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Intermediate Tarot This will be a short (8-10 weeks) course combining some Introductory information, but focusing primarily on early Intermediate work, working with the cards in short readings, exercises and meditations to open the flow between knowledge and intuition. Emphasis is on combining intellectual familiarity with the symbolism, and personal insight and interpretation. Not for total beginners.

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Old 09-25-11   #1
RoseRed
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Default Introduction Posts for Intermediate Tarot

I guess I'll go first.

I was 13 years old the first time I saw tarot cards. My best friend had just purchased a pack of RW and we sat on the front porch on a beautiful fall day. She laid out the cards and proceeded to do a reading from the little book that comes with the cards. That was the first time I heard them. I told her that she had it all wrong. Re-did the reading and as I was reading she was looking things up and it was a total WOW! moment.

Then we took the cards over to the property line where my neighbor had just died. They told me how and walked me thru my first sťance with tarot cards. We asked for all sorts of different Ďproofí and really freaked out when we got it. I think I freaked out my friend even more because she would never bring the cards around me again.

I started Ďreadingí or actually Ďlisteningí to playing cards when I was 14. I played around with placement until it was Ďrightí and all I had to do was listen. It really hit home when I found a book showing what the different cards meant and I had been reading them correctly the whole time.

It wasnít until my mid-20ís that I finally got my own set of cards. I purchased several books before I found one that was the detailed in the reading of the symbolism. I studied the cards, the lay-outs, etc. I kept notes and revisited readings. I looked back on old readings and applied new knowledge. Other than learning the book meanings and symbolism Ė the cards taught me themselves.

They would call to me when they had something to say. I listened.

Iíve worked magic with runes but they donít work well for me with divination. Pendulums and I do not get along well - they just never work. Fire scrying works much better for me than water scrying. I avoid Ouija boards like the plague. When I was a teenager I brought something through. It took years before I learned how to send it back.

I donít meditate nearly as much as I should. Just in the last year Iíve found that I can speak with the plant spirits again, can feel the land and place spirits, can almost make out what the trees are whispering (but only when they want me, to I think).

When I went thru my very Christian phase I burned it all. My cards, my books, my BOS Ė I could just cry.
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Old 09-26-11   #2
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

Wow - powerful story here RR. you BURNED your cards? I would suggest, if I may, a ritual to deal with the sadness and self reproach you feel - to help you go forward in freedom, from here. Starhawk has a simple ritual I used to use a lot, sometimes the very straightforward workings have the most emotional power ( IMO because great lengthy involved workings require so much concentration on what one is doing, leaving less focus on the feeling-states that should be invoked). In case you would be interested in it I'll post for you. It's called The Indrinking Spell, for resolving guilt or sadness when you've made a Mistake.



~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Cast a circle.

Sit facing North, and light a black or white candle.

Hold in both hands your chalice, filled with clear water. You should have before you an image of the Goddess and a green plant, in earth.

Visualize all the negative things you are feeling about yourself, the mistakes you have made, the things you have done wrong. Talk to yourself about admit you feel bad. Tell yourself, out loud, exactly what you have done wrong, and why. Let your emotion build energy, and project it all into the cup. Breathe on the water.

Raise power.

Visualize the Goddess as forgiving Mother. Imagine her hands cover yours. Hear Her say:
“I am the Mother of all things,
My love is poured out upon the earth.
I drink you in with perfect love,
Be cleansed. Be healed. Be changed.”

Pour out the water onto the plant, and feel your self-hate draining out of you.
(It is possible this ritual will kill the plant).

Fill the cup with milk or juice.

Raise more power, and visualize yourself as you would like to be, free of guilt and sorrow, changed so that you will not repeat the same errors. Charge the cup with strength and the power to be the person you want to be.

Again, visualize the Goddess. Her hands cover yours, and She says:
“Mine the cup, and Mine the waters of life.
Drink deep!”

Drink the juice or milk. Feel yourself filled with strength. Know that you have changed, that you are, from that very moment, a new person, not bound by the patterns and errors of the past.

Bind the spell.

Earth the power.

Open the circle
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

This is as Starhawk wrote it; what I do, is I visualize the water in the cup transforming into clear, crystalline pure water, I use my athame and stir it 9 times counterclockwise and 9 times clockwise, to remove the negativity and bring in the cleansing. So I never fear it will kuill the plant, it actually nourishes it. I often take a bottle of the Bach Flower Essence CrabApple and add three drops, or else, if I have some, I use my personal flower essence blend called Self Heal, which I can teach you to make - or make your own! In any case, the process is very healing, and my apologies to Starhawk, I just see no need to kill a plant over my regrets.

