Initiation, Surrender. Tarot. An homage.

By Sarah Taylor

This is my petite-homage to a “tangible mystery” that has played a huge role in shaping my life. It is my offering of thanks.

Only now that I have been working with tarot for just over 10 years have I started to look back to see the road I’ve walked with it more clearly, with a greater understanding of some of the twists and turns it has taken.

Intuition from the triptych Deconstruction by <a href="" target="_blank">Charlie Lemay</a>.

Intuition from the triptych Deconstruction by Charlie Lemay.

It started in 2005, with my sister — a woman with whom I have a spiritual symbiosis; we are co-initiatrixes to each other.

I was sitting at her apartment, my marriage falling apart. I was feeling strangely high; it was a feeling that lasted a pretty long time. But I remember being worried that day. Preoccupied. With deceptive nonchalance, she walked past me and handed me an Angel Card deck by Doreen Virtue.

“Maybe you want to pick one of these.”

A mix of cynical and curious, I did. I pulled Daniel. His message: “I am the Angel of Marriage, and I am assisting you right now.”

Initiation #1.

My adventure deepened when, not long after, my sister told me about a weekend workshop on tarot that was being held by a tarot-reading analyst at the local Jung Institute. I went, pulled in further by a sense of something that felt right. A calling. By the end of the workshop, I had my first deck — the Mayan Tarot by Peter Balin — and a teaching that underpins my own teaching today:

“Anyone can read tarot. You don’t need to learn anything; you simply need to jump in.”

Initiation #2.

So that’s what I did — first reading for myself, then reading for family. Then, two years later, reading for my first paying client.

Since then, tarot has led me through a series of initiations, sometimes with clear instructions, other times asking for blind faith in the face of my own and others’ doubts. Sometimes the quests have been short — I consider each reading, article and teaching a quest. Other times, they have been longer, particularly when I have watched a reading I have done for myself unfold over a period of months, if not years — the cards only making sense when I finally gained the perspective of time.

Still other quests are ongoing, their outcome unknown. I have projects that are nascent and which rely on my intuition alone; there is no documented evidence of the route they are taking me on. My steps have their own rhythm. There is no big plan, no map that I’m aware of. That I am aware of: I trust there is a deeper awareness that does not require my knowing in that way.

This rhythm is perhaps the greatest discovery I have made of all. To the mathematical mind, it can feel ridiculous. To the poetic and metaphorical mind, it is manna. It is sustenance from the divine.

This journey, this quest, has been one of incremental surrender through initiation. In the ancient Sumerian myth, Inanna descended to her dark sister, Ereshkigal, disrobing on her way down. She was sacrificed by Ereshkigal, hung on a hook, resurrected, humbled by the meeting of what she had left behind.

Like the myth, my quest is an ongoing process. And underneath, when I listen for it and hear it right, that beautiful rhythm. That poetry that flows. And when I allow myself to be blessed, I step into its current and I know — I know for sure — what I do isn’t personal to me at all.

“Anyone can read tarot. You don’t need to learn anything; you simply need to jump in.”

Initiate yourself.

* * * * * * *

You belong to the night.
You have blood on your thighs
and fuhrze in your hair.
You smell of loamy fertile soil.
Your breasts give life,
Your sex is a mystery school
leading to the holy of holies.

Turn your eyes inward,
use owls vision to see where you come from.
Slip beneath the surface,
and feel yourself become full.

Make a marriage to the moon.

Divorce the false gods of intellect and reason.
Find meaning in your dreams
and in the secrets of your body.

Follow no authority —
but your own true nature.

Make a sacred fire
and throw on it all that you would use to harm yourself.
Make kindling from shame.

Let your dance be wild,
your voice be honest
and your heart untame.

Be cyclical,
don’t make sense..

Initiate yourself.
Initiate yourself.

~ “Dear Woman” by Aisha Wolfe

Sarah Taylor is a practical tarot witch with a no-bullshit, compassionate approach to helping people discover and love themselves through tarot. She is as interested in the role that the unconscious plays in tarot as she is in what’s happening on the surface. She’s also a somatic sex educator, and knows and lives the understanding that our bodies are the most powerful intuitive tuning-forks we have, and that tarot is as much a visceral experience as an energetic one. You can find Sarah at her website,, and on Facebook.

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