Humdrum Discoveries ‘Daily Tarot’

Originally published on State of Liberation

Tarot cards are far from being a mystery. In fact, they are available in thousands of variations, designed by countless artists, printed and purchasable at your favorite book shop or website. Though they were once a flashy prop used by extravagant mediums, their use has since spread as a personal and regular practice, as a self-help tactic, and an exercise in introversion. The idea that magic and the divination are the ultimate purpose behind Tarot cards is incorrect and misguided. Tarot cards are not intended to tell the future. They are a tool to reflect on the past, see the present clearly, and hypothesize about upcoming events, so that we can contemplate our decisions and prepare mentally. If you find yourself confused or caught in the complex web of life, and wish for a conduit from which to draw spiritual wisdom, whatever source that may be, Tarot might be worth a try.

The concept of Tarot is about as old as humanity itself, with decks incredibly similar to those we use even today, found in ancient Egyptian tombs. Throughout history, sets have been created as simple yet beautifully handcrafted playing cards, and finally altered in key different ways to be turned into spiritual tools. You want to select a set of 78 Tarot cards, with 22 Major Arcana, and 56 Minor Arcana cards, divided into 4 groups of 14; the swords, wands, pentacles and cups.

When choosing your own Tarot deck, you may want to become a bit more familiar with the choices artists and practitioners have made in creating their decks. Whether you would like to delve into a complex composition, such as the Crowley-Harris Thoth studies and the Golden Dawn approach, or simply choose a beautiful deck that resonates within you, put a bit of thought into it. A Tarot deck, after being used regularly, will carry your energy- a tiny part of yourself.

Once you have a favoured deck in hand, take some time to look at every card and become familiar with it. Look at the faces of each character and internalize the symbolism the artist has chosen to display. You will need a Tarot interpretation book or source, again, of your choice- though the symbols and meaning behind each card are well known (even a small internet search will tell you what each card represents) each author will have their own differences in explanation.

There are many card spreads used by practitioners, but to begin, why not give the 3 Card Spread a try? Shuffle your deck well, taking the time to quiet the chatter in your head, and to let a particular life issue or thought take the center stage. If you so choose, let the presence of the divine within you arise in this exercise. Let that energy within your mind travel down, from the temples, to your neck, curving through the shoulders, down your arms, spreading to your palm and fingers, and finally, entering the cards. When you feel ready, put down the deck, and in that same state of concentration, cut the deck in two. Flip three cards from the point where you separated the deck; as should be instructed in your interpretation book, do not turn them right-side up if they are upside down, as the direction the cards decide the tone of your reading. Read the meanings of each care and see how they apply to your current situation.

The first card you drew will represent a state you have left behind, or are in the process of concluding. The second card will represent your current situation…this card’s meaning can sometimes be difficult to swallow, as it will often bluntly show us the versions of the present we refuse to see. The third card will be a theoretical view of what should be upcoming _should current events remain the same_ and is _in no way a guarantee of the future. Take time to internalize the meanings the cards have shown you.

The fun part is repeating the exercise a few more times, and seeing if the same practice brings similar sentiments from the cards. The more you use your cards, on a daily basis if you can, the more the meanings you derive will be clear, often spot-on, and sometimes, creepily accurate.

After a few draws, you will feel your inner energy start to dwindle, and repeated readings beyond that point will stop making any sense, seemingly random and devoid or vitality. It is very important to take long breaks between Tarot reading sessions. After completing a reading, drink plenty of water and reload on vitamins. You will feel purged and ready to take on whatever challenges await you.


Questions or comments about Tarot practice? Don’t hesitate to comment.

Want to see a spiritual or religious concept to be featured on Humdrum Discoveries? I would love to hear your ideas!


Explore and Choose What You want to Believe in

Originally published for State of Liberation

‘Religious Nomadism’
The largest portion of individuals follow a beloved religion and take part in doctrine study, practices, rites of passage and in their communities. On another hand, at least 1 Billion in the world consider themselves ‘non-religious’. Among them, some are completely devoid of interest for a religious aspect in their lives, and some do have an interest, but seek alternative spiritual paths and dislike the implications of organized religious groups. Many who also identify as followers of large religions for statistical purposes live somewhat detached from traditional practices, and love to explore other belief systems. The inquisitive mind finds that a multitude of spiritual perspectives have contributed to shaping our world. Wanting to acquire more information about faiths different from those we were introduced to is not wrong. Wanting to disperse ignorance if only to better understand the values of those different from us is not a bad thing. New doors of insight and contemplation are opened to those curious enough to venture out of their bubbles and engage in what this era has named Religious Nomadism. The wisdoms those who wander and learn discover, turn into lessons that can be incorporated and reflected in everyday life.


