Sheila Hall has been studying the Tarot for 16 years. She recently received her CTM certification and is currently working towards her CTI. Sheila is an ATA mentor, has been a reader on both the Free Tarot and Free Reading Networks, and also serves on the ATA Education Committee. She lives in Tennessee with her husband and two sons.
The Mirror Cards
By Geoff Charley & Lucy Lidell
The Mirror Cards are a deck and book set that can aide in providing guidance with relationships. The cards offer a unique way to peer into relationships, including the difficulties encountered, and learn how to work toward achieving balance. The cards are not limited to romantic relationships, but all relationships in our lives. We can learn a lot about ourselves and the way we relate to everyone around us, including family, friends, and even relations at work.
The deck consists of 32 beautifully illustrated cards. The images are enclosed within a circle, with a gray background, and look as if you are looking within a kaleidoscope. Each card is numbered and a keyword is provided at the bottom of the card. The titles on the cards are as follows:
20. Letting Go
32. The Mirror
The accompanying book includes illustrations of the cards, and the card's discussions are a couple of pages in length. The discussions begin with a sentence or paragraph that is a summation of what the card is about, followed by a more detailed discussion, and reversed meanings are provided, too. They are entitled "Inverse." To give you an idea of what the card discussions are like, I have chosen the card entitled "Boundaries." The book says:
"Boundaries are the invisible borders that surround each one of us like a second skin. They make the container that we fill with who we are – our sense of self."
It's a common fallacy to believe that love means dropping our boundaries in order to be closer to our partners, and it's true that it feels like intimacy. But this is not the intimacy of an adult: it's the rekindling of the childhood need for love and safety, when pleasing someone else was the only way to feel close and loved.
Perhaps this false intimacy has led to you becoming a 'people-pleaser' - orbiting around the needs of your partner and allowing their emotions to invade you. Perhaps you're scared of stating your own needs for fear of causing conflict.
Boundaries are like our immune system. They support what is healthy and life-enhancing and resist what is not. So people with a good sense of boundaries recognize when they have had enough. They know their own limits and are able to shut the door and say 'No.'
Do you know what you want? Are you able to use your power of expression to draw the line? Can you truly distinguish what strengthens you from what weakens you? You are certainly being asked to question yourself now.
Holding strong, healthy boundaries enables us to say 'Yes' or 'No' at the right times; to let in people who can care for and support us, and to keep out people who may hurt us.
We need boundaries to retain a sense of ourselves as separate, autonomous beings when relating to others. Without them we find it hard to know who's doing what to whom. And in the confusion, we can find ourselves taken over and lose a sense of our own direction.
You may need to take some time out from your partner to do your own thing, or even to discover what your thing is! It may feel threatening at first - you may fear others leaving if you don't give them what they want. But if the relationship is to be real and enduring, it requires you to take time to increase your confidence. A dynamic partnership is made up of two complete individuals who respect each other's boundaries.
Building healthy boundaries is not something you can do overnight. Changing a deep-seated pattern is confronting and takes time, awareness and strength. But if you're prepared to start now and to persevere, you will learn to stop giving yourself away and begin to forge a life that serves your very highest good."
As you can see, the discussions about the cards are lengthy and detailed. They provide much food for thought. The backs of the cards are gray, and in the center of the card is a reversible image in white. The image is of someone who is kneeling on the ground, as if peering into a pond, and the same image is looking back - a mirror image.
The accompanying book begins by discussing how to use the cards, and also provides examples from people who have used them and the results they achieved. The deck and book come as a boxed set. The box is unique in that it opens up much like a book, and also contains a magnetic closure on a small flap so that it stays closed. The cards lay in a sunken space specifically cut for them, and the book lies on top. A nice package.
The aim of the cards is to awaken a deeper awareness about ourselves, our thoughts, feelings, and/or reactions in relationships and the situations we encounter. Using the cards on a consistent basis can help us to recognize and focus on behaviors that either undermine or strengthen us. How many times have you been aggravated with an attitude or behavior from someone, only to discover that you, yourself, have the same about someone or something else? A mirror image...
It is suggested that we phrase a question as a statement like, "The issue is my thoughts about..." and draw only one card to work with and focus upon. I think that working in this way can help us to really focus on the message we receive, and not be overwhelmed by drawing too many cards about an issue.
The authors are adamant about using the cards to only read for yourself, not to use them for general readings like Tarot cards, readings about the future, or anything except you and your role in any relationships that you are encircled within.
I admit having mixed feelings about using the cards to read only for myself. I believe "The Mirror Cards" can be very beneficial in exploring various aspects of relationships from the perspectives of both partners, not only for ourselves but in reading for family and friends, too.
I seem to have two views on readings about relationships. I do believe there are times when we could benefit greatly from understanding the viewpoint of a significant other, especially when there is a communication barrier. One may be willing to open up and communicate,
while the other is closing himself off. I've seen relationships fall apart due to a lack of communication and not understanding the problems they are being faced with. If we are able to understand how we or the other person is thinking or feeling about something, then the
barriers can be broken through. Then there is also the consideration of whether we are invading the privacy of others by performing a reading to gain understanding or helpful information about them. What do you think?
"The Mirror Cards" offer an intriguing way to really delve deep within ourselves and learn about how we think, feel, and approach our interactions within relationships. Have you ever been in a relationship that seems to be a repeat of a previous one? When reading the cards on a consistent basis, we are able to learn more about those repeating patterns. When we begin to notice repeating patterns that can undermine relationships, we can start to work on breaking out of the pattern, which could be holding us back from something far more wonderful.
The Mirror Cards are available through Red Wheel/Weiser. You can place your order through email: email@example.com or call (800) 423-7087.