A knight in armor rests on a bier in a church. His hands are in prayer position. Three swords hang on the wall pointing downwards, one sword rests horizontally underneath. We feel this is a time of rest and stasis. A nurturing scene of a woman and child is illustrated in the stained glass window. Have you been going and going? Perhaps to finish a project, or start one? It is now time for a rest, especially in the realm of mental activity. This card reminds us that after much activity, perhaps tension and stress, it is necessary to step back, be silent in solitude and re-charge one’s battery. Some meditation to clear your mind would be very good at this time…and always.
When I shuffle the cards in a tarot reading it feels like I’m exercising them. I use two methods primarily—fanning and overhand. To carry the metaphor further, the overhand method is jumping jacks and fanning is backbends. The movement of the cards charges the air with energy. I can almost feel the angel wings flapping, spreading negative ions throughout the space-time coordinates of the upcoming reading.
For fanning: I split the deck in two and hold a section in each hand. With my thumbs as anchors I bend the cards slightly and then release them allowing them to coexist in their jog to the table. They are merging together in a rush of movement. Once they hit the pavement I bend them backwards so they keep an even spine. For the yogis and yoginis—cobra, cow and cat poses to circulate the chi.
For overhand: I cradle the deck in my left intuitive hand warming up the receptors for divine guidance. With my right hand of logic and intellect I take a section of cards from the back end and carry them forward and then backward in a rhythmic cutting of the deck. It’s a two step dance of right and left brain activity by way of my hands and a deck of cards. Sometimes the back and forth arc of cards resembles the rhythm of jumping rope with spirit waiting for the right moment to jump in.
Of course there’s always a third method—what we call the messy card shuffle where we spread the deck around on a table top in complete abandon. This is the highly aerobic activity for the cards, similar to zumba and guaranteed to stoke the grid for high energy transmissions.
At the beginning of a Tarot card reading I shuffle the deck of cards and say a prayer inviting spirit to come to me. What does that mean? I am focusing my energies into a higher realm and asking for divine guidance. I want to clear out my ego with its personal thoughts and emotions and allow spirit to infuse my consciousness. I am essentially clearing the way for that which I don’t know to become apparent. Because I do not know everything. That is the first lesson on my way to grace. Accepting that beyond all the study in the world the intellect is not the final ruler is perhaps, for me, the greatest lesson of the esoteric. As Hamlet says to Horatio, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
To be sure, there is knowledge beyond the tangibles of this world and it is found in the ether of spirit.
What is this spirit I am inviting? Where does it abide? It’s the stuff I can’t see. The wind whistling in the trees. The breath of life, source, “creator” if you will. Our lives come to us through our senses and appear in tangibles—things we touch, feel, smell, hear, see. I’m most interested in all that is not apparent. Which is interesting, for me, because I am such a Taurus earth person with my feet on the ground, plodding along with my senses establishing a secure firm hold on my world.
Tarot, for me, is my gateway to the unseen, what lies beyond the veil in the space between dimensions. Historically the Tarot is a system of symbols, a language come down to us through the ages. At the most basic level it is a deck of playing cards with pictures of situations marking the journey of a soul through the vagaries of everyday events. Colored pictures of figures, events, stories with icons from Egyptian, metaphysical, esoteric lore are blended into a tapestry rich in symbolic meanings.
A tarot reading could be entitled “Where the Universal and Personal Collide,” as the vibrations of these symbols resonate on many levels of awareness for each individual reader. Those impressions blended with the archetypes of the collective unconscious create a unity of awareness. A system of symbolic meaning mythic and personal in their impact. As I parse through a reading I often wonder what connects the imprints of messages. What is the glue binding these “hits” to make a story, a message. I believe it is spirit which filters in and out of the bits and pieces of information like a ribbon.
As I watch the clouds drifting in the sky drifting in and out of shapes it seems to me that our experience on this physical plane is similar. Consciousness focuses on elements of tangible existence. Who or what guides the focus of consciousness? Is this the veil the High Priestess guards so intently? That which separates us from the mysteries of beyond? The fascination with the unknown is real and cries out for a key to help open the door. What is my key?
The tarot. These cards with their pictures, colors, symbols, are the tool I use to connecting to my intuition. My intuition is the bridge to the world beyond where the workshop of the divine exists. Angels hammer out messages of the divine guidance, readying them for my reception. As everyone’s experience of the divine is different and calls for different path enhancers, the tarot is my tool of choice. And this is my experience. I hope the experiences shared here may benefit you on your journey.