Building the connection to the tarot
Building the connection
Now that you have chosen your cards, bought them and opened them, you’re sitting in front of them, wondering “…what do I do now?”
Well, the first thing to do is to become familiar with the cards:
browse through them, examine them in detail, touch them, read the meanings, observe the symbols, analyses the interpretations given in the booklet coming with them… Get to know them.
Next, you will want them to get impregnated with your energy and “become yours”.
You can put them under your pillow at night the first few days. You can also do meditative exercises involving the cards.
Another good exercise is to shuffle them as often and as long as you can; this way, not only do you mix the cards well, but also, through shuffling and through the contact with your hands you magnetise them.
You can also do the one-card-a-day exercise: this consists of drawing a card every morning, reading its meaning, and meditating on it during the entire day, trying to see how its message could apply to that day’s circumstances.
There are many ways of “preparing” your deck to its new function, but contrary to some people’s advice, I wouldn’t advise to carry them around with you as something can happen to them. What I love to do, is to ask questions concerning the past; depending on the answers you get (and your honesty!) you can assess the readiness of your deck.
For pagans from all cultures, a consecration ritual is well appropriated for this occasion.
For all, pagans or not, an easy ritual would include the lighting of a candle, the burning of some incense, and a few prayer-type words welcoming the cards, naming them if needed, and consecrating them to their new function. None of the above is necessary, but some people do like that as they find it helpful.
Creating an atmosphere
People usually reproach psychics their tendency to like dramatised settings and mysterious atmospheres, with low lights, heavy incense…
Although I am not a big fan of “gypsy-type fortune-tellers” either, I have to admit that they make a point with their emphasis on the setting.
The point is not to scare clients or neighbours with a gloomy atmosphere, but to sacralise the tarot moment, which means to make it a special moment that both you and the others will identify as such and render it the due respect.
Find a quiet spot somewhere in your house, a place where you know the kids won’t come to play Pokemon and that you can dedicate exclusively to your tarot practice. The ideal would be to set up an altar where you would also keep your other ritual tools: caurie shells, images, statues, athame, runes, bible… Decorate the place with nice items. Burn incense, light some candles…get into the mood.
Choose a moment, day or night depending on your personality, but a moment when nobody is there or when you can get at least one hour of calm. Disconnect the phone, put a nice background music… and start your exercises.
Of course, all this setting is absolutely not necessary; I, for example, am not applying any of these recommendations at all. I just read on my bed and with my legs crossed! It depends on your personality, your tastes, your time limitations, and many more factors.
But at the beginning of a tarot experience, such a framework helps structuring the learning, hence increasing its efficiency.