Continuing the backward journey through my daily spiritual practices, today I’ll write about the Card of the Day, which I lovingly abbreviate as CotD.
The tarot has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old when I purchased my first deck by saving up my paper delivery money and lawn cutting money. In workshops and classes, I often say that the tarot has been my best friend and therapist for (at the time of writing this blog entry) 31+ years.
CotD used to be the very first practice in my day, but I now wait until after my recitations and journalling so that I can observe the day’s pasteboard from a more centred perspective. My tendency is to use one deck for a period of time — a couple of weeks or a couple of months — then to switch to another set of cards for a while. However, there are times I simply use whatever tarot pack is handy. Whatever version of the tool I employ doesn’t matter as much as the process.
I relax and mix the tarot deck in whatever way feels appropriate in the moment. In my mind, I run through what has already happened that morning and what I know I have planned for the rest of the day. I then imagine the spaces in between the known factors and allow curiosity about those to well up. Then I mentally ask a couple of questions:
- What do I most need to know or learn today?
- What wisdom would be appropriate for me to live today?
I pick a card, usually from somewhere in the centre of the stack; I like to think of this as a ceremonial drawing of wisdom or insight from my own centre or core.
I flip over the CotD and proceed to jot down ideas in my journal. These ideas come from a blend of my intellectual knowledge of the card and my interaction with the images and symbols. Whether my thoughts about the card are standard or “out there”, I write them down. Then I review what I’ve written and note any prevalent themes.
Many times, but not every day, I create an affirmation (positive self-talk statement) from the helpful qualities I’ve noticed in the card’s symbols. I often turn those helpful qualities into concrete, doable actions as well. Let’s say that in writing about the Nine of Water from the Gaian Tarot I write the affirmation, “I, James, open myself to moments of grace.” I would ask myself, “What can I do today that looks or feels like I’m opening myself to grace?”, then brainstorm two to four things I could do, such as:
- Take a short walk in the nearby wooded ravine.
- Turn on the ‘phone after doing my CotD to receive any unexpected calls personally.
- Stretch and breathe deeply like the figure on the card.
- Be sure to say “thank you” to someone at least once every couple of hours today.
The main thing that I want to convey to you about the CotD practice is that it’s not about guessing what’s going to happen that day, but rather it IS about embodying the best qualities of that day’s card in order to be a helpful presence in our world, for ourselves and for all of life.
Here are some more appropriate questions to ask when practising the Card of the Day:
- How can I succeed in every way today?
- Who or what guides me today?
- What does the best me look like today?
- What deeper, larger learning would be helpful for me to be aware of today?
- How can I be a living embodiment of the Sacred today?
- What is my source of inspiration today?
Remember to interpret your CotD through the lens of your question.