Illumination Tarot - Exploring the tarot for insight and enlightenment.

 Peruse the site 

A Very Short History of Tarot Tarot Today Choosing Your First Tarot Deck Learning Tarot: Tips for Beginners Tarot Glossary An Ancestral Call Divination for Anniversaries Dreaming Tarot The Hanged Man, Death, and the Devil Helping Querents Feel Comfortable Hurricane Season: Orisha Oya in the Tarot Meditation for Tarot The Quick Reading Reading Tarot for Others Tarot in Times of Illness and Healing Tarot and the Wise Woman Your Tarot Questions, My Answers Tarot Questions, Page 2 Tarot Questions, Page 3 Helping Hand Money In My Life The Truth of the Matter Conflict in a Friendship Two Love Choices Climbing the Mountain Ostara Spread The Healing Star In the Mood for Love The Maple Leaf About the Reviews Afro-Brazilian Tarot The Ancient Egyptian Tarot Australian Animal Tarot The Beauty of Horror: Fear Your Future Tarot The Buckland Romani Tarot I Cani Originali The Celtic Dragon Tarot The Classical Tarot Daughters of the Moon Tarot The DruidCraft Tarot The Egyptian Tarots Faerie Tarot Fantastical Creatures Tarot Feng Shui Tarot Game of Thrones Tarot I Gatti Originali The Gilded Tarot The Glastonbury Tarot The Goddess Tarot Golden Tarot Golden Tarot of the Tsar The Gothic Tarot The Halloween Tarot The H.P. Lovecraft Tarot Legend: The Arthurian Tarot The Light and Shadow Tarot The Lord of the Rings Tarot Madam Lydia Wilhelmina's Tarot of Monsters, the Macabre and Autumn Scenes The Manga Tarot Medieval Cat Tarot Mystic Dreamer Tarot Mystic Faerie Tarot The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot Old English Tarot The Orphans of Dudleytown Major Arcana Tarot Deck Pamela Colman Smith Commemorative Set The Quest Tarot The Sacred Circle Tarot The Secret Tarot Ship of Fools Tarot The Star That Never Walks Around Sun and Moon Tarot Tarot of the Dead Tarot of the Golden Wheel The Tarot of Prague Tarot of the Renaissance Tarot of the Saints The Tarot of Transformation Tarot of the Witches The Triple Goddess Tarot Universal Fantasy Tarot The Vampire Tarot Victoria Regina Tarot Wise Gal Tarot Witchy Tarot The World Spirit Tarot Ancient Feminine Wisdom Developing Your Intuition with Magic Mirrors Dharma Deck The Fairy Ring The Halloween Oracle I Ching Holitzka Deck Jewels of the Lotus The Lakota Sweat Lodge Cards Madame Endora's Fortune Cards Mana Cards Medicine Cards - Just for Today The Rune Vision Cards Sacred Geometry Oracle Deck Tree of Life Oracle Wolf Song Deck & Book Set The Complete Illustrated Guide to Tarot Designing Your Own Tarot Spreads Everyday Tarot The Girls' Guide to Tarot Learning the Tarot
Learning Tarot Reversals
Nancy Shavick's Tarot Universe Professional Tarot Rituals and Practices with the Motherpeace Tarot The Secrets of the Tarot Tarot for All Seasons Tarot for the Healing Heart Tarot for Self Discovery Tarot for Teens The Tarot Court Cards Tarot Plain and Simple Tarot Shadow Work Tarot in the Spirit of Zen Vodou Visions
Finding Soul on the Path of Orisa The New Hermetics The Pagan Mysteries of Halloween Vodou: Visions and Voices of Haiti Witch: A Magickal Journey The Witches' Book of the Dead A Witch's Halloween Celtic Wisdom Sticks Cryptique: A Spirit Board Egyptian Scarab Oracle The Tarot: A Puzzle Mystic Club Bags Orphans of Dudleytown Art & Wares The Witches Moon: Witchcraft Delivered About the Author Site FAQ Contact me LinkedIn

Tarot Today

The tarot often shows up in movies, television shows, song lyrics, and novels. It has, in recent years, shown up in the scene of crimes, theatrical works, museum gift shops, and video games. Many of these instances (except perhaps, creative drama or thoughtful television), perpetuate a rather outdated view of tarot; a view that limits tarot to the realm of the occult, or mystical, or perhaps simply, the frivolous. Characters who use tarot are often involved in darker arts or religious practices, or they might be immature emotionally, asking questions that prove shallowness and gullibility.

These portrayals miss the point. Sure, there are those who believe the tarot is a form of direct and unmistakeable communication with the divine, those who use tarot out of selfishness or the desire to have power over others, and those who limit their use of cards to focus on rather trivial issues in their personal lives. But there are also those who see the cards as a way of looking within, in a quest to know themselves more deeply, become better people, and ultimately to help improve the world they live in.

It is this latter group that I believe is pushing the popularity of tarot today. When it comes down to it, all else aside, I use tarot because it offers me another view - I can find insight in a book, or a film, in a comment made by a friend ... and tarot is not much different. Every card begs a response, can provoke contemplation, and can inspire insight, through interaction with it. Simply put, the tarot makes me think.

If we approach the tarot forgetting - or just putting aside - all we have seen in such portrayals, we will find something much like a book, a very good book. Certainly, it is not difficult to see that we learn about ourselves through the books we read. As we reflect on the characters, we often see how their qualities also exist within us. When we empathize with them, we learn about our own response to the world. When we read about places or events, we find what makes us tick - we find dreams and fears. With the tarot, the plot is our own, and the characters key to our own story.

Today, the benefits of tarot used as a tool of self-discovery are becoming clear. It is being used by counselors and therapists, and indeed, many tarot readers - or consultants - are being turned to in a similar capacity. Clients often look for deeper insight about their lives, and ideas for making positive change. They are turning to the cards in a very proactive way, not with the excited hand-wringing so often seen in media portrayals.

The Red Violin - A Journey Foretold; Photo: Takashi Seida/New Line © 1998 New Line Cinema I do sometimes like to think of tarot in the way it is presented in the 1998 movie The Red Violin. It is a lush movie in which a housekeeper in seventeenth century Italy reads a few cards for the young married woman she works for. She slowly turns the cards over throughout the movie, each card mysteriously pointing to a future period for the younger woman. The cards tell beautiful and evocative stories, that take the woman's spirit through several lifetimes of joy and sadness.

Although this depiction focuses largely on fortune-telling, it also speaks of the simplicity of turning to the cards for direct answers or guidance, which is indeed something we can do today, without any intention of predicting the future. The tarot used today can prove to be highly practical, while satisfying a need to call upon the intuitive, spiritual, or psychological, as well.

by Nellie Levine

Next, read about Choosing Your First Tarot Deck.

Photo: scene from The Red Violin

Publishing tarot deck reviews, original tarot spreads, articles, and personal reflections for tarot enthusiasts, practitioners of the intuitive arts, and followers of alternative spirituality since 1999. Woman owned.
All writing, reviews, and photography © Nellie Levine, unless otherwise noted. 1999-2022