As we approach the Vernal (Spring) Equinox, our thoughts turn to new life, a balance of equal night and day, and growth. Where I live, tiny buds are appearing on trees, the whir of red-winged blackbirds is carried on the earth-scented air, and bits of green are just beginning to sprout in the front garden.
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 Spring and place it in the centre of the playing surface beside some Spring flowers/plants and a beeswax candle. Some examples of appropriate central tarot cards include: Emperor (for Aries), Justice (balance; equal light and dark), Judgement/Awakening (new life; resurrection), or the Ace of Swords/Air (beginning of the season of air). 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: “To me, growth means _________.”
SECOND ROUND: “For me, the perfect balance of light and dark looks or feels like _________.”
THIRD ROUND: “What is beginning to sprout in my life at this time 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 flowers have adorned the centre, a lovely gesture is to distribute them to the players to take home with them.
* Image: Awakening from the Gaian Tarot by Joanna Powell Colbert.