The year I graduated from college was the same year I experienced my first debilitating anxiety attack. For those reading who have experienced one of these, you know first-hand how terrifying they can be. After they became a regular occurrence, I pursued therapy as a first line of defense. It was around this same time I noticed my fascination with reincarnation, ancestry, spirit guides, and the after-life was growing more than it ever had before. I believed there were both physical and spiritual reasons that could explain my experiences, and I felt determined to find answers that religion could not provide me. This was how tarot first entered my life.
I never connected with the Italian-derived rider-waite cards, and given my semi-Christianized upbringing I felt like an angel-inspired deck made the most sense for me to learn from. My first deck was the Angel Tarot by Doreen Virtue. I had a special interest in the Archangel Michael after he appeared to me in a meditation one evening when I was experiencing paralyzing fear and worry. It was unexpected, and once I began using the tarot, cards with this Archangel appeared the most in my personal readings. I wanted to understand why, and perhaps one day I will share more about that in a future post. At the end of the day, studying tarot from this lens helped me feel protected and connected to something greater than myself, and it helped me better understand where I needed spiritual guidance to help me through my anxiety. Eventually, I expanded to the Tarot Nefertari deck, even though I was still learning and it was much more difficult for me to interpret back then. While I no longer use the angel tarot, it was my starting point and I will always remember the purpose it served when I needed it.
As I conducted more and more readings for myself while continuing with therapy, I felt called to an ancient past I could not see or fully understand, one that went beyond angels and the occult lens of Christianity. I felt like I had so much more learning to do around spirituality, religion, ancestry, and history. I continued to study as much as I could while working at my full time job, simultaneously learning about the religions and traditions of my ancient ancestors before Christian colonization. Tarot has been with me throughout this entire journey. It has helped me develop confidence in my intuition, as well as being able to pick up on signs, symbols, and synchronicities happening around me every day. I have also been able to see how my personal story and journey has evolved over the years through my readings.
I do not believe I would be on this path had it not been for those first anxiety attacks I experienced, along with my spiritual team guiding me along the way. Tarot has been my gateway to understanding my spirituality and life circumstances more deeply. While it was not something I envisioned doing for others in any professional capacity, I knew early on that I loved being able to help others consult with their spiritual selves, their spiritual guides, angels, and ancestors because it had helped me so much. While there are many other methods of divination that exist in the world, tarot is the first one I was called to use outside of organized religion to tap into the guidance available from the other side. It has helped me to reflect on my daily life, relationships, ways of knowing, and dreams. If you are new to tarot, do not let anyone convince you that the practice is evil or demonic. Continue to follow your instincts, like with anything else, because they will never mislead you. If you would like to learn more about the history of this form of divination, be sure to visit my previous blog post: Tarot Card Origins.