Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card: Step 1 – Name

So I begin my journey with the first step in 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card which is entitled “Name”. In this exercise, we are asked to pick up our deck of choice (it should be a deck with storytelling images), draw three cards and ask “What do I need to look at in my life right now?” Once we have done so, we are to choose one of the cards from among the three that will be our “chosen” card – the card we will work with through the rest of the book. Mary does point out that Aces or the 8 of Wands typically are not ideal cards to work with as the card details are often minimal.

Since this is a new journey of sorts, I choose my most recent deck acquisition (and my latest obsession), the Gaian Tarot. The three cards I drew randomly were the Nine of Earth, the Four of Air and The Seeker.

The Nine of Earth is the equivalent to the Nine of Pentacles in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition and is a beautiful card. In it, a woman stands in the midst of a lavender field and is holding a couple of flowers in her hand. She has a calm, satisfied look on her face and seems to be at peace with life. To me, this card signifies accomplishing and being comfortable with who I am. In answer to the question, I may need to look at my comfort level and ask myself: Am I in a rut? Am I truly comfortable or do I need to take some new action in my life?

The next card was the Four of Air and is equivalent to the Four of Swords in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. In this card, four robin’s eggs are resting inside a nest that is tucked away behind leaves. There is no activity whatsoever in the card – all is quiet. This is a card of meditation, retreat and perhaps just sending time alone and regrouping. It may be urging me to take some time to reevaluate where I am and where I want to go.

Four of Air Card from the Gaian Tarot Image

Four of Air Card from the Gaian Tarot

The last card was The Seeker, the equivalent of The Fool in the Rider-Waite tradition. In this card, a young woman (or perhaps a young man?) appears ready to take a journey. She is stopped and looks to be contemplating the road ahead of her. The moment I turned over this card, I knew this was the one that I would be working with over the next 21 weeks. In this detailed card, the symbolism is rich. The Seeker is also the card of new beginnings or a new journey so I find it is especially relevant to what I am doing here with this book.

The Seeker Card from the Gaian Tarot Image

The Seeker Card from the Gaian Tarot

Activity 1:1 – In the first activity for this chapter, all we are asked to do is to say out loud the name of the card you have chosen. I set my card before me and in a loud, clear voice, said “I have drawn the first card in the deck, 0 ~ The Seeker”. Mary points out that in saying the name of the card out loud, it gets ideas flowing. Perhaps a good tip to remember when including readings.

What card did you draw?

Activity 1:2 – If you are new to the Tarot or are working with a deck that is a tad unusual, Mary asks us here to go through your deck, examine each card and say the names of the cards as you do so. I did this and find that it almost forces you to stop and take a better look at each card you come to.

Way of the Adept – Optional

The Way of the Adept section includes additional exercises that you can try now or come back to later. I decided to try Activity 1:3 in which you are asked to shuffle the deck, ask the question “Who am I?” and then note any physical responses when you first see the card. The card I drew was The Wheel and when I turned it over, I found myself smiling and nodding my head. The Wheel is a card of changes and of Ups & Downs. This is certainly a card that I can relate to in many ways.

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