Posts Tagged ‘tarot exercises’

Yule Tarot Exercise

December 21, 2011

Here are some tarot exercises that explore the themes of the Winter Solstice. The images here are from the RWS deck, but you can use any deck you like with the exercises.

In the image from the 5 of pentacles from the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, the two figures are “left out in the cold.”  Find a card from the deck you have chosen to work with that represents your own darkness at this time of the year; perhaps your anxieties about the new year, your feelings of being cut off from others, or situations in which you feel like you are walking right into a strong wind.  Is there any light offering you hope for the future, like the stars that shine in the window of this card?

The 4 of swords offers refuge from the cold and dark outside, like the quiet time and space we all need to organize our inner lives.  Reflection and analysis of your situation will help you take up your sword to face the outside world again, but this time with strength and precision.  Find a card from your deck that represents a safe and comfortable meditation space you can go to in your mind.  Enter the image on the card.  How does it feel to be there?  Note all the details around you so you will be able to visualize it again when you need to enter it again for your time of respite.

The tarot Star shines in the sky as a beacon of hope and promise for the coming year.  The woman in the image has one foot in the water and one on land; she is comfortable in the watery world of emotion and spirituality, but she is grounded by her connection to the earth.  The stars above her light and guide her actions.  Find the Star card from your deck.  How does it enhance your understanding of your own personal Star of hope?  Now search your deck for an image that represents the dream your Star offers you.  How does this image fit your hopes for the coming year?

The 10 of pentacles shows us a gathering of generations, complete with children and dogs.  There is an aura of celebration and community that exemplifies the Yuletide spirit, with Stars of hope hovering above the figures.  Find a card in your deck that represents your ideal sense of fellowship and connectedness with others.  How can you bring this spirit into your life, and into the lives of those you care about?  How can you carry this image into your daily life, so it’s there to help you make connections with others?

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Samhain Tarot Exercise

October 27, 2011

I like to spend time around the Celtic holidays to reflect on the last season, and look forward to what I’ll be putting my energy into in the coming months.  I find the themes and archetypes of the tarot fit nicely with the journey around the Celtic wheel of the year.  I’ve developed some tarot exercises to explore those themes and archetypes.  I use the RWS deck as my baseline, and then I choose another deck to work with, something seasonal, or to fit my mood, or just a deck that I’m learning to work with. Here’s a handout that I give out for my Samhain/Halloween workshops.

  Several of the tarot cards depict themes that have relevance in exploring the symbolism of Samhain.  The Moon card represents our connection to the spiritual otherworld through our dreams, visions, daydreams, and imagination.  As you look at the picture of the Moon card from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, try to see it as an invitation to look beyond the veil—between the worlds at its most transparent time of endings and beginnings.  Do you find this glimpse of the otherworld attractive? Frightening?  How does it reflect your own dreams and visions—sleeping or waking?  Find the Moon card from another deck.  Does it enhance your understanding of your dream world? 
  The Death card represents the ending of the old year and the sloughing off of outmoded ways of thinking, feeling, and acting.  This card urges us to leave behind what we no longer need—what no longer helps or sustains us.  Find the Death card from another deck, and compare and contrast it with the picture shown here.  How do you feel this process of ending happening in your life?  Now choose a card from your deck that represents something you need to get rid of to make room for the blessings of the new season and year. Consider habits—even addictions—toxic situations or people, outworn attitudes or beliefs. What card feels like the dead leaves of your life? Which need to be blown away by the crisp and invigorating wind of autumn? 

 

Now take a look at the “harvest” of the last year, represented here by the Seven of Pentacles from the RWS deck.  Reflect on your work of the past year.  Choose a card from your deck that captures something of your “harvest.”  How does the card depict what you have gained? What memories and achievements will you store in the winter months to nourish and warm you? 
The new year dawns like the sunrise of the Temperance card.  The angel has one foot in a pool and one on land, representing an ability to move between the ordinary “earth” world and the “water” world of dreams and visions we first entered at the invitation of the Moon card.  Compare the Temperance card from another deck with this one. How do they offer you a glimpse of your new path? Find a card that represents the “crops” you would like to plant for the next year.  What are your goals? Your deepest desires? What would you like to involve yourself in?