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.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Feel Free to Ask Questions

Now that I won’t be having any more magical chats until April, I’m ready to immerse myself in writing projects. However, if anyone wants to contact me with questions and comments, you can click on the “comments” links at the end of the posts.

As the folks who come to these chats/workshops know, I demonstrate Tarot techniques by going around the table and trying to point out a few things about each person’s cards that come up, in relation to whatever reading activity topic we’re exploring. Unfortunately, on last Sunday, November 2nd, I was pressed for time because car trouble made me late, and then I had another engagement afterward, so we didn’t get to discuss more about the collaborative spirit guide readings. If you were there, and you remember which cards you got and would like more clarification, please respond, and I will venture some opinions. As this is something of a public forum, you don’t need to provide your name or personal information, and I will try not to say anything that might be deemed embarrassing.

However, there is an important point that I forgot to make on Sunday, and that is that when we have these public demonstrations, I’d like to encourage everybody to chip in with any observations you have about other peoples’ readings. As I pointed out that when a group comes together, their spirit guides come together too, don’t be shy or feel that you’re interrupting, because you may be receiving a cross-communication from the spirits. I think that everyone will appreciate having that extra insight.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Spiritual Orientation to a New Presidency

So, we have a new president, and it isn’t the one the group predicted on Sunday. I believe that our predictions were influenced by the wave of good feeling that McCain’s “Saturday Night Live” appearance created, because he was very funny. Although McCain didn’t win, I still think it would be a good idea for any future candidates to try to get on SNL just before the election.

On Sunday, we also talked about how the Tarot (as a visual symbolic language) can be used to signal the Spirit World, including through little blessing and orienting rituals. (I used the Kabbalistic terms, singular Kavanah, plural Kavanot, which are gestures to gain spiritual assistance in focusing one’s intentions.) Some cards that can be used to gesture to Spirit are the Star, which represents Spiritual Forces and help from Spiritual Sources, and the Ace of Cups, which can serve as a symbolic offering of spiritual nourishment, (just as drink offerings were and are ubiquitous in the ancient world and in cultures that celebrate connection to Spirit).

If you would like to express a wish for spiritual refreshment to be directed toward the President Elect—or to anyone you think might need it—you could lay out a 3-card spread with the Star, followed by the Ace of Cups, followed by whichever card you think would be a good Significator (stand in) for your subject. As I mentioned Sunday, I have had both the King of Wands and the Hierophant come up in my earlier predictions of an Obama win. I use Wands and Cups to represent Democrats, Swords and Pentacles for Republicans, and the Emperor for the incumbent. Of course, if some other card seems more suggestive of whomever you want to send your good wishes to, use that. As you lay out the cards, visualize yourself backed by your Spiritual Forces, offering a goblet that’s overflowing with lovingkindness to the person with whom you wish to make this spiritual connection.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Presidential Predictions

Sunday, as a group, we performed the Tarot technique for predicting the next president, and as I recall, the results were 8 to 4 in favor of McCain. That goes against the polling predictions, but maybe he was enjoying a bump in popularity due to his previous night’s appearance on Saturday Night Live. A number of people may have been thinking of him warmly, thinking, “McCain’s a good sport, he’s willing to make fun of himself.” This presidential race has sure been a merry-go-round ride, with one fellow riding high the one moment, and the other the next. With any type of prediction technique, don’t despair if the cards or whatever aren’t favoring your candidate, (or get too complacent if they are), because as Yoda said, “Always in motion is the future.”