Saturday, 14 August 2010

The Practice of Tarot

Hello summer of 2010! Wow, it's been a whole year since I last posted. I can't believe it's been so long. My last post was on my Saturn Return, so there's no surprise how much has happened to disrupt my publishing plans. While Saturn's effects are slow when you're in the midst of it all (like fighting a never-ending battle!) but once it's over, it's like everything was a dream (a nightmare actually!) and that all is well again - even much, much better - in a blink of an eye! Am so glad I can look back and say it's all over now. I can put the past behind and move forward. Am so touched by the encouragement I've gotten about my blog, so I must continue on my journey of self-discovery by sharing more with you on my beloved subject.

I've discovered a new interest since last summer.....that is the Tarot! I've had a very serendipitous encounter with tarot cards since 5 years ago in 2005. I remember I had always been fascinated by them, and that I've paid to have readings on several occasions in Hong Kong. My friend Nanz, who also read for me, then bought me a pack of Rider-Waite tarot cards for my 25th birthday. But the timing wasn't right, so I didn't pick it up back then. They just didn't translate into any meaning for me. Despite my struggling to decipher the symbols behind my first pack of cards, they just didn't talk to me.....

Then 5 years after I've studied astrology on my own and practised yoga extensively, I felt I needed something more to propel me forward in my spiritual quest. I wanted to know more about the occult and the metaphysical realm. I picked up tarot again. This time I went for the Mythic Tarot, in which I ordered online at It just sounded or 'felt' right. People say that you have to 'feel' the cards to see if they speak to you. Well, in this case, the amazon description by Juliet Sharman-Burke - the creator of the cards - 'felt' right to my ears. So I listened to my intuition and ordered them to be delivered to my college. I was so excited when I got them! I immediately began to read the accompanying book on Greek myths that informed the cards. I felt immediately connected because I had always loved Greek and Roman mythology and it played a big part of my learning process in childhood. Then when I felt more confident with having learnt the general descriptions of the cards, I tried to do some readings for myself. As I gained more confidence, I then tried it on my friends at Cambridge. Then I even branched out to reading for my friends' friends who visited them in Cambridge! I had so much fun learning as I went along, and making my friends bear with me when I had to read and re-read the book to interpret the meanings! I used the Celtic Cross spread - as it was pretty much the only method I knew back then as taught in Juliet Sharman-Burke's book - and it was an intricate spread of 10 cards signifying different meanings in their various positions. I first had to memorize what each position meant, and then try to interpret what each card meant when in those specific positions. Thankfully the Greek Gods and the mythological stories really spoke to me, and I was able to synthesize these symbols in my interpretations. As tarot teachers say, tarot is really about SYMBOLS. You need to relate to the symbols in order to be able to do good/accurate interpretations. Then again, it's not really about 'precision' of such. Not that you can memorize what each card means and regurgitate those in your readings. You need to be flexible and above all - intuitive. It's all about honing your intuition because each question is different and there are so many different ways of interpreting the cards. There's a basic, underlying meaning to each card, but it varies a bit on different occasions. That's the magic of it. That's why not everyone 'knows' how to read the tarot. It requires alot of practice and self-advancement to be good.

Tarot really is a mysterious I've thought to myself on many occasions: the cards in each spread really do make sense. They do not come up at random. Even if I really did know my symbols really well and was very flexible and eloquent in interpreting the cards, they would've had to 'come up' in a sequence or arrangement that 'made sense' in the first place. For example, if I was asking about my love life, it would be weird if the suit of Pentacles (money) kept coming up and there were hardly any Cups (love) in my spread. Vice versa, if I was asking about my career, and Cups kept coming up, it would be a bit improbable. Of course you can argue that love is linked to money alot of times, or that you are very emotionally invested in your career. But still, it would not make sense if the cards came up completely random in a 10-card spread! Finally I have a story to share, very briefly, as it has to do with the mystery of the cards. It happened during my winter term in Cambridge when I first learnt to read the tarot. I went to my friend WS's house and his friend was there. So I read for his friend, knowing nothing about him or his love life. His question was if he could break up with his girlfriend successfully. The spread turned out to be bordering on random, as there were many Swords and Pentacles and only 1 Cup. On the outset it didn't make sense, and I was a bit gutted and distraught about my tarot reading skills. But after a long time, he finally told me that his 'relationship' was actually a divorce, and that he was seeking a divorce with his wife on the grounds that there was much conflict (Swords) having to do with money (Pentacles). Mystery solved! It made perfect sense! The tarot never lies.......(even if he was keeping this a secret from everyone back then.)

Since then I've been evermore enthused about my readings, both for myself and for others. Of course some made more 'sense' than others, and I've come across many difficult spreads that were extremely hard to interpret. But I'm not deterred. The human psyche is so complex......things are seldom what they seem to be on the surface. My objective is to sift through the layers and discover what's hidden beneath, so as to relieve people, and myself, of our doubts and fears. As tarot teachers say, people already know subconsciously how things will probably unfold, but they need REASSURANCE from external sources to be sure. I totally agree. The Celtic Cross spread helps you arrive at your final destination - the final outcome - via navigating the different stages of the mundane situation/your inner psyche, step by step. That is why the art of tarot can be said to straddle both the psychological and the occult worlds according to Jungian psychologists. I've ordered 2 more sets of tarot cards, one of them is the Legacy of the Divine Tarot illustrated by the famous tarot artist Ciro Marchetti. So excited about the impending delivery! Will share more when I get them.........


  1. So excited to read your new article! I still remember when you read for me and my friend Lyn last October. My previous love life didn't work out: maybe the "new life" actually meant a new start with a new person...

  2. Yi, I guess you're right. The Page of Cups signified that you will be experiencing new feelings for A. This had to do with him being gone for a long time. You had a chance to re-evaluate the relationship, and probably came to the final conclusion that the feelings you had for him had probably sublimated....more like family than romantic? Hence you decided to break up and give yourself another chance. Cheers to a new start!! I support you!! xx

  3. Hey Yi, I just realized that it's YOUR Saturn Return! You've just turned 28 this year! No wonder the new career, new relationship and new life. Take a look at what you wrote in my old post: 'Saturn Return' on April 2009. I'm sure you'll find an eerie synchronicity....