Pedestals and Projections: A Tale of Growing Up

Detail from the Knight of Swords from The Röhrig Tarot deck, created by Carl-W. Röhrig © US Games, Inc.

I can remember a moment when my style of tarot reading changed significantly.

Actually, it was more than that: it was the moment when I started to relate differently to what I once thought was separate from me.

It was the moment that I risked internalising those ‘powers that be’ that I had been externalising – whether they had come in the form of a spirit guide, or a sign, or a god.

In that moment, I decided that I wasn’t going to refer to a spirit guide, sign, or god outside of me: I was going to understand and experience that guide/sign/god as a part of me – one that was not fully knowable, but which I could access in parts, and just enough to convey a message that, if I was on my game, was clear, and on point.

I also decided that I was going to stop putting “god” (as I defined “god”) on an Olympian-like pedestal – which, by default, put me beneath that force, which – further – created a sense of separation between it, and myself.

I wonder now whether that sense of unbridgeable separation that I once put between me and that voice also created another separation: between me and my tarot clients, and so between my clients and what they needed to hear.

I wonder how much interference that created and how much of an impediment it was to knowledge.

I wonder now if that perceived separation was simply the projected separation that was there between me and the truth of what the cards reflected to me – one that was defined by fear: fear of not being a good enough reader, and the fear of stepping up.

Maybe my “god” was a convenient cover for my lack of confidence; maybe it was my smokescreen, my smoke-and-mirrors.

Today, I work as a tarot reader more confidently, but – somewhat strangely – with less certainty.

I am less certain about what I’m dealing with when I contact that ‘voice within’.

I am not certain it is ‘above me’ – nor am I certain of its identity.

Instead, I work with a paradoxical hypothesis: that “god” is both a part of me, and wholly “other” at the same time.

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