Dr Adrian Vaughan Hillman
Truths - Part 2
Truths - Part 3
Now the Tarot
is everywhere. You see advertisements for readings in every magazine
and newspaper. Larger bookshops and every New Age shop will have a rack
of guide books and a choice of maybe 20 different packs of cards for
you to learn to read Tarot yourself. Tarot has certainly become big
business and an ancient icon of the early 21st Century.
But do you know
how the Tarot works and how it can be a help to you? What is the best
way to go about a reading or if you are interested in learning to use
the Tarot yourself, where do you start?
The first time that
I glimpsed the Tarot Cards was in a Bond film, Dr No. The beautiful
seer was using them. In a typical Bond story line, he seduces her using
a fixed Rider Waite tarot
deck, in which every card is The
Lovers, the card six of the Major Arcana. You have to remember
that back then this film was a state of the art action adventure, featuring
the very latest in special effects and stunts. It was very serious stuff,
rather than the black and white comedy that time has turned it into.
The Tarot is far
more than a toy or a party game. It is more even than a method of divination
of the past, present and future. The key to understanding the Tarot
is that it is an expression of the language of the Universe, including
the language of our own minds. The language of a computer is binary;
it only has two letters, on and off. Our language is in base 36, in
that we have 26 letters and 10 numbers by which we can express everything
and communicate. The language of the mind and of the Universe is base
78 and each card represents a character in that Universal language.
Instead of having letters and numbers as subgroups in this language,
40 of the characters represent states or conditions of being, 16 characters
represent people and 22 characters represent the paths or the changes
in life. All of life can be expressed in terms of these 78 characters.
The beauty of Tarot
of a language is that it is structured. The characters resemble numbers
rather than letters in that they relate to one another, albeit in a
rather complex fashion. The best metaphor that I can find is that the
Tarot expresses existence as a three dimensional chess board with 40
spheres to represent squares. There are 16 different types of chess
piece and these pieces appear whenever your game overlaps another person's
game. The 22 different ways to move are essentially the highly complex
rules of the game.
Just to make the game more challenging, our conscious minds play the
game blindfolded without knowing where or even what the spheres are.
Of course, nobody tells the conscious mind what the rules are and we
have to work those out all by ourselves as we stumble towards our unknown
objective. The language of the cards even gives us clues about that
most elusive of all questions, 'what are we doing here?'
The History of
So where does all
of this ancient wisdom come from? The earliest copies of the cards themselves
are dated back to fourteenth century France, probably protected from
the rampages of the Catholic Church by the fact that there is a card
game in France which is played to this day with Tarot Cards. This game
is similar to other card games that involve tricks and trumps. The Tarot
is surprisingly similar to a normal pack of cards in that there are
4 suits which run from Ace to Ten. This gives the 40 'state' cards.
Each suit also has court cards associated with it, although a Page is
added to the familiar Jack (called a Knight), Queen and King. These
cards, known as the Minor Arcana are traditionally as plain as the faces
of the playing cards that we see today. The rest of the cards that denote
paths, known as the Major Arcana, always contain dramatic symbolic figures
on them and so these had to be lost to avoid persecution for witchcraft
in the Middle Ages in Europe. We cannot be 100% sure that the Tarot
existed before this time but we can say with a high degree of certainty
that the Church did not keep the 'tools of witchcraft' in public museums.
Roman has the reputation of being highly skilled at annihilating their
philosophical enemies from history.
Whether or not the
cards existed before then, the texts that they represent did exist before
that time. They are the esoteric texts of the Jews. Whilst the ordinary
Hebrew populace went about their lives feeding themselves, having children
and defending themselves, a small minority of mystic scholars would
spend half their lives in mediation and the other half teaching, performing
weddings and circumcisions and checking for other public health issues.
The ordinary people did not need to know the complicated things about
God. They needed to make God's Chosen People survive and prosper.
Moses had given
them the first five books of the Old Testament as a set of laws and
a symbolic creation myth. Remember that at the beginning of his leadership
of the Jewish Nation, he had been willing to set down the magic of God
onto stone tablets. He returned to find them worshipping a golden calf,
smashed the truth because it was too powerful to be entrusted to a group
of uneducated ex-slaves and went back up the mountain to write a simple
version, the Ten Commandments. With this, Moses set the standard for
the two tier Jewish society, in which the majority of the people know
enough to be morally correct and have time to do productive things for
This allowed the
small number of Rabbis to be supported in their research into rediscovering
the magic of Moses. What is hallowed as their most powerful study is
a book called the Kabbalah, a book so powerful that it was written in
a numerical code to stop the uninitiated from understanding its contents,
or more worryingly, their enemies using it against them. The Kabbalah
includes the pictures and explanations of the Tree of Life, which represents
the mechanism of Creation and the remaining structure of the Universe
at all levels.
