The Netflix-ish Addiction of Tarot
And you thought cliffhangers were just for fiction
Everyone loves a series. That’s why programmers and broadcast writers give us so many. It didn’t start with television, of course. Writers have released their work in progressive fashion since storytelling began. The concept probably gained popularity with the early traveling shows making the rounds of villages when that was the only available entertainment.
Later on, whether the writing was serialized in installments published in newspapers (precursors to your favorite television/cable series) or structured as a new novel continuing where the previous one left off, the strategy of leaving the audience wanting more was considered key to continued success.
Thus, the advent of the cliffhanger emerged as an almost guaranteed “sold” ticket to the next published chapter, installment, or book.
Since I came to Tarot as a writer and a reader of books, interpreting the story the cards reveal was a natural progression for me. The major arcana of Tarot represents life’s archetypes and, essentially, the journey of the soul. And as such, the story the cards reveal is a never-ending tale.
Yet not even I realized how true-to-life and progressively accurate the spreads can be—until this week. Take the spread above, for example. I pulled these cards earlier in the week for me, but since we’re all connected, the message is for you, too.
I’m going to run through the interpretation quickly here since I have several spreads to share and no one wants this to be a novel-length post. The emphasis here is on reading the cards in progression to reveal the story.
5 of Fire: Choices. This card indicates that we are at choice. We can see this forest (the world) ablaze in a destructive fire or in the glowing golden sunset light on the natural environment.
3 of Earth: Sacred Sight. Looking into the eyes of another and seeing the Divine. Finding what is good and worthy in others.
#23 Council of All Beings. In this deck, this major arcana card represents a “world” council convening, calling you to sacred service to all living things. How can you serve the greater good?
Ace of Earth. Healing. New beginnings, seeing the bigger picture, Mother Earth, Divine embodiment. A new Earth?
Craftsman of Water. Seeding/fertility. Celebration. Spontaneity. Having fun with creation.
All good, right? Yay, we’re done!
But, nooooo. Here’s what I pulled the next day. This time, I declared in advance that the reading was for the collective. The message, however, was undeniably personal for me. Perhaps there’s something for you, too. Let’s view it as a continuation of the story started in the previous spread.
#12 The Scribe. Time to start telling the story of the New World.
#2 Archangel Gabriel. Getting assistance from the divine angel of communication.
#19 Reflection. This card can suggest taking time to be tranquil, going on a trip, or (most likely) being led by the moon, representing development of your intuitive nature.
Queen of Scrolls. Notice she’s holding a scroll. There’s more to this story. To be continued…
The above reading was again boldly claimed in advance to be for the collective. When I looked at this third spread, I was struck by a memory. Didn’t I pull this reading just recently? Quick check on my blog. Yup. Very similar to Good Day, Sunshine, published on August 25—just a few weeks ago. Same first card…and the story continues.
#2 Journey. Every day begins a new opportunity to take a different road, start anew, or continue on a chosen path. (See also “Choice” in first spread.)
#17 Action. However, if you want to arrive at an intended destination or achieve a desired result, you must do something…take action.
#3 Blossoming Abundance. Realization of the potential displayed in the third card of a three-card spread depends on whether or not you follow the guidance of the middle card. Hence, you must take action on your dreams to have abundance blossom in your life. (Not a big surprise. So this can’t be the end.)
One more… card. I cracked a new deck and asked, What action must we take to achieve abundance?
#41 Poppy: Dream. Now this is one interesting outcome…I mean, card. I’m going to share the words of the deck’s author here because you might not believe it if I paraphrased. From the guidebook… [copy in brackets added for clarification.]
“Upright: mystery of dreamtime, great unknown, breaking addictive habits, releasing unhealthy relationships, aligning to new intentions.
“Astrological Ruler: Neptune, Saturn
“The earliest references to Poppies are found in the ancient land of Sumer, located in what is now Iraq and Kuwait. Sumerians grew Poppies all the way back in 3400 B.C.E. and cultivated the plant for both its medicinal and recreational use as opium, calling it hul gil or ‘the joy plant.’
“The euphoria-inducing plant quickly became a staple of cross-continent trading. It first gained influence in Assyria and ancient Egypt. Eventually, it was one of the most important and profitable products being transported on the famous Silk Road across much of Asia. Civilizations rose and fell, but Poppy remained in many traditions.
“By the early 1800s, this unassuming flower led to mass addiction and the Opium Wars. In 1806, morphine was isolated from the Poppy and named for the Greek god of sleep, Morpheus, because of of its sleep-inducing properties. Next came codeine, another powerful pain killer. [Later,] pharmaceutical companies began to manufacture heroin from Poppies.
“It was a popular medicine for a long time before its addictive properties were brought to light. Now it’s listed as one of the most harmful drugs in the world, even though its raw material continues to be used to manufacture dozens of pharmaceutical drugs.
“Guidance: Poppy’s piercing dual nature and history are closely representative to that of The Devil card in the Tarot. The Devil represents the darkness of material obsession, addiction, and pursuit of false ideals for the sake of vanity and personal gain. The constructs of this reality (Saturn) have enabled a contorted darkness that does not belong to the soul signature of this divine flower (Neptune).
“Look deeper through the lens of her beauty to find that she embodies the mystical magic of the dreamtime, the place of unbound potential where we regenerate daily and commune with the Divine. [But] be aware that excess and abuse of mystical powers or substances means that you’ll likely end up lost in her dark labyrinth. Break the temptations and addiction to thought patterns and experiences that lead to escapism and empty intentions and [instead] align to the light found within the mystical darkness found in the dreamtime.”
When you consider that the last card of this sequence of readings brings us back to choice, the card where we began, you must wonder if stories are truly progressive, or merely circles of events that spiral ever onward—and perhaps, with grace, upward.
To me, the big takeaway from this all is that we can use Tarot, astrology, or any divination tool as guides to what is possible, probable, and accessible. The bottom-line deciding factor to achievement of desires, however, is how you use your free will to pursue your soul’s calling.
“Abundance” comes in many forms and only you can decide what it means for you. Much of the modern-day’s culture and teaching would suggest that the end justifies the means. That’s untrue. Beware the misuse of powerful drugs and temptations for short cuts.
The tale of the Poppy is the perfect ending for this post because it illustrates the potential outcomes of both sides of the story, but remains open-ended, like every good story must be.
Spiritual Fusions Psychic & Holistic Fair: Blue Ridge Community College, Flat Rock, NC. November 4–5
Intuitive Energy Readings: I use divination tools such as Tarot and Oracle cards, my intuition, and energy (chakra) clearing in readings. Sessions are held via Zoom on Tuesdays and Fridays. Learn more about the process or book a session here.
Until next time… my best, Shelley