Tarot: Trusting Your Intuition

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot
Image by Victoria Constantino

When it comes to interpreting tarot, I wouldn’t necessarily recommend throwing out the guidebook, but trusting your own intuition above all is important. It’s best when you have a working knowledge of the usual meanings of cards and can then draw from that tradition as a springboard to further your understanding. A deepening of understanding comes when you tune into what your intuition is telling you the cards mean—for you in particular, or for the specific querent you are reading for. 

Decks that include symbolism (in contrast to minimalist decks) provide a rich tradition from which we can draw. The symbols themselves—which can be represented by figures or archetypes, animals, what we would traditionally think of as symbols (such as planetary representations), and colors—provide a rich depth of meaning we can use to create interpretations that are unique to us or the querent. Do butterflies symbolize something specific to you, or does the number four hold a certain meaning that only you would know? Those are influences that can factor into your interpretation of the cards. 

If the guidebook says X about a certain card, but you are feeling Y, always trust your instinct. Cards carry messages that impact us where we are, in the moment in which we are interpreting them. Whether a card is a reflection of your current energies or station, represents future possibilities, or what is at the end of the path you are currently on is something a guidebook cannot tell you. This is where your intuition becomes key. The same card could mean something completely different to you depending on when you draw it and where you are energetically at the time.

When you are first starting out with tarot or trying to strengthen your connection to your intuition, writing down your thoughts about each card in a journal can yield insights. Try doing this before consulting the guidebook—you may surprise yourself. When you’re done writing out your interpretation, you can then review what the guidebook says about the card and look for any common threads. This can assist you as you are learning about the cards and can help you develop your eye for symbolism as well as your interpretive capacity. It can also help you to trust yourself more as you confirm your insights with the guidebook’s interpretations, realizing, however, that you may produce deeper insights about the card and its meaning that the guidebook does not delve into.

Trust—that is, trusting our own wisdom and understanding—goes a long way toward improving our ability to obtain meaning and significance from a reading. As with most things, time, commitment, patience, and continued practice will help you to strengthen your connection to your intuition.

On Inspiration and Creativity (We Are Receivers)

Photo & painting by Victoria Constantino

When it comes to creativity, showing up is crucial. The simple act of being present at the page (blank or not)—or the canvas or stage, or whatever the medium may be—is a catalyst that incites the momentum of creation. Trust is important, and allowing is key. This means trusting ourselves to mould and shape the clay of raw materials, and allowing ourselves to have fun in the process. It also means allowing ourselves the time to play and explore.

Just showing up, in and of itself, is work. It’s part of the process.

When we do the work of showing up, creativity shows up for us. Put in another way, we allow creative inspiration and ideas to come to us when we set the intention, and set the stage, for them. Opening a blank page or setting a new canvas on the easel is an open invitation to creativity. It is an act of intention that says, “Here I am, I’m ready. Let me be a vessel for what wants to come through.” When we consider that we are a physical manifestation of source energy, and that we each have a source that is flowing well-being to us at all times, as Abraham-Hicks teaches, then when we get into the receiving mode, or the energy of allowing, we open the valve for creative inspiration and the beautiful manifestation of ideas to flow to us.

It’s helpful to release any expectations about the outcome, and certainly any anxieties. We honor the creative process when we just let it flow where it wants to flow. We can always rewrite or paint over or rework the creation in question to our heart’s content. When it comes to something like writing music, for example, we allow the song to be the best it can be when we let it flow naturally without forcing it. If the next chord sounds like it should be A but we had in mind to make it B, we can block or stifle the process by forcing it to be what it isn’t or steering it in a direction that is counter to where it would naturally flow. It’s about honoring the path of least resistance.

When we trust the creative piece itself, the process—and, it must be said, ourselves—to receive what is there for the receiving, that’s where the magic happens. We are receivers. When we tune in, when we show up, it’s like tuning the radio to a certain station so it can receive the music that is floating across the airwaves. How many times have you had an idea, but abandoned it or didn’t move forward with it at all, only to see that same idea crop up elsewhere, brought to life by the hand of some other artist? This ties into the concept of the collective consciousness. When we tune into creativity, we are allowing ourselves to be receivers for what is out there in the ethers, just waiting to find a vessel to manifest them. Ideas—songs, stories, and works of art in whatever form they may take—have a life of their own.

The thing about ideas, though, is that they’re not always convenient. Some of the best ideas can arrive at the most inopportune times. We may be in the receiving mode when we’re driving, but that doesn’t exactly make it an ideal time to record those ideas. But we have a duty to them, to honor them by being prepared or carrying them in our minds until we can write them down, sketch them, or what-have-you. Preparedness is helpful. Carrying a recording device (this could be your phone, via a recording app) or a small notebook and writing instrument can help ensure our ideas are not lost. When we honor our ideas—or you could say, the ideas we receive—we can bring forth some truly noteworthy creations.