This is documented
as a 12th Century book of Hebrew mysticism but it may well date back
as far as Moses. Moses happened to be brought up as an Egyptian prince
in a society the believed in the magic of numbers. If the records of
the Old Testament are correct, it is easy to assume that Moses learned
the magical 78 charactered language in Ancient Egypt. One intermediate
link along the way of this tradition is the Seal of Solomon, which was
then simplified into the Star of David, the traditional symbol of Judaism.
The original is a very strong Kabbalistic symbol, suggesting that Solomon
managed to piece together the meanings of the broken tablets of stone
which were probably kept in or with the Ark of the Covenant in the first
Temple of Jerusalem.
The Tarot is taken directly from the Tree of Life, with its four levels
each containing ten spheres and twenty two paths between the spheres.
That is its pedigree and heritage. Certainly there is little doubt in
my mind that the tradition behind the Tarot existed long before Christ.
With this heritage, the Tarot should be treated with the same degree
of respect as other ancient beliefs that have passed the test of millennia,
like Acupuncture and the use of the Chakra system for diagnosis and
The heritage of
the Tarot also shows that it is not evil in terms of a Christian God,
since that is the God that gave this language to the Jews. It is only
that the Christian Churches have in the past seen themselves as the
only link that an ordinary person has with God. The Tarot challenged
this, their only source of power and domination of society during the
Middle Ages. The Tarot is a means by which an individual can reach God,
since it is the essence of God's own Universal language.
I started using
the Tarot when I was a completely rational person. You do not have to
leave your rationality behind to use the Tarot or to benefit from a
Tarot reading. Magic is only what science cannot explain or replicate.
Show your laptop to a person from the Middle Ages and they would have
you toasting nicely on a stake before you could explain that silicon
chips are really bits of organized sand and a bit of electrickery.
Remember, the Tarot
is the language of your mind. Your conscious mind works with words.
Certainly that part of the mind that is constantly talking you in words.
Some people call this voice the Internal Dialogue. It tells you lots
of things about yourself and a few of them are good, like your hopes
and objectives. Most of these whisperings in your mind are very limiting
though, reminding you of your fears and assumed limitations, or telling
you what society, your parents or your peers expect of you. This Inner
Dialogue natters away to you constantly, continuously fogging your clarity
of thought. What if you are able to access that clarity of thought?
Through our lives
we face highly complex decisions that involve so many factors all at
the same time. People end up in bad relationships and marriages when
blinded by a partner's obvious benefits, good sex, lots of money, all
my girlfriends like him because he is so good at talking to them and
they are really jealous that I have such a charming man, I must get
married and she is the best I will ever get
Most of these blind
suggestions come from your Inner Dialogue. If you were able to listen
to your whole mind, you would be able to get a balanced view before
making your life changing decisions.
We ask a lot of
our minds. We take in a lot of information that bypasses our conscious
mind. There is a saying to trust your first impressions of people because
words and actions are easy to fake. It is easy to make a person like
you with words but it is far more difficult to falsify your body language.
Most people's conscious minds hardly notice the deeper signs of insincerity.
Would you like to access the deeper parts of your mind that do know
Put simply, the
Tarot can allow you to reach the parts of your mind that know better.
You will normally
see this referred to as a part of the subconscious by psychologists
as a part of a catch all that includes our automatic responses to stress,
hunger and sex and the part of our mind that still thinks that it lives
in a cave. I prefer to call the part of the mind that is cleverer than
our everyday consciousness the super-conscious.
By far the most
common reason that I use the Tarot for people is so that I can break
through their psychological barriers. I use it to clarify the past and
present. The typical example of a reading is 'should I stay in this
relationship?' It is possibly the most common question that a Tarot
reader will hear. This is not about the future but about clarity of
thought. Two cards represent more than anything how a person really
feels about their partner, the one that represents their hopes and the
one that represent their fears. If they hope for arguments and fear
happiness and stability, then they want the relationship to break up.
