The beginning of February marks Imbolc, also known as Candlemas and the festival of the goddess Brigid. It’s a time of initiation, the stirring of life under the snows, creativity, healing, the fire of the hearth or forge and the water of the well. Here’s a tarot circle game for you and your beloved ones to play. A candlelit supper before or after the game would be a welcome touch.
A. Gather in a circle — whether around a table, on the floor, or wherever. Remove any card(s) from your tarot deck that reminds you of Brigid, healing, creativity, fire & water, or initiation and place it in the centre of the playing surface beside a beeswax candle and a small bowl of water. You might also want to surround the card, candle, and water with colourful ribbons (Brigid, Goddess of this festival, blesses colourful ribbons to use for healing/comfort). Light the candle.
B. 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.
C. 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 is done one at a time. Each player can expand on the sentence as much as s/he chooses.
FIRST ROUND: “The seeds of creativity that I need to plant at this time include _________.”
SECOND ROUND: “What will forge these creative endeavours into being is _________.”
THIRD ROUND: “The healing that can occur as a result of this creative process is _________.”
D. After everyone’s cards have been played, allow a fruitful, respectful conversation to unfold, continuing until it reaches a natural conclusion.
E. 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.
F. After everyone’s cards have been returned to the deck, the central card is shuffled back into the pack and the candle is extinguished. If ribbons have adorned the centre, a lovely gesture is to distribute them to the players to take home with them.