Here in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s Lammas (“loaf mass”), also known as Lughnasad, a time to mark the first harvest and to acknowledge the gradual decline of the sun after the Summer Solstice. You and your loved ones can celebrate the occasion by meeting over a late summer or early autumn meal, then playing this game. May you never hunger and may you never thirst. Enjoy!
A. Gather in a circle, whether around a table, on the floor, or wherever. Place a beeswax candle in the middle. Remove any card(s) from your tarot deck that reminds you of Lammas and what it represents, then place this card(s) in the centre beside the candle. You can also add bread, wheat sheaves, and ears of corn to the middle arrangement.
B. Read a quote/poem about Lammas/harvest to set the tone. Or sing a song about this theme.
C. One at a time, each person receives the tarot deck as it’s passed clockwise. Each person, when s/he receives the pack, says one word or one phrase that lets the group know how s/he is as s/he enters this game(e.g. “I’m feeling grateful for X this evening.” or “Tired, but happy to be with you all today.” or “Curious about what we’re about to do.”). Then s/he mixes the deck and picks three cards at random before passing the pack to the person on hir left. This continues until everyone has checked in and has three cards in their hands.
D. Three rounds are played clockwise (each round’s topic is below). During each, every player gets a turn to lay a card on the surface in front of hir and use its image to inspire a continuation of the open sentence provided. This can be done by consciously selecting a card from your face-up hand or by keeping your three cards face-down and intuitively picking which one will be your sentence-completion image. Each player can expand on the sentence as much as s/he chooses.
FIRST ROUND: “Something for which I’ve often hungered and thirsted is _________.”
SECOND ROUND: “Important seeds I’ve planted in the past year include _________.”
THIRD ROUND: “I hope to harvest _________.”
E. After everyone’s cards have been played, allow a fruitful, respectful conversation to unfold, continuing until it reaches a natural conclusion.
F. For the final round, the tarot deck is passed around counterclockwise. One at a time, people receive it, express gratitude for one thing they’ve heard or said during the game, mix their three cards back into the pack, and pass it to the person on their right.
G. After everyone’s cards have been returned to the deck, the central card is shuffled back into the pack. Read a closing poem/quote or sing another Lammas/harvest-themed song. If you’ve included a homemade loaf of crusty bread in the centre, everyone could break off a piece and eat it mindfully before you extinguish the candle. Wheat sheaves and corn, if you’ve placed them in your midst, can be distributed to people to adorn their shrines at home.
Image: The Empress from the Mythic Tarot.