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Post Category: Personal Blog

The Process in a Tarot Card

There are so many ways to understand a tarot card, so many different depictions of the archetypes of tarot, and so many ways to use the brilliant tool that is tarot. Today I am thinking about one particular way to use tarot – to find a process within each card.

I first started thinking about this about ten years ago when I wrote my first tarot poem about the Eight of Cups. That poem is now published in Arcana: The Tarot Poetry Anthology. (You can also read it here on my website.)

It’s still fascinating to me that we can know our cards well, use them daily, and still find in a card, at a certain moment, something we had never seen before, or thought about before. On the day I wrote that first tarot poem, what I saw in the Eight of Cups was a process of healing.

Over the ten years since I first saw a process in a tarot card, I’ve been thinking a lot about how each tarot card might convey a process. We could use this concept in a few different ways.

First, as an exercise in viewing the cards a new way we can look at each card and see the process within it. This is much more than asking what the person is doing in the image, or what the action is within the image. Rather, this is looking at each card as a metaphor for something larger. For example, we often see the Four of Pentacles as being a miser or holding on to resources inappropriately. Yet, when I look at this card with the goal of seeing a process, I might see a process of self-protection such as establishing boundaries or increasing self-care. A card without a person pictured can still discuss a process. For example, the Ace of Wands could speak to me about the process of stoking one’s internal flame.

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Another way to play with this concept is in divination. If you pull a single card at random and look for the process within it, you might find a reflection of a process you are already doing in your life, or advice for a process you need to begin.

You could also try a two-card spread, with the first card indicating the process you need to begin, and the second card offering advice on how to make it happen.

When we find within each tarot card a process, we make the wisdom of tarot even more pertinent and actionable in our daily lives.