We just had a very powerful full moon over the 4th through the 6th. For those of us who believe in magic, the full moon is the perfect time to use the full illumination of the planet to achieve goals, receive blessings, and to ensure the best possible outcome for a magical working… like the one I want to describe in this set of posts on how to use tarot in attaining your dreams and goals.
My partner’s company got bought out and the commute is not a good one. Therefore, we decided to relocate from Vancouver, WA to Portland, OR. I knew that this needed to happen and needed to happen fast. Enter the perfect time for using magic.
All you need to work magic like I’m going to describe in this series is:
Any tarot deck can be used, but I recommend that you use a deck that you don’t read from. I have a dedicated magical working deck that I use to perform my spells with. However, because this ritual has three parts, I needed 3 decks. So I used all three of my Rider Waite decks. After each ritual gets laid out, you need to keep the cards out until the goal is complete or you feel that the magic has affected the goal.
As you can see, I’m putting my own designs on the line here. However, magic is worked best when you use your own energies and designs. Therefore, using my own spread helps aid more power and energy to get my goal. I also have had many friends use this spread with great success so I feel confident in that it can help you attain your own desires.
You also need to have an idea of what the end result will look like. The more specific you can be, the stronger your magic will be. In my case, I could have had the end result to be “find a new house in Portland, OR”. However, that is a bit too generic. I had three goals in mind:
I wanted our current house to sell quick, I wanted to find “our” home, and I wanted a smooth transition.
Combining the three-step goal with the fact that I had 3 days of full moon power at my disposal, I decided that each part became it’s own ritual spread. To find out more about my adventures in house hunting with tarot magic, read part one where I set up the release of our old house.
This month’s tarot blog hop, run by the awesome Donnaleigh, is Ostara: Paint a journey with new life. I’d like to welcome all the readers from Koneta’s site at http://www.newpathstarot.com/.
I had a hard time coming up with a topic for this month’s blog hop. Ostara, is all about the return of the sun, Nature renewing herself in fresh scents, and a time for us to begin new projects. It’s about painted eggs (a group I used to belong to did pagan-flavored Ostara eggs), and bunnies and lots of blossoming flowers. However, the twist and issue came in what to paint as a journey. What am I painting that can be seen as a journey with life?
So, I pulled out my trusty Shadowscapes Tarot, meditated on this topic, shuffled, and drew The Moon. At first, I wasn’t sure what this card was trying to say to me, but as I sat with it and pondered both the image and the symbolism a small seed started to form. My mind kept going back to one small symbol appearing in this card. The mask that the woman holds in her hand. Currently, I am working with a beautiful mask in my spiritual practice. I felt that it was no coincidence that the two shall meet for this post. After all, masks are created, painted, and worn; and the blog hop topic is about painting a journey with new life. This idea also fits in with the name of my domain: tarot inspired life, and so I will share some thoughts about this mask, the journey I am on, and how it fits into this post.
Masks have always intrigued me, in their colors, their size, and the way we all use them. In a sense, the Tarot, as a tool for self reflection, help, and insight also has masks. Each card in itself is a mask, something that we can use and incorporate into our own being. The roles we play in life are also masks. I wear the mask of a writer, a tarotista, and an editor quite often. And now, I can also add to the list that I wear the mask of Lilith, as an avatar for Her voice.
Last September, a friend honored me by asking me to partake in a year-long goddess exploration. Each one of us received a mask made by the very talented Lauren Raine. I selected to walk the year with Lilith, a goddess who I have no experience with. Or so I thought. This group has 5 other goddessi (as I like to call us collectively). Each one of us wears a different goddess mask. This September will mark the end of my journey at Fall Equinox (which is Ostara’s opposite side) in a ritual of dance, song, and music at the Northwest Fall Equinox Festival here in Oregon.
Lilith, as I have come to know her, is a powerful goddess. She is very pro-individual and all about self-empowerment. She forces us to look deep within and accept and integrate the parts of us that are wounded and discarded. She has been said to be a patron for those who are adopted, discarded by society, or abused. I have been walking with her for 7 months and she has guided me into a deeper place of spirituality. She is like the woman on The Moon card of the Shadowscapes card: where she is holding her heart out for all who can see, and looking down at the mask in her hand as if she was talking, or communing with it. In the mask’s eyes, which we call portals, I see Lilith’s desire for me to know myself, to reflect on who I am and where I want to go in life, and attempt to grow and nurture those areas of my life with deeper meaning. For there is much in my life I need to reconcile whole into my being. The journey I am on, seems to have three stages.
During the first months of my journey with her, in what I call Stage One, I tried to form an un-biased opinion of who she was. I put on the mask, talked to Lilith, and made an altar. I thought about what I knew of her and what she could teach me. And once I came up with a starting point, then I started looking at books for more information. In the devotional, Lilith: Queen of the Desert, there were parts of it that fit almost too well, where it gave me the impression that Lilith HAS been by my side for a long time. It just took this moment in time for me to realize it, open up to the idea that I was hers, and learn what it means to have her by my side as I grow through life. This first stage ended with me teaching a class on how others could use the major arcana archetypes to uncover their own self-power.
