As a Tarot reader & shaman I thought I was open minded about intuitive information, and the stranger side of life.
Yet when the shaman healer course started exploring family constellation work I found myself seriously challenged.
As always, due to the emotional intimacy of the course I am only sharing my experiences, I chose Grandmother for the title as the majority of the students chose to meet a dead Grandparent.
So, we are split into pairs, shaman & client.
The client tells the shaman which relative they want the shaman to represent, and the exercise continues in silence. Two people interacting without words, one representing the relative of the clients choice.
I was shaman first, and I admit I spent a moment thinking "Really, how strange". And then I felt an impulsive desire to rush to my client and hug her, and a deep sense of golden bliss.
I looked around and all the other partners were emotionally engaging too. Hugs, tears, hands held. How strange. I did wonder whether this said more about the group's soulful connection (because there is a lot of loving support between us) than about the family constellation work, after all how can some-one know something about a complete stranger (and often long dead complete stranger) just through intent?
And yet using the tarot I often read to represent relatives, including past generations, tracing a problem back to childhood so the client can understand & process shadow work. The difference being, I expect Tarot to give me answers, I don't expect to just stand with intent & know stuff.
When it was my turn to be the client I asked my shaman to represent my biological Dad. We took our places in silence and the emotion was utterly different. She disengaged with me, I disengaged with her. I felt no compulsion to reach out and hug her, or connect in any way. In time we stood back to back, and then shoulder to shoulder.
Somehow my shaman had perfectly represented my fathers total lack of connection with me, and I felt validated through sharing this experience.
In the discussion afterwards it seemed every member of the group felt their shaman had represented their relative in a way that was helpful, and true (to the best of their knowledge)
But I slowly made the connection, about how I use tarot for this exact same purpose, and the information comes just as clearly.
I usually lay three cards to represent the client in the center. Then one card to represent each family member, and another card next to each family member to represent the relationship. (I may use more cards, it depends on the numbers involved)
And I get very accurate results for this rather strange Tarot reading. It can often help a client trace a self limiting belief back to source, and yes I have often done this reading going back through several generations- tracking a family belief system (perhaps to do with work or money) and helping the client to see how it is now limiting their life.
The only difference is I have come to trust Tarot to deliver trustworthy results, and I had not experienced family constellation work so I was naturally a little skeptical (I would like to point out, I am not training to offer constellations work, it was a part of our learning experience as students)
It has certainly taught be three very valuable lessons;
To be open minded of other therapeutic systems, they are often just as insightful as those I am used to.
To appreciate people that use other therapeutic systems may be unaware of the effectiveness of Tarot & shamanism.
To develop these "blended readings" where I use Tarot as a tool to access my skill as shaman.
SO how the on earth did we manage to connect with the energy of these relatives, and what has that got to do with Tarot?
I believe when I read Tarot, or work with someone on a shamanic level, I am gaining information from a source other than the physical world.
Whether you call this psychic ability, the akashic records, info-realm, morphic field, "knowing", connecting with spirit guides, or our collective unconscious. It doesn't really matter.
The term I love best is "Spooky action at a distance" A term used by Albert Einstein to describe how objects appeared to have a connection at a distance, even though it was seemingly impossible according to the known laws of physics at the time.
The idea that we can "know" something, even though there is no logical explanation is there, in quantum physics, in culture, mythology, history.
And if you want to explore this spooky side to life a little deeper, have an explore of the 100th monkey story. I have only just come across it and love the idea.
So I learnt at the weekend, the world is an even odder place than I thought, and I thought it was pretty odd. Now I am going to really contemplate how to blend my shaman skills into a serious of tarot readings. And I am really looking forward to that.