Check it Out: Robert Place on Tarot as a Spiritual Path

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about tarot and its many uses, particularly how to sum up my personal approach. As a tarot reader and teacher, I get asked this question a lot. And, as a spiritual seeker, my experience and outlook changes subtly over time.

One of the major shifts has been around the idea of spirituality. As a cynical child from a very secular family, I has an almost allergic response to the term. To me, spirituality meant flighty, irrational, and hopelessly outdated.

As any of you who’ve been following my work likely know, I was living a huge contradiction: My orientation towards the world, at least privately, was deeply spiritual. I saw the world as a living place, practiced free-form rituals as a young child, and even though I’d never admit it, found deep insight in the tarot.

Perhaps because I didn’t grow up in a religious tradition, I was unaware of the natural, human pursuit of spiritual meaning. To have other people to talk to about these questions and experiences would be delightful! But like any isolated and underexposed child, I thought I was completely alone.

So imagine my surprise when I learned more about what spirituality actually is and found I was already doing it, loving it, and finditing it deeply meaningful!

Which brings us to this article I’d like to share. I shouldn’t be surprised that Robert Place would be the person to so perfectly articulate tarot’s connection to spiritual practice. A renowned and wonderfully reliable scholar of tarot and divination, Place distills these ideas expertly in this interview with Buddha Weekly. He touches on the differences between divination and fortune telling (a key point!) and how to use tarot as a spiritual path.

I particularly love this quote:

It is better to ask about relationships with other people or about routine decisions that need to be made. You want the Tarot to tell you things that may be hard to hear, about how you are being self-centered or short sighted. And then you want the Higher Self to show you a better way to behave. As you practice this day-to-day and act on the advice, you are making better decisions and becoming more like your Higher Self. This process becomes a spiritual path.
— Robert Place

Check out the interview here and share your thoughts in the comments below. How do you view tarot’s connection with spiritual practice? What has your personal experience been?