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My Journey from Sceptic to Believer: Embracing Tarot

  • Gord 
  • 6 min read

“Tarot cards are evil. They’re satanic tools to be avoided at all costs.” This was the mantra ingrained in me during my formative years in the church. But here I am now, a professional tarot reader based in Manchester, UK, sharing how I transitioned from religious trauma and scepticism to finding a new spiritual path. This is my story.

The Church and the Seeds of Doubt

My teenage years and early 20s were dominated by the church. I was deeply involved, taking on leadership roles and studying theology. The church instilled a deep-seated fear of tarot and other spiritual practices, painting them as tools of darkness. This environment fostered an “us versus them” mentality. I remember participating in prayer walks targeting a local mosque as if it were an enemy camp, a force of evil encroaching on our territory.

There was a time when a kid in my youth group was deemed possessed by a demon and subjected to an exorcism. In reality, they were struggling with mental health issues that needed proper care, not demonisation. The church’s teachings on spiritual warfare were not just misguided—they were harmful.

Questioning and Deconstructing My Faith

My journey of deconstruction began in my late teens. Despite being actively involved in church activities, I found the answers provided increasingly unsatisfactory. My studies in theology and church history revealed numerous contradictions and flaws in the beliefs I had accepted without question. This realisation was both liberating and terrifying.

The church’s stance on LGBTQ inclusivity was particularly troubling. I couldn’t reconcile the Bible’s acceptance of slavery with its condemnation of being gay. Meeting LGBTQ individuals and atheists, I realised the church’s teachings were not only wrong but also harmful. This critical engagement with theology allowed me to see the complexities and contradictions within the texts that the church often ignored.

Vision of Ruins and Revelation

One pivotal moment occurred during a retreat with my connect group, a close-knit community of about 40 graduates. As the group’s pastor, I led us on what was supposed to be a time of spiritual renewal. Instead, it became a turning point for me.

One evening, while gathered around a fire in an old house owned by the Colman’s Mustard family, I struggled to connect with God during worship. As my friend played guitar, I had a rare vision. In my mind’s eye, I stood in the ruins of a church, representing the collapse of my faith. Everything I believed had crumbled, leaving me in spiritual desolation.

Yet, amidst the ruins, I felt a profound sense of liberation. The divine presence I sought was not confined to the shattered remnants of my beliefs. This vision echoed a powerful biblical image: when Jesus was crucified, the curtain separating the holy of holies from the rest of the temple was torn, symbolising that the divine was accessible to all. This realisation reassured me that leaving the church was not a rejection of the divine but a step towards a more expansive spiritual journey.

Anselm of Canterbury once said, “God is that than which nothing greater can be conceived.” This quote encapsulated my newfound understanding. The divine transcends our comprehension, and any attempt to fully understand or define it inevitably limits its true nature.

Discovering Tarot

After leaving the church, I spent five years distancing myself from spirituality and moved to Manchester. This was a rebellious phase where I did many things the church had forbidden. I immersed myself in secular causes, working for charities that championed human rights and fed the hungry. While fulfilling, something was still missing.

I explored various spiritual practices—yoga, meditation, and even turning vegan—but none filled the void. Attending a meditation retreat in Valencia, Spain, marked a turning point. Nestled in the mountains, this retreat offered yoga, tai chi, and hikes, but more importantly, introduced me to new practices like ancestral healing, transcendental meditation, and working with a pendulum to connect to my intuition.

The pendulum work was a revelation. It taught me to access answers buried in my subconscious, much like how I had once prayed for divine guidance. Using the pendulum for yes-no answers helped me navigate my life decisions and drew clear parallels with the intuitive practices of my past.

Developing My Tarot Skills

Returning from the retreat, I deepened my meditation practice and regularly used the pendulum. During the pandemic, my friend Emma introduced me to tarot. She offered me a reading, and I was instantly intrigued. When she asked me to read for her, I discovered a natural talent for it.

I began practising tarot readings on anyone willing—friends, Tinder matches, and strangers in cafes. The excitement of seeing my readings resonate with people was exhilarating. I remember being in Amsterdam, where a friend would tell random shopkeepers that I did tarot. Despite their initial scepticism, my readings consistently made sense to them, which was incredibly rewarding.

To solidify my skills, I took a tarot course with Kevin Garcia, which was immensely helpful. I also conducted thousands of readings on TikTok Live, which helped me develop my style and trust my intuition. These experiences reinforced my no-bullshit approach and built my resilience.

From Free Readings to Professional Tarot Reader

My transition from free readings to professional tarot reader began when my sister recommended me to the owner of Transcend Studio. I was invited to read at one of their well-being days, marking my first paid gig. Recognising the value of my work, I established pricing, built a website, and printed business cards.

I co-founded the Manchester Tarot Reading Room, offering drop-in readings every weekend at Transcend Studio. We created a cosy, secluded space that people love, allowing for quick 15-minute sessions or more in-depth readings. The communal aspect and the variety of readers each bring their unique style, making it a rich and diverse experience.

To deepen the experience for my clients, I created Tarot Experiences. These include a reading, a personalised journal with prompts, and a guided meditation. This approach helps clients integrate their readings into their lives, offering them tools to reflect and act on the insights gained.

Conclusion

My journey from sceptic to believer in tarot has been anything but straightforward. Yet, it has brought me a profound sense of connection and purpose. Spirituality is deeply personal, and my goal is to meet people where they are, helping them create their future with clarity and confidence. If you’re curious about tarot or seeking spiritual guidance, I encourage you to explore it with an open mind. Feel free to reach out to me for a reading or to learn more about my journey.

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