1. Tarot offers an alternative to language (and a bridge to get there)
My whole life I have been a student and teacher of language. Words form the bowls or other containers that collect the “broth” of our experience, collecting, containing, and giving it shape.
There is, however, an end to words. Not necessarily to their power, but to our mastery of them. We have all experienced reaching the end of our words, but not the fullness of what we are trying to shape or express.
When I found the tarot at age 36, I was already adept at managing (and often getting around) these limitations, but when I began to understand the images, and how each deck’s iteration of the same card was something of a visual synonym, I began to think visually for the first time in my life.
I experienced the new (to me) sensation of being able to skip the words for now, and interact with the thoughts and feelings that – like a mote on the edge of sight – chased away from the direct capture of words.
After a traumatic situation, I was able to sit (even for the barest moment) with two images and feel the same relief I’d previously achieved with a half-hour of journaling.
2. Tarot gives you a chance to exercise an underutilized part of the brain
Our everyday world calls on us not only to focus on language, but also on the concrete and time-bound. All those things that have been labeled “left-brained.”
Tarot offers a rest to that part of our processing, and offers a challenge to the less-often exercised “right-brain” strategies of visualization, storytelling, and abstract connection.
Odd are good this will tire you at first. This is not a flaw in you or a malevolence in the “energy” of the cards. This is basic muscle building, and it will contribute to increasing overall mental strength and aptitude. Read more