Have you ever noticed that someone does not necessarily have to be book-smart to be a good lover? Well, the same is true with the tarot. Sometimes the more we know, the worse we read. If you want to read more creatively, more psychically, you need to ditch the books, risk making a fool of yourself, and get intimate with your deck.
Keep a tarot journal. The cards really started to talk to me after I started writing in a journal. There were a lot of awkward silences and short entries at first but as I got more secure my intuitive voice got louder and the entries got longer. And I started to make some amazing intuitive connections.
Where do you start? Go to an art supply store and don't be cheap. Get one of those big (9 x 12), bound, black, blank art books you may have fondled in the aisle but never bought. Size does count here. You will write more in a larger book because it's enjoyable. If you have extra space you will feel freer to draw out your dream from last night, make to-do lists in different colored pens, paste in a magazine image, or even do an entire collage. P.S. Don't forget to throw in a juicy new set of colored pencils.
Setting the Mood
Create a special nook in your home to do your tarot writing. Make a simple altar with space for your deck and a nice hot cup of tea. Play music you love, and use an aromatherapy lamp and good-quality essential oils to enhance the writing ritual. Read Judy Chapman's Aromatherapy Recipes For Your Oil Burner for inspiration and safety tips.
Going For It
Just center yourself with a deep breath and ask, what do I need to know for today? Pick a card. Write down your initial psychic responses before you look up the definition. Or dare to go book-less. Describe the image in your journal. Free-write or draw the way it makes you feel. Apply the feeling to an aspect of your life. Don't hesitate to do a chain of oracles. Depending on my mood, I might pick a totem animal for the day from the Medicine Card deck, use a rune to clarify a dream image, or keep guiltily pulling a goddess card till I get the answer I want. No one is watching.
"But I don't have time for writing, I'm busy." I used to say that too until one day I caught myself poring over a Hammacher Schlemmer catalog, busily considering the merits of the electrically powered six-plattered revolving hors d'oeuvres ferris wheel. I had hit bottom. Get off catalogs, get off the phone, and voila, you may find two extra hours a day for your soul work.
Tristine Rainier and Anai's Nin's The New Diary helped me see how psychologically healing writing in a journal can be. We shy away from doing it consistently because it imparts clarity. Some of what we see when things get clear makes us want to go right back to sleep. But writing will help you deepen your connection to the divine and introduce you to your authentic self, so fear not: you won't be waking up alone.
Dance and Dancer
What is the tarot? Is it the cards themselves, or the act of reading them?
This spread can help you attune to your deck and strengthen your connection to its inner energies.
Within each set of three cards, the first card represents what you as the reader bring to the tarot, and the second card symbolizes the energies of the deck. The third card suggests the way the two work together.
At the same time, each set of three cards represents a basic elemental force in the tarot. Cards 1-3 show the earthy, grounding energies, while cards 4-6 symbolize fire and action. Cards 7-9 represent the intellect and air, and cards 10-12 emphasize water and emotions.
From Llewellyn's 2001 Tarot Calendar. For more Llewellyn tarot books and decks, click here.