A few years ago, a question came to sit with me:
Do we focus too much on intuitive development in tarot?
I’ve shared before about some of the misconceptions I had about tarot early on. I felt so much pressure to intuit and download messages psychically that I didn’t take proper time to sit down and actually look at my tarot cards.
Which was a big misstep, but there is so much information the tarot lays right out in front of you. And yes, reading tarot can feel like a psychic experience, as it is eerily accurate. I’ve had clients ask me, “How did you know that?” when I hit on something so specific that I couldn’t have known otherwise.
But I just tell them as I see it: It’s all in the cards.
Still, I have spent time learning about other skills. I’ve studied mediumship and channeling. I’ve gone through a lot of workbooks and classes about intuition and psychic ability.
Has it helped me as a tarot reader? It probably doesn’t...
What is intuition? What does it feel like? What function does it have?
When we are asked to define intuition, to articulate where it comes from, or how it manifests, responses vary:
Some say that intuition is instinct. That it is physical, visceral. That it sometimes comes in the form of a mistake. That it can remain an undefined, unformed relationship, perhaps being a function that is always slightly out of reach.
When I’m connecting with others through a tarot reading, particularly when I’m teaching others how to use these tools, the word intuition often gets connected to the act of divining, of picking up on underlying messages or energies based on a blend of symbols, images, patterns, and archetypes.
Intuiting messages through a divinatory practice – whether you are doing predictive readings or self-reflective ones – is often a creative, interpretive process. It causes your mind to work in a different way, as you are actually reading things that...
If you know my backstory with tarot, you’ll have heard me tell this one before:
When I got my first deck of tarot cards in the mid `90s, I pulled them out, gave them a shuffle, turned a few over and…nothing happened.
And boy, did I have high expectations that something would happen.
As a kid, I’d grown up with a ton of imaginary friends. Some of them were black cats that I imagined to be my familiars. I’d sit on the ground at recess pretending to host séances while the other kids ran around and played games.
My mom had a ton of wild ghost stories – real ghost stories – that I’d grown up on and I knew there was more to life than what we could see in front of us.
So when I was finally old enough to go out and buy my own deck of tarot cards I thought that it would finally be my turn to see something others couldn’t.
I wasn’t sure exactly how it would happen, or what kind of vision I would get.
But what I hadn’t...
The other day I got an email from one of my students:
“Liz, I’ve heard you say that you don’t need to be psychic to read tarot. And I don’t disagree, because I don’t consider myself psychic and I’ve definitely been improving in my readings lately because I’ve been following your instructions on how to actually read my cards. But at what point does tarot become an intuitive practice, too? I keep expecting my intuition to kick in, but I don’t know how or when that will happen.”
I love this question, because it highlights the mainstream context of tarot – that it is a psychic tool – and opposes it against the reality of cartomancy – that you need to learn to read the cards if you want to make them talk.
I also consider “psychic” to be a loaded word. Not because I have anything against it, but because the mainstream perceptions – the Hollywood stereotypes of psychic ability – has created...
When I ask people why they want to read tarot, the Number One reason I hear is, “I want to develop my intuition.”
So many of us want to experience trust and alignment within ourselves, and the universe. And tarot can be an amazing way to open up to that.
But there is a lot of confusion about intuition and psychic ability out there. These are concepts that we need to develop with discernment, responsibility, and groundedness if we really want to embrace them in our lives.
This goes for whether you read tarot or not – intuition is not reliant on divination.
There is no shortage of psychic advice out there in cyberspace these days. Take a scroll on Instagram and you’ll likely come across posts encouraging you to trust your psychic skills and cut off those “low-vibe” friends. Or memes that remind you that your intuition is never wrong.
But – and this a big but – the problem with that is that it’s really easy to confuse other...
Intuition: So many of us say we want to develop it.
We chase after it in books and workshops. We learn tools like tarot in the pursuit to be more intuitive.
We do gut-checks when making major decisions and heed the advice to "follow your intuition."
But what does that mean, exactly? How is intuition supposed to feel?
And most importantly: What is it supposed to do?
Defining intuition can be as elusive as developing it.
Some people use intuition and psychic ability interchangeably – and whereas others don’t subscribe to psychic power at all, yet may still describe themselves as intuitive individuals.
Some people say it’s about having a certain instinct – making the right decisions if not every time, then at least most of the time.
That may take us along the lines of the belief that intuition is about perception – being able to feel out a situation, a person, or a room quickly and accurately. Or sensing that something within a conversation that...