Guest post by Maria Ede-Weaving
Philip recently suggested I try out a way of working with the Tarot that he and Stephanie have developed. They shared this recently on a webinar hosted by Linda Marson, creator of Global Spiritual Studies, and I was able to watch the recording and so work with the method. I have always been a great fan of their The Druidcraft Tarot. My own pack is now well weathered and worn from use. Given my love of these cards, I was excited to try out this new way of using them.
They call this particular approach The Deep Exploration Method, and digging deep is precisely what it does. It’s a method that is perfect for enabling a deeper understanding of more major and significant problems and challenges. Because of this, it also requires a more measured pace, taking time to free-associate with the images, writing down thoughts, make personal connections through this process, allowing yourself to really ponder and open to the cards you have chosen. For me, what makes this a spread that delves the depths is the inclusion of ‘shadow’ and ‘unconscious’ cards, ones that reveal our buried feelings and motivations. When these are placed along-side cards we have consciously chosen, the revelations can be surprising.
I should here mention a little about the sequence of this method. It requires the dividing of the cards into three piles of court cards, pips and Major Arcana. The reader then picks cards from the Major Arcana pile, some chosen by looking at the images, these are seen as ‘conscious’ cards reflecting our known understanding of the problem. Others are chosen without seeing the cards – ‘unconscious’ cards that will give insight into the hidden, unseen aspects of the problem. The reader is then encouraged to take some time free-associating with the images, letting the mind explore it and make personal connections, writing these down and pondering them.
There is then a break from looking at a spread, to working on your Court Card personality. Stephanie and Philip take you through a test and then recommend, for folks like me, working on this further by finding your Myers Briggs Type Indicator with a free personality test on-line. The test had me as the Princess of Cups, which on reflection (no pun intended) seemed very apt. But what I found fascinating was the suggestion that I acknowledge my shadow court card – for the delicate, sensitive and passive Princess of Cups, this is the dynamic and active King of Wands. Thinking about the qualities of this card as an unexpressed part of myself was immediately useful in understanding the way I had been dealing with the particular problem I was seeking clarity about.
The Court cards are the ‘Whos’ or vessel through which the energies of the Majors, or ‘Whys’ of the situation move. With these cards laid out, the reading continues with more Majors selected. This for me felt like removing layers and venturing deeper into the issue.
When ready, a Sum Card is worked out, to guide you towards an integration of and understanding of how to work with these energies, once again with free-association and journaling.
Finally, the reader turns to the pile of Pip cards, to get insights into how the energies of the major arcana cards picked are manifesting in the reader’s life.
I spent a good two hours working through this method, allowing myself the time to really explore my thoughts and feelings, make connections, whilst also exploring these in relation to the traditional Tarot meanings of the cards. The problem I was working with is a deeply painful one, one that has left me feeling a little overwhelmed, hurt, struggling to find my equilibrium, one that has invoked a good deal of fear and insecurity in me, which in turn, was paralysing my ability to find insights and a more positive way of dealing with where I found myself. The beauty of this method was that the headless chicken in my head was immediately stilled by the act of pondering, by stilling myself and allowing those connections to come through the images. It was my commitment to take that time, to open fully to each card, to write and contemplate, that gave my inner voice, my soul voice, the room to breathe and speak. Fear and emotional pain can act like an internal white noise that blocks that wise inner voice – this method felt like tuning a dial on a radio and getting a strong, clear signal.
The use of the unconscious cards was particularly enlightening, I felt like I was welcoming my blind-side into the light and seeing it as an ally to be worked with.
The beauty of Philip and Stephanie’s Integrative approach to Tarot is that it goes way beyond divination in its traditional sense. They blend a knowledge of traditional Tarot Lore with Transpersonal and Jungian psychology and Druid and Wiccan esoteric wisdom that moves the focus of a reading away from fortune-telling, acknowledging that the real power of Tarot comes when it is used as a tool for deep and profound transformation – one that links us to the innate wisdom of our souls. They have a querent-centred approach that recognises that the answers we need lie in our deep selves; that even as the questions in us arise, the soul knows what we need to do and given the opportunity to speak will provide us with the insight that we need.
I found The Deep Exploration Method extremely helpful and enlightening and really recommend it for problems that seem insurmountable or ones that bring with them a sense of stasis and stalemate – several times throughout the process I felt the fog clear and realisations dawn that amongst the inner chaos I hadn’t hoped to discover. I think if you give it the time and attention it deserves, it will work its magic!
If you are interested in viewing the webinars and learning more, see details here: www.globalspiritualstudies.com