In today’s technology-packed world and tense political climate, it’s not surprising that more and more people are turning away from more traditional sources of authority and towards a previously much-maligned form of knowledge about the world: mysticism. While for a long time most newspapers have included a horoscope section, now the growing tendency towards the occult in society is apparent in trendy Bushwick creative groups rebranding themselves as a witches’ coven and in the increasing popularity of rituals like tarot card readings.
Tarot readings are a form of divination that involve a specialised deck of cards – the tarot deck – which features four suits (cups, swords, wands and pentacles) and then an additional 22 trump cards called the major arcana. Cards are drawn from the deck by the person receiving the reading and then turned over and interpreted by the tarot reader, with their meaning depending not only on the card but also on whether it is upside-down or the right way up. Tarot readings reflect generally on the past, present and future or aim to address a specific issue in the recipient’s life. Gifted tarot reading experts ask the cards to reveal specifically what the asker wants to know. Whether it’s about love, career, family or other personal matter, a tarot reading provides insight into past and current situations and discover the outcome of possible choices and scenarios.
However, for many people, tarot readings are not just a source of insight but are also inspiring from an aesthetic point of view. Inspiration from the tarot deck, particularly the Major Arcana, has been used frequently as a model for art, jewellery, tattoos and clothing. If you’d like to inject some mysticism into your own life, here are some ways you could subtly reflect the beauty and spirituality of the tarot in your everyday wardrobe.
While a lot of attention is given to the major arcana, it would be foolish to neglect the four suits that make up the vast majority of the tarot deck. Each suit has a different series of associations and, most significantly, a colour attached to it, meaning you can easily nod to your chosen suit to channel its particular strength in your day-to-day life. The suit of pentacles, which is associated with health, wealth and physicality, can be harnessed by wearing the colour green and is also connected to fall and the earth, so that floral patterns could be a good way to incorporate it. Creativity, activity and passion can be channelled by wearing the colour yellow to represent the suit of wands, although since this suit is also associated with the element of fire, warm colours would also help. The suit of cups, which suggests love, emotion and empathy, links to the colour red but also the element of water, suggesting flowing fabrics. Finally, you can strengthen your thought, observation and ability to face challenges by wearing indigo to represent the suit of swords.
The 22 trump cards are often represented by human figures – think the Fool, the Empress and so on – making it relatively easy to incorporate suggestions of them into your aesthetic. That said, many of the cards have worrying or even highly ambivalent meanings, meaning you may want to steer clear of wearing them in case you attract negative energies. Positive cards to consider when shopping for clothes include The Sun (material happiness and contentment), Temperance (moderation and good management), the Hanged Man (wisdom and discernment), and finally the Empress (fruitfulness and action). Some are easy to channel through accessories, such as a necklace for the Hanged Man, or patterned clothing, such as a t-shirt with a sun insignia. Cards like Temperance and the Empress, however, are best embodied through a general style of dress, such as modest and muted for Temperance or regal for the Empress. When choosing clothes inspired by the Tarot it’s important to consider carefully what card speaks most to you and how best you feel you can reflect it in your look.