Saturday, November 15, 2008

Collaborative Tarot

On the November 2nd session at Triple Goddess, I used the term “collaborative Tarot” to describe the activities we were doing. I believe I first encountered this term in Valerie Sim’s book, “Tarot Outside the Box,” where for example, she shows how multiple persons can develop a “collaborative story,” where they advance a plot by having each person draw a card in turn, using the actions and ideas depicted in the cards to build a narrative about some fictitious characters. She also uses the term “combination Tarot” for readings where you pose a question and then draw one card in turn from each of several different decks, and “interactive readings,” where more than one person contributes cards to be interwoven into a reading.

For those who weren’t with us on November 2nd, we did two collaborative/interactive exercises: First, based on the idea that when individuals come together, their personal spirit guides also come together and share information [see the post for Oct. 25], we asked the spirits for their collective wisdom. To do this with a group, you pose your request and then draw a card from your own deck and place it in front of you, (while your neighbors do the same); that first card will be a direct message from your personal guide or guides, and may provide some information telling you something about your guide or guides, or it could convey any other messages the guides want you to know. The next step is to draw two more cards: one for the person on your right and one for the person on your left. (In our case, because everyone was using a different deck that day, everyone ended up with three cards, each from a different deck.) So then, you consider the separate meanings of the cards you’ve been given, first in a general sense, but then you can also consider how a card that is a message from the guides of the person next to you may also say something about a life issue or spiritual issue that you and that other person share. Therefore, it is good if afterward you can compare notes with your neighbors to see if anything struck you about those cards which could point to some special connection. (Here, too, some past life issues can come into play.)

The second combined/collaborative exercise was to have a Halloween parade where nobody had to get out of his or her seat. Referring back to the concepts of energy movement I brought up in my post on the “Feng Shui” of Halloween [Oct. 29], where masked paraders move purifying and revivifying chi energy through a community, we let the Tarot cards do the parading, as a way of moving chi through our inner lives. To do this, you shuffle your deck and then thumb through it until you find an upright card with a human figure or other sort of being who is portrayed as moving to the right, the direction of the future. If you cannot find such a card in your deck, then the next option is to find a figure who is portrayed standing in such a way that he/she/or it could easily start moving toward the right. Then, each person passes that card to the person on the left, so the cards will be moving clockwise around the circle. Then, after a momentary pause for visualizations, the cards are moved to the next person, pause, and then again, going around the circle until your original card comes back to you. As for the visualizations, with each card you handle, you can visualize the figure in that card as a masker moving through the metaphorical village of your life, and think about how your inner world is refreshed by the movement of the energy and principles associated with that card. You can also visualize yourself as each costumed parader, in turn. So, for example, if you are passed a card from a deck which shows the fool in the Fool card moving forward, consider how you would costume up as that character, and what kind of movements and gestures you might make to act “in character.” Because, in traditional societies, the maskers are also expected to put on a little performance as part of the energy exchange, what sort of entertaining dance, skit, or other type of performance might you act out as that character? By the way, going through different decks to identify which characters are portrayed in forward motion makes for some interesting comparisons, because different artists will portray some of the same characters in quite different poses, which then makes for some distinct philosophical statements, while also bringing different nuances into your readings.

Although we did these things as part of a Halloween-themed session, the shared spirit wisdom exercise is something that could be tried by any persons who get together as a group, and the card parading could also be done anytime, though it might be especially good for other occasions when people dress up, such as Carnival.

1 comment:

  1. Janina-I am so glad that I found this blog. Though I am not young, your book, Tarot for the Younger Generation is and has been my favorite Tarot book.

    From time to time I have looked on the web to see if you have a blog or anything and I am so glad to find that you have one now.

    I bought Tarot for the next genteration about 7 years ago and your explanations resonated with me and make sense to me to such a degree that I have grown remarkably as a student of the Tarot since reading your books--and I attribute it to you. They seemed to turn on some light inside of me that no-one before that had beena able to reach. And they helped me to understand how to adapt a reading to my own style whereas no other book has ever been able to do that. In other words, I didn't understand the Tarot until I read your book.

    What is interesting me is that you talk about Asperger's a lot and I see that you are doing some work involving it. Asperger's is very strong in my family and it is a possiblity that I may have it. I wonder if this is the reason that I relate to you so well. I tend to need to have things involving relations with other people explained to me in order to understand them and you seem to instinctively aim your writing towards people like me so you are certainly in the right line of work!

    So, I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you that I love your books and how much of a teacher you have been to me. I'm glad that you have a blog now and I will look forward to stopping by from time to time to see what you have to say.

    As you will see, I have a blog as well and it is not a very active blog anymore. i am undecided at this time whether I am going to continue with it or not. But I can at any rate be reached there.

    Happy Holidays