Posts tagged Reading Tips
Gasp! Death, The Devil, The Tower…. OMG The 9 of Swords and gosh the 10 of Swords! What horror are the so called “bad cards” of the tarot. Normally these cards make some readers uneasy and the clients on the other side of the table a little on edge. Who wouldn’t? These cards are bold, in your face, they represent the things in life we rather avoid and not deal with. Death, change, addictions, anxiety, worry, downfall and all sorts of nasties. However it is these “bad” cards which are more easy to understand and relate to at least for myself.
In my opinion people experience more pain than pleasure in life. We are always seeking happiness and pleasure because we are in a state of pain or at the least discomfort. The Buddha said life is “dukkha” which often translates as “suffering”. However “dukkha” can mean many things and suffering is just one possible meaning. But at the core life is challenging, it is in flux, going up and down. It is the times of pain and trauma I feel which have the largest impact on us. A silly example would be Batman, Bruce Wayne would never have become Batman if his parents would never killed. So it is the tough cards in the tarot which seem to be more real to me, easier to connect with and understand. Take the 9 of Swords, this is the anxiety/stress card. The Anxiety Disorders Association of American says that “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).”
Women are twice as likely to be affected from Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder and Post traumatic Stress Disorder. So seeing a woman in the 9 of Swords makes a lot of sense. If you look at the troubling swords (6,8,9) there are woman in them which may signify a anxiety issue or another psychological problem. So as I said 40 million adults are affected, children are also affected by anxiety, “About 13 out of every 100 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 experiencing some kind of anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder.”
Because of the high levels of anxiety that people experience it makes the 9 of Swords so relatable. It is so easy to understand that card and feel the pain of the woman in the card.
Backtracking a little into the Major Arcana, Death is a card which I like because like I said it is clear, death means something is ending. Done over and finished. Death is a name that everyone understands because it is the ultimate fate of us all [shudder] and for that reason we connect to the concept so very easy. Everyone comes into contact with death sooner or later. I came into contact early with death with grandparents and my own father. I understand what death was at a early age (about 6 or 7). Over 150,000 people die every day.
The Devil well this is a card many people think they know based off the title but they will be wrong, this card has nothing to do with the Biblical devil. When I look at this card I see bondage and attachments such as addictions (of many kinds). You can look at the Devil as drug and alcohol abuse. There are countless people who are addicted to drugs both legal and illegal. There are adults alcoholics and in teenagers there is binge drinking. Addictions come in other fashions like material attachments to shopping (like myself) or attachment to someone in a bad relationship. So again we see here that the concepts of The Devil are almost universal to everyone and easy to understand and relate to.
The Tower is yet another so called “bad” card which is so easy to relate to. This is the card which signals that things are going to fall apart. Things will change and not as you expect. Things are sudden out of the blue that rock your world and pull the rug out from under your feet. We all experienced this. Our current economic crisis would be a perfect example of The Tower. People purchased homes with mortgages that really could not afford which lead to large scale forecloses. To get an idea how large of a problem this is you can compare the foreclosure rates of 2000 which was 470,000 to 2011 which was 3,920,418.
The 5 of Pentacles can come in here as well and related to this to. We can look at natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina which killed At least 1,836 people and the total property damage was estimated at $81 billion. On the small scale we can relate to the Tower when we get a flat tier, the roof starts leaking, the boiler breaks and your computer hard drive crashes. Sudden out of the blue problems which just ruin things. We all experience things like that.
In the end what I want to stress is that life is filled with many experiences, good and bad. As tarot readers we need to be realistic and live on earth where shit happens. Pain is real, my pain your pain your client’s pain. It is alive and real. We cannot have our heads in the clouds and makes all the cards chocolate covered bunnies. We need to understand the realities people go through, the drama, pain, suffering and valid it. If we ignore it exist will not make it simply go away and it does not help the client. As tarot readers we however can redirect the energy of the client into a path that can solve the issue and bring change. I would also like to say that yes, the cards have many interpretations and they don’t always go to such extremes like the ones I pointed out, I am just making a point.