Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

September/October Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

Other Uses for the Tarot: Meditation

This article was written by Janina Renée
posted under Tarot

One of the most important traditional uses of the Tarot is in meditation. In fact, some scholars consider this its greatest value and believe that the Tarot was designed for this purpose and only later was applied to fortunetelling. As focal points for meditation, the cards’ images can help you think about paths to spiritual self-improvement, broaden your understanding of the human conditions that we all share, and highlight the workings of archetypal forces in your life.

Among Tarot users, a common practice is to pull a card a day, then contemplate its meanings. You can actively think about it, read what different authors may have to say about it, look around you for ways that its energies are expressed as you go about your life. This is essentially the traditional Western (European) approach to meditation, which is to think about something at great length.

Another way to meditate on a card is to find a calm, quiet place, then relax and hold the image of the card or one of the symbols within the card in your mind. (Beginners might try to see if they can sustain such an image for ten minutes or so.) After concentrating on this image, other images and impressions may flow into your mind, increasing your understanding of the card or symbol. However, don’t try to force any images—just relax and concentrate. Even if nothing happens, your deep mind will go to work on the image, and meaningful revelations may pop up at a later time. The meditation may also trigger some interesting dreams that reveal more about the mysteries of the Tarot.

Two other techniques that I classify as meditative are called Free Writing and Deep Description. Free Writing is a term that is current in writers’ workshops, and is a stream of consciousness technique. To do a free write on a Tarot card, select a card and then write down everything that comes to your mind about the card, including any chains of thoughts that may arise, even if they seem silly or unrelated. It doesn’t matter whether you already know anything about the card in question. Trust your intuition. You know more than you think you know. It’s a good idea to set a kitchen timer for ten minutes, and do not permit yourself to lay down your pen (or take your fingers off the keyboard) until the timer has rung. Do not stop to read and edit what you’ve written until the time is up, and pay no attention to “the critic within.” It doesn’t matter if it seems that what you’re writing makes no sense, or whether it looks like it was written by a second grader. You will be surprised at the insights that emerge. Trust the process.

Deep Description also involves writing, but the discipline is quite different. For this type of exercise, set one of the cards in front of you and then write down everything you see in the card, noticing things like the colors used, incidental objects in the background or foreground, whether or not there is a border, what kind of lettering is used if there is a label, whether any of the objects or arrangements of objects form geometrical shapes, whether any of the human figures look out at you, what sort of gestures they are making, and much more. The trick here is to avoid blending description with speculation or analysis. In other words, write down only what you want to see; do not permit yourself to write down any other thoughts about what you see until afterward. Do not make any guesses abut anything that is not actually featured in the picture, or form any opinion about the meaning of the card until you are done. This is very difficult to do because most people can’t separate description from analysis—analysis always contaminates perception. But if you trust the process, revelations will arise once you have completed the exercise. By the way, if you can get a friend to try this using the same card, you may surprise each other with all of the things that one of you saw and the other did not, even when you both thought you couldn’t possibly describe anything else.

From Tarot for a New Generation by Janina Renée

Janina Renée
Janina Renée is a scholar of folklore, psychology, medical anthropology, the material culture of magic, ritual studies, history, and literature. Her books include Tarot Spells, Tarot Your Everyday Guide (winner of 2001 Coalition of Visionary...  Read more

RELATED PRODUCTS

Tarot Diva
Tarot Diva
Ignite Your Intuition Glamourize Your Life Unleash Your Fabulousity!
Sasha Graham
$18.95 US,  $21.95 CAN | Add to Cart
Tarot for Beginners
Tarot for Beginners
A Practical Guide to Reading the Cards
Barbara Moore
$15.95 US,  $18.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

While Llewellyn's Classic Tarot has my name on the cover, I did not so much design this project as direct it. Llewellyn wanted a deck that was designed to be faithful to the traditional tarot images, symbols, and meanings recognizable to most modern tarot readers and students. Creating a faithful yet new expression of timeless tarot imagery is... read this article
The Union Screaming House: The Haunting Continues...Long After the Doors Are Shut
365 Ways to Attract Good Luck
The Oracle of the Angels
Tarot: Group Dynamics Spread
Evolutionary Astrology: What the Moon's Nodes Mean in Your Chart

Most recent posts:
Part 1: Why is Satan in the Grimoires?
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Aaron Leitch, author of several books, including Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires, The Angelical...

A Spread About You
This spread, called Alive, Dead, and Undead, is from the Vampires Tarot of the Eternal Night book. It was created as a companion to the deck and thus...

A "Thank You" to BKS Iyengar
BKS Iyengar passed away today. In the midst of a frantic morning I heard the news and suddenly paused, realizing the great impact one person can...





Easy Tarot Reading Easy Tarot Reading
The Process Revealed in Ten True Readings

By: Josephine Ellershaw
Price: $14.95 US,  $16.95 CAN
$10.47 US,  $11.87 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2015 Astrological Calendar
82nd Edition of the World's Best Known, Most Trusted Astrology Calendar

By: Llewellyn
Price: $14.99 US,  $16.99 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2015 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide Llewellyn's 2015 Daily Planetary Guide
Complete Astrology At-A-Glance

By: Llewellyn
Price: $12.99 US,  $14.95 CAN
You Are the Answer You Are the Answer
Discovering and Fulfilling Your Soul's Purpose

By: Michael J Tamura
Price: $16.95 US,  $19.50 CAN