Tarot cards are phenomenal if you want to connect to your Intuition and the Subconscious Mind. Tarot is an ancient divination tool used in a variety of occult and psychic practices. However, even sceptics cannot ignore the value of Tarot when it comes to connecting to the Unconscious. Carl Jung, prominent psychiatrist, psychotherapist and the founder of analytical psychology, most famous for proposing and developing the concepts of archetypes and collective unconscious, wrote extensively about Tarot, its symbolism, and potential uses in psychology and psychotherapy work. Much like the Rorschach inkblots and TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), Tarot provides a neutral and ambiguous field on which a person can project the contents of their subconscious mind, revealing hidden emotions, internal psychological conflicts, and most importantly, the potential path for healing.
If you do not yet own a deck of Tarot, I strongly encourage you to get one. For beginners, the classic Rider Waite deck is probably the best option. It is straightforward and clear, but also rich in symbolism and scenery. Once you are comfortable with the cards, you may want to explore more sophisticated decks to your liking – there are hundreds of different designs!
No matter what Tarot deck you use, one of the most important steps you need to take for the cards to work for you is to establish a connection with them. Here is a simple and effective technique to do that.
- Choosing a card. Take a card from the deck. You may consciously select a specific card that you find the most appealing or randomly draw a card to work with. Spend a few minutes studying the card. Notice the predominant colours, figures in the card, symbols and shapes. Try to memorise what the card looks like in all details.
- Sitting down. Choose a comfortable spot where you will not be disturbed for 15-20 min, find a comfortable pose – just sitting on a chair or assuming a lotus pose, if you can. Close your eyes and breathe deeply for 2-3 min. You may want to use Mental Clearing exercise to make a more effective connection.
- Entering the card. Mentally recreate the image of the card, bringing to memory all the details that come to mind. As you practice and get to know your deck, this will become easier. Now imagine the card getting bigger and bigger until it reaches life size. Imagine that the border of the card is the door through which you can enter. Walk in right through and imagine that the scene now extends in all directions.
- Connecting with the card. Once inside, what are you seeing? Are there any sounds or smells? What time of day is it? What season? What is the temperature? What is the general atmosphere? Notice your feelings – are you comfortable, sad, joyous, nervous, inspired? Is there any movement or action in the card? Try touching different objects and see if you can sense some textures.
- Connecting with the characters. Approach a character of the card (if there are several, choose one you’re most comfortable with). Try to behave as if you’re making a new friend (or meeting an old one!): say ‘hello’, mentally smile to them. Ask them questions, e.g. What are you doing right now? What do you represent? How can you help me with the lesson that I need to learn in this lifetime? Ask other questions you might be interested in (you may want to prepare those questions in advance). Thank them for the answers.
- Leaving. You can spend as much time as you like exploring the surroundings and engaging with the characters or even objects. Once you’re ready to leave, visualise the border of the card as the door behind you. Walk out and imagine that the card shrinks back to its normal size. Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes.
You will get much more out of this exercise if you write down your experiences in a diary. Visualisation exercises are much like dreams – if you don’t make an effort to remember and record them, the details will begin to disappear from your conscious memory very quickly. You may want to work with one card every day, either consciously choosing one or drawing it from the deck at random.