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tarot and spells

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 4:20 pm
by lliae
I wasn't really sure where to place this but I figured here was a good enough spot.

Has anyone combined their tarot with their spell work? Like using one of the major arcana to represent aspects of a deity or using the ace of each of the suits to represent the elements, or using a card to help you visualize the wanted outcome of a spell or something along those lines.

I've been thinking about doing this for a while, but I'd like to hear if anyone else has done it and their results before I try it :D

Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:19 pm
by Kassandra

It's rare that I don't incorporate oracle or tarot cards into workings. It's a given for some reason.


Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 5:54 am
by Obsidian
I've done this. I planted a sun garden (red, orange and yellow flowers that like plenty of sunlight) and asked that my life be like what is represented by the Sun tarot card. When I worked the spell I had the Sun tarot card in front of me to help me visualize what I wanted.

I wrote a list of specific things that I wanted and buried it in my sun garden. The idea was that as I tended the garden and watched it grow, so too would all these different aspect of my life improve. I have had only had modest results but I think this is my fault for a few reasons;

1. I am quite new to this path so maybe I wasn't visualizing or concentrating hard enough.
2. The garden is growing but I have gotten a bit complacent and haven't paid as much attention to it recently as I did when I first planted it.
3. There are certain things that I can do in my everyday life to help achieve my goals but I have been a bit lazy and not done these things.

The area that I've had most success in was my work but I have also prayed to St Cajetano (patron saint of job seekers) for help in this area and I suspect that it was his intervention rather than my sun garden that got the job done.

Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 6:44 am
by North Star
Yes. I love using cards for workings. Some decks I like to use for spells or placing on my altar, some I use only for readings.

Lately I have been keeping 3 cards on my altar, depending on what I am working on, I change them on new moons.

Years ago I bought a deck specifically for a spell. I can't even remember what the spell was for though lol.

Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:35 pm
by Xiao Rong
I just saw this blog post on "Witches and Pagans" about creating a tarot spell and thought I'd put the link here:

I have a friend who is applying for a promotion at work. If she gets it, she and her partner will be able to move to a new town, closer to family. My friend sees this potential as a great opportunity to get one step closer to her goals.

I wanted to support her efforts with some tarot magick ...

I started by meditating and setting my intention. Then I looked through the deck, pulling out the cards that felt right. I had a few in mind; the Ace of Pentacles, of course, along with the Three and Eight of Pentacles, since there would be opportunity for training and learning in this position.

I chose the Eight of Wands to speed the process along, and the Chariot, both to represent my friend’s clear and strong will to move forward in this way, and to assure that they will have reliable transportation, a problem for many young people.

I chose the Ten of Cups and the Ten of Pentacles to assist in finding a new home, and to make the transition a positive one for the entire family.

Overall, I chose seventeen cards. The number of cards was completely random, or intuitive. Once finished, I realized the number of cards reduces to the single digit of eight, which, in tarot, is the number of motion, exactly the energy we are trying to attract.

I arranged the cards in a particular pattern, paying attention to symmetry. The pattern felt intuitive, and I had to play with it a bit until it felt right.

Once I knew the order of the cards, and the pattern, I lay them out on an altar cloth my friend had made for me years ago, to help bring her energy to the spell.

The very first card I laid out was the Nine of Cups, the “Wish Card.” In laying out this card, I am asking that my friend’s wishes be fulfilled. The other sixteen cards each reflect different components of this potential opportunity.

You can perform this kind of magick for yourself, or for a friend. Simply play with the cards until the energy feels right. Once your cards are laid out, you can light candles, meditate, drum, chant, or whatever else you prefer to raise the energy.

I feel that when you choose and lay the cards out in this way, with specific intention, they are very effective at manifesting your desires. When you handle a deck with magickal intent, you will feel clearly led to choose and lay out exactly the cards you need.

I really like the idea of using the tarot cards as a way to focus the intent of the spell, yet also express a number of different, positive intentions for a holistic effect on her friend!

Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 3:16 am
by YanaKhan
I have this e-book by Donald Michael Craig called "Tarot and magic" and another one called "Tarot spells" by Janina Renee. Haven't read either in detail, just browsed few things, but they both look very interesting. Maybe I should find the time to read more, haven't had it lately... Anyway, if anyone is interested, pm me your e-mail and I will send both books.

Re: tarot and spells

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:48 am
by Kassandra

Xiao, it's funny you posted that article yesterday (Saturday) because I spent a good portion of that day constructing a tarot spell for someone with an issue at his job with which he would like some magical help. It took me hours to put it together because I decided to document everything I was doing. So, I had to stop and type, then do, then type, then do, then take a break, then resume. It's tedious, but documenting things helps with future workings, so it's worth the time investment in the long run. You only have to do it once. Then the next time I need to do a similar working, I just pull out my notes, and viola, the structure (and the little details I may otherwise have forgotten) are right there. As with a cookbook, you add more notes to the original recipe each time. It's fun, actually.

Spell Structure Readings, and The Triple Cross Spread

I like to start tarot spell workings with a reading first. When I specifically do a tarot reading to help structure a spell, I call these "Spell Structure Readings." So, these are not just readings for insight, but the readings themselves are Step 1 in the spell creation process. I will use different tarot spreads for this. In this instance, I used a tarot spread I designed called the "Triple-Cross Spread." It is basically three cross-shaped spreads laid out next to each other. They give perspective on three different aspects of the situation, usually touching on the factors involved in how things got the way they are, where they stand today, and a recommended course of action to follow to bring about the highest and best result for the querent.

