I’m watching 6 dogs today as I work on this Tarot spell. One dog is about to be picked up. The four that don’t belong to me and my roommate are all males, and a couple aren’t neutered, so there is too much testosterone and dominating, aggressive energy among them. I put a few drops of lavender, lemongrass, a “Relax” essential oil blend, and hoodoo “Peace Water” in a small spray bottle with water. Then I spayed all the anxious and fighting male dogs to help calm them down.
I usually have a pretty calming energy myself, which helps calm dogs. When I get too irritated, I sometimes snap and yell at them, though. The little one who sometimes rolls in poo, I threatened to drown in the bathtub, but of course I wouldn’t really do that. I was experimenting to see if thinking this would change his behavior. That seemed to work on my old roommate’s dog when I threatened to kill her and eat her if she kept chewing up my underwear that was on my bedroom floor.
Anyway, I’ve been studying tarot cards and working on spells using them lately. I really like this Llewellyn Tarot deck, which is based on the Rider-White-Smith deck, but with illustrations based on Welsh mythology. The spell book I’m using for spread ideas is Tarot Spells, by Janina Renee. The books I’m using to interpret the cards are The Llewellyn Tarot Companion – by Anna-Marie Ferguson, The Witch’s Guide to Life – by Kala Trobe, and Tarot Wisdom – by Rachel Pollack. I’m also reading Instant Magic, by Christopher Penczak, and aligning this spell with some of his ideas,
The paradigm I use to explain how magic works is that everything is metaphysically connected because everything was created out of the same creative consciousness (which we call God). Metaphorically speaking, we’re all fingers on the hands of God, thinking we’re separate, when we really aren’t. Symbolic magic works because a symbolic representation of something is metaphysically connected to that thing and to all the ideas and forces that symbol represents. It also works because a symbol helps the magic caster focus on that thing, target, idea, deity or elemental force.
Tarot cards are complex and layered symbolic representations of ideas. Some of the symbols are widely understood to have fairly well established meanings, and are thus part of our human collective unconscious. Water, for instance, represents emotions and psychic abilities, so the suite of Cups in Tarot represents emotions and psychic abilities. Individual symbols on the cards have both broadly established meanings and individual, subjective meanings. These subjective meanings are particularity important in spell-casting with Tarot cards, because one taps into one’s own subconscious when forming and directing a spell. The established meanings of specific cards, as well as the subjective meanings of particular symbols or orientation of the figures on the cards all play into which cards to choose for casting a spell.
I’m female, so I prefer a card that signifies me in a spell spread to have a female figure on it. Sometimes several different cards could be used in the same position in a spell spread, so I’ll consider the gender of the figure on the card, the orientation of the figure toward other cards, the dominant colors in the card, and secondary figures or symbols on the card when selecting which card to use. All of these factors affect my subconscious when casting the spell, so they’re just as important as the established meanings of the card. In the spell spread above, Temperance provides my feminine aspect, so the spread feels to me like it’s about me. (It doesn’t hurt that she also has a white dog and is underwater, representing both emotions and the underworld).
I want a spell that helps me control my emotions and sometimes scattered thoughts, that helps me focus my thoughts and actions toward getting a job, rather than getting distracted by outside forces or internal emotions. Both Temperance and The Chariot have meanings that include controlling and harmonizing conflicting forces. Temperance is usually a less-active feminine figure, while The Chariot is usually an active masculine figure. Since I want this spell to create action in my life, I’m setting the last card as an active card that represents (among other meanings) success in one’s pursuits. The Magician is a masculine card that represents (among other meanings) directing one’s intellect, magical Will, powers of communication and charm toward a goal.
In Instant Magick, Chris Penczak says the 3 basic parts of an effective spell are:
- Altering one’s consciousness (into one that allows us to tap into magical forces)
- Focusing one’s will (on the desired result)
- Directing magical energy (which I’ll call magical power) toward the desired result
Temperance in the first position can represent the first part of an effective spell, and also what I’ll call magical potential. It represents extremes that have been experienced and assimilated, diverse energies synthesized through temperance, opposites untied and balanced, Moderation, Balance, Self-Control, Adaptation, Bridging two worlds, Harmony, and Inner Peace. This is my ideal starting point in this spell.
The Magician in the second position represents focusing one’s mental powers and magical will toward the desired result. It represents being in control of oneself and of the elements, the ability to call upon higher forces, the ability to influence other people, the ability to translate will into effect, the ability to move strategically to attain one’s goals, Talent, Intelligence, Confidence, Skill, Communication, Eloquence, Charm, Persuasion, Influence, Leadership, Control, Purpose, and working in the Arts and Sciences. This is the card that represents movement from my initial state to my desired state.
The Chariot in the third position represents Directing magical power (partly from one’s own will, partly from the symbols on the cards, and partly from divine or elemental forces) toward the desired result of the spell. It represents controlling one’s emotions and inner conflicts, harnessing and directing conflicting forces, overcoming obstacles, opposition or conflict, swift action toward a goal, maintaining control of forces, rapid success in one’s endeavors, Journey, Progress, Force, Control, Willpower, Strength, Success, Victory, and what I’ll call Active Balance. This is the card that represents me controlling and directing both my internal and external forces, the desired outcome of the spell.
I could arrange the cards as if they’re steps going upward, but I don’t feel like this is necessary for me. Since I read from left to right, laying the cards from left to right also denotes movement in my desired direction.
As with any spell, one starts with establishing a calm and focused altered state of consciousness. This can be done by lighting a candle, reciting a chant, or some other simple ritual actions. This establishes a magical state distinct from normal consciousness, from which the spell can begin.
Next one focuses on what one wants to accomplish with the spell. I might focus on each card and say aloud what it means to me. Always say these things in the positive and present form. Say this is so, not that it might be or will be. This is because our subconscious works this way. Everything is in the present in our subconscious, and it doesn’t pay much attention to negatives such as “not” or “never” in affirmations.
One must imagine and believe that the spell will work/ is working. It doesn’t matter if the target of one’s spell knows about it or believes in it, but the spell caster needs to believe in his or her own power. Self-doubt can make a spell not work right, so at least while one is casting the spell, one needs to believe that it can and will work.
Finally one needs to end the spell. This can be done by saying “So Mote It Be”, which means “So may it be” or “So it is”. Extinguishing the candle one has lit is part of closing a spell, as is dismissing whatever powers or deities one has evoked. At this point one needs to ground back into normal reality and let go of worrying about whether the spell will work or not. It’s kind of like sending out a homing pigeon or raven (in Game of Thrones). The spell can’t do what it needs to do, if you keep calling it back. Just trust that it will do it’s thing. If it doesn’t work as intended, you can try another spell later.