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Hold On to Your Balloons

“Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.” Casey Casum used to say this in the 60’s and 70’ as advice to future singers and performers when playing “America’s top forty” songs on the radio. I still think that’s good advice today. Only this time I’m referring to Spirit Workers and more specifically Tarot Readers.

When we first begin learning to read Tarot cards, we study the books, attempt to learn at least a few words to describe what each of the 78 cards mean. We learn to attach descriptions to the symbology, the numbers, and the images on each card. We want to recognize the importance of the Major Arcana and try to understand the day-to-day meanings of the Minor Arcana cards and flesh out meaningful descriptions of the court cards. I call this building a foundation of skill and knowledge, so that we can do accurate, meaningful and compassionate readings for our clients.

At some point we hear that we want to be able to “throw away the books” and use our intuition to read the cards and to read our clients. I liken this process to holding a hot air or helium balloon in our hands. At first, our balloons are flat. No hot air, no helium, no intuition. As we practice giving Tarot readings to different kinds of folks, who are asking a large variety of questions, we trust more and more in our knowledge and bit by bit in our intuition. We start putting some air in our balloons. And the balloons start to rise – higher and higher – reaching for the stars, reaching for higher levels of perception and awareness, tuning in to our intuition and spiritual guidance.

Learning to trust our intuition can become intoxicating, and if we’re not careful our balloons become untethered – we want to fly higher and higher. Why bother with holding on to the fundamentals, with the book knowledge we spent so much time learning and practicing? It’s more fun to fly higher and higher toward the sun. Sometimes the Sun can melt our wings.

I think the best Tarot readers are those that fill their intuitive balloons with helium that will make them reach high into the sky, while they stay tethered to the ground, the fundamental knowledge below.

At the poker table there is a saying “Let the cards speak.” Which means just because you may announce that you have a full house doesn’t mean you do, unless the cards show that hand. More than once I’ve heard while playing a game of Omaha - “in 5 card Omaha, you can only use two cards from your hand to go with the community cards in the center, not three cards. You only have three of a kind, not a full house.”

In a similar way, Tarot Readers need to “Let the cards speak” – let them tell their story, otherwise why bother using the cards at all? Tarot readers who want to solely rely on their intuition, with no connection to the cards are letting go of their balloons. When that happens, it’s no longer a Tarot reading, it’s a psychic reading or something else.

I think the best Tarot readings are done when we stay connected to the fundamental teachings we have learned, we let the cards tell their story, and we fill our balloons full of helium and hold them tight as we let them soar high into our intuitive skies.

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