The Tarot and the pendulum are both tools for divination. There are common misconceptions that both the decks and stones used by diviners are possessed of powers that allow them to see into the future. In reality, Tarot cards and pendulum stones are both used as a means to access the subconscious and to glean the thoughts and desires that are hidden from our conscious selves. Once you have an understanding of how each works, you’ll be able to see more easily how the two practices can be used together, and to great effect.
What is the Tarot?
The Tarot is a set of 78 cards, often depicting apparently arcane situations and settings. As a whole, the cards narrate the story of the Fool’s Journey, an allegorical tale that charts the lessons we should learn and the troubles we might encounter along life’s path. Each of the cards represents a portion of that tale and they are broken down into four suits and two Arcana. The Major Arcana deals with the grand themes of our lives, allowing us to examine the energies at play on a broad scale. The Minor Arcana deals with the energies that are specific to our lives and focus the energies of the Major Arcana, making them pertinent to us.
The suits of the Tarot – the Wands, Pentacles, Swords and Cups - get even more specific, focussing on the elements within us and around us that lead us to make certain choices and decisions. In a reading, the querent selects a number of cards according to the type of reading that is being conducted. These are face down, so the querent cannot see what they are choosing. The reader then uses his knowledge of the cards, the querent’s situation and their intuitive abilities to interpret the message that they are imparting.
In this respect, the Tarot is little more than a conduit for the energies sent out by the respective subconsciouses of the querent and the reader; it is a means through which they can communicate. However, there is no mysterious delving into the future; the Tarot is a tool for expanding self-awareness and promoting self-improvement.
How does the pendulum work?
Similarly, the pendulum does not house magical powers or demonic creatures; it is merely an amplifier for the subconscious. The pendulum is held still and questions are asked to which ‘yes’ or ‘no’ can be the only answer. Should the stone rotate clockwise, the answer is yes, if it rotates in the other direction, then the answer is no. The pendulum combines our intellect with our intuition. We focus our conscious minds on the situation or question we want to resolve and our subconscious minds respond with the best course of action or decision to be made. Again, there is no channelling of exterior forces; with both the Tarot and the pendulum we are merely accessing the answers that are already locked deep inside ourselves, but which may be hidden from us by the veil of consciousness.
Many practitioners of pendulum divination like to charge their stones with positive energy. In effect, this is affirming just what it is that you are using the pendulum for. By stating your intent out loud, you are channelling positive energies into the pendulum and instructing your subconscious to make its opinion known. It is worth remembering that the subconscious cannot discern between fantasy and reality; when you watch a film, your conscious mind knows it is fantasy, but your subconscious can engender physical responses such as increased heart rate or tensed muscles, as it believes it to be real.
Combining the two
Using the pendulum to read the Tarot can add an extra layer of accuracy to a reading, as it both amplifies and focuses the subconscious mind. To conduct a basic reading, using these combined techniques, there are four basic steps to follow:
1) Charge your pendulum with positive energy. Many practitioners like to physically clean their stones, which is symbolic of removing any negative energy they may have picked up and making way for the positive ones generated by your affirmation of intent.
2) Shuffle the cards of the Tarot, whilst focussing on just what it is that you hope to learn from your reading. It may be how to resolve a certain situation or how best to find love, but whatever your question is, focus on it as vividly as you can.
3) Spread nine randomly selected cards, face down, in front of you. Allow the pendulum some time over each card. A ‘yes’ indicates that a card is applicable to your situation, while a ‘no’ indicates that it is not.
4) Using a book or employing the help of a friend who is familiar with the Tarot, interpret the meanings behind the cards you have chosen through the pendulum and see how they are appropriate to your particular situation.
It pays to remember that the Tarot will not tell you what you should do, only what the likely outcomes are if you pursue a particular course of action. Where the Tarot is concerned, there is no such thing as predestination; we all have the power to shape the destinies we desire.
Both the pendulum and the Tarot deck are a means through which we can tap into the vast reserves of wisdom and knowledge we have at our disposal. There are no external forces at play; we are merely dipping into the waters of our subconscious to gain a greater understanding of how we truly feel or think about a situation or person.
Often, we have decisions to make, but feel that we cannot. Using this method of divination can help you to make a choice where you might otherwise find it difficult. However, using this method does not absolve you of the responsibilities for your actions; if anything, because you are bypassing your conscious mind, the responsibility is a greater one.
Both the pendulum and the Tarot have been used for hundreds of years by those seeking to gain a better understanding of themselves. Using them together is a great introduction to both practices.