I’ve always found value in the fact that a Tarot card can be read in a number of ways. This reinforces my belief that perspective is reality, and illustrates that every storm cloud can have a silver lining.
When you play with the Tarot cards, you quickly learn the necessity of flexible interpretations. How else are you supposed to go about your day when you turn up a card like Death? Some people don’t agree with flexibility and prefer to stick to rigid systems of correspondences, which is fine, but even the strictest schools of interpretation tend to offer both a positive and a negative meaning for each card.
I see this multi-faceted nature of the cards as a good thing – a comforting thing, really – because it allows me to make the best of what might otherwise strike me as a bad omen. A perceived bad omen can ruin a day, bringing about self-fulfilling prophecies which may never have otherwise occurred had the reading been interpreted differently.
But this begs the question: why have negative meanings at all? If everything can be construed as good, why go to the effort of delineating the bad?
I understand that the world is not a perfect place; there is bad out there, and that’s just the cold hard truth. The cards only reflect this truth. Perhaps a better question would be: how am I supposed to know when to read the cards negatively?
Context is key, I’ve always said. But anyone who touts this claim always fails to explain what it really means – it’s situational by definition, after all, so there is no book out there that will clear it up for you. It’s just not as simple as it sounds, and as I continue to strive for positive interpretations in my readings, I often find myself wondering if I’m just lying to myself so I can sleep at night.
Then again, maybe just admitting the existence of the bad is what really counts, and the constant search for the positive in spite of the negative works as its own form of self-fulfilling prophecy.