Tarot and I-Ching for Relationships
by John Gray
Ancient divination systems like Tarot cards and the Chinese I-Ching are becoming more and more popular, at the same time that their psychological usefulness is being recognized. For thousands of years these classical systems have been used to help humanity make better decisions around questions and issues that logic alone cannot handle—like most relationship issues. Now modern psychology is explaining how and why they work. The father of depth psychology, Carl Jung, studied classical oracles for over 30 years. He used the term “archetypes” to describe internal energy sources available to every human being from the “collective unconscious.” Each one of the 78 cards of a Tarot deck, each one of the 64 hexagrams of the I-Ching, is such an archetype. In this sense, Tarot cards can be looked at as symbolic flash cards for one’s inner life, because each of the 78 archetypes represented are within each and every human being.
This makes sense, because relationship questions often do not lend themselves to strictly logical analysis. A well-informed intuition is an important relationship skill. Counselors and coaches rely on this. Tarot and the I-Ching are tools we all can use.
Unfortunately, we are usually taught to push logic beyond its limits when confronted with personal issues. Too often that push takes us down some path of rigid expectations of how things “should be.”
The alternative is to take time to reflect, and to gain perspective. But how do we step outside the “rational” realm to activate intuition and gain perspective? Meditation is good. I have used classical divination tools, including the Tarot and the I-Ching, which are forms of meditation when understood rightly, for over twenty years to do just that.
Tarot as a Creative Relationship Tool
I don’t rely on Tarot cards to tell me what to do, but I have found that they help one think outside the box, to view situations and relationships with more creativity and wisdom.
The simple act of using Tarot cards (whether physically or via the tarot.com website) can be liberating. The very act of turning to such a tool to stimulate insights and activate intuition gives you a bit of distance from whatever might be on your mind. The exercise also gives rise to curiosity and anticipation—you are about to engage the power of your intuition! For many people, to do so consciously is a somewhat new and satisfying experience. As Jung said, “Intuition does not denote something contrary to reason, but something outside the province of reason.”
How Tarot Works
The spread, or layout of the cards, represents a situation or relationship in the present moment. (True Tarot or I-Ching is NOT fortune-telling!) A Tarot reader, or someone using Tarot.com to give themselves a reading, will interpret the cards based on the classical meaning of each card and the particular slant derived from its position in the spread.
Once the cards are in place, we are able to see the archetypes which came up for us in context, which stimulates our natural intuitive abilities to look more deeply into the situation. We can identify discrete forces and understand better how we are reacting to them. Tarot provides a way to look at relationships and situations in a global, more objective way—in the NOW—not as chaotic forces that may someday make sense. With the
Tarot, one can use symbolism to paint any number of “possible pictures” thinking outside the box of normal, more self-limiting modes of thinking.
Use Authentic Tarot, Like Tarot.com
There are two keys to getting the most out of the Tarot, 1) timely access to the deep wisdom, and 2) enlightened interpretations of each card and its positional meaning.
The Tarot.com website provides convenient access to a deep and helpful experience. The fact that one can pick one’s own cards and access profound interpretations without needing the help of a “psychic friend” is empowering. I recommend Tarot.com to anyone who wants to bring new creativity and wisdom to their relationships and their daily life.
John Gray writes about relationships and personal growth and is best known as the author of several books offering relationship advice. The most prominent of these is the 1992 book, Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus..