For a while now I’ve been wanting to try Tarot. Not because I actually believe in the ability of the cards to actually tell me my future (I’m a bit more skeptical of fortune-telling than most people would think), but because as a horror writer I have a few story ideas where the Tarot is either a central part of the story or comes up once or twice, so I want to be sure I know what I’m talking about before I start writing. Plus it’s very easy to learn with the right tools, and I’ve always found Tarot to be strangely beautiful and mystical. And who knows? Tarot might actually have something to it. In which case, best I learn it well.

So, if you’re actually unfamiliar with what Tarot is, it’s a form of divination using a deck of 78 cards, each having their own special meaning. The cards, when laid out in a certain spread, can act as signposts on the journey of life when you ask them a certain question. This evening, after reading an instruction book I got online and opening my own deck, I did my own reading. My question was pretty simple, as it should be with Tarot*: since I turned 22 recently, how will the coming year go for me?

The answer, according to the cards, is that I’ll rise to megastar fame, get married and divorced, have a baby, and then die saving the world from terrorists, cementing my legacy in history. And all this before May 2016.

Done laughing yet? Yeah, I wish some of that would happen to me. And even if that were possible, Tarot is never that specific. Like I said, the cards are meant to act as signposts or guides. They hint and rarely, if ever, give the full story. Also, the whole spread has to be used in interpreting the cards, so no one card can give you full insight into the future. It’s not an easy art to learn, especially when each card can have multiple meanings. You learn through trial and error

So what actually happened is that I used a spread known as the Celtic Cross, which uses 10-14 cards to indicate the answer to your question. I looked over the spread, wrote it down in a notebook I got for the very purpose of recording my Tarot spreads, and tried to interpret that. My conclusion is that I either shuffled the deck wrong or I’m still very new to this and it’ll take a while to understand what, if anything, the cards were trying to point me to (or none of it’s real, got to stay open to the possibilities).

The Hanging Man. I might actually be in a state of suspension like it hints at.

Some of it actually did seem on the dot though. The first card was of The Hanging Man, which can literally mean being in a state of suspension, which I am at the moment, waiting for this delay to go to Germany to end. The third card, The Eight of Wands, indicates fast progress after delays and travel, which could pertain to the whole Germany thing, as well as traveling from my apartment to my dad’s house (the third position deals with the past), and the fourth position, the Knight of Wands, seems to complement this. And the fifth position points to recovery after a strain, which is interesting seeing as I strained my hamstring not too long ago and I am working to make it better.

A couple of other things were pretty on the dot, but for the most part there’s a lot of stuff I don’t understand. It’s interesting, and makes me realize how much of this art I still have to learn. Even if I’m on the fence about whether or not there’s actually anything to Tarot, my curiosity is piqued by how some of the cards did point to things I’m actually feeling or thinking about. So I’ll definitely be doing another reading one of these days, seeing what I can learn from this and maybe improve my skill before I actually write a story having to do with Tarot.

In the meantime, has anyone reading this gotten a reading or regularly done readings for themselves and/or for others reading this? If so, I’d love to get your take on this, so hit me up in the comments below.

Also, what do you, my Followers of Fear, think of Tarot and divination in general? Had any memorable readings that turned out to be strangely accurate or just plain off? Loved to hear your thoughts.

Still so much to learn here.

All for now. The Big Birthday Sale is ending in less than an hour from now, so I’ll write a post about how that went in the morning. Though if you hurry, you might still be able to get one of my books from Amazon or Smashwords marked down or for free. It’s still a good opportunity to get a good book at a great price for the next forty minutes.

Until next time!

*By the way, I know there are those who want to tell me Tarot is dangerous, that it involves devils, that I’m going to Hell for using it. I’ve heard it all, and I don’t really care. So if you’re going to comment about how I’m putting my immortal soul in danger or I’m being a bad Jew or something, please stop, because I’ll just use the opportunity to make a snarky joke about it. And trust me, you don’t want to be on the receiving end of my brand of humor. Just ask my folks, they hate it!

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Comments
  1. I have Tarot cards at home, but I’m not particularly good at interpreting them. However, I did try to do some spreads for myself after I graduated High School and weirdly enough, no matter how I shuffled the cards, one card always popped up. It was a ship or something indicating change and a journey which I found quite interesting and true for my situation.
    Also, I once went to a shaman who read my future through palm reading. That was a very enlightening experience as well and quite fun. Some of it didn’t really fit me at all (questions like: Are you becoming a nurse? You have a healing triangle right there …) and others were really on point (You like to travel, but not for the sole purpose of travelling but rather to find a place to stay and so on). I thought it was interesting.

  2. I used to do Tarot – I had an awesome book on it (still have it somewhere) – tarot in ten Minutes – http://www.harpercollins.com/9780380766895/tarot-in-ten-minutes – that does a good job of explaining a lot, as well as different spreads, etc.

    I’ve never been particularly successful in “real” readings. My mother, on the other hand, was, even to the point where she did one for me that specifically mentioned flat tires (I don’t remember what spread we were using) and my friend and I laughed and laughed and laughed – until I got a flat tire on the way home that night. But most of her readings came true in horrible ways – like the monkey’s paw story – so she quit messing with them.

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