T is for Tarot or at least my views on it.
Tarot isn’t necessarily pagan. A lot of non-pagans use the tarot. They allegedly use it for fortune telling but the Tarot is not a fortune telling device and if someone tells you that they are mistaken in how it works. The Tarot gives a picture of a single point in time. The minute the person reading or being read for makes a decision the reading can change.
It changes because human beings have free will. Minor arcana are easily shifted due to a person’s actions and choices. Major Arcana can be difficult if at all. They tend to be stones in a stream you can go around. That being said they are movable to a certain extent due to that pesky free will.
What the Tarot really is is a photograph or map of your brain and the landscape around you. I have literally read for people who make a choice during a reading and changed the outcome which is why I sometimes do an additional three cards for the final outcome if I can feel that something has just changed.
The Tarot does not “tell” fortunes. It can give you a glance in the final cards of some choice based on your current direction of travel but it is not absolute because not only do you have free will but so do all the people around you. No one lives in a vacuum and their choices also affect your choices and outcomes.
I don’t like to read for strangers and I hate being put on the spot to read. I flat out won’t do it. I’ve had too many funky things happen and though the Death card rarely means actual death, I have had it come up in someone who had a deadly disease and was keeping it a secret. If you are forced to read that in a public space it puts you, the reader, in an untenable position. OBTW, The Death card can mean loss of job, end of a relationship, end of anything you hold dear or something in life you need to let go of. It almost never means death, no matter what some cheesy television show says. I’m more scared when the Tower comes up than Death.
I do the one card reading every day to see what hints my current choices can lead to. I don’t do major readings very often and I’m more likely to use the Ogham or the Faery Oracle for a big reading because I prefer conversation to deciphering archetypes.
Choice of the deck is important because something like the Thoth deck will read a lot differently than the Wildwood or Greenwood deck. My first tarot teacher used to say that if you got a funky reading from the Thoth deck AKA Crowley’s deck you needed to spank it and then scold it to make it behave. Decks tend to contain a lot of their maker in them. I suspect the decks that work for me are designed by people I would get along with well. Having said that I do use the Thoth deck occasionally and do get some interesting readings but then I have a warped sense of humour and I know how to treat mischievous little boys who are being bad.
So if some offers “to tell your fortune” Run Away, Run Away! Because they are lying if they say they can. They may be able to give you some insight into the choices before you that are yours to make but no one can tell your future.