Wednesday is one of those days of the week that doesn’t have much of a “feel” to it. Fridays surely do, and Sundays do too, and of course Monday has a feel. But Wednesdays are one day that doesn’t elicit strong feelings one way or the other, at least it never did for me.
Until I started creating my own tarot deck, that is. A couple months ago I began facilitating a program for tarot creation with my friend, Elise Crohn of Juicy Creatives Studio in Lake Worth, Florida. We chose Wednesdays for the day of class, and the program lasted seven weeks in total.
I’ve come to love Wednesdays because that is the day I associate now with connecting with the peaceful and heart-centered space of intuition, creation, and fun. Over the course of these couple months I’ve come to appreciate Wednesday as my special LOVE day. That’s what happens when you enter that special place within that breaks down the barriers of ego, overthinking, and confusion many people find themselves in much of the time. It’s true for me, anyway.
I’ve been using tarot almost every day for over six years now. I feel I know the cards quite well. But nothing prepared me for what has transpired during the Create Your Own Tarot program. I wasn’t just a co-facilitator, but I participated in it as well. Now that it’s completed, I am beyond pleased to have a 22-card deck of tarot’s major arcana to call my own. But what’s even more valuable to me has been the experience of creating the deck. It’s hard to put into words, but my heart feels it deeply.
THE MAJOR ARCANA
The major arcana are the tarot’s “trump” cards. They are archetypes of the life experience; in other words, they are the primary themes of living. Everyone encounters these themes at various times during their life journey and we’re likely encountering many of them at any given time, in the various areas of our life. Whether it’s our career, personal life, spiritual life, in the relationships with our significant other, our children, or elsewhere, we can look to the images of the major arcana to see and understand the deeper dimension that our souls are always experiencing.
So much of our daily lives are experienced from a somewhat-surface level perspective. We have no clue that all the while our souls are processing and appreciating everything that happens to us from a much deeper viewpoint. It’s my experience that the reason for so much of the misery in life is because we are cut off from the soul-experience of life. Another way to see this is that we’re not connected to our heart, or essence. Yet the soul-level experience of life is happening at all times. It’s just that the stress, responsibility, and distractions of modern life make it so difficult to connect to this deeper understanding.
That’s why I use tarot every day. I gain this deeper, more heart-centered perspective every morning right after I wake up. It helps me be more intuitive, mindful, and aware of the deeper dimension within my psyche. It brings me in touch with my own essence. It’s a priceless cornerstone of my daily life.
Now with this program I’ve discovered a new way to dive into this deeper experience. Reading about tarot from a book is one way to learn. Practicing it for yourself occasionally is a progression from that. Then there’s using it every day. That’s where you can become more consistently mindful and awakened. But in the process of actually creating the cards, I feel I’ve come more deeply connected to my essence than I’ve been in a long time. It’s been intense, beautiful, painful, emotional.
I didn’t want the program to end.
CONNECTING TO THE HEART AND SYNCHRONICITY
The further along we progressed in the program, the more I felt closer to my own heart space. I felt myself getting to know who I was like I haven’t in a long time, perhaps ever. At times I became highly emotional; I might see something about myself that was truly beautiful, or at other times embarrassing and difficult to accept. One of the primary reasons to use tarot or any other intuitive method is it helps us see the deeper truth of ourselves and our lives. Once we see it, we may be set free.
The more often and deeper we engage with these tarot archetypes, the more they are likely to be experienced externally. This is what Carl Jung was referring to when he wrote of synchronicity. The deeper within you go the more you manifest outer experiences to confirm the inner experience. It’s like an affirmation from the Universe. It’s akin to becoming a channel between the infinite force within your essence and the world, even for just one magical moment in time.
I had increasing experiences of synchronicity the further along the program we progressed, and the more connected to my heartspace I became. Some of the synchronicities were subtle, others more intense. For example, the class was working on the Strength card (#8) and Elise and I had a lengthy discussion about the intrinsic animal aspects of our natures. The next day I was following up with her when I looked down and saw I was drinking my coffee from a Pink Floyd “Animals” mug. No big deal, but I experienced this event as synchronous.
