The Art of Tarot

Divination works through intuition. It’s not a science, but it is an art.

Many people are mistaken about the nature of science and art. They reduce the two to stereotypes and believe that science is pure logic while art is limitless freedom. Reality, however, is a bit more convoluted. In truth, the two are inextricably intertwined.

Great scientists are driven by passion. Conversely, great artists make use of logic via the adoption of various techniques and beauty is found in the balance between structure and freedom.

The art of tarot reading adheres to the same principle of duality.

On the one hand, there is a pre-defined meaning for each card that every tarot reader must take the time to learn. It’s a long process that is often marked with confusion and frustration. This is comparable to aspiring musicians upon first learning an instrument. In the beginning, much work is required but little art is produced as a result. The mundane and repetitive practices feel more robotic than artistic. Yet, the students persist because they understand that once mastered, the musical instrument becomes a tool to produce endless melodies.

With tarot, each card is an idea that conveys an universal human experience as well as the lessons that are meant to be learnt from that experience. Once the meaning of the seventy-eight cards are understood, endless stories can be told. And telling stories is what tarot reading is all about.

Tarot readers are a very specific type of story tellers. While traditional story tellers uses the structure of language to express ideas, tarot readers are provided with scaffolds of ideas and they add and build upon them until coherent stories are formed.

Determining how the distinct ideas of the different cards are woven together and which aspects of each card to focus on is where the creative aspects of the art lies. This is also what makes tarot so fascinating. While there are numerous way to interpret each spread, when readers trust their intuition, they naturally select the aspects of each card that relates to their querents’ current condition.

Even more intriguing than the tarot readers’ ability to know when to focus on a certain aspect of a card is how the same card will show up time and again. Many tarot readers will attest to the phenomena that, when a querent asks multiple questions in one reading session, often times, there is one card that will come up repeatedly regardless of the questions being asked or how thoroughly the cards have been shuffled.

These cards represents the core of the messages that the querent must learn in order to succeed in their current stage of life. They are also evidence that tarot connects us to universal truths. As such, it truly is divine.


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