I tend to think of tarot as a spiritual tool, so it’s taken me some time to trust that it can also be extremely useful on a practical, everyday level. But I had a nice lesson in trusting tarot last night. I was trying to make it to a reiki 3 class on the other side of town, but I don’t have a car. My plan was to take the bus to the end of the line and then walk the rest of the way (it would have been about a 30-minute walk). I knew a winter storm was coming in, though, so I brought taxi fare with me just in case it didn’t look feasible to walk once I got that far. And, it didn’t. Our “winter storm” turned into a thunderstorm with rain turning to ice on the roads — I decided walking on the side of the road (no sidewalks), on slippery ice, in the rain, at rush hour was not going to be my wisest choice, so I ducked into a Taco Bell and called a cab.
I knew I had about 45 minutes to get to my class, so I thought I could afford to wait 20-30 minutes for a taxi. While I waited, I pulled tarot cards using an app on my phone: Strength, plus the Six of Cups. To me, the Strength card has to do with inner strength. When I see this card, the first thing I think is “Patience.” So…I counseled myself to be patient and wait. And I interpreted the Six of Cups in light of my circumstances (since this was a cups card and it was very wet outside) instead of thinking about it in terms of its more usual associations of nostalgia, childhood, and being with children.
But here’s the thing. My interpretation wasn’t wrong, in that it was very wet out and was going to continue to be wet. We had many “cups” of rain coming out of the sky…but tarot cards have layers of meaning, and I missed the more practical advice on this card because I was so anxious to make it to my class. This card, I now think, was saying, “go home to your children.” I just couldn’t accept that advice because I had planned so carefully to make it to this class. So I waited.
An hour and a half later, after talking to the taxi dispatcher several times, I gave up and got back on another bus and went home. If I had been open to the message I was receiving from the tarot in the first place, I could have saved myself a good 90 minutes of worry and anxiety.
Though this may seem like a trivial application of tarot, I think there’s a larger lesson here — about being open, about being able to listen, and about developing the ability to let go of a desired outcome in order to pay attention to actual circumstances.
Are the cards accurate? Only if we let them be.