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 Tarot Magick

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PostSubject: Tarot Magick   Tarot Magick Icon_minitimeSun Oct 14, 2018 11:07 am

I'm going to draw a lot from Donald Tyson's Portable Magic, which is available for free as a pdf, and I am of course going to be looking at it through a Chaos Magick lens. Definitely go and read it yourself if you want to properly grasp the concepts presented.

Although many sceptics will scoff at the Tarot, the themes and ideas that exist within the cards draw from fundamental archetypes of human existence. If you've got any knowledge surrounding psychoanalyst Carl Jung, you'll no doubt be aware of his concept of the 'collective consciousness'. This is the idea that, to a certain extent, human minds are connected, allowing for the retrieval of archetypal ideas. They're all in us - we know about the hero, the fool, the femme fatale, and we know them without necessarily being taught the details. This would also be a handy explanation as to why inventions or monsters like vampires or dragons appear all over the world despite the cultures having no prior interaction. Although Tarot doesn't always work for predicting the future, it can often show you a new perspective to your life that you had failed to notice.

So that's all well and good, but how can you use the cards as a tool? It depends how creative you are.

One of my most used cards (barring my Knight of Cups) is The Fool. Whenever I have an exam, I'll sit for a few minutes meditating on what this card means to me, hide it away in my pocket and head to the exam hall with renewed confidence. The Fool isn't going to give me the right answers, and it's not going to improve my luck - the philosophy behind this one in particular is that whatever happens happens for the best possible reason. It's about the possibility for limitless potential. I had a friend approach me before the exam (which I hadn't revised for) and tell me he was amazed at just how calm I was - The Fool gave me the confidence to stop questioning myself about what I didn't know and simply go with the flow. Same thing works with the Wheel of Fortune - invoke the power, spin the wheel and come out on top. If you're just getting started with Tarot, pick a card that resonates with you, or which represents something you want. Focus on what it means and carry it with you - it's a talisman if you let it be.

But that's all a bit nebulous, I understand, and this is where Tyson comes in. Portable Magic makes frequent reference to the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn - I know next to nothing about this group, and I do not believe they ever used the cards in ritual magick, but their associations might be worth looking into if you're interested. The rituals in this book require that the practitioner first selects a 'significator'; this is a court card that relates to how you view yourself, whether that's through visual similarities to the character presented, aspects of your personality, or even your zodiac sign if you still can't settle on one. You will also require some basic practise with visualisation - daydreaming, if you like - unless you suffer with aphantasia, a little practise beforehand should see you right.

Astral Space

This is why you need to visualise - Portable Magic asks that you close your eyes and imagine yourself in a surreal void of some description. This can be utter blackness, a glimmering starfield, or... I don't know, use your imagination. Once you have your astral space, you're essentially unhindered by anything outside of your imagination, meaning that those tiny playing cards you're shuffling can form vast tapestries or rugs on which you and the avatars for other cards can stand. The stronger your ability to visualise, the easier it'll be for you to imagine your exercises actually having an effect.

The Point

This is more of a fundamental technique than actual ritual practise, but the point relates to your ability to to transfer your consciousness to a single card and use it as a point for your focus. This comes back to the idea that you are the centre of your own universe, and wherever your consciousness wanders to becomes that new centre. You can use the point when you're trying to properly associate with a given theme, invoke the avatar that that card represents to you or even just use it as a launching point for later magick. Most of the time, you're going to be using your significator card as a point to represent you in your astral space.

Take a look at your significator - take in all the details, what they're wearing, what their personality is, what this card means to you. Close your eyes and reconstruct that, opening and looking again whenever you feel you need to. Now whenever you're ready, imagine yourself as that character, wearing their clothes, with their face, standing in your astral space on top of your card, which is laid out like a six foot carpet. You are your significator; look at the world through their eyes and feel it as they do. If you chose your card right, you should identify with them pretty strongly anyway.

The Ray

This is where the magick happens - the ray, or line, represents the transference of energy from one card to another. Throw down your significator on your ritual space (a table, usually) and find the card you want to absorb into yourself - for this, let's roll with The Fool. If your significator is facing a certain direction, place your second card in their eyeline. In your astral space, this will look as it did before, with the addition of The Fool card laid out in front of you, again, like a ruddy great rug. Standing on top of that rug is none other that The Fool himself, who you can imagine to look something like the picture in the card (dog and all, if you like). Place your finger on your significator while imagining a ball of energy forming in your astral avatar's chest. Now move your hand and touch The Fool. In the astral space, the ball of energy rushes over to The Fool's avatar, entering the chest and absorbing some of his essence. There really aren't any wrong answers, so if you have something else you'd like to visualise, go for it. It's your head.

