Sympathetic Magic and Tarot

Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by Uusi
Image by Victoria Constantino

Sympathetic magic is based on the law of attraction, whose tenet is simple: like attracts like. This can serve our manifestations and sacred practice through the simple use of representational instruments, such as coins for prosperity and pomegranates for fertility, to name a few examples. The idea is that objects with energies related to what you are seeking to manifest help draw more of the same; placing these items in a sacred space or throughout your home (especially in the related feng shui guas) is common practice. Tarot cards are wonderfully various in their pictorial representations of many fundamental facets of life, such as happiness, abundance, family, strength, and so on, which makes them ideal for use in sympathetic magic.

As many of you know, I do a daily card draw through my social media accounts for the collective. Often, this is a single card, but sometimes the universe delivers more. Today’s card turned out to be the Nine of Cups, a card often associated with windfalls, inheritances, and lucky winnings. Being that it is in the suit of Cups, it is also linked to the emotional realm. And because nines are associated with completion, this card carries an aspect of emotional fulfillment, happiness, harmony, and generosity. The image of the wealthy tavern keeper is often associated with this card, especially in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. In the deck I use primarily for readings, the Pagan Otherworlds tarot by Uusi, the Nine of Cups features a frog sitting on a riverbank. Frogs can symbolize a leap into something new, as well as abundance, fertility, purification, rebirth, and renewal.

If I drew this card and wanted to set up a ritual or spell around it based on sympathetic magic, I might begin by placing it in an area of significance or sacred space, along with objects associated with what I am looking to draw in. I could light a candle to meditate on my intention and goals, visualizing the outcome I want to manifest in as much detail as possible. When visualizing, if you find yourself getting hung up on details, it’s best to keep it general and focus on the feeling of what you’re after, i.e., the feeling of abundance, fulfillment, happiness, and so on.

Sympathetic magic can be as simple or complex as you like; you can set up a single card or include numerous objects, herbs, crystals, and whatever else you like. As always, you should trust your instincts. It’s nice to have the energetic support of corresponding objects, but ultimately, all you really need is intention. The most important energetic component of all is always going to be what is in your vibration, as that is the ultimate determination of what you attract to you.

Choosing a Tarot Deck

The Supra Oracle and the Pagan Otherworlds Tarot by Uusi
Image by Victoria Constantino

When being drawn to a certain deck, one has to wonder: do you choose the deck or does it choose you? With the many and varied types and styles of tarot and oracle decks available, there is something to suit every taste. Often, it’s the artwork that captivates us, or the theme (cats, anyone?). Some oracle decks have pithy interpretations printed on the cards, like “It’s your lucky day.” Intrigued by mystique? No pre-loaded interpretation necessary; decks featuring artwork-only leave the deciphering to the reader and may reward a greater depth and variety of interpretive nuance.

If you’re undecided and searching, it can be useful to first get clear on what you want to use the deck for. Are you going to use it for general, everyday readings, doing readings for others, for meditation or journaling? Different decks tend to support different purposes. You may not want to use the same deck you use for your own readings to give readings to others (it’s an energy thing). You might also have one that you use for visualization purposes and to support your manifestations that you employ solely for that purpose.

Sometimes, when we’re tuned into our internal guidance, we may be steered toward one deck or another, and on occasion, we don’t quite know why—it’s not always a deck we would normally choose. In my experience though, it’s always a good idea to trust your intuition. There may be a message or some wisdom in it for you that turns out to be invaluable or leads you on a path of self-discovery.

Other times, it’s love at first sight. You know that deck, it’s the one… You’ve never seen anything so gorgeous in your life. You have to have it. My advice? If you like it, get it.

Ultimately, it’s really a personal decision. If you get a deck and after using it for a while, decide it doesn’t resonate with you anymore, you can always exchange with someone who has a deck you like that they’re willing to part with.

Oracle of Mystical Moments: A Deck Interview

Oracle of Mystical Moments by Catrin Welz-Stein
Image by Victoria Constantino

This deck interview uses the spread and corresponding questions by Katey Flowers.

Originally drawn to this oracle deck for the otherworldly yet timeless qualities of its artwork, I’ve found that it conveys meaning primarily through its imagery. Though I suppose that can be said of all (or most) decks, the messages in the Oracle of Mystical Moments are directly informed by its resonating qualities of beauty and the celebration of the natural world. We sat down for an interview, and here’s what it had to say.

What can you teach me? To the Moon and Back
Keywords: Desires, Wishes, Longings

This deck can reveal desires that are hidden and the path to attainment. It provides encouragement to reach for goals and the reminder that we all have wings; we just need to remember how to fly.

Describe yourself: Pure Nature
Keywords: Grace, Blooming, Youth, Freshness

This deck honors the natural world and brings a sense of fresh vitality to readings. It reminds us of the pleasures of nature and that we are an integral part of it. It is through this lens that this deck offers guidance, bringing to the fore the simultaneous ephemerality and eternal spirit that characterize nature. Like us, nature is eternal in its continuity of cycles, yet each flower has its day in the sun and so should be treasured while it blooms.

Describe me: All Is Connected
Keywords: Innovation, Transformation, Growth, Release

The butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.

How can we work together? White Rose of Hope
Keywords: Hope, Beacon, Solution, Beginnings

This deck is a resource that can be tapped into for solutions, guidance, and direction. It offers illumination to light the way forward.

