Fortune-Telling, Common Lore, and Tarot Superstitions

Fortune-Telling, Common Lore, and Tarot Superstitions


This video is a continuation of Video 4. We’re talking about tarot superstitions,
part two. Okay, since we’re having fun here, the end
of the last video left off on a tangent about Judeo-Christian or Abrahamic symbolism in the tarot. The point of the tangent is to demonstrate
how closely tied to the Abrahamic faiths the tarot actually is. Key 10: The Wheel of Fortune in tarot is a
reference to the medieval symbol for Fate. In Ancient Greece, the Wheel of Fortune was
associated with the astrological zodiac. Around 500 AD, the concept of the Wheel of
Fortune became Christianized and used in medieval times as an allegory for religious instruction. For instance, in Chaucer’s The Canterbury
Tales, you had the Monk’s Tale, where the allegory of the Wheel of Fortune was used
to talk about several Bible story characters, including Lucifer. And look at that devilish creature on the
Wheel of Fortune card! Isn’t that something? The Wheel of Fortune continued to be an enduring
trope throughout medieval European art, and Christian art, so it was no surprise that
it’d be found in the early Italian and French tarot decks. The Queen of Swords is often associated with
the story of Judith, and if you are familiar with the story of Judith, then the rest of
the narrative, beyond the picture frame you see in the actual tarot card, informs the
way you might interpret the Queen. Holistic Tarot provides dozens of other such
references for understanding tarot imagery and the ways tarot archetypes have manifested
in various zeitgeists of history. Now, moving out of Catholicism and Christianity
a bit and into freemasonry, The Star card in tarot calls heavily upon masonic symbolism. As Waite tells us, The Star card is l’étoile
flamboyante, the Gift of Spirit, the expression of eternal youth, immortality, and beauty. Dion Fortune described The Star card in tarot
as a manifestation of Astarte, Aphrodite, Ashtoreth, Hera, Persephone, Diana, and Hecate. When you study the imagery of The Star card,
you can see the depiction of one who is a giver of life, who nourishes, but this Great
Mother, by the same hand She gives life, she can take it away, and so the potential and
capacity to take away life would be the occulted side of The Star card. The generic interpretation of the card in
a typical tarot reading is that of hope, inspiration, a sense of rejuvenation. However, Waite called the interpretation of
The Star card as hope (quote) “tawdry,” (end quote), as he tended to encourage exploring
the theological, Hermetic, masonic, and Kabbalistic depths of each card. SIDEBAR: By the way, around this time, 1900s through
1950s, give or take a decade before and after, you’re seeing several distinct schools of
thought on tarot. Is it fortune-telling? The likes of Eliphas Levi and Paul Foster
Case would say no, tarot is not to be used for fortune-telling, …but rather, it’s divination, a tool for
communing with God, and for us to better understand how we can accomplish our Great Work. Levi and Case, among others, were resisting
against what they perceived to be the dominant approach to tarot at the time, which was to
use the cards for fortune-telling. Occult or esoteric tarot and fortune-telling
tarot were, as they would have asserted, separate and distinct uses of the tarot. Okay, tangent sidebar over. Back to more tarot superstitions. Here’s a fun one. You must be gifted with your first tarot deck. I’ve heard speculative theories about how
this one comes out of historic anti-fortune-telling laws that prohibited the sale of tarot decks,
so such a superstition was in some way tied to that prohibition. I really don’t know. For me, though, it doesn’t matter because
it’s about intention and interpretation. I feel like the concept of being gifted with
your first tarot deck is a figure of speech. Almost everyone you talk to who becomes an
avid tarot reader will remark about how they felt called to the path. I believe that’s the gift of the first tarot
deck—being called to the study of divine nature. When your divine nature calls and seeks to
reveal itself through the reading of tarot, then that’s the gift of a tarot deck. Another oft-heard superstition is you must
store your tarot deck by wrapping it in black silk. Or just silk of any color. A variation on that myth is a tarot deck must
be stored in a wooden box. Then there’s one about how you can NOT store
your tarot deck in a metal box. Or it is you SHOULD store your tarot deck
in a metal box? I always forget. True or false: there is only ONE right way
to shuffle your tarot deck. TRUE! The RIGHT way to shuffle your deck is the
way you WANT to shuffle your tarot deck. Whether you like to do the overhand shuffle,
or you like to do the riffle shuffle, and you think this is a tarot reading at a casino
(ugh, my poor cards!)… or you like to fan out the cards, feel the
