Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Principles of Tarot


The world is full of opportunities.  Those opportunities require responsibility.  Being a student of Tarot holds one set of responsibility while being a reader is another set.  I am becoming aware that teaching Tarot carries with it an even greater set of responsibilities.  As we begin to work together it is important that I am clear and that you understand the principles that shape an ethical Tarot reading and the principles that will shape our time together.

1. The Principle of Free Will – It is essential to remember that both the reader and the querent maintain an awareness of their free will and accountability for all actions taken and choices made.  No matter how the cards appear, they do not free anyone from the responsibility of making responsible decisions.  As a reader, it is imperative that all of your actions, words, choices and representations never deny the querent’s free will.  As a reader, you must maintain an awareness of your own actions and choices.  As a student of Tarot, you should undertake the study as an informed decision to empower other’s free will though wisdom, insight and knowledge.

2. The Principle of Self-Expression – No two people will ever do anything the exact same way.  As I read, learn and teach Tarot I welcome all voices and an opinion. Tarot is a very personal activity and everyone will have their own way of working with the cards.  You will find that many teach, read and learn in very different ways.   As you look to learn and read the cards, it is important to hear and respect the practice and opinions of others. We all have a responsibility to listen quietly to others, ask questions with respect for each other, and considerately share our own opinions and experiences.  Through listening, discussing and learning from and about each other we are all enriched as individuals. Begin now as you are developing your tarot practice to listen well to others. It is a crucial responsibility of a tarot reader to listening intently to the querent’s questions and concerns during a reading.

3. The Principle of Patience – Time is a precious commodity for everyone, but learning takes a commitment to invest time to the activities.   Very little in the world with lasting value is acquired through haste. As we read, teach study, we are responsible to ourselves and to each other to be patient with the sincere struggle and development of those in the class.  Legitimate questions, concerns, exercises are reasonable uses for our time in study. Performing tarot readings are likewise opportunities to give our time and attention to others for their benefit. Readings often unfold unpredictably be sure to plan to have all the time that will be necessary. However, we will respect the time of others by being prompt, attentive and accurate on time expectations.

4. The Principle of Conscience – Personal integrity, authenticity and moral code of everyone should be respected. Each person bear the moral responsibility and consequences for their actions.  You should never feel compelled to act in a way that is contrary to your sense of right and wrong.  Many worthy learning experiences may be initially fearful due to unfamiliarity or by stretching your comfort zone, such as public speaking, exams, and written reports.  You should expect to be challenged by new information, practice of skill but never forced to act in contrary to your conscience or moral belief.  In Tarot reading there are many practices that some are comfortable performing and others do not.  Careful consideration and intentional planning are necessary for the beginner to determine what is permissible for themselves while respecting the choices of others. There may be some questions, clients, and situation where you are not comfortable reading for and you are free to refuse to do a reading.  Never read under compulsion.

5. The Principle of Learning – Tarot is an activity that is never fixed.  Everyone is a student.  There is always more to learn, lessons to complete or review.  In this spirit, make a commitment to being open-ended in your exploration.  Knowing where the journey ends is no real journey. Come to the Tarot with questions not answers.  Listen to everyone and even yourself. Everyone is a teacher. The process of gathering wisdom and truth is not merely an academic exercise.  Every lesson you learn or have learned in life can empower your understanding of the Tarot.   A credible reader is one that always continues to learn, develop and train in the attempt to better one’s skills and understanding. 

6. The Principle of Generosity and Gratitude – Success, blessings, and knowledge are always sweeter when shared.  Everyone has a gift to give and receive.  As we learn together we also teach together.  By giving generously to each other and accepting with gratitude from each other we support and encourage our own mutual growth and success.  Trust yourself to know that you have wisdom to share as well as kindness, compassion, grace and mercy.

7. The Principle of Objectivity – As with free will, we must remember to keep our own self-awareness.  As with doctors and patients relationships, giving a reading can be an emotional investment.  The process of reading allows you a personal view in to the life of another.  We are in the role of listening ear and helpful guide. It is important to empathize but maintain your objectivity. You are not the reading.  You do not take on the burdens and responsibility for your querents.  You are a translator of images into words.  Querents may come with serious problems and they may not like the reading they receive and in turn blame you.  It is important that you maintain a healthy distance and conscious self-awareness during a reading.

8. The Principle of Validity and Silence – If the messages of the Tarot are true in any one area then it holds that there is potential for its validity on any subject. If the tarot can speak truth to the issue of love and romance then it is plausible that it may speak equal truth to issues of illness and legal matters.  The question of whether or not to predict the future, do a third-party reading (a reading about a person not present and without their knowledge or consent), read on questions of medical or legal issues is very controversial.  When we engage the Tarot we often must face the tension of the ability to do something and the question of if we should do that thing. Because we can may not be the best answer to the question of if we should. There are many ethical twists and turns.  Many who use the Tarot have strong personal opinions and these must be settled personally by everyone as individuals in their own personal integrity and with respect for others choices.

My Goal and Intention for this Blog

This blog serves a very specific purpose. This is a place where I will place information that I use in my teaching on Tarot. It is for those who want to see more information. I will be placeing many of my handouts, worksheets, lecture notes and assignments here for reference.

As I share and teach I am aware that much of what I present is merely a simple introduction. Here I want to give more information and another resource to study the different ideas more completely.

I want the is to become a forum for me to also discuss the latest things I am learning. I will discuss decks, spreads, reading styles and issues in Tarot in general. So I hope that this will be part directed study resource adn part personal study journal.

If you are joining me on this journey I welcome you and hope that you will respond and comment with issues, questions and concerns that you would like to see me research and post on as well.

Enjoy the journey,

Allan Ritche, a.k.a Onyx.