Stage Two is diving deep into this journey. I have no idea what that is, other than looking within and dusting off the cobwebs of myself and my spirit, in order to reconcile my past so that I can know how to successfully take others through this journey when their times come. Meditation and Tarot have been my trusted tools in this journey. In doing this work, I’ve been meditating a lot. I’ve also been asking questions of the tarot and seeing the responses I get as being from Lilith herself. Like Rachel Pollack who likes to ask the Universe, and God, bigger-picture questions about the world we live in and how it was created, I use the cards to help paint a picture of where I need to delve into my core being next; to lift the masks concealed in my subconscious off the wall, and examine them, their texture, their symbolism and wear them so that I can integrate these masks back into the whole of myself.
Stage Three, I fear, will be the hardest thing for all of us on this journey. I only know it by the feelings of “release and let go”. I mentioned this last Wednesday when I saw three of the goddessi. This final stage will come after we have danced the ritual, to heal the divine feminine, and shared our stories with a larger community, and then… have to give the masks back. I am not looking forward to that day. When I have to wrap Lilith up in her clothes, and take her back to her owner. When that time comes, I have asked that our group hold space and a ritual to honor the time, our journeys… so we can honor the loss and grieving of the masks going home.
Until then, I will continue walking this journey: learning more about myself, my goddess, and what it means to be part of the feminine divine using the best tool I have…my Tarot decks.
Last night I lead my first GEM meeting. I decided to share a concept that Katrina Wynne teaches in her Transformative Tarot Counseling program. It’s called Tarot Alive, and it is a playful approach to using tarot. It combines role-play, numerology (to help with card selection), and meditation to show people how to embody the energies of the major arcana. Effectively they become the personality in the card.
It was my hope that by sharing Tarot Alive with others that it would present them some practical ways to use tarot, and the archetypes, as personal assistants on their path. For example, they could perform variants of this experiment to embody other personalities to receive help or assistance with blocks in their lives.
I wrote up a quick summary and outline of my experiment on the GEM wiki site and set about to make the worksheets. Yesterday, while I felt better, I created the guided meditation to use during the meeting (it was also the first I’ve ever made) and gathered up all my gear.
At the workshop, I explained what we were going to do. I then helped everyone figure out the numerology that gave them a pool of 3 cards to work from. We spent quite a bit of time going over the cards and meanings, and gathering ideas. I brought some of my favorite tarot books to help them figure out which card to become. I then walked them through the meditation (hopefully giving everyone enough time to do each step) and waited until I phelt that all three participants had embodied their archetypes before moving on.
I greeted and introduced them one by one, and allowed each one to tell us a bit about who they were and what they wanted to share. We had the Hermit, Death, and Balance (aka Justice) with us. I asked questions for each and was surprised at the depth and honesty of each card’s response. The Hermit was a bit quieter than most, but I knew that he was enjoying being present.
I enjoyed interviewing the archetypes. I went in not knowing who I was going to be working with and while I was very nervous about coming up with questions… the ones I did fit and provided us a lot of playground to cover. Watching everyone was also a fun experience. While we did not have any props to use, I definitely noticed a shift in how people held themselves. Death, sat as if they were riding on a horse, and holding a sythe. The Hermit was off to the side, silently drawing within. And Balance played with a hair tie, making symbols representative of various balances one could draw upon in their lives.
I thanked each archetype for giving us their time and helped the participants back into the present. After giving everyone time to get resettled in the here and now, we chatted a bit about the experience and what they learned. Overall, I felt that this event was successful and that everyone was pleased at what they discovered from the archetypes. Many also felt that the numerology aspect helped enlighten aspects of their own life that were previously unknown.
I’m pleased at the results that everyone experienced. I know that a few participants will take this idea and run with it, morphing it as it benefits their own path. As for me, I’d love to be able to do this experiment again and have other participants go through it to see what they think of the experience.
I can now finally say, that I am a published pagan/tarot author. It’s been one of my goals to start pushing out into the tarot writing scene and I’ve done it! I am very proud of this and hope there will be more chances to share and write about tarot in my future.
In the beginning of this year, I answered a call for writers from Megalithica Press asking for essays on how people use pop culture in with their magical life. I wrote a nice essay showing tarot enthusiasts how they could use pop culture with tarot. Including some of my secrets on using an iPod with tarot information and the cards.
The essay got accepted in the anthology and I was told the book would be due 2009. Well, I got my contributor copy last week. It’s out and available for purchase from either Megalithica Press (the publisher), or amazon.com. Of course, if you really want to help me and the publisher, I recommend you buy it directly from Megalithica. My name does not show up when you click that link, but believe me, I am in this book!