Now - to address your Intro a bit more - it strikes me that you are a natural sensitive, and that right from the beginning you received strong confirmation of that. Sometimes, those of us who are called very early have to confront and struggle with obstacles - I certianly did! Yours seems to have been a combination of emotional shutdown - not trusing yourself - and fear induced by a phase of fundamentalist Christianity - would that be accurate? And now your heart is open again, so that is indeed wonderful. Have you been able to get a new WS deck yet?

Can ask, which decks that you have seen, aside from the WaiteSmith, really call to you?

Thank you for sharing this with us - it's great that you're feeling so connected once again.
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Old 09-26-11   #3
RoseRed
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

It was never a matter of not trusting myself but that whole Fundie Christianity phase was a bit over the top. I do have to say that burning everything was quite freeing. The things that were burned were used during the most difficult time of my life. I don't think that negativity would or could ever be truly cleansed from any of those items.

Thank you for Starhawks ritual. I see your point about not killing another living thing to free yourself. I'll have to ponder on it and see how I can change it to work with where I'm at currently.

At one time I purchased a gypsy deck. I looked at hundreds upon hundreds of different decks. The gyspy deck spoke quietly to me. None of the others ever came through as loud and sure as the RW deck. I'm not a fan of all the symbolism or the overly bright yellow that they use but they are the loudest.
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Old 09-26-11   #4
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In high school, I picked up playing cards again, understanding a little better what was going on. It made for a cool parlor trick. Everyone else can do this or that, I had nothing...well, there is this one thing I can do...very Breakfast Club, but cooler than lipstick in your bra.

I didn't encounter anyone else who read Tarot until I was 18. I went to a house to be introduced to some of my then boyfriend's friends and someone mentioned it. The owner of the house got out his cards and started reading for everyone. I didn't think he had it right, but I didn't say anything. He said he wasn't supposed to read his own cards, he wished he knew someone who could read, other than himself. My boyfriend suggested he let me try. He said I could do anything. So the guy hands me his cards and says, "Give it a shot." He said it all smug and superior, like he was testing me, but he put the cards in my hand. I started shuffling them, and this sense of wonder touched me. It was like so many things fell into place. I didn't know how I was supposed to lay them out, and the guy showed me, never touching me or the cards. He watched me the whole time, but he lost that superior look as soon as I started shuffling. I got them laid out, and he said, "What do you see?" I told him. When I finished, I kind of shrugged and said something like, "I don't know what I'm talking about, I'm probably wrong..." He said, "Enjoy them." I asked what he meant, and he said those cards had never talked to him like that and he knew they never would. They were meant to be with me, and so they were mine. He did accuse me of knowing more than I let on and I told him I'd never studied or even held any Tarot cards, but I'd wanted them my whole life. He said he could see enough in the cards to know that they would be with me for a very long time and they would be important, so treat them with respect and never lie about what they said to me. Always keep readings private and confidential. When someone lets you read for them, they give you the chance to view their soul. Honor that trust. I got a little longer lecture, but I knew it all, anyway. It was basic ethical behavior. I thought it was odd that he would just give a stranger his cards, and said so to my boyfriend. He said I only found it odd because I couldn't see myself as I read the cards. It didn't surprise him in the least that they had been gifted to me.

I started using those cards constantly. In the beginning, they were nothing but a focus for the Sight. I'd lay them out, but I went into a trance as I read them. Half the time, I couldn't even remember the reading I gave. Then people would ask about specific cards or placement, and I truly didn't know what to say, so I bought some books and studied history and imagery until I could read them "cold," as I called it, which means just a mundane/psychological interpretation. This card here represents this, inverted means that...and so on. I've found that comes in handy for the days I can't connect or for people I can't bring myself to look into very deeply. It also helps for the people who wish to test me! Lol. I've come across a few who just want to know if Tarot is "real" and they ask the most impertinent questions. If you don't pass the quiz, you are just another oddball.

I found it was a safe way to help others. You don't get branded a witch and treated with fear if there are cards on the table. No one speaks of conspiring with demons or being possessed if you have a deck of cards. If you read without the safety net of the cards between you, though, people get all sorts of ideas. I never understood that, really. I guess they can convince themselves that you can't see anything but what they ask, if you look at the cards.

I've read for free, for barter (living in an agricultural area, it's not uncommon for someone to stop by with a bushel of something, and say, oh, by the way...), and I've read for money. I don't mind reading for money, but I don't like for it to be my primary source of income, because then I hesitate to turn people away when I should.


