Herbs can be used to gain a greater depth of understanding of any tarot pack. Herb spirits are great teachers: they can subtly alter the consciousness of the user to become aware of a greater magical reality. To connect with plant familiars, attune to their vibrations, and absorb their lessons, try burning incense when you use your cards.
Incenses are made from dried leaves, petals, berries, woods, resins, and essential oils. They are burned on small charcoal blocks, which are readily available from occult suppliers. As you mix an incense, ask the plant spirits to share their knowledge with you. Begin by blending the resin with a few drops of oil, then add any woods or crushed berries. Add lesser quantities of leaves and flower petals. An incense might not contain all of these types of ingredients: it can consist of just one substance, so use your common sense. Experiment with quantities to find a blend that works for you.
To enhance your perceptions when you are divining with the cards, burn an incense blended from frankincense, calendula oil, sandalwood, rowan berries, hazel wood, and honeysuckle blossoms. For tarot meditation try an incense of frankincense, lemon balm oil, acacia, sandalwood, and chamomile flowers. Or alternatively you might like to use specific incense to attune to specific cards.
All the herbs mentioned are harmless when used in the way described, but please bear in mind that some other herbs are poisonous or have toxic vapors. Make sure that you fully research any new herb you want to use.
Incense for the Suits
DISCS relate to the element of earth, the body and the material plane, money, and possessions. To attune, blend an incense from pine resin, patchouli oil, pine wood, sage, honeysuckle flowers, and cypress needles.
Incense for the Major Arcana
Root, Stem, Leaf
While concentrating on your question, lay three cards one above the other. The first card will show the heart of the matter—the "root" cause. The second card is the path to a solution: the stem that leads to the fulfillment. The third card, the leaf, shows the final outcome.
From Llewellyn's 2001 Tarot Calendar. For more Llewellyn tarot books and decks, click here.
Anna Franklin is a third-degree witch and high priestess of the Hearth of Arianrhod who has been a practicing Pagan for more than forty years. She is the author of nearly thirty books, including the Hearth Witch series, ...