The Integrated Tarot newsletter has seen a surge in sign-ups recently – mainly due to an article that I wrote last year, not knowing quite the impact it would have.
When I wrote “The Dark Side of the Shadow Chasers” at the end of September 2016, I was following instructions from a very clear and insistent inner voice that told me to sit down, start typing, and not to get up until I’d finished.
Well, allrighty then!
And so that’s what I did. I sat down at about 7 pm, and got up in the wee hours the next day, at about 2 am. Later that morning I posted it – and nothing much happened at all for a few months.
Then a couple of weeks ago for some reason, my site lit up with new visits. Maybe the article’s time has come.
With the uptick in visits has come an uptick in subscribers.
Subscribers to what is to all intents and purposes a Tarot newsletter.
It may seem that in this particular context, the idea of Shadow becomes rather elusive. Which brings me to the burning question that many of you who are new here might be asking:
Just what the hell does Tarot have to do with the Shadow?
As someone who has worked with both and become intimately acquainted with their presence both professionally and personally, my conditioned response would be,
“What the hell does Tarot NOT have to do with Shadow?“
And, of course, I’d be committing the cardinal communication sin of forgetting how something so familiar to one person can look utterly alien to someone else who is coming to it for the first time. There’s so much that is taken for granted, and so much that consequently fails to be explained.
So here’s my longer version of “What the hell does Tarot NOT have to do with Shadow”:
Far from the common perception that Tarot is a mostly irrelevant pastime enjoyed by occultists and the romantically curious alike, I believe Tarot is a veritable heavyweight when it comes to getting to grips with the matter of who it is that we are.
Sure, we can use Tarot to find out whether we’re getting that promotion, when to move house or when to stay put, or whether that bloke up the road fancies us. If, however, that’s the only reason we’re using it, then we’ve essentially invested in a Jaguar to drive us to the bus stop.
Tarot is a high-performance vehicle for exploration. It is a device for self-reflection that is second-to-none, and it can happily rub shoulders with the kind of esteemed company that includes the iChing and psychotherapy.
Tarot helps us to look inside, because in looking at the cards and applying the idea of synchronicity, what we find is that what looks back at us is who we are. Tarot is a mirror. And that will bring up what is conscious, and it will bring up what is unconscious, which is the realm of what we do not know that we are; and so we have the opportunity to reveal what lies in the Shadow.
Sometimes Tarot can be tremendous fun. Sometimes it feels anything but easy. I believe Tarot is best approached step by small step and with due humility and awareness – in homoeopathic quantities, if you will – and with a clear intention that what you get is only what you are ready to see.
I’ve found that when this is done – and done with wisdom and compassion and commitment – then the rewards are immeasurable.
As an example, my weekly Tarotcast Tarot reading is written with the clear intention that it be both relevant and practical.
You don’t think a reading can apply to more than one person? I challenge you to at least consider the possibility that it can.
My invitation to those of you who find yourselves in unfamiliar territory with the Tarot is to give it a try – see if you can find something reflected to you that means something to you. Put it on the back-burner if it doesn’t make immediate sense, let it simmer a little so that the flavours come through, and come back to it in a few days.
Follow the thread of what draws you, even if it feels mysterious or you’re not sure what you’re on to. Take it as a reflection of an element or experience that holds something in it that you can take and use.
Most of all, ask questions. Ask yourself, and feel free to ask me. There is no such thing as a ‘wrong’ question. I welcome the dialogue.