Then you look at their past cards and see if they have issues from previous
relationships that they need to clear up before they can have a good
relationship with anybody. The people that are in a good relationship
fall into two categories. The first is those that have problems coming
from that do not really relate to their partner, like previous bad experience
or a mother that does not like their partner. The reason for the person's
doubts will be elucidated and they can be reassured. The last group
of people is those that are happy in their relationship and know it,
but they think that a Tarot reading would be a bit of fun and they cannot
think of anything else safe to ask about. To an extent they are testing
the Tarot reader, since they already know the answer.
Testing the Tarot
Testing is a good
thing sometimes. At medical school I was taught to analyse and test
everything. I am not quite sure that they expected me to set up my own
Tarot experiment but that is exactly what I did. I offered Tarot readings
to 20 complete strangers. Usually you would get a person to tell you
which question that they wanted to be answered, at least the general
area. As you go through the reading you discuss each finding with them
card by card. That is exactly what I did not do. I did the reading and
the interpretation completely blind.
In all of the readings
I was able to tell the person the question that they were asking and
about their past and present situation.
That proved two
things to me. The first thing that is fundamental to the validity of
the Tarot is that it is possible for my super-conscious mind to shuffle
the cards into an appropriate order for them to produce a significant
reading. The second thing that this experiment proved to me was that
my super-conscious could know things about another person that my conscious
mind did not register.
Is it really possible
to shuffle cards into order? According to stage 'magicians' who do card
tricks, the answer is yes. The first skill that your conscious mind
needs to perfect is to know how to split a pack consistently, so that
you know the exact number of cards in a pile. This is well within the
realms of discrimination of the human eye and the motor skills required
to achieve this are attainable too. The more difficult skill that needs
to be acquired by the conscious mind is memorizing the position of all
of the cards in the pack with each shuffle. Again this is done by stage
'magicians' and also card sharks. Casinos have worked out that it is
too easy to remember a 52 card pack and so they usually run on either
a four or even six pack decks to stop people from 'counting cards'.
Many casinos have lists of people that they have banned for being more
So it is possible
to train the conscious mind to shuffle cards into order with lots of
training and the chance to shuffle them very slowly. My results suggest
that it is possible for us to do this in the super-conscious without
any training. Basically, if you give the super-conscious an alphabet
in its own language it can make a complex sentence of the characters.
Using this rationality as an unusual basis for my Tarot practices has
forced me into a ritual that I have never seen in other Tarot readers.
I look through the cards before I start doing a reading to see what
order they are in. That way I give my super-conscious a fair chance
at working. I am sure that this highly intelligent part of my brain
can quite easily remember the order of the cards the last time that
I used them but it does not hurt to give it a bit of a hand. Maybe this
is why many Tarot readers do not let other people touch or shuffle their
cards. It is allegedly unlucky to do so but I suspect that it is simply
a matter of somebody else moving the cards about so that you cannot
find the right ones any more. Until you do recheck the order of the
The implications of the fact that I was able to do this with other people's
thoughts, was more far reaching. I was shuffling the cards effectively
using their thoughts to decide which order to place the cards in the
correct order for them. It is relatively easy to rationalize doing this
for yourself but not for other people. If you are doing a reading for
a close friend then it could be that you are guessing the question and
then showing your opinion of their situation. These were not friends,
they were complete strangers. The explanation that I could notice from
their body language that they were (in one case) going to be getting
married in two weeks time and were wanting to know if the ceremony and
reception would go without any hitches seems a little far fetched.
Obviously the super-conscious
is picking up far more clues than body language and intonation of voice.
Even if you add an aura to the information that those will give you,
I have never heard anybody claim that they could give you the level
of information that I was getting. There are two possibilities that
have been proven beyond reasonable doubt as latent human abilities,
telepathy and object reading.
Yes, the existence
of people that are telepathic has been proven. There are a small minority
of people that are able to consistently score over 80% with those cards
with circles and squares and squiggly patterns on them. You do not hear
much about these results because scientists want to forget about their
implications and the researchers who used to do the experiments have
such good evidence that they have moved onto other areas of research
now that the existence of telepaths has been proven. The same is true
of object reading being statistically proven under laboratory conditions.
Object reading is the ability to know the history of the owner of an
item, simply by touching it.
Knowing these two
possible mechanisms, I gave myself the best chance by continuously being
in physical contact with the recipient of the reading. Generally we
would both sit cross legged on the floor and my left knee would be in
contact with their right knee. It seems to work and to make sense that
the person doing and the person receiving the reading should be in physical
contact to allow the best possible connection between them and I would
usually do that in my readings.
