Tarot, an all purpose tool

Hello Traveller,

My tarot walk spans some 30 odd years now, and what a journey it has been. In my prior post I shared how tarot found me. When it did, I knew that it was a magical guide but I had no concept of all the places it would lead me or that it would be  continuing to do so for the rest of my life.

What I once considered a prediction and self help tool has proven to be so much more. Over the years, I’ve found  that tarot can easily be a part of everything I do.

I use it in counseling and consultations to quickly get to the root of my client’s challenges. Once there, I use it to help my client and I come up with the best healing processes as well as the approximate amount of healing time they can expect.

When I’m having difficulty relating to someone, I use the tarot to better understand where they are coming from. I use the cards to probe into their personality type as well as any challenges they may be facing at the time. I only go deep enough to find some common ground and empathy. After all, I don’t want to invade their privacy any more than is necessary.

When it’s time for magick, tarot is by my side serving a number of purposes. Before I cast a spell I use it to find out if there’s any further information I wasn’t aware of about my target. At the same time, I check to find out what the collateral damage will be, in case I’m not willing to pay the cost. Then I use the cards to lay out my intent, work as my focus, and direct the power to where I want it to go.

Sometimes my motivation for writing wanes because I simply don’t feel inspired. In those times, I reach for one of my tarot decks and begin to lay our the cards, sometimes in patterns and sometimes in rows or columns. Once this process begins, it only takes a few moments for a story to form in my mind.

As an urban shaman, I see and communicate with spirits frequently. Most of the time, I understand what they’re revealing to me. However, every now and then, their message is incoherent. Tarot to the rescue once again. It easily bridges the communication gap by acting as a translator.

Astral travel is a necessary part of my purpose. In order to get to and from the places I need to go, I must use portals. Although I can create one from scratch, and often do, I found that each card of the tarot can act as a pre-made door.

This short list is only a sampling of the things I use tarot for. If I listed them all, this post would turn into a series of books. Save it to say, that the only limitations on the tarot and what can be done with it are the ones imposed upon it by the user.

I decided long ago not to set any parameters on its usage. In return, it continues to expand into all areas of my life, always surprising me with a new to me usage. The day tarot found me has proven to be one of the most significant ones in my life.

How I learned to read the tarot

Hello Traveller,

Cards have always held a fascination for me. My father was an excellent poker player, and I’d often watch the cards with awe as he shuffled and dealt them. With the cards, players created combinations that brought gain to one skilled participant and loss for the others that were less proficient. At five, I’d already come to the conclusion that life is like poker, you get what you’re dealt and you have to use your skill to make the best of it.

Before I even knew tarot existed, I’d sit around with a pack of playing cards and attempt to access hidden answers. Sometimes, I’d ask questions ranging from simple to complex. At other times, I would create a meaning for the numbers and attempt to have a conversation with my dog. I didn’t realise at the time that I was developing my intuition and my connection to the spirits.

I went on like this until I was 11. It was them that I purchased my first tarot cards. When I acquired them for 50 cents at a charity shop, I had no idea what they were. All I saw was a deck of cards with interesting medieval pictures that spoke to my soul.

It wasn’t until I got the cards home and had them scattered in front of me that I discovered there was a folded set of instructions at the bottom of the box. It was from these that I learnt that the cards were known as tarot cards as well as how to lay my first Celtic cross. From that moment, I was hooked.

Although my mother had no qualms about me owning a tarot deck, she cautioned me to keep it to myself because many in our small town would fear I was being pulled into the occult. Secretly, with the help of a librarian that was a free thinker, I managed to lay my hands on a number of books that could teach me more about this wonderful divination tool.

What quickly became apparent as I read book after book is that each of the cards has a specific meaning. I was faithful to apply those meanings to my readings, but they seemed a bit wooden. Although I was getting clear and accurate information, it seemed like I could be getting so much more. Combining the nuances of two cards with archaic meanings made interpretation strained. Nonetheless, because I didn’t know what else to do, I carried on.

