Why Tarot?

A lot of people hear the word ‘Tarot’ and immediately think ‘I don’t believe in stuff like that.’

It’s pretty normal to have that initial response, but I hope that I can convince you to approach it from a more open-minded perspective.

I don’t believe in fortune-telling. I don’t think that there is a spirit inside the cards, or a demon manipulating them somewhere, giving me mysterious messages. I don’t believe that I can ask the cards ‘does he love me’, or that I will pull the Death card and die in 7 days.

I use Tarot as a secular practice for introspection, for mindfulness, for creative work, and more. There’s a really good Tarot reader and teacher named Weston who is a practicing psychotherapist. I’m not saying you should forgo therapy and book a Tarot reading instead of course. But in a time and place where it’s so hard to get any kind of help anyway, I hope you’ll give it a chance and see how it goes.

Here’s why I think Tarot is a great resource for many people:

The cards embody clear emotions and themes, and you can pick a deck you feel connected to. You can also just pick a deck because you enjoy the art. There are so many to choose from, and the Indie Tarot Deck industry is pretty huge. You can support creators who have similar values to you. But even if you just pick the typical Rider-Waite-Smith deck, definitely take time to read about the life of Pamela Colman-Smith!

Tarot allows you to look inwards. Only some of your feelings make it to your conscious mind. There is always something hidden deeper, that we struggle to access. Tarot gives you access to these emotions, and can help give you a sense of clarity. You can change your perspective. If someone reads Tarot for you, they can help to remove some subjectivity that may be holding you back when approaching an issue. Tarot gives you a basis from which to work from. It starts the conversation, and can break a rigid narrative.

Tarot can also stop you from overthinking or struggling with the paradox of choice. The cards’ meanings can vary from person to person, but each card is still fairly limited in meaning, so it keeps you tethered. Your mind is less likely to go flying through all the possibilities.

It can be a comforting routine, especially if you pull a card daily, and take time to meditate or think on its meaning in your life. It can be part of a mindfulness or gratitude practice. Many Tarot cards help you to see the good in the bad, to take useful lessons out of hard times.

It links to your creativity and imagination. This makes it fun as well as useful, and you could even use Tarot to help you write or create your own art. They’re visual, which helps a lot of people think, but even if you’re not a visual person, they have interesting names and meanings, and cards are also very tactile and pleasing to handle.

If you are someone who struggles with your emotions, if you are Autistic and for instance experience alexithymia, if you have ADHD and struggle to keep your mind in one place, or if you suffer from anxiety or depression and often find yourself experiencing a negative mindset, please consider following along me with my Tarot journey. And if you’re happy to share, I’d love to hear your perspective.

Published by Iona Grant

I am a writer who focuses on secular tarot, mindfulness and mental health. I read the cards for introspection, not fortune-telling. Tarot cards embody clear emotions and themes, and allow you to view a situation from new perspectives. I love that tarot exercises your creativity and imagination, and helps to prevent overthinking. I also do social media marketing for charities, and I am developing my skills in copywriting and content creation.

One thought on “Why Tarot?

  1. Hey! I found this post through the SASSWitches subreddit, and I recently had a lot of similar thoughts. I’m a mental health professional myself, and I recently started exploring Tarot for a lot of the reasons you outlined here. It’s always encouraging to find other secular people with these interests–helps me feel a little less like I’m out on my own!

    I also recently wrote a post about Tarot (and “magic”, in general) from a secular humanist perspective. If you’re interested, you can find it here.

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. As someone who comes to Tarot and “magic” from a solidly secular, non-supernatural viewpoint, it’s sometimes a little lonely, because I feel like I’m swimming against the current. It’s really good to find other people with the same inclinations.

    Liked by 1 person

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