It is only habit
and my personal ritual that I continue to do this as my preferred method
of Tarot reading. I also do reading from a distance for people that
I know and the accuracy of the results is still reproducible. In some
ways it is the memory of what they feel like that I conjure as I am
preparing to consult the cards.
To fully believe
in Tarot reading at a distance you have to have a total belief in the
Collective Unconsciousness, as described by Carl Jung, one of the two
founders of modern day psychology. The concepts of the Collective Unconsciousness
are that we are all linked together, where ever we are. He may have
been one of the founders of modern psychology but psychologists prefer
to view this concept as a spiritual belief of his, rather than a psychological
fact. At the moment the right side of my mind, the artistic and intuitive
side that I am developing more and more, knows that we are all joined
and that the Tarot is a method of tapping into this. At the same time
the left side of my brain, the side that is rational and was trained
as a mathematician and doctor, refuses to believe in something that
would directly assault its limited view of reality and sanity.
Tarot readings from
a distance are perfectly possible if we accept telepathy as a latent
ability that we are unable to tap into. Or rather, the Tarot is a means
to tap into our latent telepathy. In fact it is not strictly telepathy
that is being used. The transmission of emotion is better called Empathy.
We all know from experience that it is easier to pick up on another
person's emotions than their thoughts. We all recognize when our friends
have a 'black cloud over their head' or when a person is 'full of the
joys of spring'. Transmission of emotion is something that happens very
easily. We can feel another person's intent, their gaze. Look around
at people with complete disinterest and nobody with notice. Focus on
them with anger, lust or love and the person will lock eyes with you.
Are You Empathic?
Most people have
tried the game where you guess what the other person is drawing but
try this. Select six emotionally charged words, for instance beauty,
kindness, lust, violence, excitement and depression. Number the words
from one to six so that you can use a dice to randomly decide which
one of the six will be used.
Turn your back to
the person that you are playing the game with. It is up to you if you
are in physical contact with them, sitting back to back, or if you are
a little distance away from one another. The closeness dictates the
strength of the link between you. If you are touching, you are sharing
at every level, effectively using object reading. If you are about a
metre apart, you will be able to share emotions through your auras.
If you are over two metres apart, or in different rooms, then your connection
will be purely through the Collective Unconsciousness.
The person giving
out the signal should concentrate on one of the words that has been
randomly selected, with the help of drawing a picture that represents
that word to them, or writing a few lines on it. They could even think
of a piece of music that typifies that emotion to them. The important
thing is that they must feel the emotion of that word. The other person,
the recipient of the emotion must relax, clear their mind and send their
concentration to their partner in the game.
Take a break to
clear your mind of that emotion and repeat this game ten times as the
sender and ten times as the recipient. Add up your scores for each of
you. At a standard level of medical proof, the pair of you have a psychic
link if you can both score 3/10 or more. This is the level of proof
that the medical profession will take for an operation to be beneficial
or to start you on life long drugs and tell you to put up with the side
These are just faked
emotions. To perform the test perfectly, you need to learn to fully
immerse yourself as the sender in the emotion that you are trying to
feel and to completely relax and empty you mind as the recipient of
the emotion. It is possible to train for this, feeling one another's
emotions without words. Learning to meditate helps with the act of clearing
the mind and of focusing it.
Our true emotions
are stronger but more complex. It is the complexity of our emotions
that make them very difficult to test scientifically. In terms of the
Tarot, its significance is that it is the most sensible way to express
somebody else's complex emotions, simply because it is the language
in which they are being felt.
Truths - Part 2
Truths - Part 3
- Dr Adrian Vaughan Hillman
a British General Medical Practitioner with a special interest
in Chronic Pain and responsibilities for managing the Mental Health
Services for the local population of 110 000 people, I changed
track. I am presently travelling the world with a view to setting
up a practice in a country where I am able to use all of my skills
As well as
having Medical Qualifications, I am also a Behavioural Sciences
graduate and used my position in Mental Health to learn as much
about the psychological therapies as possible and then applied
these to my practice. I am also formally qualified in Reiki and
Kwan Yin Magnified Healing. In addition to this I use Tarot and
Auras for diagnosis where appropriate and Acupuncture Meridians
and crystals as further tools.
out more about a personal Reading by experienced
Further Tarot References
General Tarot Information
Tarot Truths - part 1 - Hark.net.au