Tarot Spread Journeys

Tarot Spread Journeys

Runa's Oracle

“No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.”
― Heraclitus

It's easy to throw a few Tarot cards down and superficially consider the meaning of the individual cards and overall spread, and THEN, simply go about your day without really contemplating, much less integrating any of the energy gifts presented.

I have done it. In fact, I probably do it more often than I would like to admit. But, I have found that I can go deeper with the energies presented in the cards by engaging in inner journeys.

I begin by choosing or creating a spread based on the area of my life that I am hoping to glean some insight. I shuffle and lay out the cards and then proceed to "read" the cards and overall layout. I notice themes and elements that compliment and contrast each other. I look for how the cards are "playing" or "dancing" together.

Once I have "read" the cards for myself, generally by relating the energies of the imagery to its place and theme in the spread*, I will take one card at a time to "journey" with. I typically work with one card per day, so if a spread has 5 cards, I will focus on this spread through inner journeys for a week, more or less.
*I always try to "read" for myself, before I read any book interpretations, if I open the book at all.

The Inner Journey

Every journey begins with a point of departure and the Inner Journey is no different. There are 2 ways to depart however. One is with a destination (of sorts) in mind, what we might call an intention. We might not know what the destination looks like, but we have an idea of what we want to accomplish. This is typically how shamanic journeys are done. The intention is set, and the journeyer sets off to the Upper World or Lower World in search of spirits, animals, and guides that can offer wisdom and healing.

The 2nd way is to begin with an image in mind and let the scenes of the journey develop for themselves, according to a theme. This type is what I like to call DayLight Dreaming, but it is simply another type of inner journey without the shamanic overtones. DayLight Dreaming can be done at any time, as it is a more conscious dreaming that involves the powers of will and choice, but is open to receiving spontaneous and emergent images. It is like a semi-directed improv between the conscious and subconscious, the left brain and the right brain.

Our minds are always flowing and the inner journey is a way to enter into the flow with the benefit of a boat and a paddle.

The inner journey can be done at any time, but I often do these Tarot spread journeys as I am in the twilight energy before sleep. I find that it is a great meditation to keep my mind from uninvited thoughts that can invade our bedtime moments and often inhibit sleep.

I generally work with the spread in the order of the draw, and based on the card an image or scene is predetermined. I enter into this imagery with the energy of the card placement and allow wisdom to come in the development and resolution of this inner landscape.

I will share an abridged version of a card draw and the subsequent journeys now.

Answer the Call Spread
(by Barbara Moore, in her book Tarot Spreads)

  1. Calling, the Nature of the Call. What is the heart of the matter?
    My card: The Star
    I am being called to embrace my destiny. The stars only align when I align myself to them.
  2. Spiritual Response. How am I to respond spiritually (beliefs, practice)?
    My card: Strength
    Trust in the value of your beliefs because they show their fruits in your experience and actions toward self and others. Show, don't just tell.
  3. Intellectual Response. How am I to respond intellectually (thinking, learning, communicating)?
    My card: Offering
    This is a card of letting go, exchange, sacrifice. Let go of limiting beliefs. Put your tendency to overthink and overintellectualize on the altar and receive the blessings of experiencing
  4. Emotional Response. How am I to respond emotionally (feelings, relationships)?
    My card: Great Mother
    Nurture yourself (and others) as you embrace your calling. It's scary to follow your heart but the Great Mother holds you and supports you. There is nothing to fear.
  5. Physical Response. How am I to respond physically (action)?
    My card: Shaman
    Do the work of the shaman. Even though your work isn't overtly shamanistic (in terminology), it is very much shamanic in practice. But, you must practice. You must do the work.

In "reading" the cards, I have relied on my prior knowledge of each of these tarot card themes as well as the title and imagery of the card. I did not consult the book, although I am not opposed to it for clarification of ideas, only opposed if it is a crutch.

I am being called to follow my star. Since I was little, I have been a seeker, but in my seeking I have been butting up against dogmatic ideas of others. My calling is to both seek my own sovereignty and inner wisdom and also encourage others to embrace their own sovereignty and inner wisdom. My heroine's journey is to bring back the treasures of my search and share them with those who are kindred in spirit. I needn't worry about sharing with those who are not aligned.

I notice the complimentary themes between cards 2 and 4 (allowing the positive emotional support of something greater to give me the spiritual strength to pursue my calling) and 3 and 5 (practice in place of pure intellectualizing, as I have had the tendency to do much study and less practice in my life).

The Journeys

With each journey, I find a quiet, comfortable place to recline where I won't be disturbed. I close my eyes and relax with some deep breaths, and then state my intention to invite the imagery in. (See also THIS PAGE for the 5 stages of DayLight Dreaming and an example to visit the House of Law) I use my inner senses to ground me and allow the imagery to expand.