This is something I have been thinking a lot about lately. What does it even mean to be psychic? Our cultural perception with the word psychic often conjures up images of crystal balls and a woman who owns a gypsy shop with a neon sign. Enter and she’ll tell you your future, which is full of gloom and doom. Right? Sometimes, you may have even seen (in the movie, show, or whatever you saw) the death card suddenly appear, and man, you know it’s all over. Or something.
So, it’s not hard to see why the word psychic has a bad wrap.
I do believe that there are psychics; in fact I know some of them. And they do not have a shop with a neon sign, nor are they able to tell your future in full detail (though I’m sure there are neon-sign shop psychics that are good-I just don’t know them!). They can read colors, images, and symbols of things in your field of energy. Psychics may often receive abstract images they don’t understand, but the client (or person on the receiving end) sure does. And oftentimes psychics will not focus on the future when they read someone’s energy. The future can change. A good psychic will read your present and your more recent past, focusing less on the future. Doesn’t it make sense to focus on knowing what you need to know now, so that you can change the future?
While having these kinds of abilities when you read Tarot is certainly helpful, I do not believe you have to have them in order to read the Tarot effectively. I feel that the Tarot is itself a psychic language. Learning the cards, seeing the symbols, and paying attention to the patterns in the reading (elemental dignitaries, card reversals, etc) all contribute to the power of this psychic language and your ability to use it confidently. As the card reader, your job is to know your deck inside and out, and to be able to talk about the card meanings and the bigger themes involved when individual cards are grouped together.
When you begin a reading, it’s important to spend a minute looking at the cards together as a group before talking about them individually. Are you noticing a lot of cards that suggest avoidance? Or deception? Are you noticing an abundance of cups, and cards that focus on family? Cluing into the prevalent ideas before starting a reading is, I find, extremely helpful to understanding the most important factors influencing the querent. Also, for this reason, I have stopped laying out cards in a spread and flipping them over one at a time. If you do this, you won’t see the pattern until the end and you may miss the bigger picture. Certainly, you may find it helpful to have the client pull one card at a time for specific questions – BUT I do believe if you are starting with any kind of layout or Tarot spread, you will benefit more from looking at the cards altogether. There’s my ten cents!
While you don’t have to be psychic to read the Tarot, you will find that the more you read, the more that you will also trust your intuition (a word I much prefer to psychic). Over the past few years, I have noticed my intuition increasing a lot, I believe as a result of reading Tarot. I also find that daily meditation is essential to having a clear and intuitive mind, and deeper connection to the collective unconscious – which is where much of this information is stored.
If you want to increase your intuitive abilities, here are my suggestions, and I will explain why they help:
Meditation: I said it once, and I’ll say it again. Meditation can significantly increase your intuitive abilities. When you meditate, you enter a dreamlike state. You are not asleep, but not awake either. When you quiet down the rational mind, the intuitive mind can breathe. Have you ever had a dream that’s come true? Or have a dream about someone you know but haven’t seen in a long time, but suddenly they get in touch with you? Meditating trains your mind to do what it does when it’s sleeping – let go of controlled thinking.
Practice: Try using your intuition on someone you know. Close your eyes and focus on a friend. This is also fun to try when a good friend is dating someone new! See what you sense about your friend (or they people in your life) and share any impressions. On a more surface level, you can try simply focusing on knowing what your friend is up to for the day. Don’t get discouraged if there are some details askew when you ask them if your vision is correct! Just keep practicing.
Journaling: Many people think that writing down your thoughts is a thing of the past, but I disagree. Writing (dreams, especially), helps you give more power to your intuitive mind. Record your dreams. After you meditate, write down what you feel/sense/see. You will begin to see patterns. You will begin to see things you dream about come into your meditations, and vice-versa. Do you have a weird feeling about something? Or someone? Write it down. You may find the reason why you had this feeling in a few weeks. Once you start doing this, you will amaze yourself. But like anything, you have to take the time to do it.
I hope that some of this helps you further develop your intuition. But again, I don’t think you have to be intuitive or psychic to read Tarot cards!