It’s well documented that the Tarot is used as a means through which we can communicate with the subconscious. The querent asks the deck a question and draws cards, which are actually selected on an unconscious level. The reader then uses his interpretive and intuitive abilities to divine the message behind the cards that have been chosen. However, the messages can be clouded if the querent is too dominated by the more conscious aspects of their being, such as arrogance, pride or anger.
If you’re going to use Tarot as a means through which to expand your self-understanding, then there is a way in which you can ensure that the messages that come through are as clear and uncluttered as possible.
Meditate to cogitate
Meditation has long been understood as a way in which we can communicate with our higher selves. The meditative state is much like the state we enter between wakefulness and sleep. The subconscious is the more active part of the psyche, but the conscious is active enough that we can apply ration and logic to the things we experience. During meditation, the subconscious comes to the fore and communicates through apparently random images and sensations. The images on the Tarot have a certain surreal quality to them, which appeals to the subconscious. Fusing meditation with the Tarot cards is the perfect way to make sure that the channel between your higher self and the cards is a clear one.
Preparing your mind for the messages in the cards
1) Begin by choosing a Tarot card. You may want to trust to your intuitive abilities and select a card at random, or you might want to choose a specific card. It might be that you want to choose a card that is related to a particular issue that is going on in your life. For example, if you are experiencing difficulties in your love life or relationships, then the lovers would be an obvious choice. Similarly, if you are concerned about a major change that is unfolding, then you might want to take a look at the Death card. There are plenty of resources available in book form or on the Internet, where you can get a brief overview of the main qualities associated with each card.
2) Before you enter a meditative state, you might want to consider setting the scene. Unlike traditional meditation, it is not necessary to have absolute silence. Certainly, it’s far better to have some time in which you aren’t disturbed but, if it helps, you can put on some ambient sounds in the background. You may even want to light incense sticks. How you choose to relax and open your mind is entirely up to you.
3) Holding the Tarot card in front of you, but with your eyes shut, begin to meditate. Focusing on the breath is a tried-and-tested method for clearing the mind. To ensure that you remain in the moment, it can be a good idea to count the breaths, in cycles of four. Begin with the in-breath, which is ‘one’. The next out-breath is ‘two’ – and so on. By counting the breath, you can anchor your mind in the present; if it goes wandering off, you simply start the counting cycle again. However, if you do experience random thoughts and feelings, remember them for later.
4) As part of your meditation, visualize a bright, white light gathering above the top of your head. Imagine this light filling your body, flowing into your head and out through the soles of your feet. As you do so, visualize the white light burning away any negative energy that lurks inside you and taking any residual fragments with you as it flows away. Allow the light to penetrate every part of your being; the better you can imagine it, the clearer the message will be to your subconscious.
5) Once you feel completely relaxed, you can focus on the card in your hands. Begin by just looking at it and seeing how it makes you feel. Does the card make you feel nervous, happy or even upset? As you experience this intuitive gut reaction, notice any accompanying thoughts or images that come with it
. Next, start to focus on specific parts of the card. The Tarot deck is packed with imagery that has a traditional meaning – but one that your subconscious might interpret differently. Again, try and make note of the feelings, thoughts and images that come with looking at each aspect of the card’s imagery.
Now it’s time to try and get to the heart of the matter. Each card has a picture on it of the Fool, at a particular stage in his spiritual evolution. Focus on the figure and imagine yourself stepping into his image - imagine yourself becoming the Fool. The detail with which you imbue this visualisation is important as the greater the detail, the better the effects will be. What you are trying to do is to ‘inhabit’ the Fool for a while. Make a note of what he sees and how he feels. Explore the environment of the card around you, from the Fool’s point of view. The aspects of the card that frightened or unsettled you; are they still as threatening or do they mean something else? Try and think like the Fool and see if you can understand how he perceives the word of this particular card. As you do so, you will become closer to understanding the message it packs.
6) Once you are ready to waken, use your mind to visualize stepping out of the card and back into your body. However, it’s important to tell yourself that you can come back to this state at any time you want to, so that your subconscious becomes more adept at creating the visualizations.
7) Make notes of all that you experienced at every step of the process. You may find that there are patterns within your thoughts or that they are linked. You should also be able to gain an insight about what it is that made you feel the way you did about the card you chose.