Tarot and Magical Practice
RQ contributor sisalfish studies the Tarot from a different angle - using the cards while doing personal affirmations. In this article, sisalfish looks at cards from the major arcana which many of us like to draw, and those we resist.
Tarot Affirmation For The Moon
You stand at the gates, with two arcane figures towering above you. You sense that to pass through is to be changed forever, and to remain on this side is to miss out on the Mystery. And in your ear, a voice whispers that through the gate lie all the challenges of your past lives that you failed. Now you will face them and have another chance - a chance to make it past the sentinels, or a chance to fail again . . . you stand at the gates.
The Moon card is a card of the watery depths, and of all the gifts and challenges that deep water and deep emotion entail: intuition, rampant emotion, challenges, mystery. Those gates always remind me that there is another realm beyond, where all is understood, and where the path of my many lifetimes is linear. But on this side of the gates, we have only the watery shadow of the two towers, cast by the light of the Moon.
So - what to do with this card? Once again, those on the path many of us follow see this card as a blessing. Mystery? Hey, bring it on, and the more mysterious the better! A chance to get in touch with intuition? Most of us are up for that, I think. To pass through this gate is to enter into the rite of initiation, and if you are committed to a growth path, this card represents non-conscious growth.
Non-conscious growth - through dream, trance, meditation. This card is a message that the moon of our lives is phasing, changing, even if it is obscured from our vision by clouds. Even obscured from the eye, the tides know Her phases, and answer, and our lives answer as well. There is a conversation going on, this card says, between your subconscious and the Moon.
Some interpretations of this card also involve acting with the authentic self. I was surprised at that; it made me wonder if the authentic self must, like the Moon card, be beyond the reach of conscious thought. If the authentic self is truly what we are, intrinsically, beyond logic or explanation. The Moon card indicates challenges are coming that are beyond conscious thought; you must rely on intuition, dreams, the authentic self to meet those challenges and move past the sentinels that tower above you.
Affirmation on receiving this card:
"I hear the call of the unknown, and I look to receive guidance where I least expect it. Through choice, I can change my experience."
Tarot Affirmations for Cards We Resist: Death and the Devil
Fasten your seatbelts - these are cards that offer some serious challenges. I say we brave them both in one fell swoop. Have your affirmations ready! And you might keep in mind one word - choice. That word opens these two cards up to gift you with their full potential.
Let's take Death first. The one your off-the-street querant dreads most. But like many of those on our path, I welcome the Death card. Maybe not if you take your readings literally. But - if you value transformation, so much so that you sing songs to honor and invite change (as we do), this card is incredibly useful. For myself, there are so many areas of my life I'd be interested in transforming. Often, this card points to the area on which I should focus - often, it's an area I would have found good excuses to neglect. So, a tough card, the Death card, certainly. But if you've committed to doing tough work, it's a kind of "tough love" card.
My Thoth deck card shows a wicked skeleton doing a dance with a scythe, cutting through the threads that bind and conceal. What freedom - to wield such a scythe. This card is about letting go and moving forward. We are all full. - to bring in something new, something old must go. So, make a choice. You can choose to do things differently, every moment of every day. You can choose to let go of old things and relationships that haven't worked for you. You can choose to release, detach, and give birth to what is new and unexpressed in you. Just drawing this card is an affirmation that you are ready. Next dark moon, lay a spread with the Death card at the center, and see what pops up. Then, under the dark moon, choose to join the skeleton in her dance! And see what new you is waiting when the dance is complete.
A quote to bring our next card into perspective:
"The difference between a comedy and a tragedy is that, in a comedy, the characters figure out reality in time to do something about it." - Bennett W. Goodspeed
The Devil. It's a challenge, particularly to those of us who frequently state there is no Devil, it's just a projection of inner ickiness. Yes, exactly. Even if you don't believe there's a real guy with a pointed tail and horns, that energy exists in each of us, in the same way the energy of Kwan Yin exists in Jerry Falwell.
And believe me, that energy is laughing at our pagan struggles with this card. Because if there's anything to laugh about, this card will find it, and if it's a subject you don't think is at all funny, the Devil laughs even harder. Don't take this card on - you'll lose. Instead, choose to drop your pride and your illusions, and get ready to meet, face to face, the thing that bedevils you.
The Devil card offers a lot - mirth, and stability. This card has already met Death, already transformed. It is Pan, half man and half goat, symbol of laughter, life force, indulgence and energy. This card is of Capricorn, because it invites us to face what bedevils us with the temerity of the goat. Ground and center; cut through the veils of illusion; and be prepared to face what lies behind both of these cards, with both honesty and humor.
The Death card invites us to transform. The Devil stands on the other side of the door of transformation and invites us to step through and share a joke. Consider choosing to welcome both of them.
Affirmation on drawing the Death card: "I say Yes to Death, Yes to myself."
Affirmation on drawing the Devil: "I keep my feet on the ground and meet my demons with grace and humor."
Blessings to those with the courage to transform!
sisalfish is a writer and editor living in San Antonio, and an initiatory priestess in Diana's Grove Mystery School. She has read Tarot for over thirty years.>/I>
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