Many years ago a friend introduced me to the fascinating and mysterious world of the Tarot, a set of 78 cards that has been used since ancient times for divination and as an aid to psycho-spiritual development and intuition. Its origin is unknown; the complex images could be seen to derive from the myths, legends and belief systems of many civilisations including those of Egypt, India and China, and it has been known in Europe since at least the 14th century. There are numerous different decks available, featuring artwork in styles ranging from the traditional to the quirky.
I studied the Tarot myself for a while and did occasional readings for friends, but was perhaps deterred from continuing when I realised what powerful effects the symbols could have. With their universal relevance they almost always seem to relate to the life situation of the “querent”. One woman told me afterwards that her chosen cards had been instrumental in her decision to divorce her husband; fortunately this turned out a good decision. One man took his spread to be predictive of his own death, despite my efforts to interpret it more constructively, and he did die suddenly not long afterwards. It is indeed hard not to be shocked and distressed by some of the cards, such as Death, The Hanged Man and The Devil, even though they are not intended to be taken literally; instead, they symbolise in different ways a common Tarot theme, that of letting go of the old to make way for the new. Other cards, such as The Star and The Sun, show much more beautiful and positive images. Whether or not the Tarot has any occult significance, as opposed to being a psychological tool, I think it should be regarded with respect and not used frivolously.
The insightful reading I had yesterday from Samantha Jung-Fielding stimulated much reflection and promise for the future. To summarise just a few of the cards that particularly resonated with me: Ace of Swords: change beginning on the mental level with new attitudes and ideas. The Empress: creativity and abundance, happy relationships. Nine of Swords: fear and despair, but the threats are in imagination rather than reality. The Fool: appearing as the final card in my spread, this represents the start of a new adventure! My complete Celtic Cross spread is pictured below.