Feng Shui and the Tarot
Today we’re interviewing our favorite Tarot reader, Laura Morris! In case you don’t know Laura, she’s the co-founder of Mindful Design Feng Shui School and a Tarot reader located just outside Toronto, Canada.
Anjie: What is the Tarot?
Laura: The Tarot is a form of divination using cards. It is not fortune telling. Instead, like all divination practices, it’s a way to become more aware of what’s going on in your life. There are a lot of different theories about where the Tarot came from and how old it is. The reason I feel so connected to it is because the deck that we are familiar with today originated in the 1400s in Italy, which is my heritage. It wasn’t used for divination back then, although there are some theories that those cards were used by people divining in their own homes. Using the Tarot as a divination tool began in the 1700s in France, and the Waite-Smith deck that is still popular today was created in the early 1900s.
Anjie: How do you define divination?
Laura: Divination is a way to access our own inner knowing. It allows us to tap into deeper wisdom about a situation and bypass the logical, rational mind. You can also think of it as tapping into your intuition or higher self. For me, it’s a way of using symbols and patterns to understand something that is otherwise hard to put into words. As feng shui practitioners, we can look at someone’s home and start to understand things about our clients that they may not have been able to articulate before.
Anjie: We can look at a floor plan and divine what’s happening. This isn’t because we have magical powers, but because we are trained to understand symbols that have meaning based on cultural knowledge.
Laura: Exactly. With both feng shui and the Tarot, you have to learn what the symbols mean, and there’s skill in that. I like patterns and languages that are consistent, and that’s part of what attracted me to both practices.
Anjie: Why do you connect feng shui and the Tarot, and why do you think they go so well together?
Laura: Part of it is what I mentioned earlier, that they’re both systems you can really learn. I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as naturally intuitive, but I’m able to intuit and divine with the tools I’ve been given. My Tarot teacher always says, “I’m just reading the cards,” and that appeals to me. Feng shui is the same — I’m looking at the floor plan and using the frameworks and tools that I’ve learned. There’s also overlap between the two. For example, they both use elemental symbolic language. Feng shui uses the Taoist five element system, and the Tarot comes out of the four elements. They’re not exactly the same, but there are a lot of connections between how we interpret the elements in feng shui and the suits in the Tarot. They’re also both energy practices.
Anjie: How do you use these two practices together? This isn’t something you’ve always done, but I know that you’ve begun to invite in your cultural heritage and weave them together.
Laura: Feng shui was a path to discovering my cultural divination practice, which is really amazing. I’m so happy I studied the Tarot, because it really does weave together beautifully with feng shui. When I’m working with a client, I use both. I used to use the I Ching more, and while I like the I Ching, it never really clicked the way Tarot clicked. I’m also very visual, and I love the artistry of the Waite-Smith deck, which is the deck that I use. I use the Tarot the same way I used the I Ching in the past, by asking a specific question for my client or asking what I need to know going into the consultation. It’s a way of tapping into the energy of my client’s situation and helping me prepare for a consultation. It helps me get out of my own way and dig deeper, and gain more awareness about something I may not have seen at first.
Anjie: I love that. I think our path in life is to bring feng shui up to date so that it’s relevant for people. We live in a diverse world with a lot of different cultures, and we want to honor everyone’s own cultural heritage. Feng shui can provide the skills and foundation, and we always encourage people to respect feng shui from a lineage standpoint, and then we also invite our graduates to honor their own cultural heritage and see what resonates with them personally. I’d love to know — have you had any a-ha moments with the Tarot that you’d like to share?
Laura: I’ve definitely had some pretty big readings. I don’t believe the Tarot is showing you what the future holds or what’s written in stone, but it does give you information you need to become aware of. We have free will and our own wisdom and discernment. I had a reading a while ago where the Tower card came up, which a lot of people think of as the worst card in the deck. I wouldn’t say any card is the worst card, but the Tower can be a challenging one. Generally, the Tower has to do with denial, or something that you were ignoring that now you need to deal with. It also symbolizes something crumbling and needing to be restructured. I asked a question and the Tower came up, and I didn’t think it would be an issue…but lo and behold, there was in fact something that I was ignoring, and things ended up falling apart. But it was also a transition to something better.
Anjie: It sounds like the Tower card highlighted where you were in denial, which showed you how that card really is about denial! And in the process you learned a lot about that card.
Laura: Absolutely. We tell our feng shui students to practice the principles they’re learning, because when you’ve had your own experiences or your clients have had experiences, you really embody those concepts and it becomes much easier to talk about them.
Anjie: Is there a card or a symbol from the Tarot that you’re feeling very connected to at the moment?
Laura: The Hermit is really resonating with me right now. Often he’s seen as someone who is meditating and thinking about something in his own time. I came across a particular interpretation of the Hermit from Waite that I really connected to: “The simple truth is that the divine mysteries secure their own protection from those who are unprepared.” The Hermit is about learning something or gaining wisdom, and you’ll never learn something that you’re not prepared for. We don’t need to know more or become more intuitive than we already are — the wisdom the Hermit embodies is within all of us.