What Do We Do When We Read?

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By Frances

Many people have a strong aversion to the term psychic. They prefer to be simply called readers. But can anyone successfully read without tapping into their intuition or psychic abilities? If so then what is so intimidating about the word psychic? We all have the capacity to be psychic even if some of us never learn how to access that portion of our brain. It is through practice that we can tap into our abilities. Through training and learning how to still the noise and distractions that we are able to see glimpses of our higher self and evolve. Reading is a method of meditation or calming. We may not realize that is what we are doing, but it is. When we read we take the basic elements of the medium and we distill meanings that go beyond ink on paper, tea leaves, coffee grinds, stones or junk on cloth or clouds in the air. This is alchemy, transforming the mundane into something special and isn't that at the heart of being psychic? 

Psychic is a generic term by definition, it means someone who gathers information from outside of the mundane, someone who is acutely sensitive to nonphysical messages. Psychics can be mediums, empaths, clairvoyants, clairaudients, claircognizants, telepaths, sensitives, intuitives, etc. But if psychic means gathering information from somewhere other than the five senses, isn't that what we do when we read? Alchemy is an ancient hermetic art focused on changing common materials into gold.  Through distillation and fermentation the substance is transmuted from prima materia (prime matter) into gold. The more the alchemist practices and trains the more he transmutes not just the material but himself. The basic premise is that everything is gold and just needs to be one with the Divine spirit to achieve this transformation. The magnum opus or great work for the alchemist is self actualization. 

Carl Jung defined our higher self as the combination of our conscious and our unconscious. Most people never go beyond the here and now. They struggle to survive and that takes up their whole world. Our ego wants to keep us grounded and away from our unconscious mostly for self preservation but once we are sufficiently grounded and relatively whole the only place to go is up! It is those of us who can conquer our fears and have the courage and strength to persevere that will be able to see our higher self and access our psychic abilities. This can be achieved through meditation, through exercise, through art or anything creative and absolutely and most easily through reading.

When you are ready to trust in the universe and your gifts, AND you can tame your ego, you will reach a new level in reading. How many of us have had times, when reading for another, when the message we received was counter intuitive? It defied logic and you doubted yourself? This is the real test. Your ego pushes, prods and taunts you into thinking you don't know what you are doing. The key is to not to lose focus. Move beyond the mundane and silence the noise! 

Picture the tarot Moon card  - here is the World Spirit Moon:


The eery windy river that travels past the wild dog and wolf in reflected light. Our ego tries to protect us from the unknown, from falling into that river and facing the wild beasts. What is beyond the horizon? We must draw upon our quiet faith and calm capability to go forward. 

What is ultimately needed is a tower moment, our facades and protective walls need to come crumbling down opening our third eye and silencing the chaos.


When we read we build a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious and we tap into the collective unconscious. We open ourselves to receive messages. The cards or any medium we choose are the prime matter, it is our energy that powers the transmutation creating divinatory gold. We unlock magic. The reader's magnum opus will be when they have reached individuation and can master their ego.

Images are from the World Spirit Tarot by Jessica Sczuka Godino and Lauren O'Leary, and the Aliester Crowley Thoth Deck.

All submissions remain the property of their respective authors. 

Tarot Reflections is published by the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2010

Questions? Comments? Contact us at reflections@ata-tarot.com.