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Tarot and Your Spiritual Path

April 2, 2010

For the first few days of its life so far, I posted to this blog often. I wanted it to hit the ground running, and I think I’ve succeeded.  Seven of Coins (Tarot of the Masters)

But now I’ve stepped back for a moment (a Seven of Pentacles moment, let’s say) to reassess where this blog is going, and what purpose I want it serve.

Definitely, blogging about the Tarot is both fun and valuable (in many different ways), and that’s not going to stop.  But I’ve wondered if … well, maybe it’s more accurate to say that I’ve worried that it will interfere with my work on my next Tarot book which I have in the works.  This is a book that I’ve started and halted and then restarted a few times.  Other projects have arisen (such as my books Tarot Affirmations and Uncovering the Tarot of the Masters) to sideline this one, and I don’t want my Tarot blog to derail it again.  Although I’ve written a large portion of this new book, there is a lot of work yet to be done on it, hence my concern.  But then I realized that there is a way that I can make both endeavors – this blog and my book – work together. If I blog about my work on the book, then I might get some valuable feedback along the way. Also, the blogging process should help me keep on track on my book.

When you work at home, you have no deadlines to meet and no one checking up on your progress (or lack thereof), so sometimes it’s hard to keep your nose to the grindstone. But what if my blog could fulfill that role? It should be a lot easier to resist distractions if I know that the entire Internet (or at least the half-dozen people following this blog) is watching.

So that’s what I plan to do. Of course there will be general Tarot posts interspersed (okay, maybe more than just interspersed) but I plan to discuss what’s happening with my new book. Don’t worry, though; I’m not talking about using this blog as a mere progress report. I plan to make it more of a sounding board about the Tarot material in the book, so you won’t have to sit through boring updates like, “Well, I wrote a couple of pages today.”

So what’s this new book about?  At this time, my provisional title for it is “Tarot for Your Spiritual Path” (as you may have guessed from the title of this post).  Although the connection between Tarot and spirituality is apparent to many of us, it’s certainly not a given to everyone. And even where it is realized, a deeper exploration of it is (I hope) of great value.

Certainly, spirituality is not just what we do in a church, a temple, or a synagogue.  It is how we live our lives every moment of every day.  It’s the integrity, compassion, and reverence with which we live our lives. My recolored version of the RWS Magician

Similarly, the Tarot realizes that the divine and the mundane are intertwined (see, especially, the Magician card), and a Tarot reading can help us deal with the mundane problems of our lives in such a way that it also helps us discover our inner, sacred being. We also can do readings using spreads specifically tailored to explore questions about spirituality.  And we can use Tarot cards in ways that are less conventional — to facilitate meditation, and to lead us on a guided visualization into an inner, spiritual realm.  Finally, this book will examine spiritual messages of the individual cards, which can lead to readings with more spiritual overtones.

I know this particular post hasn’t really explored the Tarot, but I think it serves a valuable role as an introduction to many future posts that will be richer in their Tarot discussions. So please bear with me here, and as always, let me know what you think.

Addendum:
The book mentioned above has now been published and it it titled “The Soul’s Journey.”

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20 Comments
  1. whitesagetarot permalink

    I love this post! Just to comment: In my humble opinion, spirituality is that which links the mundane and the divine. That happens in any place of worship, from the cathedral to the canyon, from the mosque to the moonlight, from the basilica to the backyard. For some, a priest, shaman, rabbi… play the role of that conduit. For others, especially those who explore the divine that resides within, the Tarot helps provide that link.
    I am now anxiously awaiting the arrival of TYSP. I’ll save a place for it right beside TTTT 🙂

    Blessings,

    Peter

  2. Rev. Mary Miller permalink

    Thank you for sharing your article on the MA “Star” card. Yes, the internet and it’s vast wide open spaces can lure us away from tasks unfinished (even the best plans of “mice and men”, if I remember the quote right).

    I would be happy to read and support you staying on task to finish the book. Yes, the tarot is FILLED with the spiritual as well as the mundane (sacred & profane), and deck depending (somehow I think the “Wack Pack”, wouldn’t give much spiritual though, but I could be wrong, not having worked with it!) can give fantastic spiritual guidance (MA certainly more than ma, but I could be wrong!).

    I look forward to hearing more about your writing adventure and processes.

