Now, there are those who take the tarot very seriously, but as someone who has studied its history a bit, I think I can make a good case for its true uses. One use was to incorporate symbols that depicted certain stories or mythologies that were forbidden by the church or ruling classes. In this case, the pictures would be less incriminating than writing, and at the same time understandable, with some study, to even the illiterate, who have been the majority for most of our time.
The other use was as a tool for analysis and/or predictions. There are two ways you can look at this. In the first, the user and viewer are using the symbology of the tarot to channel and/or interpret messages that may be psychic, from the spirit world &c. In the second, they are using the symbology to raise certain trains of thought that it would be helpful for the viewer to address. That is, the cards that come up are random, rather than ordained by some spiritual force, and the person dealing them is not reading anything psychically about the read-ee, but rather the cards serve as a sort of associative tool, like inkblots. This is one reason why most tarot cards not only have different interpreted meanings, but often have exact opposite meanings.
For example, let's say one got The Devil, as Belle did, and saw that the card was about:
"... pleasure and abandon, of wild behavior and unbridled desires. This is a card about ambitions; it is also synonymous with temptation and addiction. On the flip side, however, the card can be a warning to someone who is too restrained, someone who never allows themselves to get passionate or messy or wild - or ambitious."The images on the card, combined with those words, could bring up thoughts about whether or not the read-ee is too restrained or not enough, recent incidents ("I couldn't stop drinking coffee/I didn't allow myself to have fun at that party"), and so on. Once you get that sort of associative ball rolling, it can lead to all sorts of self-analysis, and thus a feeling that the card brought up exactly what one should be thinking about right now. Whether you think the card was pre-ordained for you to draw or not, it can still show you something that's on your mind or that you feel, whether you were conscious of it or not.
All that said, here's the card I got:
You are The Lovers
Motive, power, and action, arising from Inspiration and Impulse.
The Lovers represents intuition and inspiration. Very often a choice needs to be made.
Originally, this card was called just LOVE. And that's actually more apt than "Lovers." Love follows in this sequence of growth and maturity. And, coming after the Emperor, who is about control, it is a radical change in perspective. LOVE is a force that makes you choose and decide for reasons you often can't understand; it makes you surrender control to a higher power. And that is what this card is all about. Finding something or someone who is so much a part of yourself, so perfectly attuned to you and you to them, that you cannot, dare not resist. This card indicates that the you have or will come across a person, career, challenge or thing that you will fall in love with. You will know instinctively that you must have this, even if it means diverging from your chosen path. No matter the difficulties, without it you will never be complete.For me, I could think to myself "well, it's about Mrs. Nator, in which case I've already fulfilled the card and should be happy. After all, love is the most important thing to me."
Alternately, I could think "this might mean that I'm meant to find the career that is really right for me, and that there is one out there that I will really love." From there I could agonize about what it is and why I'm not yet sure of it, or decide that the card was indicating that it's going to come, stress or not, and if I just understand that and stop agonizing over it, the right choice will come to me by intuition and things will happen as they should.
Or, of course, I could think it's all a load of hogwash.
While I'm inclined to think it's just a bit of silliness, it's not a bad thing that it brought up the thoughts of satisfaction in my relationship and the idea that things will turn out well for me, career-wise, if I just stop driving myself barmy over it and just try to have some fun with it, instead. And this is how the tool of the tarot can work best, sometimes: by allowing one to pick a train of thought that will help them in life.
Or, it could be that Satan is manipulating the whole thing, including me. Hey, ya never know.
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