A redirection to self-discovery
The world of divination was introduced to me at a young age as my mom or lola would secretly invite a manghuhula over to help navigate certain situations the naked eye couldn’t uncover. Although tarot has never been prohibited within the family, there was always a collective knowledge that we shouldn’t bring it up with peers as their perception of tarot may be different. That said, everyone is entitled to their own opinions when it comes to this topic.
Back then, I was too young to partake in the readings, but I was permitted to watch on the sidelines. Seeing it all in action at such a young age sparked my interest in films and books that had any sort of mysticism attached to it. As I grew older and life became more routine-like and serious, the space I held for divination became my road map to navigate through dilemmas.
By the time I turned 18, I had the authority to contact the clairvoyant for my own private readings. From then on, I understood that tarot is more of an anchor to ground you so you can digest past and present information. With the knowledge you collect and the predictions of a possible outcome, you can decipher yourself which road you would like to take for the near future.
It’s important to note that you are in control of all the decisions you make. Tarot could tell you what is likely to happen based on your current situation, but nothing is set in stone. It’s up to you to change the cards you’ve been dealt. If you don’t like what you see or hear, take matters in your own hands and choose a different path.
Tarot is also not 100% accurate. There are many aspects that may affect the cards dealt. Sometimes, there are certain futures that we just can’t see, and we have to accept it. Tarot is best for near-future predictions rather than a question that pertains to what could happen 10 years down the line. So, you know, don’t shoot the messenger if you're not a billionaire a decade from now. You still have to put in the work.
Circumstances can change overnight. It is possible that the answer to your question today could be different if you receive another reading the next day. Business deals, finances and relationships can easily be altered within hours especially if there are other people part of the decision-making process.
Tarot is understandably “scary” if you’re not ready to embrace the unknown; Hollywood’s depiction of tarot doesn’t help its reputation either. In fact, there are no “bad cards” in tarot. Just warnings. For instance, if you pull out the Devil card, that doesn’t mean you’re cursed by a demon. It depicts your shadow side and any toxic situation you have to release in order to better yourself. This could mean anything from addiction to self-limiting beliefs. If you know yourself well enough, you might immediately recognize the toxic behavior.
I know what you’re thinking, can tarot be practiced? Short answer—yes. Like most hobbies, it takes practice and patience. But for tarot in particular, you must keep an open mind. The psychic ability is something that is refined over time. Everyone has a basis of intuition that can be developed. Even the best manghuhula you know didn’t learn tarot overnight. It’s a long and tedious process.
Processing the Pandemic Through Tarot Reading
Since the pandemic struck, there have been high levels of uncertainty. We’re all looking for some level of stability or a silver lining to help us through each day or week. Interestingly enough, even family members who I thought were skeptics have been inquiring about tarot readings.
As of March of this year, my go-to manghuhulas have been fully booked. And if you’ve had a tarot reading before, you’d know—they’re not cheap. In order to save money, practice social-distancing and avoid long queues, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
Oddly enough, you can purchase legitimate tarot cards on Lazada for less than P400. So, I did! My self-taught journey with tarot started last July and, I have to say, it’s more fun than painting or sewing.
Tarot has forced me to sit with myself and analyze who I truly am based on past and present decisions. The good and the bad. Other than it being a new hobby I picked up this quarantine, it has also been a journey of self-discovery. I had a pretty good depiction of who I was until I started.
Tarot broke down my toxic behaviors and taught me to take control of my life. It’s not the worst thing in the world to do a spread if you’re at the fork of a road but you should remember not to be codependent on the cards either. Sometimes, we have to put on our big boy/ girl pants to make hard decisions.
If there’s anything I’ve learned from this new journey, it would be to trust my decisions and to detach from the outcome. If things don’t go your way, reroute until you find what feels right.
I’m still at the rookie stages of tarot reading, hence why I’m only doing it for myself at the moment. Giving away free inaccurate readings wouldn’t be the wisest decision. But once I feel comfortable, maybe I could help ease the minds of friends and family members who are a little lost. So, what do you say?
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Art Alexandra Lara