entering the card or spread. Ask a character therein, like The Emperor, if that is the card drawn for the deck, for guidance regarding action. Allow “the words or gift they offer you to intuitively come to you” (p. 68). If things are not clear, one should ask their intuition for assistance and illumination. 

Again, let the participant beware of invoking unintended spirits by “asking a character therein, like The Emperor, for guidance.” 

Closing thoughts 

Using words like intuition and meditation is deceitful. It should be evil spirit or demon instead of intuition. It should be connecting with the demonic rather than meditation. However lighthearted this tarot card reading business is presented, it is merely a cheap disguise for a course on how to become demon possessed. 

Excerpts from Wikipedia 

Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without recourse to conscious reasoning. Different fields use the word “intuition” in very different ways, including but not limited to: direct access to unconscious knowledge; unconscious cognition; inner sensing; inner insight to unconscious pattern-recognition; and the ability to understand something instinctively, without any need for conscious reasoning. July 9, 2022 

The word intuition comes from the Latin verb intueri, translated as “consider” or from the late middle English word intuit, “to contemplate.” July 2, 2022

Meghan Rose, a spiritual advisor and tarot reader, defines intuition as “the ability to understand something without rational or conscious reasoning.” So, in the context of tarot cards, the reader, who could be a professional or yourself if you’re reading your own cards, receives intuitive messages from the cards that they won’t be able to explain with logic. They just know. And because we all have intuitive superpowers, honing your intuitive tarot skills is totally possible with a bit of practice. 

The tarot (/ˈtæroʊ/, first known as trionfi and later as tarocchi or tarock) is a pack of playing cards, used from at least the mid-15th century in various parts of Europe to play games such as Italian tarocchini, French tarot and Austrian Königrufen, many of which are still played today. In the late 18th century, some tarot decks began to be used for divination via tarot card reading and cartomancy reading to custom decks developed for such occult purposes. 

Tarot card reading is a form of cartomancy whereby practitioners use tarot cards purportedly to gain insight into the past, present or future. They formulate a question, then draw cards to interpret them for this end. June 26, 2018 

Tarot cards are a form of divination, which literally means working with the divine, or your higher self, which is the ultimate purpose of tarot cards, just like yoga. June 26, 2018

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