Entering a Card

IMG_4129Are you familiar with the “Entering a Tarot Card” visualization exercise? It’s a meditation in which you sort of project yourself into a card in order to explore it first-hand, including having conversations with any of the figures you might meet there. It’s surprisingly effective! I once had a very illuminating encounter with the distinguished gentleman pictured above, as a matter of fact… This was something else we touched on in last night’s jam-packed Tarot Toolkit class…

Try it for yourself!  Set aside a block of time during which you won’t be interrupted, then dedicate your space to the exercise: maybe set up some mood lighting, add some candles and incense, set up some crystals or figurines or other metaphysical-type objects in the area.

Sit comfortably, with the card you’d like to “enter” in your hand.  Take a few deep breaths, and relax, and try to clear your mind.  A 4-part breath cycle is helpful, I find: breathe in…hold…breathe out…hold…  Repeat…

When you feel centered and relaxed, and maybe even slightly tranced out, hold up your card, and stare at it.  Gaze at it, and into it, until you can close your eyes and still see the card image floating before you in your mind’s eye.  Once you can do that, imagine the card growing larger and larger, until it’s about the size of an ordinary doorway.  Next imagine that the front facing of the card — the “barrier” that separates you and our normal consensus reality from the “Tarot World” on the other side of the card — grows misty and insubstantial…

And then imagine stepping through that now non-existent barrier, and right into the part of the Tarot World captured there in the card.  Try to experience any sensory input.  Do you hear any sounds?  Do you feel a breeze, or any specific temperatures in the air?  Do you smell anything, and do you taste any exotic flavors on your tongue?

You can explore the region around you, or you can try to engage with the figures you’ve known only from the other side of the card all this time until now.  Who are you visiting?  The High Priestess?  The Hermit?  The Temperance-Angel or the Star-Goddess?  Maybe ask them if it’s okay for you to be there, and if so, then chat with them.  Ask the questions you’ve always wanted to ask them, or just request some advice.  Be open to whatever might come, and you may be surprised to find that you’re actually receiving answers from them — answers that honestly don’t seem like they’re being provided by you!

And when you feel your focus starting to slip, just retrace your steps.  Say your farewells, and then head back to the card-portal, feel yourself stepping back through to your everyday space, and allow the card-portal to shrink back down from door-size to card-size.  When it’s just a card sitting in your hands again, open your eyes back up, and allow yourself to reintegrate into your normal reality.

And then before the experience fades away like a dream does upon your awakening in the morning, record your impressions of it!  Journal in an actual notebook, or type your thoughts into your computer, or speak into your phone — however you do it, commit it all to some kind of fixed form, and then revisit it later.  You may find the experience will yield up some truly profound insights.

And whether your first visit goes terrifically, or poorly, or totally indifferently…try it again with a different card on a different day.  If this technique works for you, then you can become a fairly regular visitor to the fabulous Tarot-World!  Highly recommended exercise right here!

2 comments

  1. I second this recommendation! I’ve always thought that pathworking was an immensely useful exercise, both for beginners who are looking to get to know the cards and for more advanced readers who are searching for greater depth in their practice.

    • Thanks, Jack! I couldn’t agree more with both halves of your comment: this is a helpful exercise for beginners, and it’s also equally beneficial for seasoned veterans. It can yield terrific results for Tarot enthusiasts at every level of experience, and I do believe that everyone studying and practicing Tarot should give it a try. I’m happy to hear that you see the positives in it, too!

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