Tarot and Religion

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The High Priestess – Rhiannon Rae Callahan 

For a little background I grew up in a non-denominational Christian household and attended Lutheran private schools through 3rd grade to High School. During my time at College I attended a small Community College then moved on to attend a Free Methodist University. My whole life has been steeped in religion, starting from a very young age. My communities, my household, my friends. Everything revolved around religion, specifically Christianity.

Fast forward to now, I do not attend church, but I do practice reading tarot every single day. I was introduced to tarot a little over a year ago by a tarot reading chaos witch named Jennifer Joseph (@naturalmagics on Instagram). Jen is a crystal pipe maker and tarot reader. I found her on Instagram at a time in my life when it felt like the very religion I grew up with was the thing causing me to feel like I didn’t belong. I did not feel like I belonged in the community I was surrounded by, the friends I had made, or even myself. There is a card in the tarot deck called the Tower, and if you are familiar with that card you will know the general feel of that card is turmoil and chaos. An upheaval of your very existence, that was my reality then.

Without hesitation I emailed Jen, asking her for a tarot reading. At this time in my life I was starting to open up to things traditionally demonized in the church. Things like tarot, tracking moon cycles, witches and even rock and roll where taboo growing up. All things I love. Looking back I’m not surprised I felt so out of place, I couldn’t even be alone and feel like I was myself. I was not making space for myself to explore and be who I was called to be.

Shortly after receiving the reading from Jen I found myself in a Spiritual book store looking to buy my own tarot deck. I held and inspected each one, finally settling on the Rider-Waite deck (the Pamela Coleman Smith Commemorative edition). Upon opening my deck, I approached it with hesitancy. I was raised to believe the devil worked through these cards, that God could not be present and you were turning your back on your faith. Each day I would pull a single card from my deck and inspect the imagery, looking to see what messages I could hear and take with me for that day. As each day passed, I pulled another card and felt myself becoming closer with my deck and closer to myself. I was taking a small amount of time each day and dedicating it to myself. Something I had forgotten to do over time.

Fast forward to a year later with my deck and it has become a part of my daily ritual. The time I set aside for myself to mediate, reflect and check in. I can say with confidence tarot has helped shape my daily life for the better, enhanced my spiritual life and it is a practice that helps me ground myself. I’m not promising that you will pick up a tarot deck and it will magically transform your life. No, the most beautiful thing about tarot is the messages you can receive, and the action you choose to take on your behalf. Tarot has helped me find myself again, its taught me to listen and to check in with who I am. To make time for myself and to extend patience and love in the ways that I can.

The reason I’m writing this is because I want everyone to know its okay to explore and expand. I felt so out of touch with myself a year ago. Even now I am not perfect and know I still have plenty of work to do, it never ends! But that is a beautiful thing. I just want everyone out there to know that if you don’t feel like yourself, if you feel stuck or lost that’s okay. Don’t be afraid to start asking yourself questions: “how do I feel today? Why do I feel the way I feel?” To see what parts of yourself you are holding back or not pursuing, based out of fear for what others will think. It was scary for me to explore tarot because I didn’t think that the people around me would understand. But by opening up and asking myself questions and seeking myself I found an abundance of support and knowledge, even from people within my inner circle.

Tarot has become something I love so deeply because it brings me back to myself. If you ever want to know more, here is my open door.

 

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