Tarot, and the dependence on it as a spiritual device has grown tremendously in 2020. 2020 was ushered in with a big bang and mega plans the world over, be they personal, communal, or fiscal. After all, the economy of the world was robust and according to the International Monetary Fund the economy of the World grew by 2.9% in 2019, as reported by CNBC. In December 2019, the World was at the brink of the precipice that virologists had been dreading and warning about for a long time.
In January 2020, the situation grew worse and spiraled out of control. Before we knew it, we had all been thrust into a new normal, which makes 2019 seem as far as the stars!!
John Donne, the Metaphysical British Poet and Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London(1621) had written “No man is an island entire of itself“, since he knew that we all need each other and in his wistful sermon he very poignantly mentions “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee. “
2020 with all its technological advancement or perhaps because of them, has thrown us back into hearing the bell toll again and again, with so many lives lost, and so much sorrow and uncertainty. At no time in our recent history has it been so apparent that we are, after all, a global village. We are all connected and we all share a common fate. Families have been separated for almost a year as those who live in different countries have been unable to travel. People have been forced to stay away and have been cut off from the very connection that is taken for granted. We are learning how little we need to stay happy, and how all our technological blessings that keep us in touch are not enough! Those for whom the bell tolls have embarked on their journey with only a handful to see them off, leaving the ones who did not have a chance to say goodbye forlorn and heartbroken. Anxiety, depression and financial and emotional uncertainty have been the prevalent sentiment. Amongst all these has been an increase in the number of people seeking comfort through their faith, organized religion or the Tarot and other esoteric devices. I presume it is because we do seek a spark or that force greater than ourselves who will carry us through this crisis.
In a time like this, the Tarot has been a wonderful device, since the images on the tarot connect with something bigger than ourselves. The tarot helps one access the universal pool of consciousness since images speak so much louder than words. It is precisely the quality of the picture to say more than a thousand words that it expresses that which we knew and felt but had no words to express. By using the cards, it is easy to create a snapshot of the psyche at a given time and then know what issues a person is dealing with, in very Jungian terms. The Tarot thus does in a very spiritual manner what the Rorschach inkblot test does in psychotherapy, which is leaving an image to hint at or display the state of mind of the participant.
If one is to believe in the Universal life force, then the use of the tarot accurately pins down the state of the mind, thereby offering the seeker, a peek behind the veil that separates our world from the collective stream of consciousness or the dream realm where everything is connected. That astral plane connection is what has been very uplifting and has helped people through a difficult time.
The Tarot opens doorways to the collective unconscious and to our own intuition, thereby allowing a flow of creativity and this particular time when people have been forced to contemplate their solitude has unlocked a lot of creativity. The use of the cards as a meditative mechanism has also been very healing.
There are many views about the Tarot, but in a time of trial, it is, without doubt, a great tool that can help us put a finger on an emotion, name it and then bring healing to make us complete. After all Eliphas Levi, the modern Occultist had written in his 1896 text, Transcendental Magic: Its Doctrine and Ritual, that “An imprisoned person with no other book than the Tarot, if he knew how to use it, could in a few years acquire universal knowledge, and would be able to speak on all subjects with unequaled learning and inexhaustible eloquence.” Perhaps that theory has been put to the test in 2020 with people under lockdown and been found to have merit.
Images Used on The Site. Illustrations from the Rider-Waite Tarot Deck, known also as the Rider Tarot and the Waite Tarot, reproduced by permission of U.S. Games Systems, Inc., Stamford, CT 06902. c. 1971 by U.S. Games Systems, Inc. All rights reserved. The Rider-Waite Tarot deck is a registered trademark of U.S. Games Systems, Inc.