Not a New Thing
Religious Nomadism
or Religion a la carte has the core concepts of humanism as ancestors, and would have truly emerged at the time of the European renaissance. Fresh ideas and conversations formed with the help of newly available religious and foreign texts being printed and floating about. The world seemed bigger and full of new mysteries as the South and North American continents were uncovered. A new interest in antiquity and eastern cultures added a different flair to literature, music, food and even fashions. Extreme religious changes overturned the tides of spiritual power for the western world, making the act of rethinking religious practice and belief a popular trend.
History then repeated itself much later, at the end of the second world war, from the mid 1950s to the coming of the New Age movement of the 1970s. Important denominations began to break away from traditional religious practices and attendance in places of worship dropped. The concept of the self as the only required spiritual authority was introduced, and the movement reopened pathways to ancient religions as well as belief systems foreign to the western world.  A weirdly mismatched yet widely known theology settled, which married neo-pagan, eastern beliefs such as Confucianism and Taoism, aboriginal spiritualties, and even scientific viewpoints.


Exploring the Same World
Religious Nomadism is a subtler and refined incarnation of the historical airs du temps described above. Practitioner may travel freely across the religious landscape and discover new things; the self, our intuition, the natural moral compass within us, becomes the only important spiritual authority. If in our travels we uncover something that resonates within, a story, a symbol, a line of verse, perhaps merely a feeling, or even a divinity, we can add its wisdom to our personal figurative book of beliefs. We let it guide us to who are meant to be, let it be our strength when we need it.

As each person comes to create their own spiritual system, it becomes apparent that the religious concepts we uncover pave a personal way to a common goal that all religious practitioners on earth share.  By accepting that there are limitless levels of religious experience in the world, and that each believer contributes to a greater collective wisdom, the mind, and our social world, opens wide. Conversations can flow freely; the curious accept one another for their views and values as they are. The messages at the core of all spiritual practices, the common denominator that unite us all, becomes clear.


Tread Carefully

Those who incorporate new beliefs from foreign religious systems into their personal faiths must be weary. An intelligent, objective and respectful approach is required to ensure that the concepts we are introduced to are properly researched and delicately interpreted. We must realize that by opening ourselves to the unknown, learning about it and applying its viewpoints into our everyday life, we unconsciously uproot pieces of cultures that are not ours to dissect. We strive to understand different spiritualties for our own personal growth, therefore we become the practitioners of our own system of belief, rather than joining those we have observed. For example, should you be from a judeo-Christian environment, and decide to explore Buddhist perspectives, do not call yourself a Buddhist, but rather see that you are using elements of Buddhism as spiritual inspiration (should you chose to pursue and practice Buddhism committedly, it is a different matter). No matter what and how much we try to learn from genuine sources, what we add to our own corpus of beliefs will always be somewhat converted to western frameworks of thought. We are learning and observing, experimenting, but in no way does implementing bits and pieces of a religious system make us religious authorities for others. Let’s be humble, inquire with reverence. Let’s admire, adopt, but not appropriate.


There are plenty of critics with negative opinions of Religious Nomadism. One of the most obvious detriment to picking and choosing religious concepts to treasure is that it is an individualistic approach. Living your own faith, customized and constructed by no one else but yourself means you will rarely find someone else who maintains the same religious uniqueness as you. The sense of belonging acquired from within a religious group such as a church congregation, according to these critics, becomes lost.

Independence means standing apart, and sometimes swimming against the current, fighting for your right to choose. Why accept, or worse, pretend to accept, pieces of a faith that do not ring true within, for the sake of conforming and acceptance within a group? It is argued that religion a la carte will isolate a believer, but the effect is rather the contrary for genuine adepts of the movement. As mentioned above, religious exploration turns us ultimately to seeing the common patterns between belief systems, breaking down mental walls based on race, nationality or orientation. Religion a la carte opens the channels of communication and creates an environment where differences are celebrated and unique opportunities for education.

Image CC0 Public Domain; Pezibear,