Discovering Inner Self
The themes, images and symbols of the Tarot serve beautifully as a meditation tool. The Tarot can be a wise guide to discovering more about your inner self. Visualized meditations tap into the unconscious mind and create spontaneous mental images. The response that we have to these images can be revealing and may bring to light hidden aspects of our personalities. When we connect with this new awareness, it can act as a spur for our future growth and development and lead us to a deeper and more meaningful sense of who we are, and what is unfolding in our lives presently.
Meditation works to connect us to the pictures on the cards in a direct way and serves to develop our intuition. In order to follow this guided meditation you’re advised to read the instructions into a tape recorder, and when you’re ready to do this meditation exercise, follow your recorded instructions. Or you can ask a friend to read this guided meditation out loud while you relax and immerse yourself in the process.
Visualization, Imagination & Insight
Several years ago I participated in a meditation class at our local community centre taught by an elderly Buddhist. The teacher would suggest a methodology which we would practice as a group together during class, and then try at home on our own the following week. I already had explored various meditation methodologies laid down in Yoga practice, and of course many years of utilizing the Tarot for meditation. I discovered that nothing I learned in this class compared to the assistance, and guidance offered by the Tarot particularly in a meditation exercise involving visualization, imagination and insight. The following exercise is one I practice often and recommend to my Tarot students. Many have found this exercise especially helpful in learning the meaning of the cards! Oracle cards, or any other type of pictorial wisdom cards, will also work well for this exercise if you don’t already possess your own Tarot deck.
To begin, enter a deep state of relaxation drawing upon systems you have learned in the past to enter a deeply relaxed state. Step outside the usual movement of your life and sit comfortably and straight so that you will not have to shift around. Place the card you wish to explore close by. In this state of deep relaxation, let thoughts and plans and problems begin to slide away and breathe deeply.
With eyes closed, staying with your breath, reach out for a card. Hold it in both hands and feel its energy. Open your eyes and look at your card as if seeing it for the first time. Take in all the details, colour, and characters.
Close your eyes again and visualize the card in front of you.
Open your eyes and look again. What details did you miss?
Now close your eyes again and set down the card. Once more, see it before you. Let the picture become bigger, the size of a large book, then a window, then a doorway. Imagine the card as a doorway to a living world.
Imagine yourself standing before that doorway, then stepping through it and entering that world. Look around in that world, feel the ground, the breezes, smell the air, hear any noises of birds or people or wind.
As you look around, you see the characters from the original picture. They are active now and you watch them move and speak. You feel drawn to these characters and as you approach them one animal, object or character draws you still closer. You feel a special bond with this figure, this ally.
This powerful ally asks you to come closer and as you approach this figure it offers you a special gift. You accept this gift and you give your ally a gift in return.
You realize it's time to go and you say goodbye to your ally and let yourself step back. You look behind and see the doorway behind you.
You step backward through it so that the scene once more lies on the other side. In reverse of earlier, the doorway shrinks back to the size of a window, a large book and returning once again to the original size of the card.
Upon completing this meditation, sit quietly a moment, take a deep breath, and when you release that breath, open your eyes.
Write and draw what you experienced throughout this mediation. Especially note of the following details,
1. What gifts did you receive from your ally? What gifts did you offer your ally in return?
2. What words were exchanged between you and your ally?
3. What other information did you take in through your five physical senses? For example, did you smell or taste anything? Did you feel a breeze on your skin, or the heat of the sun, or cold of the night? What else could you hear besides the words of your ally?
4. What feelings were evoked in you throughout the meditation experience?
5. What insights did you have about your present situation, or how you got to this place in your life?
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