Years later, after I was married for the first time, I joined the American Tarot Association because I wanted to read for others. Before I was allowed to do this, I was required to serve under a mentor for a number of months. Looking back now, I’m so thankful. It was during this time that I learned that the cards could have multiple meanings and that you only knew the right one for a reading by considering the context and using your intuition.

I continued to read as many tarot books as I could lay my hands on. By that time, much of the stigma that had surrounded tarot was fading and I could find resources in most bookshops. My favourite book was Learning the Tarot by Jone Bunning.

In a nutshell, that is how I first began reading and interpreting the tarot. Now, hundreds of clients later, after reading on every question you could name, I have accumulated over 30 years of experience in using the tarot for divination, consultation and magick. Even so,, I am still learning more all the time. The lessons you can learn through working with the tarot are infinite.

In the last months, I’ve felt the spirits calling me to guide others to find their confidence to become more effective readers, so I partnered with my wife Lyn to put together a comprehensive seven week tarot course. You can find more information and sign up here.

The three categories of spirits

Hello Traveller,

In a perfect world there would only be two kinds of spirits (not positive and negative as they are sometimes erroneously named). However, our selfishness and imbalance takes the spirits from their categories into a third.

In this video I will explain all three categories of spirits and what can be done to restore balance.

Spirit animals- Do you have the right one?

Hello Traveller,

Did you know that many people  unknowingly summon the wrong spirit animal? How can you tell if the spirit animal accompanying you is the one best suited for your needs and evolution?

In this video, i reveal the biggest mistake seekers make when going to meet their spirit animals,  why working with the wrong spirit animal can stunt your evolution and how you can be sure that you have the perfect spirit animal for your current needs.

Spirit hijackers part 3- How to rid yourself of them

Hello Traveller,

Spirit hijackers are simple to get rid of in theory. However, to do what must be done there are a few requirements.

In this video, I explain what the requirements are and how to send them packing. In addition, I explain what shielding is, when to use it and why it works.

Spirit hijackers part 2- How to guard against them

Once a spirit hijacker connects to you, it’s often difficult to get it to leave. So, the best line of defense is to back it off before it has a chance to latch on.

In this video, I share some things that can be done prior to being hijacked. In the third and final video of this series, I will discuss what to do once you’ve been compromised.


Spirit hijackers part one- What are they and what do they want?

Hello Traveller,

Spirit hijackers are dangerous spirits that can greatly impact your life. If you remain ignorant of what they are and what they’re capable of, you could be putting your life at risk.

In this video, I cover all the basics. The sooner you learn about them and their motives the sooner you can take action to protect yourself and force them to leave.

5 ways to anger spirits and make them your adversaries

When choosing to work with any spirit (including the ones residing in others) it is important t;hat you act ethically and respectfully. Failure to do so can have severe and long term consequences. An offended spirit has many options beyond attacking your mind and/or body to exact vengeance. For instance, they can dog your every step and continually derail you at every turn. making it impossible for you to find peace. In addition, they can shred your reputation among  other spirits, making it difficult to another that is willing to trust or aid you.

In this video I share five of the stupidest actions you can take if you want your fellow spirits to help you achieve your ends.

I share these things because I don’t want you to foolishly exile yourself from the goodwill of spirits. After all, You need their aid to learn, grow and evolve.


The top 3 spirits to serve and appease, a wrap up

Hello Traveller,

In the course of this mini series, I explained that the only way to have a fulfilling and happy life is to have a wide net of spirit allies. I went on to show you that this isn’t possible until you connect to, serve, and appease three very important spirits. I then presented you with a video on each, giving you simple steps on how to win their allegiance.

In this final video of this mini series I recap and highlight some of the important information I shared with you in the prior videos and encourage you to start working with spirits now.

The top 3 spirits to serve and appease 3- Your property spirit (genius loci)

Before you reach out to all the various spirits out there, it;s important to appease and serve the three that will have the most impact on both you and your practice: your’s, your house spirit, and your property spirit (commonly referred to as your genius loci).

Having the allegiance of these three spirits will make or break you.

In this video I share how to serve and appease your genius loci. In addition I explain why it’s vital to your sense of security that your house spirit works in tandem with it.

Copyright Paul Thurman - The Urban Shaman

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