Tarot and the Search for Identity: Five Ways Tarot Can Help You Discover Yourself
Who are you? I mean, really - who are you?
Our search for personal identity is as ancient as it is illusive.
The computer age has perhaps made matters worse. Each social network asks us to profile ourselves; to describe the essence of our being in four hundred characters or less. Many of us have different profiles for each hobby, professional goal and personal achievement. We become fragmented. Who am I as a drummer, a dancer, a tarotist, a naturist, a writer and a mother? How should my Facebook profile be different from my profile on LinkedIn?
As we age, our sense of identity changes. As children, our identity is formed by family. As young adults, we strive to create an identity separate from family. We want to be unique individuals. When we partner, we become part of a "we" instead of a singular identity.
Is there something at the core of each one of us that remains constant? Is there something that makes each of us unique?
So often in professional tarot reading I see that my client is struggling to understand and express his or her identity.
As it turns out, tarot can not only identify the problem, but also help us find the solution.
Mary K. Greer's recent book, Who are You in the Tarot, offers many ways to use tarot to help understand the biggest mystery of all - your own identity. More and more, tarot is being used as a tool of self-understanding and self-development.
I teach a webinar entitled Personal Tarot -Reading for Yourself that not only teaches good self-reading practices, but also ways of finding tarot cards that are connected to the self, and therefore defining of the identity.
In a quickly changing world, it is important for us to feel strong in our own core identity. Here are some easy ways tarot can help us do that.
- Discover your "Native Significator." Using gender, age and astrology, discover your "native" significator. This will be one of the sixteen Court Cards. Simply, if you are young you may be a Page or a Knight. If you are an adult woman you may be a Queen, adult men may be Kings. If you are born under a Water sign, your significator will be of the Cups Court. If you are born under a Fire sign, it will be of the Wands Court. Air signs are of the Swords Court. Earth signs are of the Pentacles Court. Once you have identified your native significator, look up information about this card, and find ways in which it defines and describes you. How do you feel about this card? Does it feel like a comfortable fit, or does it describe aspects of yourself you would like to change?
- Find your "Birth Card." One of the first nine numbered cards of the Major Arcana is your Birth Card. Find it by adding all of the digits in your full birthdate together. You will come up with a two digit number. Add those two digits together until you come up with a single digit. Find the Major Arcana card that corresponds with that digit. If you are unfamiliar with the card, look up information about it. How does this card describe you? What positive and negative traits does this card show you about yourself?
- Find your "Affinity Cards." No matter your level of tarot knowledge and understanding, you will always find cards that attract you. Look through the deck and pick out the cards you love the most. You may be drawn by the image, the colors or simply the feeling you get when you look at the card. Find one, two or three cards for which you feel an absolute affinity. If you need to, look up their meanings. What do these cards say about you? How do they define and describe the best aspects of your identity?
- Find the Cards you Don't Like. Which cards are distasteful to you? Go through the deck and choose one, two or three cards that you don't feel good about. Perhaps you don't like the image, or the colors. Perhaps looking at the card gives you a bad feeling. If you need to, look up the meanings of the cards you have chosen. What do these cards say about you? How do these cards depict parts of your experiences, personality and identity?
- Create and Perform an Identity Tarot Reading. You may dialogue with the cards by asking questions, shuffling and pulling cards to answer the questions. Or you may create a tarot spread, with each position asking a question about your identity. Questions can be as simple as "Who am I?" or "What are my greatest strengths?" Questions can be spiritual, such as "What is my soul's purpose in this lifetime?" You can create a Past, Present, Future timeline, describe who you were, who you are now, and who you will be in the future. You can ask questions such as "What aspects of me as a child are still present in me today?"
As you can see, tarot is a tool that can help you understand yourself. From there, you can use the cards to help you create the positive changes you desire in your life.
Once you understand who you are at core, and once you own your identity, you can go forward to live the life that is perfectly suited for you!
If you enjoyed these exercises, you will certainly enjoy my new book, Tarot Tour Guide!