A new year is often seen as a chance for reinvention. Maybe this will be the year you move out of the friend-zone with your "pal" across the hall. Maybe this will be the year that you don't overdraft while buying a two dollar Miller High Life. Maybe this will be the year you can finally wear white clothes without immediately saturating them with coffee-rich pigment.
Crack reporter Allison Perkins had questions and was determined to solve them, so she took a six-week course in the art of tarot at Miracles of Joy in Lewisville. Here's what she learned:
I've had a healthy fascination with Tarot ever since I first discovered a need to know that I won't die alone. It's been with me ever since.
I tend to check in when things are shitty and coast along as a semi-believer when things are rosy. As I think we all do.
After all, who needs answers when life is good?
That is one of the first things I learned in Tarot class: People typically visit Tarot readers for two reasons: relationships and finances. The second thing I learned is that it's actually pronounced "Tah-roh" and not "Tear-oh". The third thing - and then I'm going to stop numbering them because it's already getting a little old - is that it's not a practice of gypsies or Satanic cheerleaders or Ricki Rachtman or anything like that. Tah-roh respects all religions and calls upon all the spirits to deliver clarity, answers and occasionally confirm your intuition. And yes, I realize that last sentence makes me sound like a total nut job, but I swear I'm not...just ask the Celtic Spread... (If we were at Miracles of Joy, that joke would have killed.)
A gal named Virginia taught the class and I really respect her. She's wise, patient, calming and she loves the shit out of some Frappucinos.
Each class was two hours long. We usually spent an hour a class learning the cards - Major Arcana, Cups, Wands, Swords and Pentacles - and the other hour practice reading for each other. We spent the first week getting to know the Major Arcana cards. These are the cards that describe where you are in your life cycle. They are "bigger picture" cards and contain awesome things like The Sun and icky things like The Tower.
The suite cards each represent a different area of your life and are used more to describe your current situation. Here's a very, very basic snapshot of how that goes:
Cups - These are your love cards. They represent your emotions and creativity.
Pentacles - These are money cards. They embody finances and work.
Wands - These are your spiritual cards. They focus on inspiration and intuition.
Swords - These tend to be about truth seeking and decision making. If all other cards are emotional, these are the logical ones.
Again, that's just a top line, super duper basic explanation of each suite. Obviously, each is more than a one or two sentence description. And since every suite contains cards Ace through King, there are tons of variations.
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For me, taking the class was invaluable and I won't give readings to friends without consulting my trusty, arsenal of notes. It wasn't until my schoolhouse immersion in the Tarotic arts that I understood its vast complexity. Let's just say that translating others' fates isn't something that I picked up overnight, but with resolve and practice, I'm getting there.
The final thing I want so pass along is one of my teacher's threads of wisdom. Virginia said that we each have this gift, and we just tap into it when we're ready. All we have to do is get quiet and listen. So don't write yourself off as an inept interpreter of the deck, just seek out a little schooling. Virginia's six-week course was interesting and a lot of fun -- totally worth the $125. Sure, it was in Lewisville and that's a little bit of a haul, but who doesn't love a psychic road trip complete with 7-Eleven Big Gulps? (We bought those every. single. time.)
If Lewisville is too far, or the enrollment fee too dear, there are several Dallas Meet Up groups that you could join instead. For example, B.O.T.A. Dallas Qabalah & Tarot meets at Odd Fellow's Hall (1808 S. Hampton) on the third Saturday of every month. (Added bonus: their meetings are preceded by meditation and lunch. Lunch!)
Regardless of which path you take, it's the New Year. You need to resolve something, so why not make it "To be more interesting and open-minded? With or without a crystal on your forehead?"