Welcome to the Sacred Healer Blog, my name is Jay; all my blog posts both current and yet to come relate in some way to my work and interests, participating in a Blog hop is one way to do that very thing. I have been working with Tarot for 25 years and for those of you good with figures, yes, yes that’s right since I was 16. These days when I reflect back to that time I believe it was always going to be my path to end up working with the Tarot, back then I would never have thought that I would become a collector, historian and Cartomancer. I actually still have my very first deck. I remember vividly how the journey began and it actually ties into the title of this post aptly…
But First… If you haven’t come across a Blog hop before that’s okay, because I am going to take a few moments before getting into the topic for this month to explain exactly what a Blog Hop actually is.
What is a Blog Hop?
Okay so a Blog Hop is a new name for something that has been around for as long as I have written journals, it is basically like a writer’s circle or in this case a group of like minded people coming together to give their take on a set subject. You get all kinds of Hops, such as a Reiki Blog Hop, which is another one that I participate in.
A Little Bit about Me…
Let’s Look at the Past…
Picture it May 1991, a skinny bloke, long blonde hair, blue eyes; a total loner sitting up the back of the canteen at his local college annex; shuffling a deck of Mythic Tarot Deck… Yep that’s right me! Up until this point I had been studying the cards and had learnt a great deal of their history, done a project on them for the college course and basically had made them my hobby, passion and soon to be life.
Now let me take you back a bit before I explain the relevance of the title, at 16 I had picked up an encyclopedia of the supernatural at the library and reading through it I saw a small excerpt on the Tarot it read…
May You find Some Comfort Here…
“Tarot Cards: A method of Divination and Fortune Telling; see IJJ Swiss Tarot for more information.“
There was no where locally that I could get these fabled cards, so one weekend with my saved up money I went into the city and eventually found this shop called ‘Tam Shepherd’s Joke Shop’ in the cabinet at the door it had Tarot Cards amongst everything else and so in I went; nervous as hell I have to point out. Tam the owner really gave me a hard stare and asked me if I really was sure I wanted to buy this set. I was so keen and sacred at the same time and well as you will have guessed I bought them, so home I got opened this fabled set and they were in French!
That’s right, you read me correctly French! I failed my French at High School Level, I could barely string a sentence together in the language and here these cards as mystical and awesome as they were in French… Well I was crestfallen and kind of felt thwarted, no amount of reading the book was going to get me out of this one. So I read the book for what it was a book and I started just looking at the card for what they were, images.
I tried to read them for my Dad one night, I was right in the prediction; just got the timing wrong instead of being in the immediate future the prediction of his death happened 21 year later, (which is one of the reasons I won’t read for family or very close friends). At the time I thought it was an epic fail and I almost gave up but then I watched Live and Let Die, the James Bond film, and right there and then I wanted to be Solitaire.
As you can imagine off I went this time to pick up from Tam Shepherd’s the ‘Tarot of the Witches’ now I have to point out that this point I was still quite new to all of this and so I hadn’t a clue at that time that there were several decks bought in order to make those scene realistic, (I learnt about that later). So I tried and tried on the dining room table to create that layout and do the readings just as she had done them but again it didn’t exactly work out…
Now into the Past/Present
By this point in time I have bought my third deck, the Mythic Tarot and it was a fairly normal college day; it was lunch time and I was passing the time by myself with the cards, trying out spreads and really just getting a feel for them. I was a bit surprise and I guess a bit worried by the sudden shadow over my table; as I looked up I was greeted by this quite tall, dark haired lady, she had a tray in her hand and was staring at me.
I smiled at her and I was braced for all kinds of “Devil Worshipper, Tarot is Evil and so on” but instead she asked if she could sit down at the table. I agreed and well the conversation went a little like this:
“I hope you don’t mind me interrupting you, I have been watching you with the cards since the start of lunch and I felt drawn to come over and ask if you would read for me.”
“Read for you? I don’t do this professionally or anything I am only learning at the moment.” I replied back with sincere honesty
“That is okay, I really don’t mind; would you at least try?”
To this day I don’t know what made me say yes but I did. The reading is still vivid in my head because I used the Celtic cross spread and I always remember that the first card was filled with a deep sadness and longing. I told her that it typically didn’t mean that because The empress was a card of joy, love and laughter; a motherly card in many ways.
It was the card that crossed the really struck a cord. The High Priestess, I stared at her for a good few moments and I then explained that this card represented someone that felt like she wasn’t here anymore but also still felt like she was here at the same time. I explained that from this card I got the sense that it was time to consider letting go and moving on; now at the time during the reading I had the impression that perhaps the daughter or someone like a daughter was connected, however that actually wasn’t the case.
After I completed the reading, the woman looked at me; now I have to admit I was braced for a bawling out, a slap or for her to storm off but instead she thanked me. She explained that her daughter had passed to the higher side of life five years ago on that day, she had been pretty much the way I had described and looked in the card; quiet, smart, intelligent and all the things someone of her age should be and then like that gone…
The woman said that her daughter had come through via the reading, had told her that she was fine and that it was time to move on and let go of the sadness that she had been holding on to. She looked at me with very sincere eyes that even to this day make me get a little misty when I reflect and said “Thank you for bringing me comfort and peace.” it was then she handed me some money and told me to get myself some lunch.
Could-a, Should-a, Maybe…?
I often recount this to my students when I mentor them to do with the Tarot, I explain that it isn’t about the meanings as they have been attributed by others to the cards, we don’t actually know for certain that these meanings we use today are accurate, so I say, use them as a guide; don’t follow them verbatim or as a script to stick to. Read the book or manual once or twice, look on line as well for information but at the end of the day, just put to the side.
I can image a few horror looks on faces right about now; there is a reason why I say this to my students and also why I am saying it now. The tarot is a reflection of us, our collective unconscious as well as traditional iconic images that we assign meaning to. Every person that we read for brings in their own story and their own energy and the cards tell us what is happening but if we stick to a prescribed format, using someone else’s meanings we are only parroting back another person’s words.
It may work but it also may not work, but listening to that inner instinct and that inner voice, asking what does this card mean to me and mean when I am working with this person’s energy what is that telling me. What I realise now that I didn’t back then is the woman who sat across from me received a healing from spirit through the Tarot and maybe that is exactly what the Tarot can do, is heal others; it shows us the areas that need focus and can show the potential for change but it also show personal responsibility not just for us but also to the other person as well.
We can’t make the changes in a person’s life happen, they need to do that themselves; all we can do as readers is hand them the map and point out the best places to visit, the rest as always is up to them.
Well thank you for your company and I wish you well on your Blog hop travels. If you are interested in having a reading done then please feel free to get in touch and if you are local then we can organise a face to face meeting, however distance isn’t really an issue as I am happy to work via email as well.