The Tarot And Quantum Physics, By Cilla Conway

Article first appeared in, published here with permission.

Mankind and Oracles

Mankind has probably been using oracles of one sort or another for as long as we have been recognisably human. We’ve used bones, entrails, yarrow stalks, coins, water, stones, the stars, dreams, cards, tea-leaves, handwriting. The Delphic Oracle functioned for hundreds of years, with eminent kings consulting it regularly and even fighting wars based on its predictions.

The Bible is full of references to prophets and prophetic dreams. Contemporary Chinese still make a point of ensuring that any action they are planning takes place on an auspicious day, and even here in the sceptical West, every newspaper carries astrological predictions.

Unfortunately these, and other predictive tools, are currently considered either highly suspect, or solely for the simple-minded. The reason for this is primarily our reliance on reductive logic and scientific empiricism (and our tendency to think that we have all the answers).

QuantumIt’s ironic, then, that the explanation for how oracles work will almost certainly come through the latest scientific research — specifically through quantum physics. Don’t worry — there’ll be no equations here, just an introduction to give the bare bones of the latest concepts — and I must stress the bareness of the bones! Future articles will be able to look in more detail at this intriguing subject.

The Quantum World

As you move down ever smaller from our usual world of matter, past the level of the most powerful electron microscopes, down to the world of subatomic particles, you reach a world with laws that seem fundamentally different to our own: filled with quantum probabilities and organized chaos, it’s a world where matter may exist and not exist at the same time, where our perception of all these phenomena can bring them into existence, or change them.

AtomsBelow all this chaos, there is an underlying unity: an energy or ‘field’ that exists throughout the universe, a constant ‘particle exchange’ that is never completely static. Physicists call this zero-point energy (the nearest that subatomic matter ever gets to zero motion) and for a long while ignored it, subtracting its effects from their calculations. But then one physicist, Hal Puthoff, realised that this zero-point field (ZPF) could be a vast unharnessed energy source — and started what may well prove to be the breakthrough of the third millennium.

The more Puthoff studied the ZPF, the more possibilities he saw in this vast underlying sea of energy. All matter in the universe could now be seen as interconnected by waves of energy. Matter itself is part of the same energy field — in other words there is no division between the material and the immaterial. Nor is there any longer a disconnect between the quantum and the macro worlds. Even gravity — the sticking-point of scientific theories for centuries — can be explained by taking the ZPF into account.

ConceptionThe implications of this, and other new discoveries based on this energy, are mind-blowing; the wonder is that it is taking so long to filter through to general consciousness. Lynne Taggart’s book ‘The Field’ discusses the different aspects of the research and its tantalising possibilities: the ability to ‘turn off’ gravity (the long-term applications of which are world-shattering); produce new WARP drives for space exploration; or even travel through wormholes to distant parts of the universe. We could extract energy from The Field as a solution for the looming energy crisis; produce new digital medicine-applications; even kill dangerous bugs with electromagnetic signals.

More relevant to this article is the discovery that the ZPF implies information exchange, as well as energy exchange, and could therefore provide instantaneous communication. The phenomena we call the occult or paranormal, such as telepathy, telekinesis, the Tarot and other oracular devices, foresight, intuition, and dreams, would just be part of this exchange, as we are part of The Field. As mystics have said for millennia, there is no separation. Equally important, this also corroborates the metaphysical tenet — that we create our own reality.

Consciousness and Quantum Physics

AbundanceIn the second half of the 20th Century brain researchers made huge strides with discoveries about left and right brain functions. (The left brain enjoys objectivity, logic, cause and effect; dislikes repetition, change and paradox. The right brain is holistic, creative, and subjective; loves images, change, paradox, openness. It can appear mute (language is a left-brain function; the right brain uses images to communicate.) However, we still know little about why how consciousness arises; how intuition works; or why some parts of our consciousness are accessible only through dreams or creativity. Recent brain research discovered an area of the brain that, when stimulated, produces mystical responses and Time Magazine reported a few months ago on a gene that may predispose us to spirituality.

As the connections become more apparent between quantum physics and information (i.e. the mind); physicists have taken up the challenge of consciousness. Physics and mysticism are beginning to talk the same language: no longer are we considered to be a separate part of existence, nor is mind seen as separate from body. Some physicists even say that the cosmos is not only affected by consciousness, but is consciousness.

StringAs Lynne Taggart says, the physicists’ ‘work suggested a decentralized but unified intelligence that was far grander and more exquisite than Darwin or Newton had imagined, a process that was not random or chaotic, but intelligent and purposeful.’ This gets close to saying that the human mind is an integral part of what we call deity — a super-conscious Creator.

If this is the case, when we pull a tarot card we are tapping in to this dynamic meta-consciousness. So instead the Tarot being the Devil’s Picturebook, it could be God’s. Now wouldn’t that be a turn-round for the books…

Useful reading:

Roger Penrose (The Emperor’s New Mind, 1995, and Shadows of the Mind, 1995); Vintage Science

Cynthia Giles (The Tarot, History, Mystery and Lore, 1992); Paragon House, New York

Lynne Mc Taggart (The Field, 2001); Element, London

© Cilla Conway

Images © Cilla Conway 2005 — unpublished images from the Deva Cards.

Cilla Conway is the author of the highly acclaimed The Intuitive Tarot (, published by St Martin’s Press, NY, and Connections Publishing UK). See Prediction Magazine for review and feature.

As creator of the Intuitive Tarot, Cilla has been reading from the cards for more than twenty years, and is currently offering personal consultations using this wonderfully evocative deck. She also runs 10-week courses (beginners and advanced) on The Tarot and Intuition, which enables you to learn how to use the tarot for pleasure and professionally. These take place at the College of Psychic Studies.

by Cilla Conway
Author of The Intuitive Tarot, published by St Martin’s Press, NY, and Connections Publishing UK). She is an intuitive artist and tarot consultant who works in London.