Now, over a hundred years since the release of the Rider-Waite deck, Tarot cards are available in a practically endless selection of designs. In general, many of these follow the format and style of Rider-Waite, although each adapts the cards to suit their own motif. No longer just the domain of the wealthy and upper class, Tarot is available for anyone who wishes to take the time to learn it.
By the mid-18th century, the mystical applications for cards had spread from Italy to other parts of Europe. In France, writer Antoine Court de Gébelin asserted that the tarot was based on a holy book written by Egyptian priests and brought to Europe by Gypsies from Africa. In reality, tarot cards predated the presence of Gypsies in Europe, who actually came from Asia rather than Africa. Regardless of its inaccuracies, Court de Gébelin’s nine-volume history of the world was highly influential.
A great starting book in this area is Ralph Martin’s The Fulfillment of All Desire. He makes the case for the Catholic faith in an accessible way—relying heavily on the writings of the spiritual masters of our tradition. Another profitable path to pursue is reading biographies of Jesus Christ. They deepen our understanding of Scripture, the Mass, and develop our personal relationship with Him. Pope Benedict XVI recently wrote a three-book series entitled Jesus of Nazareth. Although it has some theological insights that might challenge a reader unschooled in theology, he has many profound reflections that would be valuable to anyone who read it. Fulton Sheen, Frank Sheed, and Romano Guardini also wrote excellent works on the life of Jesus.
There is a wealth of writings that can enrich our souls in many ways. St. John Paul II teaches us about love, marriage, and sexuality in his writings on the Theology of the Body. Saints like Therese of Lisieux and Bernadette show us that holiness is possible for the “littlest” of us. Many saints had mystical experiences that can serve as great lessons to us: St. Teresa of Avila, St. John Bosco, Padre Pio, and the children of Fatima. Conversion stories, like St. Augustine’s or Bl. John Henry Newman’s, shine a light on the great value of our faith. The beauty of the Holy Spirit is that He continually blesses the Church with saints, century after century.
This is another card which also strikes fear into neophytes because The Devil is fear itself. The Devil is illusion, greed, temptation, the material world. It symbolizes your demons, your projections onto and from others. The Devil is your shadow, dark side and unconscious. It is phallic, sexual, and wild energy. It can symbolize your boss or any authority figures.
My experience and personal belief is that a spirit guide has lived at some time or another on Earth in a physical body, while an angel has never had a physical incarnation. Every medium I know has one or more guides who work with them — some are constant, and some change during the medium’s life, but each has their own unique influence over the development of the medium’s gifts.
As he did so, I was aware that he’d lost a brother. I could feel his brother right beside him, right there at the party. I didn’t really know quite what to do or how to behave. I had two choices, the first being to just blurt out something, and potentially shock this man by saying, “Hey, I know you lost a brother, and he’s standing right beside you!” No, somehow I don’t think that would have been the right approach. So what I did was this. I put my thoughts out to the brother and said, If you want me to give your brother a message, then you figure out how that conversation is going to come about. I put the responsibility on the spirit to work it out.
Often, I will do a Skype call with my best friend in the evening, when she is off work. She lays the cards out for me on her Turkish scarves then - ta-da! - the fortune-telling happens. Because she knows me so well, since we were pip-squeaks, it is helpful to have her insight on what each card forebodes. After the reading, I get to process it all with my pal then take it with me into my dreams.