Your strengths: Flower Spirit
Keywords: Friendship, Soul, Tenderness, Joy

The lovely artwork of the cards reveals everything the keywords mention above. The spirit of this deck is captured through the images, which convey how beautiful life can be. It encourages us to open our hearts and minds to the wondrous possibilities that are all around us and helps us to forge and strengthen our connection with them.

Your weaknesses: Eva
Keywords: Duplicity, Deception, Caution

Like a friend who fibs to spare your feelings, this deck may present things through rose-colored glasses and may not always be completely forthcoming. Whether this plays out in the form of actual deception or gentle glossing over remains to be seen, but there is wisdom to be gained here: knowing this aspect will encourage me to tune into my own awareness and intuition above all.

Our potential together: Elixir of Life
Keywords: Healing, Consolidation, Reinvigoration, Truth

Through the messages it conveys, this deck can provide guidance that brings about restoration and healing. While the indication of truth seems to veer from the card above, ultimately, it is a medium through which deeper understandings are conveyed that can bring about a consolidation of wisdom and encourage their integration.

April: A Reading for the Collective

Pagan Otherworlds Tarot
Image by Victoria Constantino

Last month’s expansion arrived in unexpected ways, yet here we are in the midst of a powerful collective shift. Here’s what April’s energy has in store.

Q1: What is the overall energy of April? Knight of Cups

There is a focus overall on interpersonal relationships, our interactions with others—those who are close to us and to the community at large—and the impact one person can make. As a collective, we have begun to come back to what matters as we remember the value of the people in our lives. Those in isolation have had the time and opportunity to explore their emotions—to process, clear, and release, and to get in touch with themselves on deeper levels than before. Those sequestered with family, friends, and loved ones have been able to explore an emotional range and to deal with challenges that have helped them to understand more about themselves and others.

This is a chance to heal wounds, to clear and let go of the past, to reconnect with each other from the heart, and to reconnect with our own hearts. As we heal, we can begin to lift up the people around us. Some may be in the midst of an emotional journey that has pushed them past their boundaries into expansion that may not always feel like expansion, that may not always be pleasant or pretty or comfortable. When strong emotions come to the fore, it’s an opportunity to sort things out and to heal so that we can emerge on the other side stronger, wiser, understanding ourselves on deeper levels, and more in charge of ourselves and our emotions.

Q2: Week 1 energy (April 1-7): The Star

There is a light in the darkness. This is the light at the end of the tunnel. We are beginning to find hope, to see the new beginnings that are just on the horizon. As this hope spreads, it brings continually increasing joy, optimism, and awareness that assist in our expansion. As this light dawns, we realize the beauty that surrounds us, and the wealth of possibilities that lay ahead, that are ours if only we choose to make use of them.

Q3: Week 2 energy (April 8-14): Death

Something significant is coming to an end. Because this is a Major Arcana card, it indicates something karmic is on its way out. This week will see closure and there is a certain sense of finality. We can begin to breathe a sigh of relief, because this is a welcome change that allows growth, rebuilding, and restructuring. The image of emerging from a cave feels significant, as we are exiting a place of shelter and emerging into the light. The cave is like a womb and we are being reborn. We enter into a new world, a new energy. We look around us with new appreciation, with fresh eyes, as we literally begin re-visioning. This is a divine reset. We realize on deep levels the significance of the world in which we find ourselves, and how precious are our planet and our resources. We begin to realize the significance of ourselves, the decisions we make, and the impact our choices have on the world we live in.

Q4: Week 3 energy (April 15-21): Page of Pentacles

This is a time of beginning anew on the material plane. We realize we have an opportunity for a fresh start as we consider our new beginnings and the resources at our disposal. Where to start? We begin to make assessments and consider the possibilities, surveying the new landscape as we prepare to lay the groundwork. This is also a time of picking up the pieces. After the tower crumbles, someone must come in to gather up the fallen pieces and rebuild the new structure. Sometimes it’s better to level it all and start over with a new plan. This time, we can build a stronger tower.

Q5: Week 4 energy (April 22-30): VII of Cups

Set goals, dream, and envision your life the way you want it to be. Find the best version of yourself, see it in your mind’s eye, and hold your attention there. According to Law of Attraction teacher Abraham-Hicks, “You are more productive by doing fifteen minutes of visualization than from sixteen hours of hard labor.” This week, spend time in appreciation and gratitude and make it a point to surround yourself with whatever makes you happy. Find any excuse to be joyful. Laugh, dance, play music, get creative, and let your heart soar. These high-vibrational emotions will bring about powerful shifts and forward momentum for all the things you desire to create in your life.

Q6: Guidance from the Universe: VIII of Cups

The strong message here is to turn away from the old ways, from the modes of thinking and being and doing that no longer serve you or society as a whole. If it doesn’t work, don’t give your attention to it; don’t support it in any way, even by thinking about it. Instead, turn toward what is working by giving your thought, energy, and attention to how you want things to be. This is a time of powerful energetic shifts. The tower is collapsing as weak foundations, structures, and ways of life are crumbling to make way for stronger foundations and better ways of thinking, being, and doing, ways that serve us better, that serve our planet better, and that are sustainable. The new ways are generative, not destructive. They support growth and forward movement, and are building something lasting for the future. Now is the time to build foundations upon which future generations can thrive. This is done energetically first, because everything is energy. A building begins with an idea, and from that idea a blueprint is created, and from that blueprint a structure is built that will be used for generations to come.