Choosing a Tarot Deck or Other Divination System for Personal Growth

Written by Sherrie Locke on 9 Ahau, March 2014

Remember, “The path of initiation opens doors that were previously closed.”

So this means, “to open a path.”

All the knowledge of that path comes after one enters the gate.

Tarot Cards
The 22 trumps or major arcana relate to the evolution of the soul.

The four suits are not only a regular playing card deck, but esoterically also the four elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth.

The 22 trumps or major arcana depict, a construct or a passage of the soul from the Fool to The Universe. I will discuss esoteric reversal and replacement of certain cards in the order of the construct as we progress over time.

Each Tarot trump, and every card, for that matter, conveys a thought, a principle or an archetype. The study can go on for a lifetime.

When choosing a Tarot deck, take these things into consideration.

Choose one at your level of understanding.

I like to start people out with a Ryder-Waite deck, or my favorite for many years, the Albano-Waite deck. Slight differences make the Albano version more correct, and the four suits (Air, Fire, Water and Earth) have a background theme throughout each element that keeps your attention on that element. For example, Water has a water theme that is mostly blue, Fire is a bit of a hot background theme, Air is more yellow and spring looking, and Earth is, well, earthy. So the Albano-Waite deck triggers the subconscious, helping you to make the connections.

So choose a tarot deck wisely. You are not going to go out and buy one, put up a shingle that says
“Tarot Reader” and do yourself or anyone else a service. Let’s keep this personal at this stage, and for soul development.

The Thoth Tarot Cards
I read the Thoth Tarot deck but I would not suggest it to novices or anyone without a basic knowledge of the Hebrew alphabet, The Tree of Life (basic Kabala), astrology and certain other initiatory practices. It’s too much for the layperson, and Crowley will smack you right in the face with your own shit. For real.

Other helpful divination systems are runes and, of course, the I-Ching (pronounced the Ee-Ching). Note that the 16 court cards in a Tarot deck correspond to 16 hexagrams (of 64) in the I-Ching divination system. I will elaborate on this in my book.

There are many other oracles, from Persian to Maya to Greek, to West African systems. They utilize everything from tea leaves to cowrie shells, from sticks of yarrow to stones and bones…it’s endless. So as I said, keep it on your level of understanding and training.

Researching Divination Systems
Sit with each system and see which one resonates with you.

You are only to use these divination systems at first to determine your own state of character. Second, to determine what a scenario or person is teaching you or its underlying meaning, and finally (after lots of practice on the first two), you may inquire about a person, a business partner or viability of any operation from starting a venture to a magickal working.

I would like to leave you now with a hint.

Meditate on tarot trump number 1, The Magician. Also related to this concept is Hexagram number 1 in the I-Ching, The Creative or the 7 Dragons ascending to heaven. These are the “control’ “elements and the doorway to open either the I-Ching or the Tarot to you for further studies.

I suggest you sit with either of these systems on a daily basis meditation until you feel yourself shift into them. You become the Magician, you become The Creative.

Now go forth and find your system to advanced personal insight and growth!

Ho Mitakuye Oyasin!

Preparing Space for Divination or Healing

By Sherrie Locke, 8 Kej, February 2014

I am a stickler for “preparing space,” it is the single most important aspect of doing a good reading, a good and productive healing session or anything “meta”-physical. It is the key to things going well or according to the intended plan.

The first thing to do is make sure the space, area or site you are working on or with is cleaned. This means smudging the space, setting an intention, opening a work space, holding that space, and when you are finished, closing that held space and giving thanks to those plants and beings who help in the whole operation.

I have witnessed many a healer/reader with no sense of “boundaries” or space and who are often not even clear on the intention. This will not do! Not only must the facilitator be conscious of these parameters, but they must also be clear with the client so that the intentions for the sessions match.
This is the beginning of a successful interaction for all parties.
The next thing to do is be conscious of your level of understanding and knowledge, first of the intended modality you plan to use, and then and most important, is the knowledge and understanding of the place or location you are working in.

I am also a stickler about not bringing in a tradition that has nothing to do with the area, region or culture on which whose land you stand. So be conscious and reverent, because the spirits of that very place are helping you by interacting with all that is being done there.

As I have said many times before, you are can’t fight a Sumerian demon with a few Christian prayers and by throwing some white light at it (or holy water for that matter). You will wind up dead, only to come back and figure it out next go around. Possibly with collateral damage.

So be aware of your limits and realms of knowledge. If you think something is out of your league, then it probably is and you should call for assistance or just step away. Or keep the session within your realm of expertise. Believe me, I have had to clean these things up many times for others (another specialty in my “tool kit”). That is, if there were any survivors to counsel and they could make it to me.

There are many ways to create space and to hold that space, I will elaborate in a future category of “Working Rituals.” In the meantime, be mindful, conscious and intentional in all you do, for this will serve you well and your interactions even better!