My teenage daughter, (who was thrilled to be included in my first blog post and who loves it when we explore the Tarot), taught me a valuable lesson about the power of the querent. The querent is the name often used in Tarot that is given to the person asking a question. After a particularly challenging reading, she asked me what she could do to make the outlook better. Of course, as any parent would, I began to struggle with the already blurred line of objectivity and responded very generally.
I’m going to call this “Tarotive” – is that tacky? 😉
My most recent work with the Tarot involved a style that is new for me.
As I prepared myself and my space for my work, I kept a situation in mind. Currently, this is an issue for which I needed some clarity of direction; the perfect kind of issue for Tarotive work. I reflected on the layout structure I would use but I did not ‘assign’ any meaning to specific positions. I also did not use a prepared spread. Instead, I identified the first card as ‘protagonist’ and let the rest of the story flow in order of the cards. Today’s ‘Tarotive’ work builds on the knowledge that the cards already include narrative elements: characters, challenges, supports, places, and events that can be strung together to form a story.
Since I started my Tarotive on the first ‘Sun’day after the Summer Solstice, I created an 8- card layout, one for each point in the Wheel of the Year. I set the cards out to represent the spherical shape of the Sun and also chose Joanna Powell Colbert’s Earth-themed Gaian Tarot deck (my limited edition deck is still a fave after 8 years!). When I work with my own questions at home, I often gather support resources.
(As a side note… Although I will ‘run through’ my interpretation ‘sans support’, I like to access my Tarot library to add differing perspectives or to sometimes challenge my own thinking. When working with yourself, it’s easy to see only what you want to see instead of what you need to see.)
My narrative begins with me represented in the 4 of Air, weaves through supports, reflections, journeys and endings. My story concludes with ‘The Builder’ from the Major Arcana.
When done, I tend to leave my Tarot work out for a period of time so that I can revisit it and reflect on it. (Tuesday morning as I finish this post and it’s still out.)
I have tried this more open, narrative style several times this month and it seems to be a style for which I’m going to hold space.
Try it! Think of a situation or question for which you (or someone else) are seeking guidance. Visualize a card layout with a representative link to the energy you’d like to draw on for your work; it might be the day, the time of year, a current astrological cycle, the situation… My Sun-shaped 8-card spread is an example of the solstice energy associated with the time of year where I live. Begin the narrative with the querent, wrap it up with the last card, and see where your story takes you.
And, if you feel comfortable doing so, share your experience in the comments. I’m curious to see if this Tarotive style works for you.
A few weeks ago, after a lot of handling, a little humming and hawing, I purchased my first new Tarot deck in YEARS!The beneficiary of my decision (other than our local Orangeville shop ‘Healing Moon’)? The Wildwood Tarot.
It is this earth-based, wheel-of-the-year focused deck that eventually pushed me and my bank card to the point of no return. Since then, I’ve set aside time almost every day to go through the cards one at a time. I’ve grouped them by minors, majors and courts. I’ve laid the deck out in ‘wheel’ fashion, (as suggested by ‘The Little White Book’ that accompanies this deck and pictured below) with the help of Merlin, our cat! 🙂
I look to experience learning a new deck in different ways: visually, physically, intellectually and emotionally. I shuffle the cards, ask a question, see what comes up. Sometimes, I go to the book, see what it says. Other times, I want to connect them to previous knowledge of the other decks I use. I want to compare and contrast meanings and images. I want to feel the cards and look at them. I want to connect the deck’s energy to my own. I want to ‘hear’ the cards as they speak to me. By the end of the process, I want to know my deck. And I want to like it.
Eventually, I’ll do all of my ‘pagan-y’ deck prep. For me, that means I’ll cleanse the deck with a smudge. I’ll put it outside under a full moon.
But before I do any of that, I’ll play. A lot.
Which leads me to this question… How do you connect with a new deck?
On Wednesday, May 25th, from 6:30 – 8:30, I will be leading a 2-hour workshop entitled ‘Demystifying the Tarot’ at Treehaven Natural Foods in downtown Erin. This introductory workshop will provide attendees with a brief overview of the ‘histories’ of the Tarot, its structure, its meanings and its uses. Its intent is to shed a little light on this ‘mysterious’ little deck. The cost of the workshop is $15 which also includes light refreshments. The cost for the workshop is payable in advance at Treehaven or at the door. Space is limited so please R.S.V.P. at email@example.com, by calling me at 519-217-7243 or by contacting Treehaven at 519-833-9006.
I will also be available for in-person Tarot consultations on Saturday, May 28th and Saturday, June 25th at Treehaven Natural Foods from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. To book your consultation in advance, please use the same contact information stated above.
Like all other emotions, love has its place in the Tarot. The Lovers, card of choice and, perhaps obviously, card of love, would be a great starting point for a search for love in the Tarot. It is the card where passion and reason come together, where difficult choices need to be made and where the very concept of synergy lives.
The Two of Cups, representing a covenant or a coming together of two, is another obvious place to find love in the Tarot. Interestingly enough – well… at least interesting for me 🙂 – many couples have their songs and will be listening to them during a romantic moment on Valentine’s Day. My partner and I have our card… it’s the Two of Cups and it will be on display on the 14th. (We have our songs as well but perhaps I’ll save that for another Valentine’s Day blog.)
The Cups are the resident suit of our feelings. Many cards in that suit at least hint at Cupid’s emotional realm. The Ace is the seed of love’s potential, the Three is the celebration of a love of company and companionship and the Ten is one’s recognition of the presence of emotional abundance and fulfillment. Our Queen of Cups, who possesses the never-dormant ear, is an endless source of compassion, is the Tarot’s version of the Kindergarten teacher 🙂 and is another place to find love.
Our other Cup courts are no strangers to love. Our Page is the personification of the Ace and the representation of being in the early stages of love. Our Knight is in the business of love ‘em and leave ‘em. Upon reflection, that might not be how one would define love but don’t tell that to the knight. When he’s in love’em mode, he’d tell you that he’s clearly residing in the realm of Eros, as would the beneficiary of his attention. Our King is the master of love. He is blessed with the ability to both love fully and to keep his love in check as opposed to wearing it for all to see.
The Lovers is not the only place in the Major Arcana where we find love. The Empress represents, among other things, a mother’s unconditional love. As the home of the outwardly Feminine principle, hers is a passionate love. A little further along the path of the Fool’s Journey, Strength shows us the resultant action of the Empress’ unconditional love. Looking for one example of this strength-based love in action? Try crossing a lioness when she has her cubs nearby. I would also argue that we can easily find love in two of the last three majors: The Sun, where our overwhelming optimism and joy includes a love for all things; and the World, where, as the card of completeness, contains all things, love included.
Like it or not, Valentine’s Day is a day where, at least commercially (oops, my bias is showing), we are reminded that love indeed makes the world go ‘round and is a many splendid thing. And I’m sure I’ve just scratched the surface of the presence of love in the Tarot. Do tell… where’s the love for you in the Tarot?