We continue our exploration of Mary K. Greer’s “21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card” with Step 18: Imagination.
In this step, we work with tarot in the imagination. Mary describes imagination as “the use of our creative powers”. Working with tarot in this way is quite a common practice, especially in certain spiritual traditions. Some folks use tarot for path-working, journeying or for learning esoteric principles. Others employ tarot in their regular meditation practice. Additionally, you can use tarot and the imagination to generate plot ideas for fiction writing. In fact, author Corrine Kenner has written a book on this topic entitled “Tarot for Writers”.
In this step of our journey, Mary has us employ all of our senses as we enter into the card. Now, there are some people who claim that they have a difficult time imagining or visualizing anything – that when they try, all they see is blackness. If you are one of those people, Mary has you practice imagination by visualizing your clothes closet (it might help to take a quick glance at it first before beginning this exercise). Ask yourself such questions as: How are your clothes organized? Were is your favorite outfit hung? What is its texture? What are its colors? Practice this a few times until you can see your closet in your mind’s eye.
That however, was not the exercise for this section. The activity for this chapter involves your chosen card once again (mine is 0 – The Seeker from the Gaian Tarot). The exercise is as follows:
- Imagine that you are the figure in your card. Are you standing, sitting, or lying down? Are you holding anything? What gestures are you making? How are you feeling? How are you relating to other begins or things in this card? What do you want or need? What’s your next step? When finished, return to the room.
- Take notes on what happened to you. Add anything that comes to you in the process. If needed, close your eyes for a moment and check back with the figure on the card. How was this different than embodying the card in Step 17?
I entered my card and became the young woman depicted the image. I can feel the warmth of the sun on my bare arms and on my left shoulder, I can feel the weight of the stick with the sack tied to it. I am glad that I decided to travel light as I am feeling very warm at the moment. I am holding a walking stick in my right hand. The wood is coarse but warm. I take a deep breath as I look over the vast countryside before me. I feel a little flutter in my stomach as I contemplate my journey. I’m more than a little nervous because I am about to begin a long journey and I don’t know if I’ll ever be back or what lies ahead.
On my right side, is a smallish red fox. He came out of nowhere but strangely enough, he shows no fear of me. He seems to be encouraging me to take my first step, letting me know that he will be my guide. I relieved that I won’t be alone at the beginning of this quest. I take another breath and try to find my courage. I’ve never gone wandering alone before with nothing more that a couple of items in a sack. I briefly question my sanity but then decide that it’s too late to back out now. I’ve made my decision. I smile at the fox and tell him, “I’m ready buddy. Lead on.”
I then take my first step.
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