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Ecstatic Tarot

By Literata

I think Tarot is often an ecstatic experience, but not in the way we usually think about ecstasy. Most people, even most devoted Tarot readers, wouldn’t describe Tarot as necessarily a joyful experience. A lot of people who only get an occasional reading would argue quite the opposite: they get a reading when there’s something particularly difficult going on in their lives, not when they’re happy about things. But the Greek root of the word, ekstasis, doesn’t mean pleasure or joy. It means “to stand beside or outside of oneself,” something which is both simpler and more profound than happiness.

In this sense, Tarot is ecstatic, because as a means for self-reflection, it helps us stand outside of ourselves. Sometimes we do that alone, and the process of standing outside ourselves as we interpret the cards is fairly clear. Sometimes we use the help of a guide or reader; in my style of reading, I’m still trying to create opportunities for self-reflection, as well as potentially providing an outside point of view.

It’s no accident that position eight in the Celtic Cross spread, representing that outside view, can be one of the hardest to interpret. It’s inherently challenging for us to get away from our own point of view. That’s precisely what positions seven through nine of the Celtic Cross spread are all about, though, which is where that spread gives us the opportunity for an ecstatic experience, to take up a position outside ourselves and our usual point of view.

Read the original article at: Works of Literata

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