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.