Hockley Hike

Do you ever have trouble sleeping at night? Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with your mind racing and the inability to fall back to sleep?  I use a unique combination of advice I found somewhere on the internet and a Tarot strategy referred to as ‘Entering the Card’ to help me drift back into Slumberland.

I have been contemplating writing this blog entry for quite some time now.  I have always had difficulty falling asleep. I’ve tried various homeopathic, traditional and not-so-traditional remedies (although have never ventured into the realm of the ‘sleeping pill’), meditation, change in routine but all, at some point, seem to fail. Not this latest one, though.

Mary Greer, in her book ‘Tarot for the Self’, describes an activity she calls ‘Entering the Card’. This exercise involves selecting a card, picturing it in one’s imagination, and then entering the card, taking detailed notes from the experience. I have used it many times when working with a new deck, struggling with a particular card or when teaching students.

And, while poking around online a little while ago, I came across a brief article on suggestions to deal with difficulty sleeping. One of the suggestions that resonated with me was a visualization exercise. I was to imagine a peaceful place and then enter it in my mind. It then suggested that I increase the amount of detail that I imagine. For example, if I was near running water, I could see the river and then the small waves on the surface, the small plants breaking the surface of the water, the fallen leaf that floats by. The only thing that did was make me have to go to the bathroom. 🙂
I’m not one for detail in everyday life. Those who know me would probably refer to me as a ‘big picture’ kind of person. It isn’t until I fully understand something that I’ll bother with the detail. So when I tried to visualize some of my favorite relaxing destinations (fall hikes, Hawaii, Corfu Island, the ‘Muskokas’, the ‘Kawarthas’), I had difficulty picturing detail. But I know the Tarot well. And I have worked with a few decks for awhile so I can easily visualize several cards in detail. I began picturing cards that I thought had a peaceful theme (Empress, 4 of Swords, 4 of Cups, The Hermit, The Star, and many of the cards from my Gaian Tarot deck, etc…). I would enter the cards and then stop, look around and let me five senses take over. I would pick up things, note smells, talk to people and, sure enough, sleep came.

Pick a card that you think will work for you. Try it and let me know.  And… sweet dreams!


  1. I’m curious to know how using the entering the card technique affects your relationship with the cards as they then appear in readings. Do you find that you learn deeper aspects of the cards this way or perhaps find yourself drifting into the card again when you read?

    1. You ask an interesting question… I wouldn’t have thought about it until recently when a card (4 of Water from the Gaian Tarot deck) that I ‘enter’ frequently as an exercise presented me with the concept of ’emotional groundedness’. It wouldn’t necessarily have been a meaning that would have resonated with me about this card but, upon further reflection, makes perfect sense. Four is a number of groundedness and stability and, of course, water is the realm of our feelings. I seems to belong together. It wasn’t until I entered the card that this meaning presented itself. I suspect that this experience will repeat itself. How about anyone else? Has your experience entering the cards provided you with a deeper understanding or with additional/alternative interpretations?

      As far as drifting into the cards when I read, this is a common experience when I read for myself. Not so common during client work, though.

      Thank you for your question. I hope I answered it.

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