The Meaningful Coincidence of Synchronicity

Some tarot readers believe that synchronicity, a term that means “meaningful coincidence,” guides their readings.

Carl Jung, the same psychotherapist who developed the concept of archetypes, also created the concept of synchronicity. Jung believed that as humans, we are all born with access to the “collective unconscious” — a reservoir, of sorts, for all of our shared energy and experiences.

According to Jung’s theory, the collective unconscious is like a cosmic, underground lake or stream. In fact, Jung said that our instinctive understanding of symbols, myths, and archetypes are all drawn from the well of the collective unconscious. He pointed out that artists, writers, and musicians regularly tap into the waters of the collective unconscious for inspiration and explanations of the human condition. Jung believed that the symbols, myths, and archetypes that regularly appear in our dreams, our myths, and our stories all spring from that same source — which explains why so many people and cultures share similar legends, and make use of the same symbols, regardless of time and place.

When we experience synchronicity, or meaningful coincidences, we rediscover our connection to the collective unconscious. We may find ourselves thinking about a long-lost friend, for example, when a letter from that person arrives in the mail. We may be reminiscing about a favorite food from childhood, only to discover that it is the featured special at a restaurant that night. We may find ourselves experiencing overwhelming sensations of déjà vu when we visit a new place or meet new people. We may even find ourselves falling in love at first sight.

Synchronicity, many tarot readers believe, explains why tarot cards work. When we are concerned about love, and the Lovers card turns up in a reading, it is not a meaningless coincidence. Cosmic forces are at work. Synchronicity reinforces the belief that we are tuned into the universe, and that we are part of a bigger picture than we can imagine.