Blog, Essays

Hosting the Tarot

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.