I consider myself a non-traditional gal. (Like this is a news flash!) But even so, there is certainly a place for tradition in my life. Working the Tarot, for example, IS following a very old tradition, seeking ancient spiritual wisdom using archetypes handed down over hundreds of years.
Whether you believe Tarot wisdom coalesces somewhere in the collective unconscious or not, Tarot symbolism is deeply rooted in multiple spiritual traditions. Maybe that’s why it confounds me a little that many of our modern, Christian friends get freaked out over the cards. Access to wisdom can come in many, many forms.
Today’s Tarot is the Hierophant or “Magus of the Eternal Gods,” associated with Taurus. Here, he’s called “Wisdom,” but in some decks, he’s called “the Pope” or even just “Faith.” He often appears to represent traditional values, institutions, and convention—especially religious or moral convention. He is the bridge between the physical and spiritual, the teacher and preacher and keeper of long-held tradition. More than anything, he’s grounded, rooted. Stable is his middle name, man.
Some of us new age folks have a knee-jerk reaction to traditional faiths—I know I did for many years. But just because many traditional faiths don’t look kindly upon card readers doesn’t mean there isn’t something of value there to consider. For example, I don’t have to throw the whole system out because a few verses of religious text says astrology is evil. I can ignore that part—and do, believe me!
Knowledge is meaningless unless it’s integrated into your everyday life. But not every belief fits every person. Unless it rings true for you, there’s no reason to adopt it. So knowing what your pastor, your spiritual guru, or you gifted psychic friend thinks about a matter is no indication of what you should think! Of course, seek out sages and listen to their wisdom. This is a great way to learn and grow! But know that ultimately, you live and die by your own beliefs and therefore, you have responsibility to make sure your commitment to them is personal and geniune.
The Hierophant card reminds me that while tradition is collective, truth is personal. Tapping into traditional wisdom, you can examine and take to heart the lessons that personally resonate. Don’t accept or reject wisdom based on the source—instead, judge based on relevance and resonance. Whatever spirituality you can legitimately lay claim to has to belong to you. Make it your own.
Do you take elements from many beliefs to form your own?
|The Psychic Tarot Oracle Cards: a 65-Card Deck, plus booklet!
by John Holland
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