Can the tarot help if you are in distress?

The dark Yamraj adorned with gold jewellery sits on a dark buffalo, also draped in gold. This is a card among many in the tarot deck. It is the death tarot. In European symbolism, the same card shows a pale white horse and a yellowed skeleton in black armour.

Kiran Rai in her new book, The Sacred Indian Tarot, has 22 unique hand-painted cards with images taken from the rich pantheon of Indian mythology. The death card does not mean a physical death.  It  signifies “a major change in one’s life”.

The psychologist Carl Gustav Jung introduced the concept of ‘archetypes’, implying that these universal, mythic characters reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over. Tarot reading is very much related to understanding the archetypes.
Having a penchant for it, Kiran Rai does tarot reading for people who come to her for help. Mostly she doesn't charge a fee. “Very rarely I do,” she says.

She has had a long relationship with the tarot. “Even as a child I was intuitive, interested in the supernatural. And I started reading books like the Tibetan Book of the Dead when I was teenager.”

Though Rai has worked in the field of communication for various private agencies and even the government, she left her job to become a freelance tarot reader.

“My tryst with the tarot began around 20 years ago when I had the experience of being introduced to the tarot by a famous psychic and tarot reader. From the very start my experience with the cards has been wonderfully positive, empowering me and helping me connect with the most essential parts of myself.”

But does one go to a reader only when in distress? Rai says people come to her only with questions about their life. When people feel stuck and are unable to tell between right and wrong.

Rai explains that cards don’t always tell the future of the person. “It is more about energies. So whatever the person feels at present, the tarot shows that,” she says. “People pick up the card themselves, I am just a channel. I tell them what their card says about their life right now.”

Rai says people mostly come with her with  relationship problems. “Ninety per cent of the times people come for relationship advice and some even for divorce advice,” she says.
Shruti Ranjeet Bhardwaj believes in the tarot. “I think people have to try it once. Not as a joke but in case of any serious problem and see for themselves.”

Bhardwaj was going through turmoil 10 years ago. When she felt she couldn't get help from God or any other kind of astrologer, she went to a tarot reader.

“It didn’t occur to me suddenly, it’s because I had friends who did it. So I went to them,” she says.

“People don’t always go to tarot readers, it is more about faith. If they visit a reader and they think it works for them, then they place their trust forever,” says Bhardwaj.

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