Talking To Yourself Through Tarot: 4 Steps to Understanding Your Power Through The Cards
I have been practicing tarot for about five years, but only really understood its true power in the last two. Those first three years, I was very disconnected from myself, living out painful patterns unconsciously and neglecting my inner voice. Raised in a manner that led me to defer to the higher authority of others, I was unable to see my own opinion as enough. I gave away my power. On the journey back to myself, I have learned a great deal about self-trust, and my tarot practice was essential to this.
I practice tarot with myself almost every day. When I am facing anxious thoughts, I pull cards and journal until clarity replaces worry. When I’m having trouble making a decision, tarot helps me understand that I already know what I’m going to choose, I want permission to know it.
The cards have a strong personality, a sense of humor, a directness, a poetry. They help me see my own story from a distance so that I can see clearly what chapter will be next. I believe the cards function with a power all their own, and that power is in direct relationship to the power we give it. You can’t have one without the other. You are what makes tarot work.
Though the opinions of beloved friends, trusted loved ones and people we look up to are beautiful additions to our decision making, none of them will ever be a replacement for you knowing what is best for you. You have the final say. Tarot cards are here to help you get in the habit of chatting with yourself and knowing what intuition feels like in your body. These are powerful tools that strengthen your self-respect. When you are the higher authority in your life, you’ll find it’s much simpler to walk the path of your higher self. Tarot is the gateway to a powerful relationship with yourself that is built on trust.
Art and Psyche
The visual world is inherently intuitive. Intuition is that tip of your tongue feeling, that place of information inside you that’s not quite your mind. It goes beyond the limitations of logic and into something more. When we create art, we can’t help that our psyche, some underground piece of us, comes forward into what we create. When we perceive art, we see it through the lens of our own emotions. It’s why Rorschach tests and art therapy have relevance; you see the world through you-colored glasses.
Dreams, the original movie, are an example of visual storytelling inherent to the human experience. When we experience the cards of the tarot, we are connecting to visual archetypes that allow us to view our own story as cinematic. It gives us the gift of distance and metaphor, which can soften the blow of experiencing our feelings. Sometimes I picture the cards as a theater troupe, or maybe more of an improv troupe. They put on a play for you about your question and the reason you’re asking it. They say the spectator sees more of the game.
Take Your Own Advice
The cards are like a good friend: they don’t tell you what to do, they reflect to you what you are saying until you know what to do. They hold space for your feelings and remind you who you are. They are blunt when it’s necessary. Practicing tarot with yourself is a fantastic gateway for taking your own advice. If you can trust yourself enough to know in your body when you’re right about a card interpretation, you can trust yourself enough to guide yourself. When pulling cards for yourself, I highly recommend journaling at the same time. Write down your question before pulling, write down your reactions. Remember that the cards only want what’s best for you. Lean into the interpretations that support your growth. You’ll find you respect your authority more when you are kind to yourself.
Be Nice to Yourself
In my experience, being kind to yourself is the best way to promote inner change. You cannot shame yourself into being better. When you are hard on yourself for your mistakes, you recommit to your negative pattern. It can be challenging to spot a scammer in the tarot world, but one thing I would stay clear of is readers who push fear and self-punishment. Don’t put up with that from a reader and don’t put up with that from yourself. As you pull cards, speak softly to yourself. This is your movie, and you have the power to decide your story.
Self-trust is a very powerful place from which to operate. It doesn’t prevent tough times, but it does make tough times feel less impossible. I encourage everyone to make art in their diary, write about their dreams, and pull cards for themselves. Prepare for the cards to blow you away with their on-the-noseness, and take extra time to sit with the cards that confuse you. ‘Allow’ is a word I sometimes say to myself in the middle of a reading. You are excavating the self-trust that was inherent at your birth.
Join Zoie and Holisticism for a virtual workshop on how to read tarot for yourself. In this workshop, you’ll learn:
How subliminal messaging works in art
Spotting tarot cards in pop culture
Tarot as a comic book
How to ask the write questions
How to read your cards
How to act once you've gotten our message