Tarot & Oracle cards can be used as intuitive guides for our emotional & spiritual growth. As objects imbued with sacred knowledge they are made more powerful by the sacred within us. For me, the sacred is made more powerful by our human capacity for empathy, healing, and love, which is why I wanted to share this acknowledgment.
We are privileged in Western mainstream culture today to be able to practice divination and intuitive arts so freely when for many years, people were persecuted & condemned for these practices. In some areas of the world and pockets of society, they still are. Divination & Fortune telling practices date back to 4000BCE and probably earlier. It seems to be part of our human nature to want to know more, but in more recent history the indigenous practices of people all over the globe were suppressed, condemned, vilified, and violently punished by various religious & political institutions.
The Roma & Sinti people of Europe have a long history of fortune-telling for money and have passed on the tradition of cartomancy & chiromancy through the generations. For centuries, women could only earn money through prostitution or fortune-telling, so for some tarot, palmistry, crystal gazing, etc. are not just fun things to play around with but have been tools of liberation from sexual enslavement & surviving horrific poverty. For more information on the ongoing persecution of the Romani people, I recommend starting here.
In our multi-cultural, multi-faceted society we are influenced by so many cultures and we have a unique opportunity to connect with imaginations and traditions from all over the world. We may resonate with tools, beliefs & rituals from a culture that is not our own by blood or land, and there is nothing wrong with that as long as we remember to honour this resonance and express reverence and respect to those who fight/fought oppressive forces to carry their medicines forward. We might ask ourselves, am I using these tools & practices respectfully? Am I expressing ownership over something that does not belong to me?
I also believe that it is important to ground ourselves in the practices of our indigenous ancestors, We are all indigenous to somewhere and all of us descend from earth-based traditions, each with its own unique spirit relating to the land, sea, and sky; with stories of the animals and energies that came before and shaped their world view. What do your ancestors have to teach you?
My Northwestern European ancestors lost their indigenous traditions long ago and it is only with the help of other cultures, ones who have carried their ancient medicines forward, that I am able to reconstruct the spirit of my own.
I am deeply grateful. To the First Nations, ancestors of the land I live on and holders of the sacred earth medicines of the North & West. I am honoured to be on your land and to learn your wisdom. I am thankful for the spirit holding space for me here.
To the ancestors of the East & South for gifting me ways to work with energy and the body through yoga and the chakras, I could not have found my roots without your wisdom.
Before each tarot reading or ritual, I like to say an acknowledgment from the heart out of respect for those who have carried on these traditions & teachings, to understand the inherent meaning of the sacrifices made, the cultural context, and where we stand in relation to it. Acknowledgment connects us with love, empath, and healing to the teachers who come before us and those who follow us, a reminder that we are only part of a larger whole.
Ancestors, we acknowledge you, we send our love and healing to all those who carry the knowledge of the subtle arts, medicines, rituals, secrets & tools, through oppression & persecution, we thank you for your gifts and your sacrifice.
I am also truly grateful to all of the artists, craftsmen, and writers who have taken the time and shared their gifts in crafting all of the beautiful cards & tools we have available to us.