As many here know I was one of the featured presenters, with Mary K. Greer and Benebell Wen, at this year’s annual Readers Studio conference in New York. This is a great event, and I have been to all but one of them (I was ill that year) since the beginning, when Mary Greer and I were presenters. So it was special for me, and I wanted to do something special. Rather than narrow myself to a single topic that I could fully cover in the 2 1/2 hours we each had, I wanted to open it up, look at basics, and what’s special.

For several weeks I took lots of notes, writing many pages in my journal about subjects I might cover, readings we might do, aspects of Tarot in people’s lives. Then i wrote up five pages of handouts, covering many, though not all, of those topics. When we began I told everyone that I did not expect to do it all, but I wanted them to have it. Now i want to share some of that here.

The first page of the material was a list of uses people have found in the Tarot. I titled it the same as this post. Here it is. I hope people will feel moved to comment, question, discuss, and especially add things I missed. I should mention that a number of the items came from suggestions made by my friend Zoe Matoff, who is a brilliant and dedicated Tarotist.

I should also mention that I do not necessarily endorse some of the things. They are simply ways people have used the Tarot.

Ways People Have Used The Tarot

Playing a game
Scamming people
Advice from a wise friend
Healing—through advice from a reading, or directly through the images
Astral travel
Travel to other worlds or stories
Travel on the Tree(s) of Life
Saving lives
Saving yourself
Discovering secrets—in others or yourself, or in the world.
Art—Tarot as an art form or using Tarot to inspire new art
Story-telling, writing, poetry
Honoring/Speaking to/Summoning the dead
Honoring/Speaking to/Summoning spirits, demons, or angels
Controlling spirits, demons, or angels
Visual form of magical doctrines
Magical doorways
Identifying threats or issues in a person’s life, and what to do about them
Legal, medical, financial direction, or decisions
Insh’Allah—discovering the divine will
Arguing with God
To go out and come back

The last is deliberately mysterious and suggestive. I would be interested to know people’s reactions to it.

Published in: on May 3, 2018 at 12:07 am  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Love this list! Thank you for sharing it here too ❤
    I call the Tarot my bible and use it as my spiritual book of wisdom.

  2. Shari Lynn, I have not re-checked the list but I think–amazingly–I did not include Book of Wisdom. So thanks for putting that in the mix.

  3. Maybe this has already been mentioned in a way on your list, but I use tarot to simply ask “why?”. Why did I do (insert action here)? Why did this (insert event or something someone said) make me (insert feeling or reaction here)? Why do I keep…and so on. The images and archetypes trigger a deeper thought pattern that helps me go beyond what I see on the surface, even though it may be connected to an every day, mundane thing. Hope this makes sense.

    • I love this idea, including just the single word, without a specific reference. I just asked the Pholarchos tarot “Why?” and got Dreamer of Spirals (page of Cups). the picture shows a dreamy woman, eyes closed, with colors and forms merging in an out of her face and the air around her. The book says, in part, “Correspondences true throughout creation. Geography and spatial relations become a language that carries meaning…Keep learning.”

      Seems like a perfect answer to Why.

      • I just googled “Pholarchos Tarot”. It’s beautiful. And yes, the perfect answer to “why”.

  4. This appears to be the same material that you handed out at the Mass Tarot Society meeting on Saturday. Before I noticed that you had a prohibition against reproducing it on-line, I had posted a couple of excerpts on my blog (although I did cite you as the author),


    Are you OK with this after the fact? My apologies, and thanks.

  5. No problem, since you cited me as the author. I’ve had experiences with people reproducing my material as if it’s their own. Thanks for checking.

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