Let’s try to write something that isn’t super long. It’s Friday, right? Yeah, we’ll see. Anyway, I’ve been considering this for a while. Four years ago I started a process of meditating in order to enter tarot cards. This process is ongoing partly because I got lazy and partly because it got weird. But, you know, that’s expected to happen. You can view this as magic or as guided meditation, it doesn’t really matter. In this post, I’ll lay out how you can do it yourself if you’d like. Then every so often I’ll write up something from my notes about a card. How’s that sound?
This process is pretty simple. I’m mostly going to tell you what I did and do, and try to point out module points where you can swap in techniques you’re more comfortable with. Here’s my basic process:
- Sit the fuck down
- Remember to get the damn card, stand up, get it, sit down again
- Make a bubble
- Go into space
- Enter the appropriate arm of the Tree of Life
- Explore the landscape
- Talk to the figure(s)
- Try to remember everything
- Often, get made fun of for trying to remember everything
- Reverse the process
- Write as quickly as I’m able
That looks like a lot of steps, but calm down! The process can go pretty quickly, especially once you do it a few times.
So, OK. What’s all this then? The beginning is just basic meditation. Get into the “stance.” If you don’t have much experience with that, just browse around online. I’m fond of Thich Nhat Hanh’s work, and you can read some essays and interviews online.
“Making a bubble” is my way of clearing mental and physical space. If you’re familiar with any version of the contemporary rituals stemming from the Western magical tradition, you can probably do any of those instead. It’s just banishing other thoughts and protecting myself against crappy influences as I bob around in space.
I’m experimenting with some more elaborate consecration rituals, because two of the times I’ve done this recently, my partner has encountered some kind of crappy noise, shape, or other interruption during sleep. The Wheel of Fortune night was weird for everyone, honestly.
I use the Kaballah traditions that Lèvi, Waite, and the Golden Dawn attached to the tarot. They work for me. If they work for you, or you think they might, go for it. If not, then this section is just about making a “doorway” to enter the card through. You can imagine an actual door. You can imagine a cool TMNT-style sewer grate opening and then jump into it. Whatever.
If you like the Kaballah idea, you may want a picture of where each card falls on the Tree. Here’s an image I like. I believe the artist did vector art for it, so it’s easy to zoom in He’s packed tons of information in. Leave him a note if you like it.
So, after entering the correct arm of the Tree, or opening your door, you’ll see the card. Sort of.
I must have gotten this idea from somewhere, but I don’t remember where. A friend told me, after I started that Crowley suggests it (in a book I hadn’t read yet). He also says you’ll often see and hear things not portrayed on the card. That’s… definitely true.
Look around! What’s behind you? What’s behind the stuff in the card? I’ll do details in later posts, but I’ve seen fairgrounds around Justice and rivers behind the Empress.
Visualization is obviously a cornerstone of this piece. Keep the card nearby, though I don’t recommend glancing at it mid-process.
Usually I speak to the people or spirits involved in the images. For a while I tried a fairly ritualistic questioning, until the entities in the second “row” started fucking with me. Strength wouldn’t say anything until I introduced myself.
That’s what you’re there for! Find stuff out, be surprised. Leave the way you came. Reverse through the process. That’s it! Keep something handy to write in. I use pen and paper, but of course I do.