That's my Tarot story. A bit long and wordy, but that's me.

ETA: I somehow missed the questions, until reading Spiral's post. I think I answered most of them, but to specifically say it: I think I'm an intuitive/psychic reader. I didn't know anything at all about the scholarly aspects when I started, and it's still my "fall-back" method of reading. If I can't feel a connection (like, via the internet, for example), I can read that way, but it never feels "true."

I do practice other forms of divination. I don't really have the patience for pendulums, but I have used them on occasion. I prefer the types where the pretty colors and pictures flash in my head, like scrying and mirror work. (No, the pictures aren't always pretty, that's just me being me.) Psychometry, I'm fairly strong in, I think. Strong enough that I avoid touching other people and their personal objects, anyway.

Runes hate me. I don't know why, but I'm completely blocked in that area. I can study, read, give my undivided attention, but the information will not stick with me. I can pick up a rock from the yard and read its energy, use it for anything. You carve a rune on it, and it's dead to me, just locked away. I don't know why. I have a set, I have several books, but I simply can't process that information.

I do meditate, as that is the only way I can pass for sane. It helps me focus, process, and calm myself. I prescribe meditation as a cure for everything. It's the one thing that I believe has helped me through the most difficult challenges in my life. It's the one thing I do just for me on a regular basis.

Last edited by HRH; 02-01-12 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 09-26-11   #5
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

Iíve used the questions provided by Fera in the other thread.

What is your own personal history with Tarot? This should include what drew you to the cards, how long you have been studying/reading, what decks you have and/or want, and a bit about your sense of their meaning and purpose.

I donít remember how I discovered Tarot, but I bought a deck when I was about 12, and it turned out my grandmother was interested in them. Sheís Catholic but superstitious and said that someone did a reading for her once and predicted something that came true. I donít know if she read the cards herself, but she sent me a book about interpreting them. A few years later my other grandmother got me a deck and book set. I remember taking them to a friendís house and doing readings with my friends when I was about 14 (in secret, because her parents were the type of Catholics who definitely didnít approve of Tarot!)

I think it started off as something fun, but I found that the cards helped me to explore personal problems, helped me see things in a different light. Often theyíve told me something that I already knew, but couldnít or wouldnít acknowledge. I once did a reading to see what the next year would bring and it was all bad. I didnít take it very seriously, but in fact it was one of the most difficult years of my life that continues to influence me. It may sound silly, but that made me a bit wary of the cards for a time.

I still have one of the decks mentioned above but I don't feel particularly connected to it. The decks I will have when they arrive are the Universal Waite and the Old English tarot. The Old English Tarot in particular appeals to me very strongly. Iím fascinated by Anglo-Saxon literature and culture, and the images just feel very Ďmeí.

I'd like to know how you assess your own strengths; are you intuitive, psychic, scholarly/intellectual? have you practised any other forms of divination - do you meditate?

I guess Iím scholarly/intellectual, but also introspective and kind of dreamy. I love studying and I adore books, the library is a magical place to me. History and literature are the subjects that inspire me because they capture my imagination and, I believe, reveal truths about life and what it means to be human. I think Iím more intuitive than logical. I make decisions based on how I feel. Iíve learned that when I donít do this, I usually end up somewhere I donít want to be.

I used to meditate regularly, generally for relaxation but I have occasionally had an odd experience. Once I felt a sudden sense of... disconnection?... and then it was as though my mind was surrounded by emptiness that stretched on forever. It wasn't frightening though. Iíve gotten out of the habit of regular meditation, although my mind sometimes seems to naturally meditate when Iím walking or sitting at the beach or under trees.

No other forms of divination, but I am intrigued by runes. I was very drawn to them as a young teen and taught myself to write in runes. I wrote my diaries in them. I do remember drawing runes on bits of cardboard that may have been for divination purposes Ė I must have read about it somewhere Ė but I donít recall whether I used them or even what happened to them.
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Old 09-26-11   #6
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

Rose Red, I understand. Isn't it odd how we sometimes must go through such destruction to find our way back to where we started? The time I spent in Christian churches made me much more understanding and tolerant of their ways, for one thing. It also showed me some very unpleasant things about my own nature that I needed to learn. And, ultimately, it showed that I was on the only Path for me. So many people wonder if their Path is right. I don't, because I know it's the only one. If it's the only way you can go, you might as well Walk it, right?

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Old 09-26-11   #7
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What other choice do you have? Sit there and cry and refuse to move? That never lasts very long for me. Actually, getting into magic heavily was my temper tantrum against God and it took on a life of it's own.

