Your Tarot Deck: Value Added and Then Some

By Jeanne Fiorini

Purchasing the average pack of Tarot cards these days will cost you around twenty bucks, not taking into consideration Tarot deck “sets” packaged with the accompanying playbook (which go for about $45), or that special-order, must-have, one-of-a-kind Tarot deck. Do we realize in that moment as we buy our first Tarot deck that we’re beginning a very long journey?  I certainly didn’t, and 22 years later it still amazes me that reading and teaching the Tarot is how I make a living. 

This purchase is $20 well spent. As a person who values a good bargain -- have you seen my Yard Sale Documentation Project posts?--

I think it’s high time to point out all the great things you get in return for your investment in a pack of Tarot cards. I’ll begin with the most immediate rewards, and move into the more esoteric interpretations of what constitutes a bargain here.

1. Learning the Tarot drives home the point that “The Whole” is not only bigger than the sum of its parts, but is a goal worth striving for in and of itself. 

Most of us would ascribe certain characteristics to ourselves and consider them to be a definition of who we are: “I’m a thinker” or “I’m a feeler” or “I’m a mother” or “I’m a musician” or “I’m a Republican.” 

Tarot teaches us that the fully-lived life is the one that embraces every single tidbit of who we are (that is to say, embraces every single dynamic depicted in the 78-card Tarot system). For many of us, the reclaiming of our intuition, a very early reward for working with the Tarot, is the first step along this journey to wholeness.

2. Using the Tarot sensitizes us to the subtle commonalities and connections that bind us together as humans. 

Through use of the Tarot we get to see not only the results of our actions, but the emanations of our thoughts, belief systems, assumptions, and expectations; we observe how these things build upon one another to create our reality and impact our relationships to everything around us.

Once we understand that each piece of experience is an integral component of a single magnificent whole, the judgmental mind is forced—reluctantly -- to loosen its grip on what is “good” and what is “bad.” For me personally this has led to a greater acceptance of “what is,” both within myself and with others.

3. You will meet some very cool people! 

Whether it’s the owners of the shop where you bought your first Tarot cards, or the people you sat with at an evening Tarot group, or someone you met at a weekend workshop, you will be surprised and comforted to learn that folks of all ages and genders from all walks of life are interested in the transformative power of the Tarot.

4. Even a remotely-serious attempt to learn Tarot will lead you down paths to other metaphysical systems.

Astrology, numerology, kabbalah, energy healing, transpersonal psychology, and dream work comprise a partial list of disciplines that have root systems connected to the Tarot. The kaleidoscope of connections and the layers of learning here is endless, making a study of the Tarot a truly long and winding road.

5. If we are paying attention at all, we cannot help but become more consciously aware of what is working unconsciously within us. 

“How do I give away my power?” “What limited notions do I hold about what is possible for me?” “How is my perception of myself different from how others see me?” “What do I project onto others that needs to accepted and then integrated into my own being?” “What are my basic assumptions about who I am?” Carl Jung’s famous statement that “We do not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious” comes to mind here.

Are you paying attention? What has your Tarot deck taught you lately?

6. Tarot can teach us life lessons without actually having to experience them personally.

This statement may be more true for readers than for the person who uses the Tarot strictly for themselves. But the fact of the matter remains that I’ve come to understand a lot about how life works without having to go through the kind of pain I’ve seen rampaging through the lives of clients over the years.

For instance, I can say unequivocally that no matter how much love and affection exists between two partners, a relationship is not going to work unless both people choose it. Successful relationships aren’t about the degree of love or attraction, but the degree to which each person offers a commitment to the other and extends deliberate actions to obtain and maintain the connection. Love is not enough, and this is a hard truth for a love-lost person to hear.

I also can say unequivocally that the acknowledgment of and the respect for one’s own wants and needs is an essential component of a happy life. “Selfish” isn’t usually selfish at all, it’s about self-care, and is an ingredient for a well-lived life that no one else can provide for you; this is something you must create/uncover/demand for yourself.

7. The Tarot brings us face to face with the deepest mysteries of existence.

How does the Tarot work? What are the mechanics such that allow for this dynamic conversation between a human being and the unseen? Why do we bother to reflect on life in the first place? Why are things the way they are? What are we doing here, anyway? What’s my purpose? What’s the point? 

You can ask the Tarot if you should buy the blue car or the red one, but if you really want to get some serious return on your investment, here’s where the action is. 

Of course you can ask whatever you want of the Tarot, although a few things will remain unanswered and some things will always be part of The Mystery. But the Tarot can sure help us with many other less-complicated questions along the way, and I can pretty much guarantee that this makes the $20 plunked down on a Tarot deck the best money you ever spent.

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