Before the pandemic, I remember being perplexed about something while enjoying a coffee at a local cafe. I reached into my bag to pull out my deck of tarot cards for some quick divination, but much to my astonishment, I didn’t have them.
With a sinking feeling, it occurred to me that I hadn’t had my tarot cards the time before that–or the time before that.
I remember feeling confused. What had become of me? When I was in my 20s, I never left home without them. Now, here I was, going months without having them with me. It struck me that, even when I had gone out with a witchy friend, I had neglected to bring them.
I think many of us reach a point in our lives when we stop carrying magical tools all the time. For me, this was hard to realize, though. I don’t necessarily cling to youth, and I do celebrate that I’m no longer in my 20s, but this change hurt.
I didn’t want to give up that part of myself who could whip out a tarot reading in short notice. I loved learning more about a situation anytime I wanted more information. The cards were there for me when others weren’t, and I had left them at home like they were cumbersome garbage.
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Leonard Shlain, author of the book The Alphabet Versus The Goddess, has a theory that that as people’s brains become more left-dominant and linear, abstract behaviors like spirituality and divination fade away. The brain shifts to accomodate for usage.
I had definitely become more of a left-brained person over the past several years. I had to organize information for a living. Before the pandemic, I left home to go to my day job to crunch numbers, look at maps, and calculate effects.
It was just awkward to pull out a tarot deck from my purse when searching for a credit card to pay for lunch while out and about. I also traveled from time to time, and I had to save room in my smaller and more fashionable purse for other necessities that were truly necessary.
The worst insight I received about the lack of tarot cards in my purse was that I hadn’t used them “on the spot” much in the years since I became a paper pusher. I simply didn’t have time to consult the cards during the day. I was always either on the go or focused on work. Or worse yet, scrolling through social media or reddit instead of asking deep questions.
However, with this change came some positive realizations too.
One of the best things that’s different from my 20s is that I actually have a home now. During the times when I couch-surfed while saving up for an apartment payment, I had to carry the most important things with me. Tarot cards could always be used to make a little money on the side by reading at a cafe, or I could use them to barter with a friend whose place I crashed at.
I also have a “home within my home” for my cards. They sit on a dedicated bench, and nearly every morning, I choose a few cards as part of my magical morning routine. I can leave them without worrying about anyone else messing with them or stealing them.
I also don’t use the cards to make money anymore. There may come a time when I return to that, but for now, they are my private pleasure. Their messages are mine and mine alone, unless I share a reading with a friend.
One friend pointed out that more advanced witches don’t always need to use magical tools like tarot cards, and I believe they are right. This change coincided with a great increase in intuition and confidence in my magical skills.
What I’m saying is that this change is not all bad. Our lives will always change. Sometimes the things that were vitally important to use no longer hold the same sway. I still have room for divination in my life, but it’s separate from my everyday moments. It’s no less special.
Of course, I can try carrying them in the future, but for now, I’m not worried about it.
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