There were a few times when I caught my Grandmother with her pendulum. She would get soooooo flustered and curse in Russian. She would sit in her wheelchair for hours playing solitaire and I think communing with the cards. There were a few times when she had a spread layed out (before I knew what a spread was) and when I walked in quickly picked them up, shuffled and laid out another hand of Solitare.

I had to take the playing cards away from my daughter when she was younger. She would sit and shuffle them for hours and get lost listening to them. She's come out with messages that she wasn't ready to give or understand.

My husband is an armchair fundie and I openly and honestly agreed to this life with him. It's a tight rope to walk.
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Old 09-26-11   #8
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

Interesting sidenote, I started with regular playing cards as well, I made up special meanings and did my own readings long before I knew what Tarot even was. Those of us meant to walk this Path will find our way!

I'm really impressed by what I see here so far - a willingness to really look deeply at one's reactions, even f they may seem like mistakes, seeing the pattern, the secret blessings, the way in which these phases and reactions contribute, over the longterm, to real growth. These are abilities that not everyone possesses! and I'm sure one part of why people like us are able to work magic - we can self-assess, take the good and leave the out-moded, and truly grow.

I look back at the hot-headed, reactive person I was for years and shudder, but I also embrace her, Younger Self, as she did get me through some times that might have killed a less brazen and determined individual. I am able to embrace gentleness now in my life, but there is still a fiery spark in me I need to befriend and stay in touch with. Change is often uncomfortable, but it beats stagnation every time, right?
Great to read these accounts so far.
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Old 09-26-11   #9
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Quote:
In high school, I picked up playing cards again, understanding a little better what was going on. It made for a cool parlor trick. Everyone else can do this or that, I had nothing...well, there is this one thing I can do...very Breakfast Club, but cooler than lipstick in your bra.
your honesty impresses me, HRH, I think we have ALL felt a little bit cool or special from time to time - know I did, for me in high school it was astrology and spell casting, but I did feel magical and special, compensation for being plain and chubby and weird!


Quote:
I found it was a safe way to help others. You don't get branded a witch and treated with fear if there are cards on the table. No one speaks of conspiring with demons or being possessed if you have a deck of cards. If you read without the safety net of the cards between you, though, people get all sorts of ideas. I never understood that, really. I guess they can convince themselves that you can't see anything but what they ask, if you look at the cards
This is VERY interesting to me, my experience was so different - the presence of the cards branded me as "The Witch" like a clear and visible sign I was up to no good, lol. My gift created a lot of fear in others but they couldn't really brand me Witch until brought out those cards - that cinched it. It seems to me that the cards formed a kind of buffer zone for you, which would, I expect, create a deep bond with them quite rapidly.
I really had to struggle with being "The Witch" and later "The Tarot Reader" - I mean, for years I did. It's so liberating for me now to embrace who I am fully.

Quote:
I've read for free, for barter (living in an agricultural area, it's not uncommon for someone to stop by with a bushel of something, and say, oh, by the way...), and I've read for money. I don't mind reading for money, but I don't like for it to be my primary source of income, because then I hesitate to turn people away when I should.
This is brilliant - I read for money for a long time and in a store environment where I pretty much had to take anyone who wasn't abusive. Reading these days is sometimes a gift I offer, sometimes for a set fee and sometimes for barter. I am very much happier this way believe me!


I'm intrigued that the "runes hate you" - when I find a suitable Rune teacher maybe he or she will have some insights for you there! Maybe ask the cards why that would be?
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Old 09-26-11   #10
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Default Re: Introduction Post for Intermediate Tarot

I will be one auditing this course as I know so, so very little and can't afford the books or cards at the moment. So I will be another in the background...but here is my intro anyway.

What is your own personal history with Tarot? This should include what drew you to the cards, how long you have been studying/reading, what decks you have and/or want, and a bit about your sense of their meaning and purpose.

I am a true beginner. My daughter had a deck of card, no idea what kind, but they were beautiful and gave me a sense of peace when I held them and looked at them even tho I had no concept of what they may mean. I still don't. My daughter told me they were a "guide", a "path", a "journey" into the hearts and souls of mankind. Her cards are gone, as is she.

I'd like to know how you assess your own strengths; are you intuitive, psychic, scholarly/intellectual? have you practised any other forms of divination - do you meditate?

I lean more toward the scholarly/intellectual tho I am fairly empathetic, especially when it comes to pain and grief. I don't think I have any psychic abilities, tho. My meditation practices are slim and have no specific rituals or ceremonies; my Christian background has left a sour taste in my mouth for ritual so this is a struggle for me at the present. Divination? none
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