Scary Tarot, Death, The Devil & the Darker meanings among the 78 Cards
Most Psychic sites remove some of the most important cards of the Tarot deck
Many Tarot readers play down the imagery of the darker cards of the Tarot. Death, The Devil, Judgement, The Ten of Swords and so on. These archetypes are integral to the balance ot the Tarot experience , often they do not hold as scary a message as one would expect, depending on their position in the spread & how they interact with adjoining cards. In order to gain full understanding as you absorb the deeper meaning of the Tarot you must meditate on these cards, face your fears if you will; before you are free to continue on your journey down the Royal Road of Tarot. I have appeared in several of my cards in order to really step through the window in to their world, to allow the message of the card to fully get under my skin. The Devil card featured right is one such example. I became The Devil to really appreciate that side of my personality, to understand how the temptations of the card can demean any form of spiritual advancement.
Am I scared of using the Tarot
& a warning to those who use it wrongly !
Many people ask me if I am scared by The Tarot, or if I am in some way held in the spell of their dark powers ...
In answer to your questions .... I had no choice, The Tarot claimed me over a quarter of a century ago.
When I was a boy productions such as Dr Terror's House of Horrors & Tales Of The Unexpected fed the belief that the Tarot was ' The Devil's Picturebook ' . In fact at one of my very first Tarot reading engagements, I was verbally attacked by an outraged Christian guest at the party where I was reading.
In what I consider to be the definitive Tarot work :
The Tarot - A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages by Paul Foster Case
he states :
"To reiterate ( The Tarot should not ) be used for vulgar fortune telling, or to amuse a party of friends. If you yield to the temptation so to abuse this information, you will pay for it in the loss of all power of true divination, and probably in the loss of ability to control the higher rates of psychic vibration. Thus the ultimate result of abuse of this divinatory practice will be to make you more negative, more the slave of circumstance, more liable to evil of every kind ".
I can assure you that I do not use the Tarot lightly, however I believe the cards only release power within the reader or querent as opposed to having any inherent power of their own. The Tarot is in fact only a deck of painted cards, although they can also be the mirrors of your subconscious mind.
I have for many years used the Tarot as a means of meditation. I have entered the realm of the cards many times. The Tarot has been the springboard for much deeper esoteric study. In fact, on this site, are several pages that illustrate these interests. Certain pages that I have created as a memory aid for my own purposes. Some of these can now be found on my resources page ...
The Cube Of Space - explores & illustrates human experience, consciousness & the purest forms of Tarot symbolism. Here can be found my 3 dimensional representation of The Cube.
The Tree Of Life - is a symbol found in almost every culture. A metaphysical ladder that links heaven & earth. Again the Tree is crucial to understanding the deeper significance of The Tarot, especially in regard to how it corresponds with Kabbalah.
The Tarot does not scare me, it is the ultimate mystery , my life's purpose, a journey that I know will never end ...
So Now The Big One !
Let's face it, everyones life spread contains the Death Tarot card.
In the western world we percieve Death as the ultimate end. The question is really, will you live your life before he shows up ? I have certainly faced life threatening situations & have been present at the passing of several friends. I did not feel fear, just peaceful transition. However Death is the skeleton that strikes fear in any reading.This card does not signify physical Death. I have known it to symbolize that a person who has crossed over is trying to make contact across the divide. In a reading Death often means the questioner has been trapped by fear & faced situations that could have been avoided.
A transcript of how I handled the grim reaper in a recent reading went something like : "The actual meaning of the Death card is rebirth, one phase of your existence is closing to enable you to experience new challenges. You have hope now where there used to be confusion. Man dies many times in his life before he actually leaves this existence. This is one of those times for you enabling you to leave the past behind & step in to your future with renewed energy. Great changes await you. People & your enviroment conspire to smooth your transition to this new phase. Listen for news of a birth & a reconciliation of a relationship that has been floundering. You will be asked for advice but should remain neutral. You are experiencing a total transformation. Now is the time to start over; change everything. If something is not working let it go & move on. Discard outmoded patterns of thought & old ideas. Don't waste time on excessive emotions. Keep Moving, be flexible, be accessible. Your new life is coming online ... "
If you are starting out as a Tarot reader please be aware that you should be extremely comfortable around the scarier cards. Any time a questioner draws one of these cards will be a challenge, any fear needs to be handled with the utmost professionalism.
This is why many readers & certain unscrupulous sites remove the scary cards from their packs. A practice that I certainly do not condone & I believe one that dangerously unbalances the power of the Tarot & should be avoided.
by Paul O'Mara