My friends and family are a pretty tolerant lot. Wanna spend your twenties compulsively switching jobs with European sojourns in between? Go for it. Got a thing for drag shows in dive bars? Totally understandable. Wanna consult a spread of cards to help you make life decisions? Sur–wait. You do what? You’re not serious, are you?
I’m very serious. And since I’ve surrounded myself with ambassadors of the hyper-logical for the past decade or so, the reaction I received was generally anticipated. What I didn’t expect, however, was my comrades’ resistance to hearing me out. So far, they’ve relied on the stereotypical image of the gypsy cradling a crystal ball to inform them of what I do rather than considering the current tarot climate. No matter how many times I insist otherwise, they still can’t believe that “I think cards can predict the future”. Despite having zero awareness of the online tarot community and being out of touch with the ways in which tarot is practiced, they believe “there’s no market for that sort of thing” and can’t understand why “anyone would let cards tell them how to live their lives.” It is this reaction that incenses me–the insistence that I’m a New Age foo foo who has no idea what she’s talking about, who’s overly idealistic about the nature of things and who’s abandoning science for the paranormal. I may be a New Age “foo foo” and I may be idealistic, but I’m certainly not throwing science out the window, nor am I making any claims that tarot predicts the future. When I was a Critical Theory student studying Jung, that was totally okay. Now that I’m a tarot student studying Jung, I’m a delusional looney.
They’ve been kind enough to pepper affirmative dismissals into our dialogues–“as long as you’re happy, I’m happy”. Somehow, though, this passive acceptance leaves me cold. I understand that this journey is ultimately my own, and that the opinions of others should hold no bearing on how I feel or conduct myself. Still, these are people that I love and/or respect a great deal, and how they regard me does, in fact, matter. I want them to understand that I’m not going off of the deep end. I want them to see the literary elements of tarot that first drew me to it, and how I regard tarot as a tool for identifying what we actually want and need from the giant, tangled webs of our lives. I want them to comprehend that tarot is not a means of engaging with the supernatural, but a means of engaging with the natural. I cannot force them, however, to be an audience to my diatribes. What I can do, however, is fully embrace the path of tarot and integrate it into my life. Over time, they will begin to see that I’m still the same logical, rational, philosophically-minded weirdo that I’ve always been. That embracing tarot did not inspire me to join a cult, abandon my practice of teaching, cause me to suspend conversation because a long dead relative crossed over from the spirit realm to use me as a medium (not that there’s anything wrong with that. Lucky for them, that’s not my brand of occult).
Time–time will solve my current dilemma. And patience. And understanding. Anything that is different or misrepresented is threatening, and sometimes it takes some time for a person to warm up to it. After all, my comrades don’t love me any less for this relatively new development, and even if they don’t come around, I’m sure they’ll at least see the positive effects that tarot is having on my life, and will appreciate it for that alone. In the meantime, I will redouble my efforts, and as I learn more, maybe I’ll be able to explain what I do in a way that they’ll be more willing to listen to. After all, tarot teaches us to always look to the self for answers. I believe I will continue to do just that.
Did any of my fellow cardslingers experience pushback when they first “came out” as tarot enthusiasts? If so, I’d love to hear about it.
Peace Be With My Tarot Geeks,
Intrigued? Click here to work with me.