As a second generation seer and tarot reader, one would assume that my spiritual journey must have been easy and full of acceptance. In fact, talking about my journey, cultivating community service, and actively focusing on eliminating the misconceptions that plague taboo spiritual topics in Latinx culture has been far from easy. In fact, there was resistance from all sides.
Internalized religious social constructs are something that I have yet to actively identify and work on to this day, in addition to combating external false perceptions about my community. When we first dive into exploring our curiosity around tarot, it can seem strange and frightening. There are so many misconceptions surrounding tarot card readings and it can be a really confusing space to navigate when we first step into this realm. I’m here to tell you that your curiosity is valid. I am also here to encourage you to free yourself from any shame attached to wanting to incorporate tarot or other taboo subjects into your personal practice. Like you, many Millennials and Latinxes are moving away from mainstream religion and accepting tarot as their own.
As we create our personal spiritual practices, we begin to learn that healing modalities like tarot can feel more organic to us than stifling religions like Catholicism. Many Latinxes grow up being discouraged from connecting to anything beyond the colonized religion. In many cases, avoiding the tarot has become a common narrative motivated by Abrahamic religious reasons told to us by our parents. It is time to finally de-stigmatize the misconceptions surrounding this largely mislabeled tool.
How to use tarot cards
When used appropriately, tarot can be a resource as we continue to rise above indoctrinated oppressive cultural beliefs.
In my professional practice as a tarot reader, I use tarot to help others identify shadow work that needs to be healed. We use tarot to contact high vibrating beings who can guide us on the path to our greatest good. Often times you will find that practitioners correlate with this intention instead of feeding the widely held myth that all tarot readers contact evil spirits or use tarot for the purpose of manipulation. To be clear, tarot is not a religion. The 78-card deck is a divination tool that has been misunderstood as unsavory and stigmatized within Latinx communities for years. It is considered witchcraft, which is why so many of us have grown up automatically shutting it down due to fear over our religiously structured culture. Tarot allows us to explore our curiosity and our personal power. Understanding our personal power is something that has been demonized, revoked, and tarnished in order to continue to direct oppression towards internalized self-hatred and acceptance of mediocrity as people of color.
The origins of tarot card reading
The origins of tarot are muddy. The inconsistent oral histories of his birth are the subject of intellectual debate. However, the two most common historical derivatives go back to the Egyptians and Italians for its roots. Essentially, tarot started out as playing cards and developed into a modality of divination (a spiritual method of seeking knowledge).
Its European roots extended to Latinx cultures through Spanish colonialism. Divination is not something taboo for our native ancestors. From planetary divination to the obsidian mirror and the use of corn kernels to connect with higher powers, divination methods were revered before Spanish colonialism.
Yet behind closed doors and in dark recesses, Latinxs confided in the daring who brought divination to life culturally. Individuals such as wizards, curanderx and shamans have all had to practice their esoteric ritual work in secret. As a means of security and survival against patriarchal evangelists washed away by religious colonization.
Somewhere along the way, the tarot was kept alive in the homes of these radical spiritualists for its healing, storytelling, and introspective consulta (consulta).
The tarot is being recovered
Tarot has become a staple of Latinx brujería culture inside and outside the United States. Yes, wizards have a negative stereotype related to tarot. However, this tale is reworked by modern day witches.
Latinx millennials claim this taboo as a form of healing. What exactly is tarot? It’s not so much about predicting the future as it is about understanding how you influence the situations around you. Tarot allows individuals to confront conscious and unconscious self-sabotaging behaviors and explore their higher consciousness.
The myths surrounding the tarot
One of the biggest myths surrounding tarot is that you will automatically open an evil portal that only accesses Dark Spirits. It’s wrong. You have to appeal to spirits in general to connect with them. The tarot is a vessel to access energy and entities. If you consciously call spirits to your liking (good or bad, the choice is yours), then you welcome their presence to communicate via tarot.
Another myth is that you will instantly have spirits that will attach themselves to you and not leave you alone. You have free will, and unless you give a spirit permission to attach itself to you, then you don’t have to worry about it happening to you.
When working with a tarot practitioner, you should also make sure that he is ethical and does not perpetuate evil through tarot. An equally disturbing myth is that all tarot readers are bad or have some sort of power over others. Not true. Yes, there are unethical readers just like there are charlatans in any field or community. You’ll want to learn how to identify red flags when you eventually work with an unethical tarot reader, which includes, but is not limited to: a reader using fear to encourage you to read or consult and constantly do feel helpless without their help.
Ultimately, tarot is useful and revealing for those who want to understand themselves better. Sadly, self-help tools and self-esteem methods are something that we lack in Latinx culture. Anything that is spiritually liberating outside of the colonized religion, such as tarot, self-help, and self-esteem, is doomed because it encourages others to think independently and to revolt against the status quo to which we have been conditioned to comply.
Your fear of tarot is not your fault. It’s not your fear of wearing. Tarot can be useful in making daily decisions for yourself and for those you love. Begin to restructure the perception of tarot by understanding that it is not dangerous. This is not a one-size-fits-all tool meant to magically change your life. It also won’t open portals to destroy your life. The tarot is a vehicle that demands responsibilities. Tarot helps us connect with our unhealed versions of self on a deeper level. Working with tarot allows us to better understand who we are and who we can become.
It is time to reclaim these lost lessons and allow ourselves to venture into new areas of personal expansion.
Image Source: Esoteric Esa
Why it’s time the Latinx communities finally destigmatized the tarot originally published on POPSUGAR Latina