Why I was first drawn to Clarissa I’ll never know …
I remember entering the shop and pushing back the curtain to find her sitting there, at her table in the back room, smiling. As I approached my thirtieth birthday, I was nervous yet desperate for insight into a life-changing decision I was making. Time backed up the moment she pulled out her Tarot cards, it was like magic being spread around the table. The consultation with Clarissa lasted two hours and I remember feeling amazed by her deeply intuitive, accurate reading of those mystical cards. It was revelatory! I saw her two more times over the next six years. Each time I felt held, in some way contained, by this archetypal witchy looking woman with her large gold earrings. Then, as often is the case, after the crisis had passed I forgot all about her.
Journey of Love
Five years later I met with Tarot again when I fell upon my new partner’s Tarot cards. She had several decks and had been reading for several years. It was a puzzling moment, that first time I held the cards. The images seemed strange yet compelling and somehow connected to each other. The headiness of my new relationship took over and I didn’t think any more about Tarot, until a year later when we moved in together. There was something here for me, yet I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. The cards felt like new toys in my hands, like treasure. I remember how my hands would buzz but didn’t know why. When we were living together, I discovered one of her Tarot books and read about how to do a three card spread. I thought I’d give it a go!
It was all a bit disappointing really, I didn’t understand the cards and the reading looked ill-omened to me. A heart with knives and a burning tower frightened me off for several months. Although I clearly remember The Star as the outcome card. Three major arcana on my first spread yet I had no idea how important these cards were. I was just going on the images alone, making me feel worried and scared. Whatever way I looked at it, it just looked wrong, so I cupped the cards up and put them quickly back into their box. I am happy to say that the relationship worked out just fine, yet the challenges that came in our second year together were enormous. Death and heartache of epic proportions alongside rebirth. As these events came to light I found myself returning to the Tarot often in times of sorrow and stress.
Again, I found myself reaching for Tarot …
I didn’t notice myself doing this for several years, I know that sounds really odd but it just didn’t figure. Occasionally I would pick up insights but not frequently. On reflection I feel I spent years tuning into the energies of the cards. Their values didn’t come easily to me at all, neither had I yet discovered how to step inside a card. However, as the years went on, I found myself reaching for the cards in other times too, when feeling happy and relaxed. By now I had learnt the rudiments of each card and had begun to notice the way they seemed to be looking at or away from each other. Conversations between cards often took place, especially if I left the spread out for a day or so to reflect on them further.
Six years ago I joined a women’s Dream Group where we learn all about Jung and his Archetypal Dreamwork. We sit in circle and delve into our dreams in great depth. Something powerful clicked here as I felt my soul journey move forward in leaps and bounds. My relationship with the cards began to change then as I started to really see each archetype within the cards more clearly. They not only spoke to me but called me too, insistently at times, so most weeks I would find myself doing a reading. I started writing my readings down at this point. I hadn’t recorded them or my dreams until now. I would write down my reflections and muse for days over their meanings.
Poetry of the Tarot
Last year I found myself on YouTube and came across Kelly-Ann Maddox. Another revelatory moment! Deeply fascinated by her knowledge and insight on Tarot I began to watch her many videos. For my birthday last year my partner treated me to a reading by Kelly-Ann, which was incredible. Like Clarissa, she gave a beautiful reading with her intuition being spot-on. And then several months later, it happened. When turning over the Queen of Cups I heard these words, “Write a poem for me” and I did, and then the next Queen called and the next until I had written a poem for each of the four Tarot queen cards. Pure synchronicity I thought, as The Four Queens is what Kelly-Ann initially named her online business.
So my ‘Poetry of the Tarot’ has begun and, through the process of writing each poem, I feel that I am connecting to the symbolism of the cards in profound ways. The images speak to my psyche in ways that language could never do. I have no idea where this journey of love will take me for, as I approach the Hierophant, I have been interrupted big time! Whatever could go wrong has happened and I have felt seriously thrown off course … maybe I should have called this post ‘The Call of the Hierophant!’ As I feel I have been twisted and turned over several thousand times yet still I yearn to connect.
Hopefully you have enjoyed the story of how I met Tarot. I would love to hear your comments if you have also met with Tarot. In the meantime thank you for reading and keep your eyes peeled for the first of my Poetry of the Tarot series – the Queen of Cups.
Copyright © Deborah Gregory 2015