The Spiritual Practice of Tarot

 

This page will serve as a resource on helping Tarot Practitioners develop their Spiritual practice of the Tarot.

 

The Spiritual Mindset

 

In his book Tarot and Psychology, Arthur Rosengarten points out something critical in regard to the psychological/therapeutic effectiveness of reading: one must have perfect trust in the outcome of the reading.

Furthermore, one must believe that the Tarot cards have the potential to be accurate. As Michelle Tea said, “If the person receiving the reading doesn’t actually believe in the Tarot, the Tarot doesn’t work, like a fairy whose existence has to be affirmed for her to survive. Tarot readings are an exchange of trusting energy between the reader and the seeker, and if that faithful collaboration is missing — in my experience – the magic does not happen.” (Modern Tarot, p. 3)

Eden Gray, in her classic book The Complete Guide to the Tarot, describes the Spiritual Mindset perfectly:

“Through deeply rooted mystic powers, the cards accomplish miracles of psychological insight, wise counsel, and accurate divination.” (The Complete Guide to the Tarot, p. 11)

The Importance of Ritual Space

I find my best readings are done in a sacred space which for me is my altar, the place where I do all my most powerful magick. Magick, of course, can be done anywhere, anytime, and without any special tools simply with the power of your own mind, but in my experience having an actual physical space that is the sacred to you facilitates getting your mind into the meditative place most conducive for magickal practice. And to me, tarot is certainly magickal and thus best practiced in a sacred space, which is not to say tarot readings cannot be done in a more causal set and setting.

From where does Tarot derive its power?

In some sense, Tarot derives its symbolic power directly from its shared correspondence from other magickal systems, including Kabbalah, numerology, Astrology. However, there is a sense in which Tarot has its own power. Due to the unique historical development of the cards and the myriad of symbolic/archetypal energy poured into the cards over the centuries, Tarot has its own unique form of correspondence. Furthermore, with thousands of different decks, all sprung from the deep creative wells of each artist and creator, each Tarot deck carries its own power. And going deeper, each Tarot reader and each tarot querent has their own power. Lastly, each shuffle of the cards, in its unique individuation, has its own power. No two readings ever mean the same thing and carry unique magickal power within themselves. Hence, we can arrive a kind of multiplicative formula for Tarot energy:

[Ancient systems of correspondence] x [History of Tarot] x [Creation of each deck] x [History of each deck] x [Energy of reader] x [Energy of querent] x [Energy of each shuffle and spread] = The Power of Tarot