energies of the cards, then pull the ones you’re most drawn to, the right way to shuffle
a tarot deck is the way you decide to shuffle your deck. It’s all about how you set your own intentions. You shuffle that deck in exactly the manner
you want to shuffle that deck. Do individual tarot practitioners have their
preferences? Sure. But what’s right for me may not suit well
for you, and what suits you may not suit me. The next one isn’t exactly a superstition,
but it IS a common misconception. When tarot cards appear in reverse, they portend
terrible things. Okay. Let’s talk about reversals. Holistic Tarot teaches you all about reversals
and gives an easy to remember mnemonic for reading reversals. But you know what? You don’t even have to read with reversals. It’s a choice you make as a tarot reader
whether or not to read with reversals. Some tarot masters do. Some tarot masters do not. If you do decide to read with reversals, the
reversal of the card can mean the energies portended are weakened, or it can mean the inverse of the card’s
meaning upright, it can mean that specific energy is having
a negative impact on the situation, so it’s something to cut out, reduce, or eradicate, or if the card shows up in a future position,
it can indicate delays in the timing of that energy manifesting. Whether to read a reversed card as weakened,
inverted, negative impact, or delays will be both an analytical and intuitive process
that you go through, a process of elimination, if you will. And again, that’s assuming you choose to
read with reversals. Back to tarot superstitions. I don’t think any of these superstitions
are silly, but I do believe they’re personal and it absolutely depends on the individual. I recall as a violinist that I had very specific
superstitions around what I had to do before an important audition or before going on stage
to play a solo. And I was by no means the only one. Lots of musicians are superstitious. There’s a certain necklace they have to
wear. There’s a certain lucky charm they must
have in their violin case. Athletes are superstitious, too. One might refuse to ever wash her baseball
cap. Another has to do a very specific personal
ritual prior to a game. Teams may have very specific prayers they
must recite or hand signs they must perform with each other prior to a match. Sports is steeped in tradition, superstition,
ritual, and ceremony. Rationally, I don’t think anyone would say
there is a direct causal relationship between the superstitious act and the success of the
outcome. It’s about how certain rituals make us feel,
and yes, a lot of times those superstitions are illogical, are rooted in emotions or sentimentality. For instance, that necklace the musician must
wear before going on stage was a necklace gifted to her by her grandmother, whose dying
wish was to see her granddaughter thrive in the music world. Or maybe it’s a necklace that represents
her religious faith and so the necklace is a symbol of her closeness to Divinity. Either way, it holds emotional value, and
emotions hold power. Lots of it. Our emotions give superstitions their power. It’s okay to hold on to superstitions like
having to wrap your tarot deck in silk or store it in a wooden box, or only cutting
your deck with your left hand. Oh yeah, that’s another superstition. You must cut your tarot deck with your left
hand only. Because the left hand is closest to your heart. Okay, full disclosure. I only cut my tarot deck with the left hand. And when you sit down for an in-person tarot
reading from me, you might notice that I instruct you to shuffle the deck and then cut it with
your left hand. That’s just my thing. It’s totally personal. I cut the deck with my left hand because in
the metaphysical realm, my left hand is the dominant. Here’s the real reason I cut the tarot deck
with my left hand only: I’m a creature of habit. This is how I was taught. So this was how I did it in the beginning,
and as a creature of habit, it’s how I continue to do it now. Rationally, you should understand that you
don’t have to follow tarot superstitions, that there is no logical causal relationship
between one and the other. Emotionally, if adhering to superstitions
helps you to honor the sacred arts and strengthens that deeply emotional and intuitive connection
between you and your tarot deck, then I say go for it! So by that same account, don’t make fun
of people who do adhere to superstitions. It’s an emotional, sentimental thing. Don’t belittle people for their emotions
and sentimentality. Here’s the important thing to remember. What’s emotional and sentimental to me is
going to be different from what’s emotional and sentimental to you. Neither one should judge the other for it. I believe I need to keep certain lucky charms
in my violin case, especially when I’m performing at a concert, but I’m not about to go around
telling everybody who plays the violin that all violinists must carry the same lucky charms. You do what you’ve got to do but, you know,
