Culture and Tarot

In the last two years, it has very much interested me how different cultures both interpret foreseeing aspects of the future and shape questions in a tarot reading.

My first practice was in the Midwestern US. As a general rule there, people do not hang on to every word of tarot, but are open to it and will use it as a part of their decision-making. There, people typically ask about career and specific achievements they want to reach. As is found elsewhere, romantic questions are present.

When reading people from the East Coast of the US, I find a great deal more zeal and belief than I probably do in other places. While the prevailing culture is quite skeptical there, people who do believe often have a story to tell and they will listen very carefully to what is told through tarot for immediate implementation.

The West Coast has a more general following with tarot and other supernatural things. It is more like a humorous “all right, if you say so” but then people are always wanting to go forward with doing it.

Most interestingly, in Asia, specifically South Korea and Japan, people want to know more general “good fortune” type questions. As many of you already know, in December when final examinations take place, in the tarot and fortune-telling districts of Seoul, hundreds of mothers line up to find out if their children will get into the coveted universities. It has been interesting that with the exception of test results, I almost never get asked any other specific questions from here.

In Mexico when I have done tarot, it was a very collaborative, exciting experience. In this culture, people will give you immediate feedback generally, and I can be told instantly if it is right or wrong, whereas Americans in particular will try to make it correct because they want to appease what they think is my desire to only be validated. Perhaps the intensity of emotion in the landscape, culture, and history is what almost moves the cards themselves to find the truth, because when reading here and with this culture remotely, it is like an urgency pushes the truth out… needless to say, I need to go straight to be afterward!

Has anyone had any experience doing tarot in the Indian subcontinent, Australia, or Africa? These regions I have not had contact with in this regard.

John Lett

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One Response to Culture and Tarot

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