It seems to be understood that if there is the possibility for misconception that it is inevitably going to occur.  Whether it be concerning black cats, Sunday travels, colors, mirrors, graveyards, or the number 13 – people will believe what they wish to believe and really, what harm is there in that?

Many of these beliefs, superstitions, and mystical tales capture my attention and have for many years.  I find them interesting, amusing, and occasionally surprising with uncanny coincidence but it does not mean that I believe in them with every ounce of my being.  One such past time of mine of potential questionable conjecture is reading tarot cards.  Of my three decks I only truly use one and despite having owned them for a few years now I simply have not put the appropriate time into it.  To make a long story short (too late!) I have begun learning to read the cards again and truly memorizing the meanings and possibilities. Before I leave home in the morning I have started drawing one card of which to think on throughout the day…

Today I drew Death.

There are probably three reactions I would get by telling this to someone.  The first would be one of disinterest: who cares? It’s just a card…that’s nice, move on with life.  The second would be one of fear: you or someone is going to die! You had best be wary and sleep with both eyes open. The third would be one of knowing: cards are drawn by chance and can be rationalized through probability.  Perhaps I drew this card today for a reason or perhaps it was all just a matter of luck; but either way the card has its own meaning that certainly does not only point towards certain and unavoidable death.

As the unlucky thirteenth card of the major arcana, Death is well known and well feared…for no good reason.  This is not to say that it cannot be a sign that death is near, however its true meaning is one of a permanent change to come; the end of one thing for the creation of another.

From what I have seen and heard, misinterpreted card meanings are not the only assumptions made. Despite the popular belief that tarot cards are the work of the devil, there is actually nothing to back up this claim.  Tarot cards have been around since 15th century Europe used as both popular playing cards as well as a means of entertaining the nobility through use of divination. During the inquisition it was documented in considerable detail on what the church found as evidence of heresy and nowhere are tarot cards included.  The well known playing card suits of hearts, spades, diamonds, and clubs are at times interchanged in some European decks to include those of coins, swords, wands, and pentacles; the very same symbols found throughout many tarot decks.

Tarot cards cannot predict the future nor can they mend the past. The cards can be used to open your mind to things you may normally keep closed off from, to see an objective view of a problem, or simply evaluate situations or occurrences within your life.  They can offer guidance but nothing truly definite.  No two readers will ever give the same interpretations of the cards but simply opening yourself up to a different avenue of ideas may present an angle you never would have otherwise thought of.

If I were a true believer of superstitions drawing the Death card may have had a larger impact on me. We could also throw in the fact that a mirror fell off the wall of its own free will a couple weeks ago and while we’re at it, my love of wearing black…and the list could go on.  But truly, I must be a living nightmare for those who lean more heavily towards superstitious ways.

…and I love every minute of it!

Some fun facts to note:

A black cat walking towards you signals good luck, however a black cat walking away signifies good luck being carried farther away from you.

It is considered bad luck to begin a journey on a Sunday.

Colors – Blue to protect from witches, Amber to protect from illness – the list goes on; many ideas change from culture to culture.

Mirrors are bad luck if broken or if you see your face in them by candlelight alone.  If they fall off the wall and break by themselves it signifies someone in the house will soon die.

You are supposed to hold you breath when going past a graveyard or you may inhale the soul of someone who has recently died.

Thirteen is a number often avoided on elevators, hotels, airplanes, and many other facets of life.  To some it is good luck, to others it is bad.  The numerous significances of this number are intriguing at the very least and I would highly suggest doing a quick search of it – I’m sure some interesting bit of information will catch your eye as it did mine.