Thank you to guest blogger KeriLynn Engel from The Spiritual Skeptic!
As a teenager, I found an easy answer to my life’s questions in the fundamental Christianity I was reintroduced to by a friend. There were no mysteries any longer; any question I had was easily answered by consulting God’s book or seeking an expert to interpret it for me. And the Bible was very clear on tarot cards: “Let no one be found among you who...practices divination or sorcery, [or] interprets omens” (Deuteronomy 18:10).
When I finally began learning to not see the world in black & white, and became disillusioned with Christianity, I went through a period of experimenting with different faiths. It took me a few years, but I finally realized that I could believe in nothing without evidence. I finally feel at peace as a skeptic and an atheist.
It’s difficult to recover from a lifetime of indoctrination, and I’m still learning to let go of the guilt I was trained to feel at so many innocent activities. Slowly, I’ve been reclaiming the pieces of myself that I was taught were evil and wrong, including my love of tarot cards. I can’t bring myself to believe without strong evidence that the cards have any power to reveal truths or give me guidance, but I still find value in them.
I am an atheist, but I consider myself to be a spiritual atheist:
“Practically, we might see a spiritual atheist as highly empathic, aware of his or her connection to others, concerned with equality and social justice, regularly awed by the beauty of nature, etc. [...] They are about the journey and find great pleasure in learning, debate, and self-exploration.”
I’ve always been very curious and self-analytical, and I’ve found tarot cards to be a great tool in exploring my subconscious and sparking my creativity.
I use tarot cards in many different ways, including meditation aids and as brainstorming tools for writing. Even though I don’t believe that tarot cards hold any supernatural power to tell the future or give magical insight, I still do traditional tarot readings as well. Some might find that strange or even contradictory, but I believe tarot card readings can have several benefits even for skeptics and nonbelievers.
The simple act of taking my tarot cards out of their bag and getting ready for a reading is a stress-reliever. A reading requires a quiet atmosphere free of distraction and conducive to contemplation. Schedule a time for yourself when you can be alone. Light a few candles. Enjoy the silence, or play some light classical music (I like Bach’s cello sonatas, or Hindustani classical music.
When you draw a card, think about how it applies to your life your patterns of thinking. Explore how you feel about the person the card might represent. Does the card suggest an issue or a fault that you can work on in yourself? Or a way that you can help another person in your life?
While tarot cards don’t hold a magical answer to my problems, they can jump-start my mind into thinking in new directions.
The next time you’re stuck in a dead end in your life, try doing a tarot card reading and see what the cards suggest to you.
Keep in mind when you do a reading that you don’t have to follow anyone’s rules. You can study the cards in a traditional manner and learn their meanings if you’d like—or you can consult a booklet as you read them, or make up your own meanings. A single card can represent a feeling, a place, a person, an action, or any number of things. Do whatever is the most comfortable and most useful for you.
It might feel strange at first, but the more you use the cards, the more intuitive and natural it will feel.
Tarot cards may not hold the secrets of my future as I imagined when I was younger. I may not be able to cast spells with them or learn the secrets of another.
Even though I’ve grown beyond those dreams, tarot cards can still have a place in my life as tools to learn more about myself and spark my creativity.
About the Author: KeriLynn Engel is a freelance writer & web designer who blogs at The Spiritual Skeptic about metaphysical and paranormal phenomena from a positive atheist viewpoint.