Tarot as an Invitation


Justice – Tarot

I’ve been contemplating the purpose of the Tarot (it’s the theme of my e-newsletter coming out in the next few days) and what it is the cards are doing.  They certainly offer meaning; each card has an ascribed meaning that varies across decks but for the most part retains an essential theme.  The cards and their images also stimulate our intuition to telegraph flashes of new understanding and “Ah, ha!” moments.  These are well understood and excellent descriptions of the Tarot’s work, but a new frame for what the Tarot is doing took form during a meditation on The Tower card.

The Tarot is issuing invitations.

And an invitation is something that needs to be accepted or declined.  If you want to keep in good standing with your host and hostess, you can’t just ignore the invitation.  Action is required.

It’s a subtle shift of understanding but it encourages a different orientation to the cards.  No longer is each card something delivered or given to us that we can passively receive or easily ignore.  But rather each card demands the start of a process in which we are active participants (even if we should decline the invitation because that is an action as well).

Some Tarot hosts or hostesses are more sought out then others.  The Tower with its strong connotation of catastrophic change is not usually an invitation we are happy to find in our mailbox!  But in doing the Journey into the Tarot Tower meditation a most unusual invitation came from The Tower and I’ve decided to accept it.

I’m going back through all the recordings of the weekly meditations and experiencing them for myself.  (It’s a little funny to listen to my own voice as the guide, but I just have to let that go!)  In the Tower meditation, a guide points out a structure in the distance.  The obvious inspiration for this structure is the stone tower on the card, but I was surprised to see a house from my childhood in that spot.  I entered this place that I hadn’t given any thought to in years and experienced stale air and a desire to curl up in a fetal position.  Although I had long ago left that structure, I was still carrying its energy with me.  Fortunately, the meditation continued with lightning arriving as an illuminator and then receiving the guide’s assistance to leave the crumbling structure.

I came out of the meditation thinking, “The Tower is inviting me to finish work around this childhood house and to look at the other places that I’ve lived.”  I’ve decided to accept this invitation.

With the invitation accepted, I need to get to the party.  The party for me will involve looking at these places through Tarot work, journaling, and meditation.  Here is the process I’ll be working with:

Make a list of all the significant places you’ve lived in.  (Significance will need to be self-determined and there is no need to look at every place that’s been lived in.)

Pull cards for each place with meanings of:

  1. the essence of this structure for me
  2. anything that I might still be carrying that I need to let go of
  3. how I can do this releasing
  4. gifts from this place that I need to honor

Take some action on the releasing and honoring cards.

At the end of the process, reflect on how your new insights influence your ideal about the structure you want to create or have created to live in now.  Consciously choose some cards to represent this idea and take an action to making it real (or celebrating how you have already done that work.

I hope you, too, might come to the party if it serves your needs.  Let me know what happens there.  I’ll be adding updates in the comments.





Leave a Comment

February 14, 2012, 11:37 am Hilary

I really like this, thank you! It feels like a creative way to understand any divination and translate it into momentum. So good to get beyond the ‘ohhowinteresting’ response.

February 14, 2012, 1:23 pm Carolyn

Thank you, Hilary, and, yes, right now I am thinking about how to move from reading to action with Tarot. I’m thinking about it as Tarot process in which the reading is a critical part but just a part.

February 15, 2012, 11:25 am Hilary

‘From reading to action’ – huge thing for me, too, with the I Ching. How to flow through from understanding to integration – and not end up one year later looking at my journal and saying, ‘If only I’d kept that in mind!’

There’s a key omen-word in the I Ching, zhen, that’s translated as ‘constancy’ or ‘perseverance’ but also originally means ‘divination’. So those two ideas, divination and constancy, are so close that zhen can evolve between them. I think what you’re doing here has plenty of zhen 🙂 .

February 15, 2012, 3:51 pm Carolyn

Oh, thanks for bringing in the I Ching wisdom here. I love this idea of a connection between perseverance and divination.

February 14, 2012, 2:32 pm Arwen

I really am sad that I can’t be on the calls at this time. I found them valuable. This idea of invitation is … well… inviting. 😀

February 14, 2012, 2:54 pm Carolyn

Well, I may have the cure for your sadness soon. I am going to re-record a bunch in March at all different days of the week and times and will invite people to come on. Then I am going to create a site where people can access the recordings (that will be for a small fee). I am working up the details of these plans for my e-newsletter which – really, truly – will be out in a day or two!

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