The Phenomenology of Tarot – my first-hand experience
When the phenomological experience of reading the tarot is given prominence true spiritual growth occurs, both for the reader and the client.
Looking at what actually happens in a tarot reading rather than blindly following theories opens new worlds, and there is the added benefit of never making mistakes with interpretation and divinatory meanings!
Phenomenology of forgetting the Tarot cards
We have all had the experience of forgetting the divinatory meanings during a reading. The experience of forgetting is entirely valid and true, for that is when growth occurs. In my early days I only knew a few of the tarot cards – between readings I was checking in the books. At the end of one reading the client told me that it was the most accurate reading she ever had – everything on the nail. A gratifying experience, but I cross-checked the cards with the book, and I was shocked to discover that my interpretation was wrong for every card.
That was an epiphany. Tarot readers with less confidence might think that they were at fault, but the client, who had nothing to gain by saying anything different had validated the accuracy of my reading with the “wrong” interpretations.
Symbolism is connected to meaning
The symbolism of each card is inextricably linked to the meanings, and the meanings come from… where? Few tarot teachers dare to admit they haven’t a clue where the meanings come from. In truth we don’t know – we just parrot what everyone else says, which is ridiculous.
I get to chat with visitors to my supertarot website, and the number of times they ask about a card, say the 6 of Cups. I can see they are on that page, and yet the standard meanings there are not applicable. For a card to have meaning, it has to have context. When a visitor says “I pulled this card x”, I have no idea what it means because I don’t know who the reader is, the position in the tarot spread, who the client is, male or female, age, social status… I could go on. When a client is in front of me, all that information and more is available. I can also see what other cards are in relation to it. That is phenomonology.
Next time your mind goes blank when trying to remember the divinatory meanings, try being aware of what your body is telling you. Use other senses, see what a difference it makes.