“What is this nonsense Carrie is going on about? What is Tarot? Why am I on this website?!” In this post, you will find the answers to all of these questions and more!

Death and the Fortune Teller – I took this photo at the National Gallery of Victoria.


:: The History of Tarot (in a tiny nutshell) ::

Tarot is a pack of cards that dates back to the renaissance – the earliest deck appearing in the 1450s. It was used as a card game, similar to bridge. Tarot was differentiated from regular playing cards by the addition of ‘trump cards.’ These were lavishly illustrated, depicting social and allegorical scenes. Today, we often call the trumps ‘the Major Arcana.’

In the 17-1800s, Tarot began garnering speculation about its possible ‘mysterious and ancient origins.’ By the mid 1800s, Tarot had become popular for divination, it’s original use as a game fading out almost entirely. Another turning point came in 1910, when the Rider-Waite-Smith pack was issued. This is what is typically seen as the quintessential tarot deck today (and it’s the source of the images you see on Happy Fish Tarot).


:: My Personal History of Tarot ::

Yeesh, I’ve always found history lessons a little boring. Let’s get to the fascinating part, in which I talk about meeee!

I discovered Tarot right after I learned about Joseph Campbell’s concept of the ‘hero’s journey.’ Campbell studied the myths of cultures all over the world and throughout time. He found that they often contained common threads: the hero has a call to adventure, meets a wise mentor, blah blah blah, goes through various ordeals, and ba-da-bing, returns transformed and whole.

I was excited to learn that the Tarot card meanings mirror the milestones in the hero’s journey. I began to ponder the significance of the personal ‘hero’s journey’ that each of goes through in our lives. As I read Tarot for myself, I was amazed at how much clarity the cards brought as I navigated my own story.

Meanwhile, I was struggling to reconcile two contrasting aspects of my personality. The first I call The Cynical One. This is the logical, critical, analytical and structured side. The second I call The Inner Artist. This is the playful, free-flowing, intuitive side. I thought that I had to let one side dominate – and society taught me the logical side was superior.

Without knowing why, I was unfulfilled until it finally dawned on me – I was causing my own suffering by stifling my Inner Artist. I came to the slow realization that we all contain these two aspects – and that making room for both of them is is the key to our wholeness. Tarot has helped me learn to embrace my Inner Artist, without forgoing my voice of reason.


:: How Does Tarot Work – In Your Humble Opinion? ::

Have you ever been thinking of a friend you haven’t talked to in ages, and suddenly they reach out to you? This is an example of ‘synchronicity‘, or a meaningful coincidence. Reason tells you that your thoughts did not cause your friend to call you. That doesn’t stop you from feeling that the events were connected in a mysterious and meaningful way.

Maybe you’ve seen a movie (or read a book) and found that the story deeply resonated with you. It’s as if you came across the perfect story at the perfect time. I see Tarot readings as stories, and they work when the story of the reading resonates with you.

I believe that Tarot ‘works’ through synchronicity. When I read for you, I randomly shuffle the cards with faith that the messages and stories that you most need will materialize. It’s as simple as that. You don’t need to abandon logic or join a secret society to find guidance in Tarot. If your curiosity is piqued, I invite you to request a reading with me.

You are a hero on a journey. I use Tarot to help you connect with the deep and personal meaning of your story. A reading can help you reflect on life lessons you have learned – and those you still need to learn. I believe that my purpose is to help facilitate the process of inner awareness – that is why I read Tarot.

Got any more burning questions about my philosophies on Tarot? Any additional insights or opinions you’d like to offer? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.

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