Reading What You See in the Tarot Cards

My first ever Tarot reading was done without any sort of preconceived ideas of what the cards meant. In fact, I didn’t know a single traditional card meaning. I hope my sharing this story about my first-ever Tarot reading with you can help you understand that sometimes you are better off just reading what you see in the cards.

I was 15 and a friend of mine had popped around to hang out at the start of the summer holidays. Just before she arrived, I had finished cutting out the 22 Major Arcana cards that came with a magazine. I asked her if she wanted to play with the cards. 

She agreed, so I pretended to be a reader and laid out five cards in a row before her. I was drawn to two of the cards in particular (The Emperor and The Devil) and started telling her what I saw, not what I thought they meant… but what I actually saw. I said:

There is an older man around you. He is not a nice man. It looks like he is abusive. 

My friend broke down in tears and confessed that the man I saw was her mum’s new boyfriend, a priest in the Swedish church, who had been sexually abusing her (she was 14 at the time). Apart from the abuse coming to an end thanks to the reading and my friend plucking up the courage to get help, what I took with me from this experience with the Tarot is that sometimes we should just say what we see.

When we think we know something, we stop taking new information in. So. Just for today, try approaching your Tarot cards as if you have never seen them before and as if you have never read a single book about the Tarot. Ask them to reveal to you what you need to know and wait for the answer to arise from the depths. Pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate your insights…

Conversely, keep an open mind about the world around you. Constantly keep your eyes open and try to discover how one thing connects to another. The Tarot has every single occurrence covered, through the Major and Minor Arcana. This is how you learn and keep flexing your intuition.

If you learn by rote and stick to book meanings, you will not only limit your understanding of the Tarot, you will limit your understanding of life.

The Tarot peels away the superficial layer of 3D understanding to show us what lies underneath but it can only do that if we allow it to speak to our intuitive mind, the part of us in direct contact with Yesod/Holy Spirit on the Tree of Life. If we say to the card before us ‘Aha, I know what you mean!’ it loses its power of revelation.

When Jesus appeared before John the Baptist to be baptised, John recognised him because he had no preconceived idea of what he looked like. This is what allowed him to see the Holy Spirit descend like a dove over Christ.

In dialogue with others, as soon as we label them or judge them in any way, their personal revelation stops – not for them but for us and so we miss an aspect of God that would otherwise have been revealed to us.

Just for today, allow the Tarot, the world around you… and in particular the people you meet… to surprise you and fill you with holy awe.

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’”
~ Matthew 25:37-38

Love and Blessings,

Lisa Frideborg

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Comments 2

  1. Preconceived notions. Revelation requires a willingness to see and accept God. And God meets us where we are.. Reading the bible is great. If you “Allow”. Revelations do come. I know where I am and where I need to be. Its been difficult to form questions of the cards for that, in what to look for and staying on the right path. Great article !

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