hildegarde health & culture
~promoting a wholistic approach to health & medicine that includes mind, body, spirit and culture~
Tarot cards are an incredibly useful tool to build self-awareness. We know that the language of the sub-conscious mind is one of metaphor and symbols. The cards contain complex and intricate ancient symbols that can speak directly to the sub-conscious mind and spark new thoughts, ideas or insights that haven’t yet been considered consciously.
My grandmother, Catherine Black, came to Australia from Scotland when she was 19 years old. She met an Australian soldier and returned with him at the end of the First World War.
In the small town where we lived, Nana Cath was known to everyone to be “a witch”. It was talked about quite matter-of-factly. I don’t remember there being a sense of judgment attached to the label, although people were wary of her. It was thought that she placed curses on people who upset her. These claims were attributed retrospectively when someone fell ill or had an accident. Nana Cath did not make any such claims, but she didn’t deny them either. She simply said nothing.
I was fascinated by my Nana Cath. I spent a lot of time with her because her house was only one street block behind my own. I could jump the back fence, cut through the house behind ours, cross a narrow back street and I was in Nana Cath’s yard. A massive old Poinciana tree covered the entire backyard with its canopy. It seemed eerie, skipping through this yard beneath the canopy of the old tree. Some months the entire backyard was carpeted with scarlet flowers. The massive old tree added to the magic of Nana Cath.
Nana Cath read tea leaves and tarot cards for people. There was always someone at her house, sipping tea and leaning respectfully over the cards while Nana Cath read for them. Nana Cath taught me to read the cards when I was too little to question the practice. She also taught me to play the old antique organ she had shipped over from Scotland with her, I saw the two things as useful skills to have. But I was much better at reading the cards.
Only my closest friends and family have always known about my relationship with the cards. I have frequently read for them over the years. It is as natural to me as reading a book, because I learned when I was so young. This is what I believe about the cards now.
Tarot cards are an incredibly useful tool to build self-awareness. We know that the language of the sub-conscious mind is one of metaphor and symbols. The cards contain complex and intricate ancient symbols that can speak directly to the sub-conscious mind and spark new thoughts, ideas or insights that haven’t yet been considered consciously. Once they are brought to the surface new connections can be made in the brain. Sometimes people are prompted to look at a situation in their lives from an entirely new perspective sparking new understandings or new actions. People shift their focus to align with the message in the cards. The card reader is merely the facilitator of this process. The symbols are brought forward and explained in a minimalist way, with the aim being that the person will create their own connections in their mind. Some people do this silently, and others talk it through as the reading progresses. But everyone responds to the symbols in their own minds and does the work of making connections themselves.
The cards do not tell the future. The cards simply help people find out things about themselves they didn’t know they knew, and then go on to make their own futures. The cards can help unlock your potential. This is true now, as it has always been true.
I will be posting a series of articles about the symbols of the tarot. Keep an eye out for these.