Self Awareness and the Tarot Cards

by Marcia Masino

I believe that creative visualization with the Tarot cards can open new gateways to self awareness and personal transformation. Information held in the subconscious and soul self can become available by using guided visualizations based on the rich archetypal symbolism in the pictures. For many years I’ve guided students and clients alike in this process and witnessed the remarkable results so in order to share this aspect of Tarot I wrote specific meditations for each of the Major Arcana as well as for some of the troublesome Minor Arcana for my book Best Tarot Practices.

Think of the Major Arcana cards in your reading as the helping healing archetypes and the challenging minors + reversed court cards as describing the issue and personality responses. For example, the Minor card the Ten of Wands may be appearing frequently in your spreads. It represents blocked energy and obscured vision, burdens and pressures in need of rebalancing. But how?

Here is an example of the actual visualization from my book and a client’s meditation with this card.

Perform breathing and relaxation before starting your meditation.  Imagine you are the character in the Ten of Wands, hunched over with your burden of obligations and responsibilities symbolized as the bundle of wands.  Doesn’t it feel strained, as if you could drop the bundle at any time?  It isn’t carried appropriately.  It should be neatly bundled and on the character’s back, using the back’s natural strength, not carried on the front.  Feel the strain and the weight of the wands in your arms.  Feel how your vision is blocked.  The inability to imagine how to handle the responsibilities differently is also part of the problem.

Now see yourself slowly lay the bundle down.  Stand up straight and stretch.  Feel the release of tension and breathe deeply.  Take time to examine the wands before you pick them up again.  Are they really yours or are some responsibilities and burdens placed unfairly upon you?

Self Awareness and the Tarot Cards

Ask the character in the card, or your Higher Self, to help you to sort what is necessary for you to carry, what should be discarded and what can be tackled later. Concentrate on each of the ten wands and name them.  For example: career issues pressure, expectations, health, relationships, past pain, inappropriate behavior from self and others, guilt, martyrdom, etc.  Place each wand in one of three piles – now, later or never. Can you see how your preoccupation has kept hope, life and positive options and helpful influences from your attention?

Consolidate and repackage the bundle of wands in the “now” and “later” piles.  Leave the wands in the “never” pile (other people’s problems etc.) behind. You can burn them in an imaginary bonfire or actually write the titles on pieces of paper and burn them. Watch them disintegrate into ashes. Feel the peace and freedom from this gesture.

Place the later pile in a safe place this could be a cabinet, chest inside a tree in your imagination. Finalize the practice by easily carry the remaining wands in an appropriate container. Visualize yourself confidently striding towards your future holding the choices of personal responsibility in a carefree and mature manner.

This is an empowering meditation.  It helps you realize that you have choices about the responsibilities and beliefs you carry and the right to decide their priority in your life.

The client’s experience. “Love the image of me as 10 of Wands! Basically I wrote down 10 things I felt I was carrying and then I noticed that the phrases all started with the word “trying” or some version of trying. It felt like I was just pushing, moving blindly, very off balance, have to get this done, can’t stop, must keep going, always more to do, trying, trying.  It all felt like way too much trying.  Not so much the burdens, but the attitude.

So, I rewrote all the statements, reframing them.  “Trying to stay healthy”, became “being healthy”, “trying to make new friends”, became “enjoying my friends”, “trying to find a new home” became “waiting for my new home” etc.  Very simple but effective!  Then I hurt my back, ha ha.  I think I left out “trying to improve my physical mobility”!  It will now become “honouring my body”

“Amazing what cards can do for you with the right meditation!  The framework to unlock the personal meaning of the cards is very important.  I don’t think I could have connected with it myself after reading the card description alone.  Somehow the experiential part brings out that unique message.”

Without the visualization exercise she wouldn’t have known that she was carrying attitudes that were weighing her down and affecting her vision or viewpoint.  The hallmark of a true meditation is the realization of something new. In this case the client discovered her self sabotage attitude and was able to take her power of choice back from the unconscious by creating new positive statements, therefore accomplishing transformation of a negative to a positive through the Tarot visualization.

Marcia Masino is a certified Grandmaster of tarot and author of the tarot classic Easy Tarot Guide. She has lectured at numerous tarot conferences and is a popular speaker for the Lily Dale Assembly workshop program. Her articles on metaphysical subjects have appeared in Fate and on the Web at She lives in Pickering, Ontario, Canada.


One thought on “Self Awareness and the Tarot Cards

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s