The ‘Secrets’ & ‘Truth’ of Tarot & Other Card Divination Systems


Ungrounded opinions don’t matter much. They’re just thoughts and often loudly professed interjections on any given subject. I hope that my experience in reading and teaching Tarot, learning and using Lenormand and more lately playing cards gives my opinion a sturdy structure to be based upon.

Lots of people claim that they know the one true way, the secret to any given system of divination. Whether this be the Tarot, Lenormand, playing cards or whatever.

I suspect that many of these claims are founded in a belief that they really do know truths, and have unlocked secrets. I also suspect that they really do know how to read these cards in a way that reflects their truth and this is the secret to the insights that they divine from the cards.

In my experience with divination, the not so secret secret to finding deep insights from any system is to find a one that sits well with you and learn it thoroughly – the chances are that any system you learn has been devised through experimentation and discovery and trial and error over time, and it will work. Perhaps it will work really well, feel resonant and even sacred. Divination should feel sacred really. You’re requesting insights from the divine (whatever that is to you), every time you ask a question and lay the cards – hence ‘divination’.

Learning the structure of the system you’re working with, the essence of the meanings of the cards in your chosen system and becoming fluent within the guidelines of the system really does have to be the first foundational step. And this takes time.

Many folks learn a system, store this in their head like a database and get very angry if anyone deviates from this stored data in any way. Proclaiming ‘untruth’, ‘blasphemy’, ‘WRONG’. What they are probably not taking into account is that the system they are using, the data they’ve amassed most probably evolved over time into what they have learned and stored away so accurately in their heads. The thing about evolution though, is that by its very nature, it needs to continue. These data storers are effectively arresting the development of the divination system they’ve found that works so well for them.

Much more helpful, in my experience, is to use the system, structure, grammar and syntax, well learned and digested, as a framework to support the growth and flourishing of your own skills, insights, intuition and discovery. The framework is there to support us, not cage us. It takes a degree of courage to grow beyond the framework. I think perhaps some folks just don’t have the courage of their own conviction.

Over time, I suspect that frameworks and systems do build a deep resonance and become part of the human psyche – but I put it to you, that this resonance can, and perhaps should morph and change over time. We as diviners are part of this. And there’s nothing to stop a new resonance being built from scratch. Just as with those who claim to come from a long line of psychics, are thirty third generation witches or are the seventh sons of seventh sons – it had to start somewhere. And it can start from now.

So whether you learn Tarot using the Rider Waite Smith teachings, the Golden Dawn teachings, the Crowley Teachings, Marseille traditions according to Jodorowski, Ben Dov, Camellia Ellias or Enrique Enriquez, whether you learn lenormand in the German tradition, the French tradition, the Dutch tradition or the South American way, whether you learn playing cards according to Nerys Dee, Jonathan Dee, the Hedgewitch method, the Ana Cortez method, the continental way, by your grandma’s method or the Witch of Poor memory method, it matters not – so long as that system is meaningful to you and you learn it well.

And then, allow it to become your trusty servant rather than your jealous and tyrannical master.

This is my truth today. With even more experience, my truth may morph and change and deepen and grow. Perhaps that’s only right and proper. Who knows?


3 thoughts on “The ‘Secrets’ & ‘Truth’ of Tarot & Other Card Divination Systems

  1. Learning a system is critical, even if you eventually never use it. You need a backboard, so that when you throw the ball it bounces back to you. A shadow cannot exist without a surface. Every practice must be either compare, or contrast, with another.

    Liked by 1 person

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