The Problem with Tarot

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Tarot Mucha by Lo Scarabeo  

*Warning. Do not get involved with either tarot or oracle cards if you are in any way in doubt of their safety. Be firm and clear with yourself before bringing a deck into your home. Personally, I don’t condone any attempt to read the future through the cards. They really suck at predicting the future so there’s no point. What they are good at, however, is self-awareness and self-diagnoses.*

I’m not going to get into the history of tarot because, for one, no one can verify the real history; it’s vague and open to the interpretation of scantily recorded historical events, and second, even a casual google search will bring up ten different versions of the story, anyway. The last thing anyone needs is yet another dart thrown at a board with no bulls-eye in hopes of getting at least somewhere in the vicinity of the truth.

What I am going to say is that, yes it does work. I used to think it was a whole bunch of silly, then, during a confusing point in my life I felt drawn toward a particular deck of playing cards, while I was at Walmart no less. Carefully, and praying madly about it the whole time, I purchased them. It was just a regular deck of poker cards with some pretty design on the back of them, but somehow I knew I’d find the answers to my questions within.

I did an internet search and found out how to read playing cards like you might a tarot deck, and then popped the big question. I got some serious answers right away, and found that reading the cards worked exactly in the same way as dream interpretation (which I’d already been doing for several years). Even though those answers had brought me peace, I’d actually put the cards  away soon after, still struggling with whether or not it was okay for me to communicate with God in this way.

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Soon after, I had a dream, where I was essentially told (through symbolism of course) that while the cards weren’t evil in and of themselves, I needed to use caution with them, because using them was sort of like putting my already sensitive awareness on steroids. Basically, I was warned to be easy with it, or risk kicking my empathic abilities into overdrive, sending myself into a tail-spin of confusion.

So, did I put them away for good? You bet I did! Just kidding. No, I didn’t. I bought myself a real deck of tarot cards and proceeded to drive myself into a Dark Night of the Soul. “Dark Night of the Soul” too, can be googled, if anyone is interested.

In the end, that Dark Night was necessary for me, to set aside some ego issues I was struggling with at the time. Now I’m able to control myself with the cards, so it worked out. However, I have the sense that God would have dealt with my issues in a gentler way had I not sped things up for myself by using the cards. I do still use them, but not every day. Often, I just pick one single card to meditate on for a while.

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I do think tarot is great for self-healing, with a giant caveat. If you are in any way feeling neurotic, or have obsessive compulsive disorders then stand clear of them. Try an angel healing deck, or some other kind of gentle oracle deck instead. Or just skip out on them altogether and try keeping a daily journal to work through any problems you might be struggling with in your life. Journaling alone can be a great source of information. As you read back though your entries you will see yourself changing, growing, and becoming slowly more self-aware over time, even without cards.

Sadly, the truth is that we are most likely to turn to the cards when we’re not being our best self, so again, use caution and make sure you’re in the right headspace. It’s almost better to have already been at least part way through your personal “Hero’s Journey” before you even pick them up in the first place. And since there are other ways to heal yourself, like angel cards, meditation, good music, and positive life choices, I would recommend that those come first, tarot after.

 

 

Astrology and the Mystic

 

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Photos by me.

My son and I were waiting around for him to be released to go home after outpatient surgery. His girlfriend at the time was really into astrology, and to pass the time he brought up an app she’d recommended. We’d intended on entertaining each other, maybe get a laugh or two out of it, but then something strange happened.

I won’t try and duplicate his horoscope for the day because I’m a big picture thinker and can’t remember it word for word anyway, but I do remember that we both stopped laughing and everything got really quiet. It had pretty much summed up this semi-momentous moment of his life. His first surgery. No, not in that exact way, but it did describe something important happening and that it would likely involve his health. (*Note: I don’t read the daily horoscope, nor do I recommend it, since there’s far more involved in a person’s fate than their sun sign, which is what you find in the daily apps. Only vaguely do I recommend following retrogrades or transits either, as I firmly believe fate is actually in the hands of God, and that his will transcends astrology.)

But that was a coincidence, right? I mean, come on, astrology? I would have thought so too, only next we went on to read a basic description of my personality type based on my sun sign. I’m a Libra. By nature we tend to be diplomatic, scholarly, dressed well, and generally… clears throat… beautiful. (Picture a good-looking librarian type—the sexy librarian.) Did I mention we’re also modest? (Just kidding. We’re not, trust me.)

What we do best though, is relate to people. I began to think over my experiences that day at the hospital, realizing that even though the staff was there to relate to us, I’d spent most of that day trying to relate to them. For the crabby nurse I put on a smile and a joke. The anesthesiologist with the big smile got a good laugh from me when he told a joke, and the tired orderly was thoroughly thanked for his efforts.

That was when I began to wonder if there might be something to this. I’d always been curious about astrology but dismissed it  because logic dictated that it just wasn’t worth exploring. Then again, I’ve always liked a good mystery. I set out to gain a better understanding. That was a year ago, and now I’m writing this post saying I believe there is something to be learned from the heavens.

How do I justify my acceptance of Christ as my savior, and astrology at the same time?

First I want to say that it’s not my duty to justify my beliefs in the first place, nor is it my job to tell others how to believe. I leave that stuff up to God, he knows better than I do. However, for educational purposes, I will go into what I have learned and how I believe. Feel free, of course to ask Him yourself. If you listen He will tell you what He wants from you.

That out of the way, I have to say that I’ve come to the point where I believe that if there’s any truth to be found in the stars then it’s there because God created it that way. Unless you’re a Gnostic Christian, you must believe that God made the heavens and the earth, so either what the sky has to tell us is complete gibberish, or he designed it to tell us things, like what our strengths and weaknesses are, and what his plan is for our time here in our incarnate form. Life is like school. We’re on this planet to learn, and when—if—we finish learning we will be as the resurrected Christ was; in a new body, back to do amazing things. Don’t believe all that hype about sitting on clouds strumming harps, BTW, because it’s not going to be like that. God will have jobs for each of us. Really amazing jobs, like what the angels do.

Think about this, who could possibly have assembled the stars at the time of creation, in just such a way as to mark the moment of your birth? Could it be the same one who marked the birth of the Christ in the same way? No one else could have designed it like that. The stars and planets don’t belong to Satan. He didn’t design them to mark our birth and life. God did that.

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Astrology is mentioned in the bible too. I’m not going to extrapolate on this, but here are some verses to ponder.

Genesis 1

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; 15 and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so. 16 Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. 17 God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

Genesis 37

 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it to his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

 Job 9:

 8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. 9 He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the South.

 Job 38

31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?

 Amos 5

 Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The Lord is his name:

 Isaiah 13

10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.

 Isaiah 40

 26 Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.

Deuteronomy 4

 19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.

 (Word of warning, if you feel inclined to worship the moon, sun, or anything else rotating around up there, check your head-space; they are not God.)

 Deuteronomy 10

 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the Lord’s thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.

 Psalm 19 

 1The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

 Psalms 8

 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?

Psalms 81

 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

Matthew 2

 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Matthew 24

 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Luke 21

 25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

1 Corinthians

 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

Revelations 12

 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.