you also live and let live. Okay, here’s another one. Will you lose your psychic powers or connection
to Spirit if you use your gifts for enabling greed? If you use tarot cards in any way to make
money, your readings will stop being accurate. No. That’s another enduring superstition. Greed itself would be the reason why you might
be feeling lost and therefore lose your connection to intuition. It’s not the pack of cards that gives or
withholds power. It’s all in your head. You can’t lose your psychic abilities the
way you lose your socks. Tarot reading, even psychic reading, is a
skill and knowledge that you carry with you always. You can get rusty at it, the way you get rusty
at any craft when you’re out of practice. But you don’t lose it because you did something
that has angered the tarot gods. Again, as I made reference to in the previous
video, do not assign your power or your vices to the pack of cards. Your strengths… and your weaknesses… rest
with you. Take ownership of the fact that maybe your
newfound greed is clouding your judgment. Take ownership of the fact that external factors
going on in your life is causing you to be mentally and emotionally distracted. A pack of cards does not give or withhold
power. It’s your conscience and your mental state. You may have heard before that you must routinely
cleanse the energy of your tarot deck. Again, we need to acknowledge that this is
a matter of belief systems. Instead of asking the question, “Do I need
to energetically cleanse or consecrate my tarot deck?” ask yourself, “What do I believe?” Then answer the first question through the
framework of your beliefs. Here’s what I like to do for no other reason
except it makes me feel happy. I give the cards a good, hard, solid tap against
the table, visualizing any unwanted energies like dust sliding right off the cards. Then I pass each card one by one through the
smoke of frankincense or sandalwood incense. Over each card, I’ll recite a specific mantra
for consecration. I like to do all of this during a full moon,
and then I leave the cards out with a selenite crystal on top of it, under the full moon
light. I do this fairly regularly with the tarot
decks that’s in frequent use, but I don’t do this with all my decks. The ones that are just for collecting, that
I don’t really use, don’t go through this procedure. Hey, look, if it makes you feel funny to do
all that superstitious-y mystical full moon crap then don’t do it! Just read the cards! If it makes you feel funny to not do it because
then you’re sure your cards are dirty with all sorts of old, atrophic energies, then
do it! Go ahead and consecrate your cards. No matter which camp you fall into, here’s
what you shouldn’t do. Don’t side eye the other camp and look down
on them. One more piece of lore. How about: tarot is witchcraft. Well, it can be. Rice is what I cook for dinner. Or it’s what I use to cast hexagrams in
an I Ching divination. Or I add it as a metaphysical ingredient in
spell-crafting. So is rice witchcraft? Well, it can be. Or it can just be what’s cooking for dinner. Tarot is what your mind and intentions make
of it. Superstitions are born out of our emotions,
and as it is with emotions, they hold power only if you give it power. At all times, the power rests with you, the
power to control the narrative and the power to give up your power and surrender it to
an inanimate pack of cards. With these tarot superstitions, it’s a matter
of personal preference. No one should ever make you feel less-than
about following superstitions, especially if following them makes you feel better. But by that same token, never feel like you
need to, or that you’re “doing it wrong” if you don’t. In fact, you’re the more rational, level-headed
one if you don’t follow these silly superstitions. Why do we get superstitious in the first place,
anyway? When we know we can’t control the outcome
of a situation, we employ superstitions as a way to feel in control. If we just do this and that, then the gods
will shine down favorably upon us and things will turn out exactly the way we want them
to. We need to be gifted with our first tarot
deck so we can feel special, like the Fates have chosen us for this path. It validates us. It is our proof to others that the Universe
has declared that we were meant to become master tarot readers. We need to wrap our decks in silk or cut our
decks only in this particular way and no other so we feel in control of its magic. Ultimately, superstitions are revealing of
our insecurities. So the moral of this video is to enjoy the
emotional value of superstitions you indulge in but never, ever impose those same superstitions
on others and please, please do not perpetuate more myths in an already myth-riddled field. What myths, superstitions, and common lore
around the tarot fascinate you? Share in the comments section of this video
for posterity, so others who see this video and read your comments can learn.

