Learning the Tarot

High Priestess tarot cardI started learning the Tarot today. One would think I’d be an old hand at it by now, but I’ve never felt a compelling need to visit with the cards. I suspect some of that has to do with my explorations in the 90’s and some experiences that led to me shielding myself and keeping certain feelings and intimations at bay. But I’ve certainly never been wary of the Tarot. Just … disinterested.
I’ve had a deck of Tarot cards for years called the Crow’s Magick deck. If you know me at all, you’ll know my long-standing affinity for crows. What other deck could I possibly be drawn to? A lot of people have said that this deck is dark and that it shouldn’t be used by beginners. But I gave myself a free pass. Although I’m certainly not an expert in Tarot, my life experiences have shown me that I’m particularly sensitive so some things. I don’t expect to have a problem interpreting the meaning of these cards. Especially since they spoke so strongly to me.
Well, the point of writing this is that I started doing exercises today. I downloaded an excellent course on the Tarot by Joan Bunning. The first lesson involved getting familiar with the cards. As per an exercise, I shuffled my cards and selected a card at random, to consider the impressions that I got from the card, how it made me feel, etc. Well, the card that I drew was the High Priestess. Intuitively, I knew immediately what it meant. But I’ll quote from the course material here to put it into context.
“The High Priestess is the guardian of the unconscious. She sits in front of the thin veil of unawareness which is all that separates us from our inner landscape. She contains within herself the secrets of these realms and offers us the silent invitation, ‘Be still and know that I am God.'”
“The High Priestess is the feminine principle that balances the masculine force of the Magician. The feminine archetype in the tarot is split between the High Priestess and the Empress. The High Priestess is the mysterious unknown that women often represent, especially in cultures that focus on the tangible and known. The Empress represents woman’s role as the crucible of life.”
I’m quite pleased with how this first lesson went. Mostly it reinforced certain things that I already know. But I think the important thing here is the step taken. Not necessarily the knowledge gained. The point of this was to start familiarizing myself with the cards. An introduction between two new friends, if you will. All I really know is  that when I drew the High Priestess card, I thought to myself, “Well, of course.” That says all that really needs to be said about it.

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