Went to BATS (Bay Area Tarot Symposium) last weekend for the first time - actually, it was the first time I'd been to any Tarot conference, and I loved it! Of course, what is there not to love? Lots of interesting workshops, people, goodies to look at and buy, and fun! Took two classes with Mary K. Greer - one on Lenormand, the other on the history of the High Priestess in tarot. Great stuff. Interestingly, I learned that Mary K. Greer has something called a "Trash Walk," which simply involves walking and noticing trash and putting it together as an oracular message. I love the idea! I tried it a bit today, though the message was a bit sketchy. Saw a shopping card containing one paper cup with a straw (Ace of Cups perhaps?); saw some torn papers strewn in one area (didn't count the number - but what would the tarot equivalent be?), then gave it up for the moment as I was walking with someone and couldn't focus enough. I'm game, though, to try it again!
Guess the point is that anything can tell you something - it's usually not so much the object or image itself, but its meaning to us - as with Tarot when used in a free-association way (as in Tarot Counseling). It's our inner universes corresponding with the outer universe, sending us messages specific to ourselves and our own experiences. In other words, what has a particular meaning for me, will probably have a completely different meaning for you. I realize this isn't, at its base, the way Tarot works as a divining tool. Each card does have its set meaning - The Tower, for example is pretty clear - usually foretelling a sudden and unexpected end to something, a purging, a big, and often unpleasant change. However, after we get that, our intuition must step in when reading for someone and make it relevant to that person's situation - maybe we get specifics when looking at the surrounding cards, maybe we understand it differently than the pat meaning for that person, knowing their story or question to some extent. So there's always, to a degree, some free association going on anyway. The cards act as a trigger, just like many other things, even trash, to our own inner knowing. The information is always there, within.
One of my favorite quotes (though I don't remember who said it): "Imagination is the doorway to the psychic." Put another way – daydreaming, fantasizing, seeing faces in clouds, noticing patterns in trash etc. are not wastes of time, but a way to hear the messages of our Higher Selves, The Universe, Spirit, The Goddess, All That Is - whatever your particular belief/image is. Imagination (and the willingness to be receptive) is the Stairway to Heaven, so to speak.
Science has also shown through Quantum Physics that what we think effects our environment, as our environment effects what we think. It's a symbiosis, a back and forth, a flow, a definite connection. So, next time you're out walking, take a good look around – that McDonald's wrapper and cigarette butt may be trying to tell you something!
I am an intuitive counselor and visionary artist who has studied and worked with Tarot for over 20 years. I am an avid collector of tarot art, as well as a creator. I am the creator of four oracle decks. I also have an extensive collection of tarot art images on Pinterest.com which you can enjoy.