Most of us are drawn to tarot because of its veiled mystery and ability to tell us things we don’t know. Yet the most valuable quality of tarot is that it draws out of us what we already know. Tarot is at its best when it holds up a mirror right in front of our face and shouts (or whispers), “Look!”
We often approach tarot with one eye on the past, “What caused this to happen?” and the other on the future, “Where is this taking me?” Yet, the best time for tarot to offer insights is in the now. Instead of trying to work out how we got into a situation, or how we will move on from it, focus on right now. This moment. Tarot Mindfulness is excellent to help us with the now.
Tarot Mindfulness Exercise:
You need your tarot deck and journal.
Breathe deeply three or four times. Bring yourself gently into the present moment. No thinking about what your next task is. No wondering if you said the right thing earlier. Be here now. Be present.
Shuffle your deck as you usually would. Turn the cards until you come to the first Major Arcana. Hold it and look at it as if you’ve never seen it before. Keep breathing, remain in the present moment. Absorb the energy of the card.
Now pick up your pen and write down how you are feeling through the filter of the card. Use an uncensored, free-writing style. Don’t correct spelling or punctuation, or stop to think what to write. Just look at the card and write. If your mind is blank simply describe the details in the image until a thought arises. Keep going until you feel all the words are out.
For example, let’s suppose the Moon showed up.
“I’m picking my way through a strange landscape. I see water. I’m not sure of the way. Somehow I know that I am lost in my own mind. I am reaching for guidance I know is within me.I have no idea what this means. I have no idea if I am going in the right direction. I feel disconnected and apart from the rest of the world. I feel the answer is here and all I have to do is reach for it. I stop. I’m failing, I’m completely lost. I want to cry, call for my mom. I hear a whisper, calming, loving. It’s me, my inner being. I realize what I must do. I stop searching. I stop struggling. I release all my resistance. The struggle falls away. I feel free, able to trust myself. I am following my own path now and nothing else matters.”
When you’ve finished, examine how you feel. Better? Worse? Lighter? If you feel up to it, repeat with another card. This time you might try a Court card or any of the minors. How you select it is entirely up to you. There may be a card you’d like to deliberately work with in this way, or you may prefer the universe to dish up one randomly.
If you prefer you can write as if addressing a character in the card directly. What is he or she trying to tell you? Personally, I prefer to put myself into the card, to experience the surroundings and to feel the energy of the suit element.
Here’s another example using the Seven of Swords.
“No-one is watching. I can be who I want to be. I can take back what is mine. I choose to grab an armful of confidence and make a run for it. I am in control of my own actions. I am able to make my own choices. I am not answerable to anyone. This is my life. I am going to take this opportunity and step right outside of my comfort zone. I have my confidence, see, right here in my arms. I know where I’m going. No-one can stop me. I feel connected to the universe. I feel at one. I feel as though I have found myself at last. I am me and I am source.”
It’s a good idea afterwards to stop and ground yourself for a moment or two as it can be an extremely cathartic and releasing experience. Stand up, walk around, shake your hands at the wrists and perhaps get something to eat. If you feel up to it, journal further about your thoughts and feelings around what you just wrote.
I hope you enjoy this exercise on Tarot Mindfulness and that it shows you yet another way to incorporate the beautiful system of tarot into your life.