Another way to use a single tarot card in a rich way is to pull one card for the week. After generating insights and possibilities, turn your observations into seven questions, one for each day. Every day, use one of the questions as a springboard for journal writing, contemplation, a deep conversation, or a tarot reading. This is living tarot!
Archive for November, 2008
Almost every day, I pull a card from a face-down tarot deck to tune in with my best wisdom for the day. Lately, my most usual question for the daily card is, “How can I succeed in every way today?” Nothing like beginning the daylight journey with a constructive spin. An important piece of this practice is to generate real-life actions and attitudes based on our tarot insights, so at the end of my morning tarot time I think ahead to appointments, encounters, activities, and so forth that I know are planned and I allow myself to be surprised into new activities. I find that it helps me to reflect on the question, “How can I be/live this card today?”, then think about Earth in my life (work, body, money, living space, sex, health, administration, etc.), Air in my life (ideas, communication, meetings, teaching, learning, reading, time, scheduling, thinking, etc.), Water in my life (emotions, relating, friends, loved ones, feeling, intuition, artistry, flow, etc.), and Fire (spirit, my identity, self-discovery, self-expression, growth, who I am, soul, etc.) and to apply the card’s concepts, images, and insights to each of those components for the day. If I have time, I create a simple sketch or drawing based on that morning’s tarot imagery. Sometimes I colour it, sometimes it remains black and white.
Here’s an example from a few days ago. My card for the day came from the Voyager Tarot in response to, “How can I succeed in every way today?” It was the Sage of Wands, also known as the Seer. The wise owl who sees into the deep places stood out for me as did all of the fire references. So, as a symbol to encode the card into my consciousness, I drew and coloured an owl’s head in the centre of a powerful orange flame.
Thinking ahead into my day, I knew that I would have some free time for meditation, just like the spiritual practitioners in the card picture. There would be a conference call to engage in, so the Seer invited me to express at least one cutting edge visionary idea during the call. I would be offering a tarot counselling session in the afternoon, so the Sage of Wands reminded me to be like the village elder and ask a probing question by which the client could inspire hirself. A friend of mine would be over for dinner and quality time. The day’s card, filled with images of ritual and vision, opened up my awareness that I could offer my friend an experience of simple ritual and wellness with candlelight, healing massage, and smudging with sage.
All of these experiences enriched my day and the lives of those I encountered. By grounding the card’s energy in real-life activities, I became more conscious of what the Seer within looks and feels like. And Seer energy was incarnate for a day so that the world could be a bit better. Win-win all around!
*** Speaking of making the world better, the December tarot gathering, DESIGN A FINE 2009 is already generating a buzz! People are already signing up. There are only 25 spots in total, so don’t miss out. The evening will take you through a simple yet powerful process of refining your goals and creating a doable path to their manifestation. See you on December 11 chez moi.
Last night, three of us gathered in my space to do a deck and book swap. I made a pot of ginger-cinnamon tea and plate of sandwiches. Somehow, food and beverage make such gatherings more satisfying. Three books stood out for me to take in — Haida stories, North American First Nations stories from all over the continent, and some thoughts on happiness and success in one’s work. Praise Life, I managed to give away more than I chose to receive. Will power! I guess yesterday’s card of the day, The Chariot from the Voyager Tarot, kept me on track. Our gathering was small, but fun. Thank you, Judy and Clarissa, for being there.
Recently, a brief discussion arose on ComparativeTarot about scam-artist-style “psychics” who use bodily cues and facial expressions to go further with their “amazing revelations” about a person. My response was:
For those of us not professing to be “psychic readers”, but rather “tarot counsellors”, the use of body language, subtle cues, and so forth are clues to go further with our questioning based on the cards and the conversation with the client. They can be used not only in a “con-artist” manner, but also in a manner which honours the client’s body as a sacred mirror and path to wisdom.
For me, everything that takes place during a tarot consultation is food for the session. If a person excitedly leans foward, I want to use that excitement and energy to help hir move into hir knowing. If a particular sound outside captures the readee’s attention, I want to know what story that sound carries for the client. If the querent feels fidgety in hir legs, what might that have to do with the card under discussion at the moment? For me, a tarot counselling session is a process of holding council with the person, the tarot, Wisdom/Life, myself, all of the beings, energies, and physical cues. All are participants in the conversation. It’s not about amazing anyone. It’s simply about being present with them and inviting their wisdom to step forward.