Once I feel that I have gotten a satisfactory read on the situation, I then construct the spell based on information put forth in certain key cards in the reading, cards that really jumped out to me while I was doing the reading. I put those cards aside and get the pen and paper out (or laptop, lol). Based on what the imagery of the cards seems to say to me, the general feelings I get from each card, and the "slogans" or "mantras" those cards seem to be expressing, I construct the spell. These factors will also influence what kind of spell I will use to ameliorate the situation. I basically use spellworking techniques grounded in the American hoodoo tradition (though I often end up going off the farm in certain aspects no matter how hard I try not to; I would drive a "traditionalist" hoodoo rootworker crazy, haha).

Importance of a Reading Before Spellworking

So, I guess you could say the difference between how I do a tarot spell and how the author of that article does it is, rather than pull out random cards, I start with a structured reading. But the rest seems essentially similar. I used to do it randomly the way she does, but here is a big problem I ran into with that. Without doing the reading first, one is left to one's own subjectivity and bias about the situation, and will base the selection, construction and execution of the spell on those things....mmm, not good. Doing so could lead you down the wrong path, totally. Countless times I have found that what I thought was the right way to go, well, it lacked insight. I wasn't objective.

A reading provides a bit of separation between the querent and the situation. It serves as a check-and-balance, really. The insight from a reading will ultimately reveal aspects of the situation that the practitioner (me, in this case) may overlook, especially if the querent and the practitioner are the same person (in other words, when one is doing both a reading and spellwork for oneself). Here is where spirit guides and teachers, respected ancestors, one's all-important Higher Self, and other such "advisors" could chime in on the situation. A reading provides them the "sacred space" to do that, to intervene if need be. Otherwise, the practitioner could possibly be acting out of emotion, ego, bias, and like I said, that ain't a good thing. Sometimes a very subtle working is the most effective course of action. This could only be ascertained by first securing a thorough, objective reading.

A Community Approach vs. Do as Thou Wilt

I must say, this is what I find so dangerous with what I call the "Hollywood Wicca" I notice so prevalent today. Supposed "magick-with-a-'K' " was to be distinguished from stage entertainment. Yet, it gets treated as such and people new to magic don't distinguish between the two anymore. While mass-media witchcraft books, websites, TV shows and such have "mainstreamed" magical knowledge to a wider audience, what's missing to me in them is the spirit that with magic, it really does "take a village." It's always been that way with humanity historically when it came to energy work (shamanism, alchemy, manifestation, magic, etc., whatever you want to call it). Today, there is a big emphasis on working "solitary" --in Western culture, at least, I don't know about anywhere else. There is no mention of consultation. You just "Do as Thou Wilt."

So yeah, I personally never subscribed to Aleister Crowley's "Do as Thou Wilt" magical philosophy, and never will (and normally I never say "never," but with this I do). Sometimes the very last thing you should do is "as thou wilt"! haha On the contrary, sometimes we need to just hold our horses and listen to people (including the discarnate ones) who love us and have our best interest at heart and in mind! That's the point I was trying to make in my article about pausing and reflecting before performing baneful magic.

I could see how the solitary philosophy lends itself well to authors and companies making a killing selling books, video games, and other paraphernalia. So, from a capitalist point-of-view, I could understand it. Capitalism puts food on the table for those of Western civilization, where political and economic structures are carefully set up to do that. And I think this mentality spills over into the magical community, resulting in there not being any emphasis whatsoever on practitioners working in a community-oriented fashion anymore, with checks and balances, which I think is a tragedy.

Perhaps a balance could at times be struck, and I think our longstanding little community here at EUTM is perhaps an example of that. We share our knowledge, opinions and information, proving that with technology, community could still be attained. Hehe, so for example, a 13-year-old kid who tries to present himself as a "magus caster" online, phony coven and all, will get called on the carpet right away by people in his magical community who know better. Sometimes an "energetic spanking" by one's elders is in order....what else is "family" for? :wink: He may not agree with it at the time, but in hindsight he will eventually see the wisdom of it and hopefully appreciate it, lol.

Getting Magical Assistance

Anyway, in the article Xiao posted above, the author's working was for a friend, and for a subject not necessarily emotionally-charged (i.e., a potential new job opportunity). So, from my perspective, that luckily provided two degrees of separation for the author/practitioner. But, trust me, when a situation involves highly-charged emotions, say a love situation for example, then whoa Nelly, it ain't so easy for the practitioner to be objective anymore, especially if it's his or her love situation.

It's quite difficult to do a focused spell under those circumstances, for oneself or for someone else. When you're not objective, you can't understand the true energetic undercurrents of a given situation. You will want to see things the way you want to see things, not as they are. So, you will therefore not choose the right spells and remedies. You will, instead, choose things based on appeasing your wounded or otherwise overly-invested ego, which will never help a given situation in the long run. It will worsen it.

Therefore, the best things for a practitioner to do if he or she can't remain objective is:
1. Be honest about it (you'd be surprised how hard this step is for many practitioners...."I got this, I can handle it! I'm 'experienced,' so leave me alone, I know what I'm doing!"...suuure you do, lol),
2. Get someone else to do the reading. At times, it may even be a good idea to
3. Get advice on what spell(s) to do and advice during their execution, known as "magical coaching", if not actually
4. Just have another practitioner do the spellwork.
This is only when one feels that one is just not objective enough. It is a common practice in many industries for people to recuse themselves from a situation when need be (ex: judges, police officers, health care workers, etc.). I think this is a good practice to have as an option in magic, as well, and this is why having a community is a good thing.

Anyway, these are just some thoughts that occurred to me as I read that delightful article you posted, Xiao. Thanks for sharing it. :wink: