I'll be honest. When I started tarot, it was to give me something to do with my hands, and a hobby for my spare time. It has since become a practice that I do regularly, and I come to with specific needs, energy, and respect. But the truth is, I really didn't do much to be mindful around my tarot at first. I barely even kept a tarot journal, the ultimate necessity if you're trying to learn the cards. I slapped the cards around while watching TV, or mindlessly while in conversation with my partner. I'm not saying any of that is bad, necessarily, but my relationship with my deck became much richer when I brought more mindfulness to my practice.
My early inspiration came from photos I saw shared by other tarot readers on their websites. They often had altars prepared, or beautiful cloth laid out for their spread. Many folks adorn their readings with gems and special herbs. All of these things can have special, sacred meanings, but damn, they also just look pretty! I realized that I could make my tarot experience a little more magical if I took a bit of time to create a special space for my readings. Now, I pull a three-card reading for myself every single morning, and the ritual has become a really important part of my day. I'd like to share it with you!
I do my readings at a desk in my small home office. There's my coffee on the right, and an open window to the left.
You can see my tarot cards are laid out on a silk scarf, which I picked up at a thrift store. I lay out little trinkets and curios that I have collected. Some of them have special meaning, and some of them I just think look cool!
After I unfold my silk scarf, I lay out the curios in whatever way strikes my fancy. I shuffle and meditate on my cards, and then lay them out. Then, I place that huge hunk of quartz at the bottom of the tableau, and sort of let the whole display wash over me as I interpret the cards. When I feel like I've come to the end of the reading, I take my journal out and note the cards I pulled and how I interpreted them. Then I carefully put everything away.
As a result, I am much more centered and mindful for my readings, and I find their significance stays with me steadily throughout the day. You may not want to do something that takes this much effort; in fact, you may not be interested in something this serious. If, however, you find yourself wanting to use tarot in a more spiritually significant way, I definitely recommend creating a sense of ritual. It could be brief and uncomplicated. The space you create may be more mental and less physical, but by giving tarot a little more room to breath, you will be rewarded by a richer experience.
Do you have a tarot routine? Do you see yourself developing one? What are ways that you create space in your life for introspection?