Mindfulness has always been a large part of my life.
I separated myself from the Mormon faith when I was 26 years old. Immediately after that, I spent most of my time rewiring my brain (with the help of a licensed social worker). I picked up hundreds of nuanced beliefs from my experience in the Latter-Day-Saint church that weren't serving my mental and emotional health. Amongst the trauma work, I had to decide which practices of my childhood faith I wanted to keep.
One of those practices was mindfulness.
I've pretty much always known what tarot is, but I've never been drawn to it until I went to my first tea ceremony. I was invited by a tender friend of mine who is the idea of self-care and mindfulness. She's always making time to look at the dark areas of her inner self, pull out the good, bottle it up, then wish the bad farewell.
We sat in a circle with strangers and acquaintances we hadn't seen in years, drank tea and mediated around a mandala built from local flowers, palo santo, and gently placed candles. For 45 minutes we were served cup after cup until the silence became comfortable. I've never wanted silence like that before. I could have stayed there for an hour longer, but it was time for a group tarot reading. Our reader was an acquaintance I hadn't seen in years. She talked us through what tarot is and how to use the readings as a meditative tool. Three cards were drawn, interpreted, then read. Then the silence returned for another 45 minutes... just enough time for me to mull over the cards that were read and pull out parts of my then present circumstances. I learned more about myself that night than I had since leaving my religion.
After the tea ceremony, I followed my curiosity like I usually do and found a set of tarot cards online.
I'm no professional tarot reader or meditator, but I do set aside time to learn and practice tarot and meditation when I can. My husband recently cleared out our storage room and turned it into my dedicated meditation room which I always want to use more often than I do. (The pictures in this post are from my meditation room. The light is perfect).
Education is a huge part of acceptance, understanding, and empathy. So here's a brief rundown on what tarot is and what tarot is not.
Tarot IS a tool for mindfulness. Tarot IS NOT magic.
Tarot is a deck of cards full of ancestral stories that relate to the human experience. Because of these stories' relatability (and maybe because of Miss Cleo), some people may view tarot as a psychic instrument. This is not true. Here's a 1,000-foot view of what tarot is:
Tarot does NOT:
Foretell impending doom
Act like a crystal ball
Summon or communicate with spirits
Give you superhuman powers
Replace religion or spirituality
Fix people or situations
Navigate the beliefs we have about ourselves, others, and the world
Prompt us to explore our "baggage"
Aid in manifesting goals
Make us more aware of the world around us and our place in it
Help us make decisions through higher awareness
While I believe that tarot has 100% benefited my life, I also believe that life changes come from a conglomerate of forces. It's never one thing. Before tarot, meditation was difficult for me and I didn't find it helpful. It's taken practice, time, crystals, candles, journaling, tarot and more to find the benefits of meditation. Invest the time to discover what works for you.
Feel free to leave your tarot questions below in the comments and I'll answer them the best I can.