Portable magic, that’s what tarot cards can be for a lot of people. They are a way to visualize, manifest, and bolster magical intent in our lives and just like people, there are many ways to utilize them for this purpose. Each of these ways have their own benefits and drawbacks, it depends on the person and I encourage you to explore wildly to find what works for you.
For starters, you can select a card and focus on that image and its meanings. This serves as a meditation technique for yourself, personal empowerment/improvement, or for use in spells, which I will talk about next. A few years back I stumbled upon an interview that Marcus Katz did where he discusses doing a similar meditation and left one of the Major Arcana in plain sight for a number of days. Each day he focused on it, focusing all his effort on it until the energy had clearly manifested in his life.
I did the same exercise and when I got to the same particular card he was using at the time I experienced the first and last time ever that my car was broken into and ransacked. That was quite the experience. Oddly, they took nothing but the car took some time to clean up and sort through. So, be wary of just what cards you choose in your meditations, they will make themselves and their lessons known. In this case, it was the Magician, ruled by Mercury, the patron deity of travelers...and thieves.
There are many ways to keep a journal, with no sure fire way that works for all people. Because this is such a diverse practice, using the tarot cards in your writing is an easy fit. If you haven’t done it, you can easily begin by recording your readings for yourself or works of fiction. Tarot Prose does amazingly beautiful work creating his poetry and writing pieces using the tarot cards as inspiration. This is a wonderful way to connect with the cards and one that is not dependent on the skill level of the reader. You can be just starting out or someone like me, who has way too many cards to count due to my tarot collecting and hoarding habits. Seriously, I’m like an esoteric and occult magpie. Stop me. But don’t.
Another shout out in this realm goes to Cassandra Snow. She does one sentence readings on her social media accounts and it’s concise while being well thought out and beautiful. You cannot realize how hard it is to stick to just one sentence until you set that parameter for yourself. Some great resources for incorporating the cards into your writing are Tarot for Writers and Tarot and Astrology, both by Corrine Kenner. Check them out!
Working with magic, the cards can be truly versatile. Some use them in their spells directly, whether by placing them on their altars or even including as ingredients in sachets or other magical products. It depends on the user. Some use them to promote the use of white magic, while others embrace the duality found in them (as in nature) and practice curses as well as healing. More on this in a later posting, but I will say that dividing it down into white magic or dark magic seems foolhardy.
We cannot cast judgment on how someone handles their healing, and it may look destructive to some but may in truth be a catharsis to the user. So, let’s not worry over it here!
Others, still, will invoke the cards verbally during the spell. Calling down the power that each card contains. I quite like that idea as it reminds me of the anime Cardcaptors (from the manga, Cardcaptor Sakura). Take a peek at google for information on that show/series, it’s fantastic.
In short, whatever you do with the cards, you will find that the tarot is an adaptable, portable, and efficient tool to use in healing, introspection, taking action, or creating worlds of fiction.
How neat is that?
J. Ryan is the owner and operator of Queer Street Tarot. He has been practicing tarot for over 14 years. His interests extend to life coaching, writing, magical and esoteric themes, and as a gay man, working within the LGBTQIA+ community to help marginalized voices.
He owns over a hundred tarot decks and enjoys reading fantasy and watching horror films. He is trying to learn to cook in ways that don't involve battling his smoke alarms at home. Wish him luck or contact him for a reading at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Queer Street Tarot.