Now, move your finger back to your card. The ball follows and once it enters you, the energy of The Fool is yours. Touching the card is purely symbolic, the activities occurring in the astral space are what's important. Do this a few more times, faster now - the ball will follow, transferring the essence of what it means to be The Fool into you as it does, moving faster and faster until all you can perceive is a ray of energy that connects you and The Fool. At this point you might like to take the second card with you and, like I mentioned before, use it as a sort of talisman. Alternatively, leave them on your ritual table - you are your significator, so as long as you can identify with it, the energy will continually flow into you as long as you imagine it is.

The Circle

Circles traditionally represent protection - it's why you stand in a circle during traditional Goetic evocations - and you can place cards in a circle around your significator to indicate a ring or a ball of protective energy that'll go some ways to keep you safe. Which cards to use? Well that's where the Golden Dawn come in. And the zodiac, actually - see, twelve is the number traditionally associated with circles, just look at your wall clock. So grab the cards associated with the zodiacal signs and place them, bottom sides touching, and form a ring, with your significator in the middle. Cards are as follows:

Emperor - Aries, to the east
Hierophant - Taurus
Lovers - Gemini
Chariot - Cancer, to the south
Strength - Leo
Hermit - Virgo
Justice - Libra, to the west
Death - Scorpio
Temperance - Sagittarius
Devil - Capricorn, to the north
Star - Aquarius
Moon -  Pisces

Then as before, imagine yourself as your significator standing on your card in your astral space, with a ring of twelve cards forming a circle to surround you. Again, you can imagine each card to have their avatar standing on top facing you (what you decide to picture for cards like moon and star is up to you - either pick out a character from the card or imagine the heavenly body floating above it). From this point on, do what feels right - what you could do is imagine each avatar holding a golden ball of light. Maybe these balls start swirling and merging, forming a great sphere that encompass the entire ritual space, or each character decides now would be a great time to play dodgeball, with your significator absorbing and emanating protective light for every blow that hits you. Either way, you have a group of twelve archetypal concepts as your bodyguards, so however you imagine them protecting you, just remember to have faith in it.

The Triangle

The triangle is used in ritual to evoke, and card magick is no different. I don't know as much about this particular technique, so I won't go as in depth, but you may find it useful.

Grab your Fool, Hanged Man and Judgement, along with your significator. With The Fool on top, you're going to place The Hanged Man and Judgement layered on the left and right corners respectively - the right corner of each card will cover the left corner of the card to its left, kind of like the flaps of a box. For the sake of this example, let's say I want to be more in touch with my emotional side - I'm going to take the Ace of Cups and place it on top of the triangle that I've just made with these cards. The reasoning here is that The Fool, with its numerical value of 0 acts as the portal through which you can manifest what you desire. In the astral space, I'm going to imagine the lattice of cards as they exist in the physical, with the avatars of each card facing inwards towards a portal that's opened up in the centre of the triangle. Out of this portal comes the Cup, containing the essence of the Ace - maybe I drink the contents, maybe the hand holding it lobs it in my direction. Either way, I am now saturated with whatever energy this card represents. This can be used to bring things into your life as well: maybe instead of the nebulous concepts of the ace, you want victory. Imagine, instead of a portal, an ethereal copy of the Five of Swords appearing in the triangle, through which you project your desire for it to manifest in your life.

Be Creative

Don't limit your experiments just to these exercises - play around with the ideas behind the cards, what they mean to you so that you can get whatever you want done. I've been trying to come up with a method of banishing that's quick, easy, and which is free of any beliefs besides my own. Cards are my thing, so banishing with cards was the obvious answer. Sixes, when I'm reading with ordinary playing cards, represent equilibrium - bring all four sixes together, and every aspect of your life will be pulled into a state of balance, banishing anything outside of yourself. Place your sixes around your significator as follows:

Six of Pentacles to the North
Six of Swords to the East
Six of Wands to the South
Six of Cups to the West

In your astral space, imagine the cards surrounding you. Imagine a vortex of cleansing energy spiralling around and inside you comprising of the four components that make up the physical universe, eradicating any nastiness. Or just a big explosion, whatever.

If you're looking for something really basic, one thing you could do is carry out your regular reading - whether that's the Celtic Cross or something more specialised - and swap out cards so that the spread reads what you want it to say. You are the brutal instrument of your own destiny.

If you're lacking the wands, the robes, the crystals and the incense that you've become so reliant on for magick, pick up a Tarot deck on the cheap and use that instead. The main draw to Tarot magick is just how easy it is to perform and how portable you can make it. If you have any knowledge surrounding Tarot cards, or even just a passing interest, I would highly recommend giving it a go and reporting back any results you achieve.
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PostSubject: Re: Tarot Magick   Tarot Magick Icon_minitimeThu Jan 10, 2019 6:02 am

good article,bro. Defiantly has some interesting tips for beginners and for long time users like me. Smile
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