Where do we draw the line between insecurity and superstition?

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2024

Several years ago, I was teaching a class at a little occult shop in the east end of town. The class was focused around my methods of using tarot to write your own spells and rituals.

I started creating rituals for my querents based on intuition and organic conversations during readings.

It’s not unusual for someone to ask how they can act upon the advice in a reading once they leave a session. Or they might want to know if there are certain “next steps” they can take to implement a piece of insight.

And sometimes querents will even flat out ask for advice about rituals that they can work themselves in order to release, let go or manifest something we’ve read on that day.

I started to build out personalized rituals based on my readings.

In the class I was teaching, I was taking students through some examples of previous rituals I had created. One involved inviting a querent to self-select tarot cards from my deck.

A student raised their hand: “What if the person’s energy transfers to your deck, though? Is that bad? Will it ruin the ritual? Will it affect your future readings?”

This wasn’t the first time, or the last, that I would field a question like this.

I have had people get legitimately fearful – sometimes to the point of tears – over seeing certain tarot cards. I have had people worry about whether they’re “concentrating hard enough” on their questions as they shuffle. I have had students in my tarot classes worry that if they don’t replicate an elaborate ritual every time they read their cards, their reading will be “off.”

One of the things I’ve had to parse out in all of these questions is first: What do you believe?

So many of these questions centre around what we put our faith in as readers, and as querents.

Which is why I often ask, “What is that you believe?”

If someone firmly believes in the importance of certain rituals, shuffling techniques, or other rules or routines are cornerstones of their tarot practice, then fine. It’s not up to me to tell them what to believe in: Beliefs are personal choices and conclusions that we each have to come to individually.

But what I do try to help with is whether something is a fear or superstition, or even an insecurity about tarot itself.

Because what I’ve found when I ask about belief is that people are sometimes not sure. Maybe they’ve heard about certain tarot superstitions and they’re undecided what to make of them. Or maybe they’re still finding their way with tarot and are considering various possibilities.

Sometimes we’re afraid of shuffling “wrong” because we’re not confident yet in our own tarot skills.

Or we over-emphasize the impact of a certain ritual or routine to “open” a reading because we haven’t given ourselves enough credit yet to see that the ritual doesn’t override our own abilities.

And sometimes we’re afraid of certain images or ideas in tarot because there is shame or deep-rooted discomfort around a practice that maybe we’ve been conditioned to believe is wrong or evil. And despite being open to it, it can take certain people a bit of time to overcome that.

Tarot and related practices – be it meditation, astrology, candle magic, and on and on – attracts those of us see connections between things that others may not notice. It attracts people who do believe in energy and the power of the unseen.

But with that requires balance. Because one thing that can hinder our growth in spiritual practices is the habit of creating too many rules out of fear: Fear of being wrong, or fear of imperfection.

And that’s not the purpose of tarot.

Tarot is meant to bring you back to yourself and to sharpen your intuition. It is meant to give you more authority over our life, and help you lead yourself – and others, potentially – to clearer paths.

And that’s a hard thing to do if you are always fearful about making the smallest misstep as you read or shuffle, or as you involve a querent in sharing these processes with you.

Because one thing that is important to remember with tarot is that the skill sits within YOU as a reader. You are the one building the interpretation. You are the one bringing your knowledge and intuition to the table.

And I don’t want to perpetuate the idea that those skills are so flimsy that they can be easily swayed by outside influences.

I’ve been thinking a lot about these things leading up to the beginning of Tarot for Magic, Spell Craft and the Strange, because I want readers to come to this course who are ready to try new things.

I want to create a space for adventure and experimentation with tarot. Yes, you will learn practical skills that you can use in a personal or professional practice – such as creating rituals out of your readings. But the activities and practices we’ll be doing might take you outside of what you typically encounter in a tarot class.

Because this isn’t just another Tarot 101 experience. If you’re ready for something different, I hope you’ll join us.

Details are here.

Until next time,



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