Versatile, convenient, and widely available and affordable, the tarot is an excellent tool for many types of magick. While some magickal workings call for an extensive list of herbs, candles, oils, stones, and other ingredients, there are countless spells and charms that can be cast with nothing more than a single deck of tarot cards. Tarot magick has its advantages. It's great for on-the-go spellwork, whether you're traveling or simply going about your typical day. All you need is right there in that one little deck, and within just a few minutes you can design and cast a powerful, personalized spell for virtually any goal. The tarot is also an especially beneficial magickal medium for those times when your mind is scattered and it's difficult to focus on the spell at hand. The images of the cards provide a point of concentration that is a constant reminder of the intention as well as the energy behind the magickal working.
As a long time tarot reader and practitioner of tarot magick, I wanted to design a deck of cards optimized for spellcasting as well as for divination. I chose an artist with an open mind and a flair for detail (Scott Murphy), and the results exceeded my highest hopes and expectations. The images are intuitive and powerful, and the symbols and mysteries portrayed therein sing with magick. The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot isn't just a great deck for divination, it's also a strong and effective medium for casting tarot spells and charms that work. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced pro at tarot magick, the spells you cast with The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot will pack an extra punch.
The cards feature several elements intended to strengthen and enhance your tarot magick. One such feature is the animal symbolism that is carried throughout each suit of the Minor Arcana. The cards of the Cups suit, for instance, which equate to the elemental powers of water, each feature aquatic animals such as fish, frogs, or turtles. These animals are symbolic of creativity, love, and fertility—concepts which characterize the suit of Cups. Another design feature intended to boost the power of tarot magick as well as the intuition of the card reader is the natural landscape elements that repeat throughout the Minor Arcana. The cards of the Pentacles suit, for example, all feature stones and forests, symbolic of the elemental powers of earth that the Pentacles represent. You'll also find in the Minor Arcana magickal symbols ranging from triquetras to yin and yang symbols. Each symbol corresponds with a number to help boost the numerological influence and mystical meaning of each card, with all the twos featuring the same symbol, all the threes featuring the same symbol, and so on. The Major Arcana contains imagery drawn from ancient Pagan mythos, pop culture, esoteric tradition, and modern magickal practice to give the spellcaster or fortuneteller a variety of ways to relate to the cards and gain insights into their many mysteries and magickal potentials. Magickal, occult, and pop symbolism intended to boost the power of spellcastings is woven throughout. The Moon, for example, features a small, dark box to help increase the power of concealment spells, while The Hierophant features a giant eye and a "BB" (referencing "Big Brother" from George Orwell's 1984) in order to enhance magickal workings meant to help the spellcaster gain greater control and oversight.
There are many ways to cast a tarot spell. The structure of each act of tarot magick may differ depending on the intention and will of the spellcaster, the symbolism of the particular cards chosen for use in the spell, and in the ways the cards are manipulated. The first step of any act of tarot magick is to solidify and clarify your intention. What is your goal? What are you hoping for the magick to accomplish? Be specific but leave the finer details open for interpretation so you don't accidentally limit your results. For example, instead of casting a spell to help you get a specific job that may or may not be ideal for you, try casting instead for the best job possible. Once you've decided on a goal, look through your deck of tarot cards with your magickal intentions in mind. Which cards call out to you? Which cards best reflect your intentions? You can look for ideas in The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot companion book, but ultimately your best results will come from trusting your own intuition. Once you've selected the cards you would like to use in your spell, think of how those cards can best be manipulated to represent the magickal goal or intention you are trying to carry out. Do you want to reverse a trend, perhaps cause a shift in the tides of fate? Take the tarot card that represents what you wish to change, turn it upside-down as you envision the situation transforming, then cover it with a card that represents the new reality you want to manifest. Does your goal involve several steps on the ladder to success? Select tarot cards to represent these steps, and lay them out side by side from right to left, or in a staircase design heading upward to symbolize your steady progression. There are many more ways that tarot cards can be manipulated to represent your magickal intentions, and several of these are described in detail in The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot companion book. Challenge yourself to think of other ways in which the cards might be moved, flipped, spun, even tossed—to best reflect a magickal wish. Is there something you've been waiting for that you wish would happen sooner? You might choose a card to symbolize this desire, place it on the table before you, and slide it towards yourself, rapidly. Is there a destructive habit you are trying to break? You could select a card to represent the habit and toss it over your shoulder in a symbolic act of banishment that will help support your healing process.
Unlike many other types of magick, tarot magick doesn't have any set traditions or standard practices. Just like a tarot reading, a tarot spell is creative, fluid, dynamic, and very much dependent on intuition. Tarot magick invites you to be imaginative with your spellcastings, which in turn increases and hones the magickal abilities of the spellcaster. There aren't any rules to tarot spellcasting, so don't be afraid to be creative, experiment, and have fun with it. The Modern Spellcaster's Tarot is a tarot that's built for magick, and it's a magick that is yours to build.
Melanie Marquis is the founder of the United Witches global coven and the organizer of Denver Pagans. She has written for Circle, Pentacle, and the American Tarot Association. Melanie's books include Llewellyn's Little Book ...