Strength and Responsibilities

The card of Strength from the Gilded Tarot deck

Strength in tarot means defeating inner demons, overcoming our fears, and mustering the courage to move forward. It also reminds me of the many responsibilities that tarot readers have. We have to be strict but passionate, detached but understanding, truthful but kind and professional but approachable. So many things to be and to think about. For some people it comes naturally, for some it will come with practice. The main point is, that a good tarotist knows how to take responsibility for his/her actions when reading for someone. I will tell you what I mean.

Long ago, in the olden days, maybe even in another galaxy far far away, I was in secondary grammar school. With some other students we got interested in magic. Some of us got into spells, some made candles and dream catchers, and some of us took up tarot. There was a boy, one or two years older than me, who was said to be particularly good with the cards. He always refused to read for me, but others told that he is extremely accurate. One day he agreed to read for one of my best friends. I was not present, but it went something like this: he shuffled the cards, laid them in the Celtic Cross, and then seeing the result, he announced that he will not tell what they mean. He only told that she will have something very bad happening to her in future. As he didn’t say anything else, we forgot about it. Then some years later, my friend’s mom¬†unfortunately got cancer and passed away near Christmas.

Now, I believe he has seen it in the cards. Had he told her what he has seen, my friend would have got freaked out, run home and got her mom do all the necessary tests. If spotted early, maybe her cancer could have been treated, and that would have prevented the tragedy.

Beginner readers often have the mentality of hiding bad news from their seekers, or making it look less threatening. But, as you have seen above, there is nothing wrong with freaking them out. Sometimes it is needed to help them prepare for the worst, or to give them a chance to avoid it. But if you don’t say anything, how are they to know? This is one of our many responsibilities: saying the truth, that too all of it. You don’t have to be blunt, it can be done nice and kindly, but you just have to do it.

Strength from Archangel Tarot

More recently, I had a lady coming for a reading. She wanted to know how her marriage is going to be, and will they have children with her husband. Normal questions from a newly wed, I thought. But when it came to the topic of having a baby, only swords came out. I got scared as hell, I did. This is not what I expected to see, and definitely not what I wanted to see. But, after recovering, I told her that it will be difficult, in her past I see a miscarriage that will affect coming pregnancies and in general she has to be very very careful. She then told me that indeed she had a miscarriage, and even doctors were surprised why it happened. Both she and her husband are fit and healthy, done all the checkups and everything. I told her all the advices the cards shown and made sure she will be extra careful with the next one. Because the last card was promising, there is a chance of them having a live birth after many struggles.

So, after telling her that it will be difficult, but they can have a child, she will be prepared but won’t lose hope. But if I wouldn’t have told her the whole story, she would have expected a normal pregnancy, and maybe wouldn’t have chosen the doctors and midwives as carefully. You see my point.

dragon strength
Strength from the Dragons Tarot

Our other responsibility is to accept that we can be wrong. Sometimes we are just too tired, the deck we are using is new and we don’t know it as well… there can be so many reasons a reading can go wrong. Along with this, we have to accept that other readers have their own style, their own interpretations for the cards, and ours is not the only right way to do things. There is no “THE right way”. Cards are speaking to their owners in a private, intimate language, which is no one else’s business.

In the last few months I had two readings which went wrong. The first one I have to admit, was my fault. I was absolutely exhausted, and the cards felt it. I shouldn’t have done it, but I thought ok, one last reading for the day. It was going terrible, I have seen only disaster after disaster, sex, drugs, murder… Luckily it was for a friend. Even I thought it was impossible to happen to her, and she assured me that nothing like this is going on. So, I apologized, and done her reading a few days later. (it went well, of course)

The second one was a bit more interesting. A lady came to me for a general reading about her future. It was an email reading, so I laid the cards and sent her the result. In her reply mail she told me that it is her sister’s life I’m talking about, so I have repeated the reading. Three times. Every single time her sister’s story was there, no matter what I did. She sent a picture of herself, I used a significator, done her sis’s reading and then tried hers, meditation, incense, etc… nothing worked. She told me that the same thing happened to all of the fortune tellers she had gone to. I am not one who would let this go with a “sorry I can’t do your reading”. After a long chain of mails, it turned out that her sister once saved her life. Now that I knew why this was happening, I could do hers, and this time it went without a problem, and she left happily.

Strength from Tarot of St Petersburgh
Strength from Tarot of St Petersburgh

So, if someone tells you that you are off the track with your reading, after making sure they don’t just say so because of their ego or lack of self knowledge, you have to apologize and do it again. If you need some time between the readings, it’s completely fine. If you need more information from your seeker, ask them. But never ever think that you are 100% right, and if the seeker doesn’t agree, it’s their problem. Everyone makes mistakes, we are humans, after all. But it would be an even bigger mistake not to accept it.

So, I wish every reader, beginners and old foxes alike, to have the strength to accept and fulfill their Responsibilities.