A week later we were working on the Hanged Man, card #12. I awoke one morning in a deeply and strangely sad place, all too aware of my personal shortcomings. A couple hours later, I encountered a pair of iguanas that had become trapped in my neighbor’s fence. They were contorted, panicked, suffering, dying. I summoned the strength to free them and immediately felt a great peace come over me, like nothing I’d felt in a long time. I cried from a deep place within.
A couple weeks later we were working on the Sun card (#19). The day after creating it, I became immersed in an intense warmth of light inside myself. I was filled with purpose and ideas came crashing into my consciousness from all angles. It was an acute case of shining like the Sun, which lasted a few beautiful, life-affirming hours.
There were many other experiences of synchronicity as well. I hadn’t had so many of these types of events occur in such a condensed period of time since the peak of my awakening experience around seven years ago. It reminded me of the depths of the psyche, and how love can awaken us to those deeper inner dimensions.
HOW THE DECK NAMED ITSELF
After completing my final card I debated whether I should put a backing on the deck. The cards we used had a spiral design on the back; pleasant and appropriate enough. But since I was putting so much of my soul into creating the deck – and discovering new dimensions of my soul in the process – leaving the backing as it was felt a little inadequate. I wanted something special.
Elise suggested I utilize the design elements I use for my business. Since I like very much how the designs look, and since my business IS tarot, and since I see my business as deeply personal, it just made perfect sense. So the day after completing the front of my cards, I designed the back. I put my Sun logo in the center, and other little flourishes. I cut them all out, pasted them and put the cards in their protective sleeves. Ahhh, all done!
Just one more thing…Over the course of creating it, I’d hoped to come up with a personally meaningful, resonant name for my deck. I didn’t want to force things by coming up with a name as an intellectual exercise. I set an early intention that I wanted a special name for the deck, and for it to come intuitively and in Flow.
Here I’d finished my deck and still no name had come to me. I was a little disappointed, but oh well. Then a couple days ago I was reviewing a journal entry from a few weeks ago. I’d written down the term “Soul Tarot” deck to refer to it, since I was undergoing such a deeply personal experience in its creation. The name felt incomplete at the time I wrote it, but I knew I wanted something along those lines.
After stumbling upon this journal entry, I repeated the name a couple times. Soul Tarot Deck. Soul Tarot Deck. Then it just clicked. SOLTERRA deck!
SOL: homonym of the word “Soul” and meaning the word “Sun”. TERRA: sounds like “tarot” and means “Earth”.
Tarot, when used with care and mindful intention, is a representation of the light within us in manifested form. This program was clear proof that tarot is not just an esoteric system of symbols. It is an expression of the deep truth, wisdom, and love we all possess within ourselves. It can be used – and even created – by anyone who is willing to engage with themselves.
Tarot helps us SHINE THE LIGHT that exists within our essence.
Tarot is to me synonymous with “Solterra.” I found the name for my deck. Or rather, it found me.
The experience of creating my own tarot deck has been a journey beyond what I imagined. I hope we do again very soon. The attendees got a lot of the program; we explored the inner dimensions of ourselves, opening our eyes, minds and hearts in the process. I even have the temerity to admit I rediscovered parts of my soul.
Go within, dig deep into your inner experience because there are infinite gifts of truth, wisdom, and love there. Yes, there is shadow too, but the inner light contains the love and grace to overcome these darker elements inside of us. It is how we discover a magical path forward in our lives. Through the path inward – toward the light of our inner Being – we create the path outward in our lives, toward our soul’s purpose. If you’re stuck in life, look deeply within. The love inside will create the way forward for you. When we create love within, it’s like a path is set forth in our lives for us to follow.
A mantra I kept coming back to over and over again through this whole process was: FOLLOW THE LOVE, FOLLOW THE LOVE, FOLLOW THE LOVE.
I invite you to follow the love within yourself. Discover a method of intuition that can quiet your busy mind enough to take you there. Then practice it until you feel comfortable using it and can recognize the voice of your inner source, your light within. Awaken to the soul-experience of life. Connect to your heart and know your own essence.
Using tarot cards is one way. Creating tarot is another.