The Tarot: Magic Unlimited
by Cathi Bitzer
Every Tarot owner and reader knows that, like any other form of spirituality, the use of the Tarot is a very personal choice. Some Tarot collectors for example say that there are some decks that they use constantly, while they own other decks they just don’t use at all.
One of the reasons for this could be personality. Each deck of cards infuses in itself the personality of its creator. The images and text on the cards go a step beyond this to add a sense of their own aura. When the deck is transferred to the recipient, the user completes the process by combining his or her own personality with that of the cards.
With some decks this personality combination is extremely powerful, while with others it’s just not there. When there is not a very strong initial connection for the user, the cards tend to fade to the background of the collection, while others impose themselves right at the front of the owner’s mind, imagination and use. This is when magic happens. While it can be a very spontaneous and intense process, it can also be cultivated.
The first-time recipient of a Tarot deck for example may feel somewhat at a loss regarding where to start cultivating not only their knowledge, but also their emotional and spiritual connection with the cards. There are after all an apparently overwhelming number of cards, each with its own meaning and images.
An experienced Tarot user can also benefit from revisiting a conscious process of getting to know their cards. How about for example dusting off those non-favorite decks? An untapped dimension of magic may be waiting.
The three steps below are suggested to help with the process.
Step 1: Get the feeling Look at your deck of cards – how do you feel? Ask yourself how you feel about the deck as a whole, and each individual card in particular. Go through the cards and pick your favorites on intuition alone. Do not worry about text book meanings. Single out those you find most beautiful, or that connect to you in a particular way. Put them together in a stack. Make a note of the particular feelings each card inspires in you.
Now go through the deck again and single out your least favorite cards. Put them in a different stack and make more notes. What is it about each card that you find disturbing or that you don’t like? Be as specific as you can.
Step 2: Study The second step is to examine your booklet. Begin with your favorite cards. Look at the description in the booklet, and how it combines with your feelings about the card. Examine your notes and compare these with the booklet. Do the same for your non-favorite cards. At this stage, you could make more notes if you like. This process helps the connection to establish more firmly.
How accurate are your intuitive feelings as they relate to the text meanings that you read?
Go through the unselected cards and their meanings to complete the study process.
Step 3: Intensify The final step is to combine your intuition and conscious study through daily practice. Take one or two of your favorite cards every day. Look at the cards very carefully, trying to memorize every detail. Read the relevant text in the booklet, and examine your notes. Think about the cards as often as possible throughout the day.
Write down any new thoughts or insights at the end of the day. Record any relevant dreams you had during the night before moving on to the next set of cards. Continue the process with your least favorite cards, and then complete it with the rest of the deck.
This can become a lengthy process, but it is also a very rewarding one. The depth to which you get to know your cards will reward you throughout your life with the Tarot. For the experienced user, these steps may be the pathway to becoming a more in-depth and experienced user of the cards, even with less favorite decks. The connection established in this way can open new worlds of experience in the universe of Tarot.
The above steps can of course be modified to any taste and time schedule that best suit the needs of the user.
So why not liberate those unused decks from obscurity and get to know them a little better? After all, a first impression lasts only as long as you let it. You never know what you can learn if you’d only bother to make the effort. Tarot cards are wonderful, mystical tools. We have an amazing variety available today; just one of the things that make me glad to be alive in the 21st century.
© Cathi Bitzer
Cathi B, as she likes to be known, owns several Tarot and other decks, of which the Vertical Oracle is one. She mostly does readings for herself and for family members and close friends. Her writing efforts include reviews and articles mostly on mystical an self-help topics.