Why do I read tarot?

I don’t believe in magic

…and I always considered myself a very rational and sceptic person. Horoscopes, homeopathy, ayurveda, new age and stuff like that always seemed like a sham to me.

But at the same time I would never call myself a materialist and I find most of new atheists at very least cringey.

Reality is what we can’t change with perception and mind. It exists as a cold dusty skeleton of the world we live in. But the flesh and blood of our reality is imaginary and far more important. Our languages, myths, ideas, beliefs like justice, peace, love, money and a lot of other made up things that create this shared space we live in.

We can even try to reduce a man to nature and nurture. To physical processes in our bodies and to social and psychological constructs that control us. That together create an illusion of our free will and subjectivity.

Maybe if we create a perfect model of our brain and deconstruct culture there will be no more place even for free will to exist. There were experiments that prove that most of our choices are made before we realize that we made any choice at all. So our psyche rationalizes our choices and presents them as rational, responsible, conscious decisions.

So we think there’s responsibility and agency just because we don’t understand ourselves enough. But that’s a sad and materialistic idea that I find useless.

I believe that there is magic

Magic is that in our otherwise deterministic universe we exist as persons and souls with free will. Even if it comes with a lot of limitations from our brain chemistry, childhood, past experiences, culture and language.

I believe that magic is in this existential attitude. That life is happening to you. And that there’s something bigger (or smaller, or outside of any measurements) than our personality that guides us through life and that is the source of our free will.

As a kid I could never understand what “a soul” means, maybe that’s it.

So everyone is a God. Because God is what we call something outside of materialistic and deterministic universe. Something that has agency and free will. And every time you meet someone or just open yourself to the world you meet God.

To meet someone you need to communicate, talk, right? So we communicate in symbols, words, ideas that we store in our culture and language.

Artists find new ways of expression, communication, understanding and add to this shared culture. Life imitates art or art imitates life is a chicken and egg question. We don’t see and don’t know what our life is about before we can understand and communicate it through art, culture, ideas, language.

Tarot! Yeah, here comes tarot at last

Tarot is one of the oldest systems, collections of European symbolism and archetypes. It’s so deeply embedded into us, the same way as Christianity or ancient philosophy is. Once you start exploring the world of tarot cards you see the same symbols everywhere. It has passed a very long test of time and so many interpretations by different mystics and artists.

Tarot is a tool that helps you build a story and connection with another person. And even if all the cards you pick are totally random the magic happens when you look at them together with someone and suddenly you have a story to tell.

To me tarot is a ritual to connect to subconsciousness and open up myself and the person I’m reading the cards to.

I learn as much as I can about the language and symbolism of tarot, I try to be as open and selfless as I can be… and as a result the story, the reading flows by itself through me, through my intuition and insight.

  1. Cards that are picked may be random and as boring as our materialistic world.
  2. Symbols and meanings on the cards are from our shared culture, part of our human world.
  3. And the story that’s happening is a magical experience.
Visconti-Sforza tarot deck, the oldest surviving tarot cards from the 15th century.