11 Comments

  • Sunshine&SilverArrow says:

    Excellent video! Thank you. Hugs & sunshine ☀ N

  • tabatha82 says:

    I think the superstition that fascinates me the most is the one according to which tarot decks have something like a soul, or a personality at least, and can choose to reject the reader, or be mean to them or willfully misinform them. For me decks are tools that reflect my inner landscape or help me connect to internal forces, and I can certainly resonate with certain tarot imagery more than another's, but I can't see how a deck can be jealous of me owning other decks or be mean on purpose.

  • TERESA LINN says:

    loved it! I have to shuffle my deck 7 times before I start to shuffle for my question…that clears it for me. I believe the best thing you said was live and let live. we could all use more of that attitude. whenever I feel myself getting judgemental towards another (I admit it, I think we all do) I remember a poem my mom used to have hanging on the wall about romantic love. to paraphrase a portion of it – I am not here to please you and you are not here to please me. I always loved the freedom to be whoever we are or want to be in that thought. I think another favorite is an it harm none do as you will. yea freedom!

  • Maria Preston( book of shadows ) says:

    a great informative video interesting about all the different types of superstitions but at the end of the day ,its the reader who has to make a choice of what they believe ,.. I'm on a journey of beginning to learn the tarot, I have your course , as well but on your video about learning the tarot  reversed , I am learning to read tarot first then later when I get the hang of the tarot , then is it ok to learn the reversed cards.. I am so fascinated with the tarot , I have been fascinated with them for 20 years when I started  collecting them  , but only just started to learn with them and am very excited to continue ,,. I have watched all your videos plus , on your course , and have holistic tarot as well at my side .. .

  • Anateresa Mendes-Collins says:

    Thank you as always for a great video and insight into the tarot. I have had a deck since i was 14 and through the years have feared it mostly because i loved horror movies and they played on the superstitions like you mentioned. Now they are just tools to focus my insight a guide for times when I need clarity. Finally feeling confident to help others in the same way. Gifting your book to my step daughter this year to help in her reading.

  • Captain Nolan says:

    It’s bad luck to be superstitious.

  • deleongirl72 says:

    It has been less than a year that I have started listening to other readers and got me interested again. I am very knew and taking it all in. I want to rush things bcos I want to just KNOW already lol….but I want to take my time so I dont miss anything. I bought my first deck like 4 years ago but never did anything. On SUPERSTITION, I am glad you covered it, I feel better and not feel I am doing things wrong. On REVERSALS, I will learn tarot first then learn the reversals, its just too much and more so because I love everything ASTROLOGY. I am still waiting to see if I have bonded with a deck…still think I havent or dont recognize it. I have HOLISITC TAROT and am reading it, I am listening to all of your YouTube Holistic Tarot series and when I am done will purchase your tarot self-study. EXCITED thank you! P.S. I also purchased The METAPHYSICAL PLANNER. Any ideas on how I can use it to help me in my tarot learning journey would be appreciative. Thinking of using it to annotate a card each day, a spread, what I feel or see about a card etc….not sure yet. Thank you for what you do….good vibes & energy.

  • Kim Danbert says:

    Benebell Wen, I am a practicing psychic- medium Tarologist. Up until last May, I was also a devout Methodist, until the (female) Pastor of our church, told me that I did not espouse Traditional Christian values, because I read Tarot Cards. Her aggressive phone conversation included admonition such as "There is nothing in the Bible about Tarot Cards." My response was not welcomed. "There's nothing in the Bible about cell phones, either, but I'll bet you're on one." Her angry retort was "That's different!". I never got the oportunity to explore this with her, but, like you, I believe it IS our intention which sets the course of a "thing". One can make phone calls with a cell phone. One can also download porn. Allow my to praise you for your excellent apologetics into the Christian symbolism of the Tarot and the admonitions in the Bible as regards prediction and divination.

  • She-wolf3636 says:

    Putting the tarot deck back in order feels like I'm doing an energy reset. Whenever I do a really intense reading and I don't want the energies to carry over, I will put the back in order and sometimes set the deck aside for a breather.
    No one taught me this, just something that clicks with me.

  • louis august says:

    Enjoyed everything you had to share and that's rare for me as an atheist and agnostic, Thank you ! One comment religion does not explain the UFO phenomena or other strange occurances

  • Christal Intentions says:

    Such great information. Thank you! Would you please tell me the deck that was shown when you started the conversation about reversals? The 3 of swords with the face grabbed my attention! @6:01

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