In 2003, the feisty, funny and deeply wise DenElder, who is also the founder of the Church of the Tarot, declared May 25 to be World Tarot Day. The Internet connections among Tarot people were substantially smaller back then, but her vision shone as brightly as the Hermit’s lantern. Like all brilliant ideas, it spread and spread. I found out about it in 2004 (I was thinking it was 2005, but Den remembers it as 2004. Ah, the joys of aging!). Anyway, whenever it was, I immediately jumped on the bandwagon.
I did so because my own beliefs about the Tarot are aligned in great harmony with hers: that the Tarot should combine with spirituality regardless of creed, “in a way the average person can appreciate it, without further complex study.” The Tarot is spiritual, plain and simple.
Don’t get me wrong. I think the complex study part is great fun, and leads to deeper and deeper understanding. But my work over the years has convinced me that the Tarot is a hugely efficacious wisdom tool that can be used almost immediately by anyone, with just a little guidance.
But it is a tool that should be used with respect, for it is not a toy, nor a form of cheap entertainment and fortune-telling. It is nothing less than a communication device for the Divine within and around you.
DenElder tends to juggle more projects and commitments than she probably should, so this year, she made the decision to pass the torch of World Tarot Day to Marcus Katz, of Tarot Professionals.
As he writes, the intention of World Tarot Day is “to give Tarot Readers, students, teachers and enthusiasts worldwide .. a celebration of the spirit of Tarot, and take a day out to promote the use of Tarot for the benefit and growth of the spiritual self!”
Blessings and great gratitude to DenElder and now Marcus for holding true to this, for now, in 2010, World Tarot Day truly is the global event that we envisioned all those years ago!
Note: As I have been posting in the sidebar for several days, I am celebrating today by offering free one-card readings to the first 10 requests received between 12:01am and 11:59pm today. Of course, there is a catch; you have to be a subscriber to my newsletter! Easy and a win-win for everyone! Go ahead and enter if you want; you never know, the Fates may be keeping an opening just for you! I am also participating in the Tarot Wall of Fame, the world’s biggest Tarot reading!
Tarot people are a diverse bunch. As Wald Amberstone recently noted, we are like physicians, with many specialties and areas of concentration. There are those of us who especially revel in the scholarship and research of the Tarot, and would be happy to live in a Tarot retreat, simply studying and maybe writing about its massive, complex history and symbolism, perhaps never once giving a soul a reading.
There are others who are deeply psychic, and who use the cards almost as window-dressing to their clairvoyant skills. There are predictive readers who are connected to visions of the future through the cards. There are Tarot coaches, counselors, psychologists, mystics, artists, writers, shamans, healers, priests and priestesses, and more. There are hybrids like myself who combine these in various mixes.
It is a profession that has been much ridiculed and maligned. It doesn’t help that the cards are comparatively easy to buy and work with, as this means that the unscrupulous can start ripping off the public for almost no upfront investment.
Thus, I think that every legitimate Tarot person, from enthusiast, to collector, to professional reader, can agree that we support the ultimate vision of World Tarot Day – which is “To restore the spiritual dignity of the Tarot.” [a phrase and vision that was contributed, as Marcus and Tali have added in the Comments, by Naomi Ozaniec.}
And meantime, the Tarot continues to evolve and renew itself. New decks, new interpretations, new ways of framing its very meaning and purpose, are appearing all the time. Every day, more people are finding that it is one of the most accessible and powerful tools for knowing ourselves, as well as for navigating and thriving in this changing paradigm.
Ultimately, the Tarot is a most trustworthy way to discover, understand and live by the light that is within. May the light of your own lantern shine especially brightly on this day.