a week of reading tarot cards: lessons learned and why there's value

Last week I picked up a new hobby. I had always been curious about the art of tarot card reading. I knew my Oud Oma read tarot cards in her day (that would be my father's grandma for those who don't speak Dutch). I had my first reading done last year at SeaWheeze and found it to be quite fun. So when I came across a pack of cards and a basic how-to book in the store, I got curious and decided to try something new.

Now, I don't necessarily believe reading these cards will tell me my future - though I do have a story that is on par with that idea. But I have found value in this experience, and in more ways than one.

Technically, the pack I picked up weren't tarot cards. They were actually Romany Cards. It's a 36 card deck used solely to tell fortunes designed by a woman named Marie Anne Le Normand. It's supposedly a very intuitive deck to read, which means there is flexibility in how the cards are interpreted. Each card has a general representation that is influenced by how it is drawn from the deck and laid out, but over all the reader of the cards is supposed to learn the deck and pick up their own feelings from each card.

As a beginner, I have mostly done only one-card readings. This is where I shuffle the deck while asking a somewhat specific question. When I feel ready, I cut the deck with my left hand then turn the top card over to reveal my fortune. I practiced this for a week, asking the same question every morning and night to see patterns and themes.

I would ask the cards what the universe wanted me to know that morning/night.

Again, I don't put much stock into the cards telling me what my day held. If I drew The Cloverleaf, I didn't necessarily believe riches would fall into my lap that day (besides, the card still says you have to work hard for what you want, the universe is just more on your side that day). But I did notice I could use my readings as an internal check of how I was feeling.

For example, one morning I drew the pig in reverse (meaning the card was upside down). I had not read what the pig represented yet but my gut told me right away I was in trouble. That I was  all over the place and not having a harmonious day. This was solely based on my first reaction. Turns out, the pig in reverse means your situation is unsynchronized and cannot be unified.

I quickly grew to love this morning self check-in. It became more about reflecting on how I was feeling in the moment than what my future held. If my reading indicated I was in a place I didn't want to be, the reading allowed me time to reflect on the why. What might be causing the unease or frustration? Only with that insight was I able to shift my mindset and focus on being the best version of myself.

I then began to try three-card spreads. They became more of a challenge because they forced me to reflect even deeper and question my mindset even more. They would require me to examine all external and internal forces that played a role on my emotions. And honestly, they forced me to stop lying to myself. Take this spread here:

It began with the train, the first card I pulled. The background required for this one is this: I have recently graduated from university and have felt pulled in many directions ever since. I've been uncertain about jobs and opportunities presented to me and I haven't been getting jobs I really wanted. Jobs I thought were the right ones. I've felt worry over my own business and questioned if it could bring the security I crave. But this card is a journey card. And it indicates you are on the right path. In fact, it is specifically positive for business enterprises and to be assured your career is going somewhere. When I pulled it, it was like a reminder to have faith in the universe. That it all happens for a reason. Perhaps the reason I haven't been offered the "perfect jobs" is because I have created my perfect job and I need to keep working on it.

The second card pulled was the Queen. That day I felt particularly good emotionally and this card essentially told me to keep that energy alive. It also reassured me to trust my intuition on the first card. I was in-balance and things would be smooth.

Lastly, I pulled a card which was foreign to me at the time. But I still picked up the business/career theme to it. The Clasped Hands are about mutual support and keeping your word. A partnership may be in the air and by keeping with it, I would find great benefit. I had recently been offered a few different opportunities that hold potential to help my business. When reading this card, I found clarity in how those partnerships would benefit my work. It was a light bulb moment.

This past week of reading the cards has been fun. Of course I have asked the deck silly questions and played with the romantic ideas of knowing my future. But I was surprised when I began to uncover how much of a self-check this practice quickly became, and how much I could learn about my self with this daily check-in.