Over the last few months, I’ve often felt like this.
(This is the Four of Pentacles by the way.)
I want to hold on to everything that is precious to me. I want to protect everyone I love, I want to make sure that finances are relatively secure, I want to make sure that everyone I love (me included) is comfortable and safe. I want to wrap everyone in a blanket and leave them tucked in on the couch with a hot mug of tea and a good book.
Of course, no matter how much I focus on these things, or worry about these things, most of them are not under my complete and superhuman control. And, trying to hold everything steady is exhausting, and blocks the flow of energy and positive change.
So, instead of trying to take the whole world in my arms and hold it fast, I’ve created and maintained a few rituals for myself that keep me steady, and help me to keep things in perspective.
One of these rituals is pulling one Tarot card a day, every morning.
I know that many people don’t see the value in this. Some people feel that it is tedious to do this, it becomes a chore, or they just don’t see how one card can inform them and impact their day. And, many Tarot readers post a Card-of-the-Day on social media, me included, and it is easy to get lost in the shuffle and noise.
I always pull a card-of-the-day for the collective, but I had moved away from the practice of pulling one specifically for myself. I have come back to it, and it has been an enormously uplifting, meditative and informative practice.
There are three key aspects of this practice that make it work.
- Treat it like a ritual
- Ask a good question
- Watch for how that card appears in your day
Treat it like a ritual – Make this time just for you. Set the scene for yourself, start with an invocation or a prayer. Don’t rush, luxuriate in the beauty of the card, get to the real depth of the message. I like to do this first thing in the morning, because it helps me set my intention for the day and gives me insight into how to reach the goal that I set for myself. I am starting my day by connecting with my higher self, with the Goddess, and reminding myself that we are all connected and have access to a universal source of energy and insight. This doesn’t mean that you have to complicate things, or put aside anything more than 15 minutes or so, it is just that you keep this as a sacred time to honor yourself, and to send some light into the world while you’re doing it.
Ask a good question – You can keep it open and just ask the cards, “What do I need to know today?”, but I have to admit that often leaves me flat. The more specific you get with the cards, the more specific the answer they give you, so why not put a bit of effort into that question. For me, it often boils down to how I want to FEEL. I might ask the cards, “How can I feel happy/productive/calm/peaceful/powerful/satisfied/confident/insert-your-word-here?”. Or, if you have a particular situation that you need to navigate, or a decision you need to make, ask specifically for guidance into that. And when you look at that card, don’t pull up a rote meaning in your mind, make the effort to relate it to you personally, to see yourself in it, and to ask yourself if it suggests any concrete action steps that it would be beneficial to take. Write down your response to the card as well, include anything that it sparks for you.
Watch for how that card appears in your day – Carry the image of that card in your mind throughout your day, and see how it talks to you, appears to you, whispers at you. Notice if any of the elements or symbols appear in mundane places. Pay attention to music, snatches of conversation, anything that reminds you of your card. Make it a game and an adventure, stretch yourself and your senses and assume that those messages will come and that they have value.
- In the morning, do a 10 minute mediation based on your card. Ask your intuition to help you to hone in on why this card came up for you, and what the most beneficial message is.
- In the evening, put aside 5 or 10 minutes to jot down your insights. Make note of how the card came up in your day, and any personal connections that you made with it. Ask that card to send you a dream that night so that you can connect and play with it further.
I know it is a simple practice, but it can be a meaningful, comforting and spiritual one if it is approached in this way. It also gives you another way to get to know the cards, and create personal associations with them. Small rituals like this bring the cards to life, and extend their energy and meaning far beyond a piece of cardboard.