    In all love,
    Mary

  3. David Attwood permalink

    Standing in the darkness of a star-filled night, feeling the vastness of space all about and realizing that everything is receding away from us toward “what?” But, then, at the same time knowing that Cosmological thinking points to each of us as a focal point of intention boggles the mind. To realize that each of us is a mote in the vastness of universal space, yet a focal point of G-d’s intention, gives one the inner knowledge of just how important one life is. How much time, and how often is it wasted in frivolity. Your blog is thought-provoking and touches the heart.

  4. I shall read your posts with interest James, it will be good to see your thoughts on how you are progressing and approaching your current project.

  5. Hey James!!

    Yes, I know what you mean about keeping your nose to the grindstone when you’re working from home! It’s tough and sometimes it doesn’t feel like work because you’re enjoying what you do at home.

    I think using your blog is a great way to keep you on track and be productive with the book all at the same time. Great idea! It’s also one of my favorite subjects – spirituality! I’ll do what I can to provide some input.

    Looking forward to the future productive posts!!

    Bright blessings,
    Gina 😉
    http://www.MaeDawn.com

  6. Sharon permalink

    As you know James, I have a few of your books, but after reading your article on The Star I’m even more impressed. I’ll try to keep up with your blog. Wishing you all the best with your projects.

  7. Victoria Evangelina permalink

    Hello James,

    I could not open the link to the book; it would be great if you could post a chapter or two on this blog!!

    Your post encouraged me to do a 3 card reading “Is Tarot spiritual for me at this time of my life?” I am very new to Tarot, but here is my explanation of the cards that opened up for me (I hope it’s all right that I post it here as a responce to your writing):

    8 of Cups: last autumn/winter my plans for the future did not work out and it threw me to a deep pit of not knowing where to go and what to do. I seemingly had everything, and yet was stuck and unhappy. Some time later, I learned about Tarot.

    The Moon: while I am being drawn more and more into my passion for Tarot, I am not yet ready to come open about it with my closest family and friends due to the common misconception that Tarot is an “illusion”, “a game” and is plain not serious.

    Justice: you have spoken a lot about this card, and as I see it in my reading, it means that deep inside my heart I know that Tarot reflect what I myself create in my life. This realization seems to be one of the most important on the path of one’s spiritual development.

    Then I drew one more card, to summarize: 3 of Cups told me that at this moment in my life, Tarot, indeed give emotional and spiritual abundance to me and through me to those, whom I share my newly-found pursuit with. And people are starving for this nourishment of clarity of thoughts, feelings and emotions Tarot provides so abundantly.

    What do you think?

    Thank you for your work and guidance,
    Victoria

    • Hi Victoria,
      If you are referring to my Tarot and Spirituality book, there is no link for it because it’s still a work in progress. But as I work on it, you will find bits and pieces of it showing up here now and then. 😀

      Feel free to post readings. And hopefully other people will comment also. Of course only you were there during the reading, so take the comments of others (myself included) with a grain of salt.

      Here are my thoughts:
      I don’t know what deck you used, but the 8/Cups can be a very spiritual card. The man on this card (in the RWS deck) is heading up a mountain, which symbolizes a spiritual path. So apparently you are leaving behind a more mundane path and headed into the mysteries of life (The Moon). Interestingly, on the RWS Moon, there is another bit of “path up the mountain” imagery. What this may be leading you toward at this time is a new, higher understanding of “right and wrong” and Karma (Justice). And also at this time, the Tarot is being your friend and companion (3/Cups) as you make this journey.

      That’s just my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.

      Best,
      James

  8. Victoria Evangelina permalink

    Wow, James, yes, this totally makes sense!!! Thank you! I am using the Ancient Egyptian Tarot deck by Clive Barett, it is my first deck, and the story of it coming into my life worth a whole post 🙂 But the symbols are somewhat parallel with the RWS deck; 8 of Cups shows a ship going away from the shore, littered with eight empty cups… From the explanation you gave me I got a little glimpse of why RWS deck is favored by many Tarot readers. I guess, I shall study it more carefully and try to do readings with it.

    Thank you for the explanation!

  9. Is there a follow up post to this one available?

    • I have not gotten to that yet. Preparing for, going to, and contemplating on the recent Readers Studio has taken a lot of my time. When I have finished posting articles about the RS, I hope to get back to this.
      Thanks for the reminder though! 😀
      Best,
      James

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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