Continuing our Q & A series:
Do you have a favorite tarot process for dreams?
ML, Sarasota, FL, U.S.A.”
Thanks for your question, ML. I have several tarot processes that I use with dreams. I’d like to emphasise that this is more about dream exploration, creating relationship with the dreams, dream opening, etc. rather than giving a definitive answer about the dream, although that can be helpful at times. The unconscious or the Dreamweaver or whatever you want to call it offers these symbols and they can be experienced on many levels. I remember Marion Woodman saying more than once, “The minute you say, ‘I know exactly what that dream means’, you’ve killed it, like sticking a butterfly with a pin.” With that in mind, here are three of my favourite dream-unfolding processes with the cards.
1. This one is one I got from Gail Fairfield’s Choice Centered Tarot back in the 1980s. List the dream’s components (symbols, events, characters, etc.). For each of these components, pull one card at random from the tarot deck. Add one card at the end for the overall message. Weave a narrative from the cards you get. Also be sure to include symbols, feelings, puns, etc. from the dream itself as you interpret the cards.
2. For a “big dream”, write down the dream in the present tense then go through the Major Arcana face-up (i.e. you can see the pictures) until you come to one that most looks and/or feels like the dream. Use this card as a focus. Meditate on it, create ceremony with it, make a shrine for it, journal about it, read as many texts about this particular Trump as possible, relate it to characters from mythology and history, do movement or dance or postures based on the card, etc. Allow all of these things to teach you, to take you deeper into the dream’s energy. Journal about this.
3. To incubate a dream (i.e. “plant a seed” to receive a response from the unconscious/psyche/True Self/Dreamweaver/whatever), take the Moon card, Trump XVIII, from your deck. Just before turning out your light at night, spend a few minutes looking at the Moon card with the intention that you will have a dream about a particular topic, question, or area of exploration. Then place XVIII on your night table or under your pillow, turn out the light, and go to sleep. In the morning, record any dreams you may have had. If you need prompting, look at the Moon card again.
I hope you find these fruitful.
Image: XVIII, the Moon from the New Tarot by Jack Hurley, Rae Hurley, and John Horler.