Tarot Games

This solstice, I found myself over at a friend’s house enjoying the Yule fire, watching them craft, eating Christmas cookies, and playing tarot games, along with a small Solstice reading. This tarot game is fun and can be played by anyone with a tarot deck, whether or not you know how to read:

Each person in the room is dealt a hand of tarot cards equal to the number of other people in the room. You have to decide from among your hand which card represents each other person. One person starts by giving a card to the person they have chosen for that card and explains why they think it is right for that person. Then that person chooses someone to give a card to, and so on. At the end you have given away all your cards and you have all the cards that others have chosen for you in front of you.

We played this with the World Spirit deck, which seemed particularly appropriate for Solstice – here were the cards I received:


I really enjoyed these – It felt like a validation of an adventurous spirit, building on accomplishments, and celebrating with others (and maybe even a little romance and passion :). I’m going to take this as a positive sign for 2007.

Then we did some one-card readings. Since Solstice is the night on which the year pivots, it’s a particularly appropriate time to do readings that reflect on the moment. My retrospective has already been done, and on the New Year I’ll do a prospective look at the future. The one-card reading was on the question “What can I most productively focus on right now?” Interestingly, a couple of us got reversed cards. This suggested to us that there were things we were focusing on too much, that it would benefit us to relax about or let go, and this was the most important immediate message the tarot had for us in the now. My reversed card was the Sage of Pentacles:


After giving this some thought, I felt that his message for me was about enjoying the winter. Last year I had a miserable winter for all kinds of reasons – pneumonia, work, relationships, injury of a friend, weather. Nothing at all went well, and because of that I’ve been dreading this winter (even though it’s partially over already). Normally I really enjoy the turning of the seasons and the special qualities of all four seasons – it’s one reason I like to live in a place that has distinct seasons. This year I’ve just been mentally focusing on getting through the winter, and that’s not a great attitude, considering that if I really think about it, I’ve actually been having fun. As Solstice night is the dead of winter, this seems like a really good message at this time – here I am, surrounded by friends and having a wonderful evening. My calendar is full, and it’s just not a bad winter at all, in spite of the challenging weather. So, looking at this beautiful card, I should enjoy life as much as this Sage apparently is :)

P.S. The reason for these associations is that in my timing system, the King (or Sage) of Pentacles is the transition between winter and spring. Alternatively, he represents the last card in the deck, or the last week of the year – and in some ways, Solstice can be considered the end of the year or the transition between years.


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