Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tarot as Spell Casting: A Caution for Readers and Querents

Something important for us to ponder is the potential power and influence a Tarot reader has over the querent, both psychologically and spiritually.  This isn't unique to Tarot reading -- it applies any time one individual goes to another individual for help or guidance.  The very dynamics involved puts the reader in a place of power and the client in a place of vulnerability.  Do a web search of "psychology of clients abused by professionals" and discover for yourself what a powerful and dangerous dynamic this can be.

So right off the bat, readers are doubly responsible for behaving appropriately -- even to the extent of creating healthy boundaries for not only their own benefit, but also the benefit of the client.  Anyone in power ought to take into account those that are in any form of vulnerability and protect them -- not take advantage of them.

I've attempted to write on this topic and keep getting writer's block because there is SO much here and I'm not sure which direction to take it.  So keep in mind that what I'm writing can be applied to so many situations and I'm going to focus on one:  The influence of a Tarot reader psychologically and spiritually on the client.  This is something both reader and client should take to heart.

When a person comes to get a reading, they may be seeking various things, some healthy some not: advice, comfort, hope, direction, someone to tell them what to do, confirmation of a decision, someone to talk to, entertainment -- the list goes on.  Often times they are open and vulnerable and have a belief that something in the reading is going to provide what they are looking for.

Readers provide their services because they believe they have something to offer.  Readers with integrity (which honestly is most of the readers I have encountered) want to help people.  Others may have charisma and be out to feed their ego and their pocket book.  Regardless, we all deal with ego in some form or another -- concern for our reputation, being viewed as "accurate", wanting to be seen as that mysterious oracle, etc.

So by default, we have the ego and will of the reader putting forth energy towards the open, vulnerable, and receptive querent.  If you're familiar with the Hermetic principle of gender (which describes creative power in the universe, of which physical gender and sexuality is just one example):  from a metaphysical perspective, male energy is the will that is put forth in creative acts towards the receptive, nurturing, cultivating female energy which brings that will to fruition.  While this entire process can be described in psychological terms, I'm going to stick with metaphysical stuff for now, since I believe there may be more than psychology at work (or at least psychology as we currently describe it).  The Hermetic principle of gender is also foundational to spell casting -- that is, to sending your will out into the Universe and seeing it manifest itself.

When a vulnerable, open client comes to a reader, the reader performs the reading, where ego and will are not absent.  To the degree that ego is not restrained in the reader, they may inwardly or outwardly project their will in various forms toward the client to receive and believe what is presented as true.  There may also be the desire (especially if the reader does predictive readings -- which I avoid for many reasons) on the reader's part to see these things actually come to pass.  The trusting reader is a fertile vessel to receive that will and energy, even if it doesn't make them feel good.  Even at only a psychological level, the power of suggestion is at work.  At a metaphysical level, the reader has just cast a spell.  The simple act of the reading itself will change the course of events.

If you have never pictured a Tarot reading in this sense -- with the powerful effect it can have (consciously or subconsciously) -- please take the time to consider it, whether you get readings or give readings.

What do we do then?  How should we approach a reading, as a reader, as a querent?

The reader should be fully aware of their power and ought to exercise meekness -- power under control for the benefit of another.   A reader must be in touch with their own ego and be skilled in keeping it at bay.  Some ego will be present and have an effect, but we should minimize that.  We must be aware of the energy we are putting forward in the midst of a reading and be sure to be informing, caring, comforting, warning, but not imposing.

The querent should go into the reading aware -- open to insight, but testing thoughts and ideas.  As a a querent we should never abdicate our own sovereignty and will to another.  The reader is giving us one source of insight among many.  The reading is simply another counselor, not THE counselor.  In a metaphysical sense, when you receive incoming energy from the reading, check it at the gate around your mind and spirit, validate it, and then instead of directly receiving the will (male) of the reading into your being (female), transform it through thoughtfulness and intention.  Accept what you decide is good and then by choice of your own will (male) receive it into yourself (female).  If you don't accept it, turn it away at the gate.  This takes awareness and purposeful action.

When I do a reading, I am very intentional about protecting the querent's sovereignty and increasing their own awareness of their own personal power.  I don't make any claims about myself and I let the reading speaking for itself.  I am intentional about not holding onto the results of the reading, whether it was "good" reading or a "bad" reading on my part.  This has worked very well for me and querents seem to leave encouraged, feeling free and empowered.  If I'm "blocked" for some reason and can't do the reading, which has happened a few of times, I'll apologize and not do the reading instead of trying to force it.  The point being, I seek to be aware of my own ego and be intentional that the energy I'm sending out is beneficial to the querent and not to feed and protect my ego.

Let's go into a reading with a full awareness of the dynamics, with a desire to benefit the querent and not to cast a spell that is rooted in our own ego and will.