30 Days of Tarot — Day 19: Do you feel/think the cards “think” or have their own consciousness? What do you believe makes the cards “tick?” (Is it magic/outside influences or all in the mind?)
Despite all my rants about the cards trolling me and expressing sharp edges of sarcasm, the cards do not have an inherent consciousness.
If they did, I would not be able to pick up a hitherto unknown deck and immediately be able to read accurately with it as the excess ink smears off in my hands. The cards are a tool that require skill on the part of the reader to use properly. It would be equivalent to me picking up a surgeon’s scalpel and suddenly be empowered to perform accurate restorative surgeries because the scalpel knows what to cut.
What makes the cards work, in my opinion, is synchronicity. The message is obtained through the filters of the reader’s understanding of the cards, the reader’s biases, the Querent’s expectations, the Querent’s skepticism, and how well the reader can be objective about all the above.
Magic can alter the message. Missing or extraneous cards can alter the message. The mental tricks we play on ourselves can emphasize the wrong portion of the message or create a message where there is none. Belief can make us more likely to listen to the message or more likely to dismiss it.
The cards work in the same way as you seeing the keys hanging on the wrong hook beside the door before walking outside prompts you to check the stove one last time and you find the oven is still on. The keys had nothing to do with the stove. But a connection was made in your mind at that moment. You listened, and disaster was avoided.
The cards are made to reflect that kind of synchronicity and so have a spooky aura to them when they work regardless of personal belief. But at the end of the day, they are just paper and ink (and sometimes plastic). They are not connected to anything mystical or spiritual. They were not printed from supernatural folds of the universe. They hold no intelligence to be bribed, cajoled, or forced into compliance. They just are.