A guest post shared by Ariel.
Tarot is a multifaceted thing, and it means different things to different people.
Some people use it to tap into forces that are otherwise unavailable; some of us use it to get to know our own sense of intuition. I can be used for practical and creative purposes. Everyone has their own unique touch.
But of course, I’m sure you know that!
Magic is the same way. It’s an action you take with your intention.
It doesnít substitute other forms of practice or problem solving, but when itís a good fit for your path it adds layers of meaning and dimension. So why not combine the two? My philosophy is that magic works best when it feels natural and is a part of your life, intertwining with all the things you already do and love. So here are some effective yet humble ways to bring a little magic into your tarot routine.
First a little note about magic in general: There are all sorts of magical disciplines. They can range from ceremonial to practical, folk customs to religious ceremony. You get the idea. Iím of the mind that there is no wrong way to experience magic, so long as it is constructive to the wellbeing of yourself and others. Magic has, in some form or another, existed in all cultures around the world and is unique to the groups and individuals who practice it. I can’t hope to represent every tradition here. So what I present to you is my every-day magic style: made of equal parts your experiences, your goals, and whatever tools you have on hand. The root of magic is personal empowerment, and it can take many forms. If you like, make changes, play, and trust your intuition.
So, onwards! An excellent way to add some magic to your tarot practice is to combine methods and tools, so weíre going to take a look at using crystal magic with your tarot cards. And don’t worry, they are tried-and-true, as well as beginner friendly.
Crystals are a common magic tool, and itís not hard to see why.
In my experience, the most effective stones are semi-precious and therefore readily accessible. I mean, sure, you could use a chunk of diamond, but clear quartz does the job just fine. There are lots of ways to combine crystal magic and lore with the tarot, but for starters, weíll talk about some ways that they can in general add focus and clarity to your readings.
A very common method is to keep a crystal that resonates with you and your intentions with your tarot deck when not in use.
Yes, it is that simple! Crystals are well known for absorbing the intentions you put into them and radiating/magnifying that purpose.
As a general rule, since they hold on to energy so well, I never use a crystal without cleansing it first. Don’t worry, this can be as quick as taking a deep breath and holding the crystal while focusing it on you want it to do – think of it as giving a mental pep talk to a friend or coworker. You’re basically saying ‘I know you’re great at this, so here is what I need you to do for me today. Weíre gonna work together to make it happen.’
Of course, you can go all out and soak in it seawater (assuming the stone won’t react poorly to salt water), or use some sage incense smoke to cleanse it. Be as creative as you like.
Once you’ve got your crystal selected and ready to go, keep it with your cards when not in use. This will keep their energy up and keep your cards from feeling ‘tired’ after taking a break from them or using them a lot in a short period. If you feel like the crystal starts losing effect, just cleanse it again and give it another go.
Another nice trick is to keep a crystal for your intended purpose around during readings. For example, doing a reading on love? Rose quartz can help infuse the readings with those sensitive vibes.
If I’m prepping for a really in depth or spiritual reading, I often will keep my cards surrounded in a circle of crystals for a few hours, as it cranks up the mojo and keeps my every-day thoughts from intruding on a really personal self-growth session. Possibilities are endless!
If you feel that you’d like to dive right into crystal magic that is separate from tarot, there are many alternatives.
I don’t use crystal magic all by itself much these days, but many crystals are associated with healing parts of the body as well as your non-physical being. You can try placing them on areas that experience pain or blockages and calming or meditating for a while. They also work well placed on a bedside table to workspace to keep the energy cleansed, and I have heard many times that they will help house plants grow healthy and full. If you feel fancy, you can take a crystal for your intended purpose and add some herbs or charms/symbols for your goal and keep them in a small sachet or magic pouch to help bring those things into being.
My favorite thing to do is to make a crystal elixir
Sounds great, right? You take a clean glass or bottle and fill it with drinkable water, then add your crystal. The idea is to let it sit out in the sun- or moonlight and let the crystal infuse the water with its magical properties. Then, after you have sufficiently let your elixir brew, you may drink the water, sprinkle it around to purify a space, or even add some to clothing washes to radiate your intent. Please note that you should always check to see that your stone does not react with water, so some can warp, dissolve, or leech minerals into it. I like to use a few with my favorite water-safe crystals sitting in the window. Just let your cat knock it over a few times and you’re done!
To get you started, here are some crystals I find especially effective for using in tandem with tarot cards
They are all fairly easy to come by at any gemstone, new-age, or geology focused shop. You can often find them tumbled (polished and with the edges smoothed) cut into jewelry settings or shapes, or raw stones which will retain their uncut edges. I donít think any are inherently better, but I have a preference for raw untumbled stones. Experiment to see what you like. Crystals are usually a nice investment because they can be reused for all sorts of intentional magic work, so you can play around with them. Without further adieu:
Excellent for keeping positive energy around. It transforms negative energy into positive and is very cleansing. This crystal comes in many variations, but I prefer orange citrine, which is often a yellow orange colour, sometimes with white or clear patches. This is a very joyful stone, and good for increasing abundance.
My all-time fave. Ranges from a dark to light purple in colour. It has historic associations with wisdom, and is also often used in dreamwork. I feel it balances thinking with the head and thinking with the heart (or the gut, or however one assigns inner feelings to body parts, anyhow). Amethyst is especially good for people whose focus with tarot is in dreams, self exploration, or intuition.
This stone is a variation on clear quartz that carries a transparent brown stain. Itís well known for balancing divine feminine and masculine energy, and for grounding. Being very practical, it can keep your readings accessible to interpretation and clear in their meaning. Itís also very good at creating protective magical barriers around things, which is always a nice plus. Smoky quartz has very earth oriented energy.
Yet another member of the quartz family, with a pale pink tint. This stone is well known for helping with matters of love (romantic and non-romantic alike) and friendship. For tarot cards I find it helps us tap into our empathetic values, making readings personal and about our own narratives. They are good for increasing sensitivity but also in valuing your own feelings and those of others without judgment – feeling your own emotions without them compromising your objectivity or your attunement to others. Rose quartz is also very good for self-love and recognizing your personal strengths.
Red Tiger’s Eye
All Tiger Eyes stones are very action oriented, and help you achieve goals. Red tigerís eye, however, has an extra level of adding passion and confidence to any of your projects. Itís a good stone if you feel like youíre having trouble finding direction in your readings, as it is closely tied to concepts of will and personal strength. Itís a very motivating stone and helps you align your actions with your goals to avoid disconnect.
Really, though, any stone that you find and feels right is worth a shot! Don’t feel pressured to pay more than you think you should for fancy stones. And as always, you can substitute semi-precious stones for things like river rocks or stones with natural holes in them (called ëhagstonesí, for their witchy uses). Whenever possible, make sure your crystals come from a sustainable and humanitarian source!
About the author
Ariel is a queer nerdy lady living in the Seattle area of Washington, US. She spends a lot of quality time with her cat and drinks an absurd amount of tea.
When not reading tarot cards, working, or pursuing her education, she can often be found hiding out at the used bookstore.
Join the Bits & Bobs List!
Friendly, weekly-ish emails from Beth with tarot tips and ideas, news, and other good stuff. (Including cat pictures.)