I was walking on the beach with my girlfriend recently and we serendipitously came across a guy doing tarot card readings. We decided to sit down to peer into our future and the results were quite spooky (Hatchum’s definition of spooky: a combination of weird and surreal).
My girlfriend went first. She asked him “what does my future hold?”. He wrote her question down and then wrote down S S A W (Spring Summer Autumn Winter) vertically. He told her to draw two circular cards, and then he’d draw four tarot cards to represent each season. He first flipped over a circular card, reading its meaning to us, then four tarot cards for each season, and lastly the final circular card.
The reading was significant and there were many elements that resonated with me, but it can potentially be explained by saying tarot readings are vague and ambiguous so that anyone can adjust the meanings to themselves. That may be true, but the fourth card for winter was a very meaningful coincidence, in Jungian terms, it was a synchronicity. The card he drew was a person walking with their back turned, he described it as symbolic of travel.
The spooky coincidence is my girlfriend and I have been talking about traveling around wintertime. Was this merely chance or a divine sign? Who knows. But that’s not all, things get stranger during my reading.
The question I asked him was “what is it that I don’t see?”. We then went through the same process as before. The first circular card he drew was ‘gnosis’. As he read its meaning each sentence was like c4 being tossed into my neural nets, blowing my mind into little pieces, which I promptly picked up and put together to return back to my peaceful perch of observation. This time with an increasingly piqued curiosity. He drew the remaining cards and told me their meanings.
Here is how he described the cards.
Gnosis: “Knowledge is not found in facts and figures, in scholarly books, or on library shelves, rather gnosis points to the deep and timeless archetypal wisdom that rises from the felt experience of having touched the unknown with every one of the senses. Those who are drawn to gnosis find themselves in esoteric studies likely involving mysticism, alchemy, healing, or perhaps science. Knowing is their calling, not knowing is their job description. No matter how far the alchemist takes their studies they come to the ultimate conclusion that facts slip towards mystery and soon the mystery results in facts. This card signifies a knowing that is life changing once you experience it you are forever changed to become a protector of gnosis. The eternal mystery is calling you to study your passion the deepest way available to you.”
The card ‘Gnosis’ eerily aligns with my life thus far, my insatiable consumption of facts and figures found in the realms of science and philosophy to try and make sense of myself, people, and the world; my realization over the past few months that books won’t complete my understanding of the world and the fact that wisdom from books isn’t even mine till I earn it by mapping it to my own experiences. Which lead me to practice meditation and presence to develop my ability to be in direct contact with the mystical nature of life.
Knight of Cups: Going forth with the vision of making the world a better place with the knowledge you have ascertained.
The knight of cups represents the knowledge I currently have and my attempt through blogging/youtube to try and share what I’ve learned while still continuing to learn.
Temperance: everything comes together for you with this vision.
Temperance is more so reassuring than relatable. It’s a metaphorical truth, which is a truth that isn’t factually correct, but believing it leads to beneficial behaviors. I take it as true because I want to succeed in reaching people and letting them into my mind which hopefully provides them value. Thanks to many great people who’ve shared their minds with me, I’ve gained a lot of knowledge. Sharing my mind with others is paying forward what I learned from the people that shaped me. Every time I even write ‘my knowledge’ I think of it in quotes. Because what is my knowledge besides an infinite nesting of minds. I’m just one node within a vast network of brains that form an infinitely connected superstructure.
The High Priestess: Initiated into a period of spiritual healing, divine law is going on here
The high priestess symbolizes some things that have been bubbling at the surface of my subconscious, spilling bits of its contents into my conscious mind. I’ve yet to fully explore the depths of it, but I know its important. The time, quite possibly soon, will come when I explore and resolve them likely with the help of psilocybin.
Knight of Swords: Once you have done so you will be charging forth with confidence to move forward in what you’re supposed to be doing.
Not much needs to be said for the knight of swords. It’s significance is similar to temperance. If divine signs from nature exist, it’s only more reassurance. Although the confidence part is interesting too.
When the guy finished reading the four tarot cards, he went back over them and summarized the reading. He then described the first card as timidly going forward, which would be accurate of my current state, after things come together (temperance), and spiritual healings (high priestess), I charge forth with confidence continuing to do what it is i’m supposed to do (knight of swords).
The first and last card are intertwined and represent my state now and how I hope to be. A lot of the time when I’m stagnate, it’s due to fear and doubt. I get in my own way. I don’t even want to try out of fear that I may fail. If I do try I want everything to be perfect, another symptom of fear. If I’m trying to make what I’m working on perfect I never have to publish it because there will always be something more to fix. Thus, I never have to risk failure. I’m still in the process of not letting fear get in my way, but I’ve made a lot of progress. I know I can get to a point where fear is almost non-existent, which the last card represents. A state of conquered fear, moving forward without getting in my own way.
You can now see why this reading blew my mind. The meanings align with my experiences very accurately it’s spooky, as if nature is showing me the way (hippie Hatchum thoughts). It also may have just been a window into my mind. My internal state mapped out onto reality, using tarot cards to elicit the response which represents my psyche (scientist Hatchum thoughts). Regardless of how I choose to view it, it’s been a deeply beneficial experience that I won’t forget. *hippie voice* The synchronicities are just too weird, mannn. Hippie/scientist Hatchum out.
So are tarot cards real? Yes and no. They provide insight into your own mind, but it’s not going to tell you the future. Well it might (it’s fun to think so), but you can’t test the validity. Tarot cards are similar to other free association techniques, you let your conscious mind express whatever comes up without restriction in an attempt to analyze what’s hidden in the unconscious.