Can a Tarot Practice Become Unhealthy?
Fear of tarot is a thing, even amongst spiritual people and diviners. Most of that fear is borne of religious prejudice, superstition, or simple misunderstanding.
The truth is that for most people the process of having tarot readings, reading tarot and studying tarot is beneficial in many ways.
Working with a great tarot professional can give perspective, understanding, strategy, goals and encouragement, as well as a sense of spiritual connection and hope for the future.
Studying tarot, and reading for oneself, can instill spiritual grounding and connect us to our inner guidance.
I firmly believe that tarot can help pretty much everyone in one way of the other.
There are times, however, when a tarot practice can become unhealthy, or at least unhelpful. This can be made worse by tarotists who refuse to acknowledge this possibility and don’t want to work to find ways to mitigate these potential pitfalls.
The important thing to remember is that, aside from being a trump-taking card game, tarot is a helpful creative and spiritual tool. That’s right, a tool, like a stove, a hammer or a curling iron. Tarot in and of itself can’t be evil, can’t be harmful and can’t be unhealthy. Tarot is simply cardboard and ink, art and symbolism. You might get a paper cut, but that is the only harm tarot can do you.
Yet, the way we use a tool matters. A hammer can be used to build a house or commit a murder. Tarot can’t be unhealthy, but we can use tarot in unhealthy ways.
Here are three tarot-related behaviors to watch out for in yourself, your clients and your friends.
1. Psychic Addiction
Psychic addiction happens when we rely on cards and readers to tell us what we want to hear rather than accepting what’s really going on in our lives. We shop for readers who will give us the rosy picture of the future we desire. We interpret our own cards to support our fantasies. Very often psychic addiction happens when we pay too much attention to the predictive aspect of psychic work, rather than digging in to the cards for perspective and strategy.
Unlike many other addictions, psychic addicts don’t necessarily need to completely avoid readings in order to recover, they simply need to change their behaviors and expectations. Very often, psychic addiction is brought about by anxiety that is undiagnosed or untreated. Once that problem is taken care of a person can generally find the helpful benefits of divination without taking it to an unhealthy place.
2. Intense Anthropomorphism of Tarot
Let’s face it, we all personify the cards a bit. “What did the cards say?” “My cards are being saucy today!” “The cards never lie!” These are things we tarotists say. However, there is a line between understanding tarot as a tool of communication and believing that we are communicating with cardboard. When we start ascribing a sense of self-awareness to a deck of cards, we lose sight of reality. Tarot should help us understand our reality, not deny it or hide from it. Spirituality must help us make sense of our world rather than help us escape our world.
3. Failing to Use the Right Tools for the Right Job
If you think you might be pregnant, you can get a pregnancy test at any grocery store. If you want to understand the emotional and spiritual ramifications of adding to your family, have a reading.
It’s amazing how often we turn to the cards to give us information that another tool could give us more concretely and easily. At the same time, we often fail to use tarot in the ways it can be most helpful to us – when we are desperate for guidance in decision-making or spiritual understanding
Some other behaviors that concern me include the tendency to be didactic and dogmatic about tarot interpretation. In my experience tarot is most helpful when we give the cards a little wiggle room. Likewise, is the habit some have of making the tarot, or the words of a psychic, their only source of information, rather than adding the voice of spiritual guidance along with the voice of other experts.
Tarot is the most helpful tool I have every had the pleasure to use, and I am grateful to able to use it for myself and my clients. I am happy to see tarot spreading in popularity around the word. In fact, this is something I have prayed for, and worked for. The more people that have access to tarot, the better.
However, if common sense doesn’t accompany our tarot practice, there is always the possibility that we will turn our wellness practice of divination into something more sinister. As long as we stay grounded in reality and disciplined in the way we use our psychic resources, I believe we can avoid those behaviors that can create unhealthy practices in divination. Instead, we can use those resources to stimulate our growth, heal our wounds and plan for the very best future possible.