This evening, I’m hosting a deck and book swap in my home. I hope some of you will join me.
I’m at one of my regular haunts, Lakeside Retreats in Beamsville, Ontario. Today, a group of people who have taken reiki training with me plus someone who trained with another teacher met here from 10:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. to:
- recite the gokai (five precepts/principles)
- practise the traditional energy-generating meditation
- receive reiju (“booster” attunements)
- offer and receive three-on-one reiki treatments (yum!)
We followed this with an incredibly diverse and delicious pot-luck lunch so everyone could catch up with one another or, in the case of people meeting for the first time, get to know one another a bit better. The chat reached great heights and dove down to great depths. Fun group!
Many commented that today was a helpful reminder that:
- daily self-practice is important
- it’s vital to receive as well as to offer
- the various components of reiki — recitation of precepts, doing the meditation, receiving energy treatments, and receiving reiju — return us to our centre
Last night’s monthly tarot gathering was about Tarot and Death, focused primarily on Trump # 13, the good ol’ Death card itself. The format alternated between council-like sharing of personal insights and observations from each participant and a few pieces of information provided by me.
I read a story from Mary Greer’s 1996 newsletter written by a woman who pulled cards from the William Blake Tarot each night that reflected her husband’s process of dying. The images and concepts were so aligned with what was happening that she gained a real sense of the journey being watched over by Spirit.
We each contributed observations about whatever version of the Death card we were holding and I offered some alternative names for it from various decks. For example:
- Transformation (both the William Blake Tarot and Osho Zen Tarot)
- Sunset (Medicine Woman Tarot)
- Washer at the Ford (Arthurian Tarot)
- Phoenix (Daughters of the Moon Tarot)
- Pharon (A Poet’s Tarot)
- Sleeping Beauty (Inner Child Cards)
- Crone (A New Women’s Tarot)
- Passage (Bright Idea Deck)
I offered some meanings, reflections, and contexts for the 13th Major card based on its correpondences with Scorpio and the Hebrew letter Nun.
People created mandalas based on one keyword for Death (check out Nina Lee Braden’s way of doing this in Llewellyn’s 2008 Tarot Reader) and gained fresh insights and questions from those by contemplating them, breathing them, and journalling about them. They then used these inspired questions as the basis for personal readings which they did in partners. It was heartwarming to see and hear people really dialoguing over the cards about questions that mattered to them.
We experienced a guided Death meditation/journey by Mary Greer that can be found on page 112 of The Pagan Book of Living and Dying, edited by Starhawk and M. Macha Nightmare, then harvested the wisdom of the evening by responding to the question, “What do you take with you in your heart and mind from this evening’s tarot experience?” I was deeply moved when one fellow said that it was powerful to confront terrifying questions that potentially crack our lives right open.
All in all, a satisfying evening of tarot exploration. Thank you to Janet for the delicious figs with parmesan! Because of you, we were fed in body as well as in soul.
My partner Steven and I were in Montréal for a few days. It was a welcome change of pace as we delighted in the architecture, food, and shopping. Our favourite B & B, Ruta Bagage, was a delicious nest.
I came back to news of the suicide of the father of my former sister-in-law and the death of my Uncle Doug. May their souls know peace and the root of all peace. May our families know peace and the root of all peace. Blessed Be.
Both of these deaths were of people from the generation before mine. It evokes questions from me to ask of the tarot.
1. What energies of the previous generation need to die away? Queen of Pentacles, upright. It would be helpful if the energies of well-ingrained abuse, expert money-grabbing, fixing the surface only, and earth-as-resource would die away.
2. How can we midwife this deathing process gracefully? Tower, reversed. By radically shifting our concepts of self, clearing out our own psychological debris, instigating behind-the-scenes reform, and surrendering to interior deconstruction.
3. What new potentials can emerge from this? 8 of Swords, reversed. Clear boundaries about what we will and will not listen to, a reduction in negative self-talk, philosophies rooted in deep personal priorities, and a willingness to be in the mystery of not needing to know.