The Ritual of Reading Cards
Dealing with destiny and shuffling for solutions
As I cut away the burnt bits of sage with my scissors, ash and dust falling into the bin, I begin to cleanse my space. With new twigs revealed, I flick on my lighter and watch as the flames turn the dried herbs into wispy wands of smoke, clearing the energy of the space where I will carry out my craft.
Some might call it 'witchcraft', but to me it is the craft of self-care. Spirituality has always been an incredibly important part of my life, connecting me to my power, and to the power that surrounds me, whilst grounding me in the present. Over the long, long months of the pandemic, however, my practice has expanded into tarot and oracle card reading, and it's a craft I'm wholeheartedly cultivating.
It begins with the burning of sage to clear away any stagnant energy from my sacred space, and the minute the smell hits my nostrils I feel connected to The Universe and to my Guides, with whom I will converse through the medium of my cards. I do this regularly through my meditation, but sometimes specific questions are better answered by using my decks. Just the process of lighting candles and bringing the cards down onto the blanket lain across my floor is enough to begin to soothe my soul.
As I unbox the smooth deck filled with intricate art, I take a deep breath and send my energy deep into the cards. This moment of connection will help the cards to speak to me in the clearest fashion, and allow my Guides to send me their wisdom with clarity. Knocking on the deck to seal in my energy, I begin to mix the cards around as if my fingers were mixing together kaleidoscopic palette of paint. The cards slide up and under each other as I continue to swirl them around into constellations. I'll know when to stop soon enough.
Magical mixing done, I gather the cards up into a shaggy pile, and gently tap them until they come together into a deck again. Some may decide they can't wait to talk to me, and will abandon ship so as to be seen, and I will set those aside. The others are spread across my blanket in a wide arc, and I close my eyes to ask The Universe and my Guides the question that has been on my mind.
Flickering my lids open, the cards containing the messages meant for me jump out at me like glowing beacons. Gently prying them away from the pack, I line the cards up and wait to find out what they wish to tell me. If any other cards have strayed from the semi-circle spread in front of me, those too will be brought out to be pored over.
I start with the deck-jumpers - the cards that begged to be seen. I think of this as something important that The Universe had to tell me; the answer to a question that I didn't think of asking. Turning the cards over one by one, I give each the reverence and attention that it deserves, and take time to let me intuition tell me the entirety of its messages. Whether the message be one of hope, strength, or new horizons, I find comfort in conversing with the source of my soul's energy.
Next, I look to the cards I picked myself, and again bathe in the beautiful answers and directions they bring to me. Each deck I use was chosen because I felt immediately drawn to it - my tarot deck for its golden-hued goddesses, my oracle cards for their luminous angels. These cards were destined to be in my possession, and to open a portal of communication between myself and the higher powers that placed me here on this earth for this incarnation. They are invaluable in my eyes.
Having taken my time with the cards, I close my eyes, take some deep belly breaths, and ask my Guides if there is anything else they'd like to add. When our communication reaches its natural close, I give thanks for the guidance I've received and for the cards that I've been dealt. I once again reach for my sage, snipping at its singed ends, and lighting its fresh twigs so that the smoke can curl up and cleanse the cards. My ritual is now complete.
Some might call it 'witchcraft', but to me it is the craft of self-care.