In honor of the month where I focus on the greatest spiritual practice there is, the focus of today's tarot post will be how to meditate on your Major Arcana cards to dive under the surface of fortune-telling interpretations, and get into the nitty gritty of what they mean for your life and personal growth.
Ready? Get out your cards, and sit down!
Tarot readers and scholars talk a lot about 'meditating' on the cards to derive more meaning from them, or to let their wisdom speak in your life, but all too frequently they don't get into what 'meditating' on a card looks like. This is partially because it can look like a lot of things. Here are a few of those different things. Give a few a try and see what works for you, and if you have your own methods, share them in the comments!
1. Put it on your altar. Many tarot enthusiasts are the kind of people who have an altar at home, which is the perfect place to put a card that's feeling sticky, interesting, intimidating, or otherwise worth spending some time on. These people may have a daily ritual of spending time in front of their altar, and they may devote some of that time to contemplating, or just thinking about, what that card means to them. Sometimes this is done in a free form, stream of consciousness way, and sometimes this is done in the context of the previous day or the day ahead, or other spiritual aspects of the reader's life. All useful practices.
2. Look at it. This is similar to the altar practice, but for those of us who don't have an altar. Put the card down where you can comfortable keep your eyes on it without strain, or crunching your neck. Try to look at it like you've never seen it before. What aspects of the imagery do you notice? Do certain colors pop out? Do you notice details you've never noticed before? What associations do you have with those things?
3. Let it write to you. I love this exercise! You write as yourself with your dominant hand, and you write as a character or aspect of the card with your non dominant hand. I know it sounds either kooky or creepy, but trust me: you will get some stunning insights with this method!
4. Draw/Paint it. Get out your arts and crafts supplies, kids! It's an interesting meditation exercise all by itself to copy to the best of your ability the tarot card you're interested in, but you can also try re-interpreting the imagery of the card in your own artistic style, or visually reinterpreting the message you're getting from the card.
5. Collage it. This is obviously related to the suggestion above, but I find looking for similar images in existing sources and putting together my own visual interpretation of the card lights up different pathways in my brain and leads to fresh insights.
6. Time travel in your card's world. OMG, so fun! Look at the image of your card. Think of it like a photograph someone took. What was happening before this photo was taken? What will happen afterward? You can take this really far; it's an amazingly insightful exercise.
7. Dream about it. Easier said than done, but learning how to direct your dreams and lucid dream is a skill worth working on. Meditate via one or more of the other methods before bed. Look at your card in bed until you start to drift off. Try to keep your thoughts on it. Keep trying! You'll be amazed at what comes up when one day it works!
8. Remember it. This is a sneaky psychological one, and I love it! Look at your card, then put it away. The next day, without looking at it again, draw/paint/collage it, or describe it in writing. Then, compare what you came up with with the actual card. This will tell you at a glance what about the card is sticking out to you.
Think you'll try any of these techniques? Will you go for some good old fashioned seated meditation this month? Tell me about it in the comments! You can follow my blog on Sharon Salzberg's website for the whole month of February, and meditate along with us!