Unless you’ve been in a cave working on some seriously dark witchcraft, you’ve probably noticed that tarot is having A Moment right now. Public figures are coming out of the closet as long-time readers, your best friend has a copy of the Wild Unknown Tarot, and even that preppy dude in your office knows that the Death card doesn’t mean literal death. The cards are everywhere, and suddenly tarot is more than just a curiosity. Suddenly, tarot is actually kinda cool.
Just because tarot’s de rigeur right now, doesn’t mean that our flirtation with the cards can’t have serious substance. Tarot is a powerful tool for self-reflection and exploration, and an amazing way to work with art and archetypes in our every day lives. “Every day” is key: tarot might seem occult and mystical (and it definitely can be – if turbans are your jam, please don one now!), but it can also be infinitely practical and worldly wise.
Of course, you already know that. You’re probably shuffling your deck as we speak, In fact, I bet you’ll recognise at least a few of the following traits of the tarot-obsessed!
1. YOU CAN’T LEAVE THE HOUSE IN THE MORNING WITHOUT DRAWING A CARD
We’ve all been there – you wake up late, five minutes after you were meant to leave the house, throw your clothes on, juggle your keys and handbag and a piece of toast, you’re seconds from racing out the door when you realize, “Oh shit, I need to pull a card for the day!”
Ok, ok. It isn’t always so hectic. Sometimes we even manage to get up early, light some incense, and meditate for a few quiet minutes before doing our daily draw. But whether it’s at the altar or on your lap in traffic, you know the best way to start the day is by checking in with your tarot deck.
A daily tarot draw is a great way to ground and centre yourself in the morning, to take a conscious pause before the day kicks off, check in with yourself, and choose your focus or intention. It’s also an excellent way to get to know your tarot deck, one card at a time. You might draw a card on what energies are coming up during the day, or ask what approach it would serve you to take right now.
Can’t manage a draw every morning? Try once a week instead, or even once a month. Checking in with your cards on the reg the perfect way to build a close relationship with your deck.
2. YOU KNOW YOUR TAROT BIRTH CARD AND EITHER DO AN EPIC FIST PUMP OR BURST INTO HAPPY TEARS EVERY TIME IT APPEARS IN A READING
Your birth card uses your birthday to determine which card of the Major Arcana is your mascot or your archetype. A little like your sun sign in astrology, your birth card highlights some of your most integral traits and tendencies.
You know tarot’s in your blood when you’re facing a tough situation and visualizing the awesomeness of your birth card, because it reminds you to play to your innate strengths. You also know your birth card makes a great cheerleader. When it shows up in a reading you take it as a sign you’re in the right place at the right time, and you can trust yourself to make the best of it (hence the triumphant fist pump or the relieved tears!).
Don’t know your tarot birth card? It’s super easy to figure out! Just take your birthday – day, month, and year – and add the numbers together until they reduce down to 21 or less. For example, 25/7/1987 would be 2+5+7+1+9+8+7 = 39. 3+9 = 12, making your birth card arcanum number 12, The Hanged Man. Go forth and learn about your card and see what wisdom and encouragement it can offer you!
3. YOU USE TAROT AS A METAPHOR FOR LITERALLY EVERYTHING
When you’re living and breathing tarot from dawn ‘til dusk (and let’s face it, probably from dusk ‘til dawn, too, since witching work naturally lends itself to the cover of darkness!), it’s totally normal to see your cards everywhere, from that sweet Nine of Pentacles feeling you get when your pay rise comes through, to visions of Beyonce with her babes as the resplendent Empress on your instagram feed.
You’ve probably even confused a colleague when she announces her imminent breakup by nodding emphatically and saying, “I get it, a total Eight of Cups type sitch!” Jenny from Publicity might look bewildered, but you know that the Eight of Cups teaches us to choose growth over security, innovation over the status quo, which is a great sign for Jenny’s next adventure.
When you’re out in the world, keep your eyes peeled for real life manifestations of your cards, whether it’s your workmate’s breakup journey with the Eight of Cups, your meditation teacher channeling The Hierophant, or The Devil appearing in your urge to buy shoes after a bad day at work. Tarot might be a centuries-old art form, but its concepts and scenarios are as relevant as ever. Looking for chances to see your cards in the world is a great way to put tarot’s ideas into action!
4. YOU MARK ALL OCCASIONS ON THE CALENDAR WITH A TAROT READING
You know your tarot deck is a valuable tool for reflection and self-exploration, and what better way to reap that benefit than a reading for the new year? While you’re at it, better check in each month on the new moon, with a follow up for the full moon. Is there a solstice coming up? Better line up a tarot reading for that, too!
You know you’re mad for the cards when nary a significant day goes by without a chance to check in with your cards. Birthdays, new months, moon cycles, Mondays… all great opportunities to draw some cards and reflect on where you’re at and where you’re going.
If you don’t already, explore reading your cards with the phases of the moon – what’s waxing in your life as the moon waxes, and how might you bring it to fruition? What’s waning, and needs to be released? With its journey from The Fool to the World and back again, tarot teaches us about the ever-turning cycles of our lives, so casting a spread for the turning of the lunar calendar is a great way to dig deeper into your deck.
5. YOU HAVE A CRICK IN YOUR NECK FROM SLEEPING WITH YOUR NEW DECK UNDER YOUR PILLOW
Is there anything better than racing home from your local new age store with that cellophane wrapped deck in your bag, or finding your latest Kickstarter-funded tarot parcel waiting on your doorstep? You know you’re truly tarot obsessed when you can’t wait to get to work on bonding with your new deck and getting it ready for use.
There are a ton of popular rituals for building your relationship with a new deck, and you’ve probably tried them all, from cleansing with smoke to charging under the moon to sleeping with your new deck beneath your pillow. Tarot readers have been known to charge and cleanse their decks with salt or flour, and some light to place a clear quartz crystal on their decks between readings to clear any leftover vibes.
Subliminally bonding with your deck while you’re snoozing is great, but if it’s too hard on your head you might also like to try something more practical. Get to know your new deck by looking through the cards, pausing on the images and symbols that grab your attention. Journaling with your deck is a great way to forge a relationship, or you could invite your new friend to speak for itself with a classic deck interview spread.
There are so many ways our cards can positively impact our spiritual lives and our day-to-day routines. No doubt you’ve tried at least a few if not all of the above! Of course, there’s no right or wrong way to make tarot part of your life. Do what feels resonant to you, and remember, if you love your cards, they’ll love you back!