I do a lot less tarot card reading for people the better I get at it. To me, a good tarot card reading is like reading a map to a place you’ve never been trying to help someone who’s driving, but doesn’t know where they’re going, figure out where they are. And that requires really being open to what the person sitting across from you is going through and that takes a lot out of a person. And when it works well, the experience can be even tougher.
I don’t think there’s anything supernatural to tarot card reading, though. The more I do it, the more I’m convinced it’s pretty ordinary. But I say that with a huge caveat–and that caveat being that I do think there are a lot of very ordinary experiences that people regularly have that are right now dismissed as being impossible, but will probably, in the future, seem mundane.
Like, to go back to the “illusions” we talked about earlier in the week–the people who see their dead loved ones at the moment of that loved one’s death. For me, that doesn’t even have to be about a ghost or the afterlife or whatever. I think it’s clear that we are connected to each other in ways we don’t yet have science-y explanations for–especially because we are so committed to believing ourselves to be autonomous individuals, to understanding ourselves as such–and that when that connection is broken, as it is at death, sometimes we have knowledge of that break. Our minds might process that knowledge through the “illusion” of that person calling out to us or appearing before us or whatever–that might be the part of the thing that is up for all kinds of cultural biases and “supernatural” explanations.
But that you might know the instant the person who stirred to life in your body dies?
It doesn’t seem far-fetched to me.
And when I see that Swedish scientists are able to make people think they are in someone else’s body, I pay attention. Not because it’s an interesting “illusion,”–and I hate that word, with it’s underlying hint of “all in your head, just made up”–but because it tells us something about how human consciousness can work. We assume that the mind is in the body, but where, exactly is it?
Do you need a body to have a mind–some kind of consciousness? How many bodies are necessary? Could your mind connect you to more than one body? Could you have more than one mind in a body? Are those scientists creating the illusion of moving a mind into another body, or have the developed a way to trick the mind into revealing how it connects to other minds?
I mean, just for a second, think about this. Swedish scientists were able to make a person feel that she had switched bodies with another human being, merely by submerging her in his experiences–showing her the world through a camera that broadcasts his perspective. And we marvel as if this is something new.
And yet, did we not already know this?
I was thinking again of that guy with the MTSU researcher–his powerful need to know that his grandmother (however many greats) was real and how touching the doorframe of her slave cabin was what did it, that he could put his hand where she would have put her hand and see what she saw.
We already know what the Swedish researchers have told us–that seeing what you see can connect me so deeply to you that the lines between us are blurred.
I think a similar thing happens when you read tarot for someone–that the line gets blurred. I can tell you what you need to hear not because I have great psychic powers or because I’m a con artist or because you’re a rube, but because we, all people, have all these ways of communicating with each other, not just through words, but through body language and through mindset and through ways we probably haven’t even begun to define or study, but ways I think are probably as ordinary as they get.
Anyway, I was thinking about that because I just discovered Mary K. Greer’s Tarot Blog and I’m really enjoying it.