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Listening to Learn: A Senior Project

Posted by Samantha Shannon ’20 on May 12, 2020 1:12:03 PM

Ever since I was little I’ve been obsessed with all things magic. I loved making potions (water and dirt), casting spells (reciting words from Wizards of Waverly Place), and swimming during a full moon (thank you H20).IMG_2860 I have outgrown the mud making in my backyard and the hopes I would turn into a mermaid, but the belief in magic hasn’t disappeared. In fact, I now research magik (yes, spelled with a k) and have made my independent study learning how to perform Tarot readings. 

I chose to study Tarot not only to fulfill my childhood dream of using magic but because I wanted to advance my skills as a reader. My original senior project was to create four runway dresses based on four sabbaths Samhain, Yule, Litha, and Mabon. I was going to learn about these holidays and showcase it through fashion. Unfortunately, senior projects were canceled and I had to improvise with what I had. I’ve had a Tarot deck for about a year, but I never really tried to better my understanding of the cards. I struggled to find the time needed to get a better understanding and had a hard time finding people to practice with. The independent study has allowed me to grasp deeper meanings in the cards and perform more complex readings.

A challenge I had choosing this project was the negative outlook involved with Tarot. There are a lot of myths about the cards and what they can do. Many people believe their future can be told to them when in reality it’s only one possible outcome of the path they’re on. I knew going forward with this project I would have to deal with those myths, but I hope to prove to people that they are just that. Myths. Another challenge I’ve been faced with is the lack of people to practice with. When I was at Tabor I was able to offer readings at my dorm meetings or set up times with my friends. Now that we are all stuck inside I can only do readings on either my mom or me. I have recently tried out online readings and so far they have gone well. I still need to practice them more, but it seems that the challenge of not being in person might be gone.

From the challenge of not being around people, I’ve learned to listen more attentively from online readings. I need to understand who the person is through their words and make sure their energy can be transmitted into the cards accurately. Without the questioner (the person getting the reading) touching the cards it falls on me to put their energy into them. I found that just by listening closely to what they say and how they say it I can feel what kind of a person they are. I know this sounds crazy, but with just a little more attention to detail, you can truly get to know someone. Learning more about those around me and building a connection has been so helpful during these difficult times. Studying these cards and performing readings on people has left an impact on not only how I listen, but also how I learn.

I thought I was someone who needed to be shown step by step what to do. I didn’t think I would be able to teach myself anything. I’ve tried many times before, but none of those attempts ended with a good grade. This independent study, on the other hand, has proven to me that I can learn on my own, I just needed to go slow. Looking up questions I have on Google is so easy and effective. My aunt who is very into this subject is also a helpful resource. She is always open to all my questions even if the answer is obvious. Also, learning more about what I’m interested in really helps attain more knowledge. It truly did motivate me to look up something I was confused about or research something I know nothing about.

I’m so happy with how far I’ve come during this independent study. I’m ever more excited to see what I’ll learn by the end of it. Thank you for taking the time out of your day and letting me share what I love. I encourage you to learn more about what you love.

Topics: Senior Projects