The Art and Science of Tarot

By Jodi Schiller

These days I do tarot readings in the Vallarta area to keep myself financially afloat.

First, I recommend learning this skill for anyone with intuitive ability. You can take your cards with you anywhere, you provide value, entertainment, healing, and for me, the best and most surprising part of my job, you find yourself staying connected to the collective human consciousness and staying abreast of where we are as a group entity, as a human “collective mind”.

What do I mean by that?

At the most basic level, humans are humans. We have shared experiences and we have shared responses to these experiences. While it’s true, we often are blind to the experiences of others, especially if we are born into privilege, and blind to how those experiences shape people differently than how our experiences have shaped us, nevertheless, the core experience of living a human life is fairly similar.

Most of us aren’t peeing regularly around trees, looking for the perfect scent, sniffing each other’s behinds to see if we’d be a good fit as friends, tearing off after birds on the off chance we might catch it in our mouths–If there were a Tarot card deck for dogs (as a dog-lover, I often fantasize about reading for dogs), these would be some of the cards from a Dog Tarot deck.  These experiences are all top shared dog life experiences, and I’m presuming, meaningful to them. Of course, I’m not certain, since dogs can’t confirm or deny these important parts of their life to me directly, or explain precisely what they mean to them.

Tarot, then, is a divination system devised as a series of cards that capture through image and meaning, large archetypes derived from common human experiences.

Each card represents one of these archetypes.

There are four different suites in the Tarot deck:

Swords:  representative of battle and focused thoughts

Cups: representative of creativity and open-heartedness

Pentacles: representative of manifesting your vision, planning your life

Wands: representing using and learning tools to facilitate living

In addition to these four suites, there are also cards called the “Grand Arcana”, which are seen generally seen as the greater archetypes, Justice is one, Communication is another, there’s an empress and emperor card, and many more.

A tarot reader doing a reading then is, in a sense, a puzzler.

They put together these three elements:  the cards that get chosen, with the person being read for, with their own connection to spirit and intuition and then, adding them all together, the Tarot reader can devine the challenges facing their client, the past challenges they have faced and how these have shaped them, the trajectories they are currently on, and the better ones they might be on.

Of course this leads to the obvious question, how can it be possible that the cards selected have any relationship to the person who is being read for?

Physics is my answer.

Which might confuse you, because Newtonian physics, which is the physics of the material world that we all live in, does not provide for an explanation that would make this make sense. That said, we now know a lot about another kind of physics, just as real as Newtonian, but functioning in a very, very different way, which is Quantum Physics. Quantum Physics is called the physics of the very small. We have substantial mathematical evidence of its’ existence, and substantial evidence of how it works, though as one quantum physicist put it, describing his work,  “the more we know of quantum physics, the weirder and more incomprehensible it gets”.

Physicists still have very poor understanding of how Quantum and Newtonian interact, yet we know both exist—one we live in, one we observe through scientific experimentation, and math.

Finally, there is a third physics which we know almost nothing about, and don’t yet even have a name.

Roger Penrose, a Nobel-Prize winning scientist at Oxford University, has mathematically proven the existence of this third physics which connects directly to our biological brains. He has written about it in his book, “The Emperor’s New Mind”. For reasons unknown, though not because Mr. Penrose hasn’t provided solid mathematical proof, there has been very little research done yet to understand this third physics.

Why hasn’t there been much research done on this? You got me.

Why aren’t researchers of all kinds jumping over this scientific breakthrough?

Surely this advancement in our understanding could provide essential potential explanations for all kinds human phenomena we don’t yet have full understandings of, mental health or mental illness being just the beginning. I have no explanation for this baffling vacuum of research in this extraordinary relatively new discovery.

Because of this lack, I don’t yet have scientific proof for how Tarot cards work.

I do have a solid hypothesis, extrapolating from our understanding of some of the strangeness of quantum physics, from scientific, social and psychological observations about how groups develop and function, and from my own years of experience, observation and intuition as a Tarot reader and social scientist.

Somehow, when done with the right reader, your cards show up based on who you are and what you need to hear.

How does this connect to the human “collective mind” as mentioned in the beginning of this article?

I’ve been doing readings here in the Vallarta area for the last year, almost every day. Vallarta tourism is a cross-section of humanity from around the globe. There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck. However, the same top four cards get pulled over and over, and in order: Top, 2nd, 3rd, 4th.

My interpretation?

Judging by the significance of these four cards, and their integral relationship to current global events, these cards represent powerful struggles and concerns that are on the minds of humanity around the world.

What are these four cards?

OOPS!…Out of word count…

Book a reading with me and see if one of them comes up in your reading.


By Jodi Schiller