Tarot Casting 101: How To Do Spell-Work With The Tarot
Tarot Casting is like creative visualization on meth. In popular magic craft, spell casting uses herbs, minerals, flowers, & synthemata corresponding with deities to energize an intention. Citrine for courageous shadow work. A sliced apple for self-love & beauty. Et cetera.
Tarot Casting uses symbolism to energize an intention. Imagery is a mainline to the subconscious of the spell-caster, so Tarot Casting doesn’t require any hardware other than a card deck… unless extra hardware is how you want to roll.
In this post, I’m going to tell you the step-by-step I use to perform my weekly Tarot Casts, so you can also start using the Tarot to energize your intentions!
HOW I CAST SPELLS WITH THE TAROT
At the top of every week, I pull 3 cards from The Starchild Tarot to energize an intention. I come at each week’s Tarot Cast asking a version of the same intention, which I phrase as a Q: How can I unlock more beauty, power, or wisdom?
For me, Beauty + Power + Wisdom = the Goddess Trifecta. Anything I can do to bring more Beauty-Power-Wisdom into my life is good, because I can transfer more Beauty-Power-Wisdom into the world. In my quest for raising hella Goddess consciousness, I require maximal Bee-Pee-Dub.
I jot down a few notes on the pulled cards in my planner-grimoire & if I need to, I check the reference book. Finally, I publish my weekly Tarot Casts at the top of the HellaNamaste homepage, explaining the messaging of the individual cards & the overall aesthetic. I also include an easy activity for applying the insights, which I plug into my planner-grimoire, so I actually do it.
The Tarot activity is mondo important to me. Our life’s circumstances morph constantly & the Tarot insights from this week won’t stay fresh forever. You’ve got to ground Divine inspo IRL ASAP or else the intention starts losing its juice.
So, I follow-up every Tarot Cast with a little real-world action. I do what I can to make the insights tangible & transferrable.
I use The Starchild Tarot, because the Major Arcana cards are interpreted steps on a journey to Awakening. Each card is a key unlocking a new phase of our evolution towards cosmic consciousness. The Minor Arcana interprets the feeding & fueling of our soul through ordinary functions & experiences. I’m totally on the bandwagon about Starseeds & Lightworkers incarnating on Earth after evolving through several lifetimes in other galaxies, & I believe imagery does help unlock our genetic memory about those others lifetimes. (Are you a Starseed? Find out here.)
There are 2 different ways you can cast a spell a.k.a. energize an intention with the Tarot. Let me tell you about both!
HOW TO CAST YOUR OWN SPELLS WITH THE TAROT
The Tarot reading process I mainly use is divinatory. Meaning, I draw cards at random, by fate alone, then infer the right actions to follow-up with. It’s a bit like working conscientiously with random selection, which definitely vibes with my sensibility about magic & synchronicity.
Here's how to get started:
Decide on your intention. Every spell you cast with the Tarot will implicitly answer a question. Your Q can be very general (What can I do this week to raise hella Goddess vibes?) to specific & retrospective (What did I do to get so ____? Fill in the blank with the desired outcome.) Write the question down in your diary, grimoire, or on an index card that you’ll pop into your planner or pin onto your vision board. Some babes use Desire Mapping to figure this out. Some use their mission statement as their guide. Some deconstruct the best stanza in their favorite poem. Just figure out 3-5 keys to your soul-growth, then phrase them as a question directed at the cards.
Grab your Tarot deck & create a container. You don’t have to pull out all the stops you normally would for a full-out ritual, but you should switch up the room’s ambiance. Light candles, pin a mandala tapestry on the wall, shake your hair out of its top-knot. Pick a spot & start shuffling the deck. Phrase your intention as a question as you fan out the cards facedown. Select 3 cards at random, drawn with your left hand. You can select more than 3 (& maybe you should, if so compelled), but for me, any more is too much info to sort through.
Flip your selected cards face-up. What catches your eye first? This is where I start jotting down notes. Try gathering as much info as you can before referencing your guidebook. When you do flip through the guidebook, note key phrases, plus astrological, gemstone, & deity correspondences. (The Lightworker’s Guidebook that comes with The Starchild Tarot does this--& creator Danielle Noel is soon publishing a bigger guide!) This takes as long as it takes, which is why I keep my Casts to a 3-card maximum.
Decide on your follow-up actions. Rarely have I found that Tarot insights needed to gel. If you’re totally clueless, re-shuffle the cards & draw again or read someone else’s interpretation of the cards’ messages. (Try Tarot Wikipedia.)
Your Tarot Cast activity should be something you can break down into a couple of tasks & shouldn’t overwhelm you or bump you off your weekly grind.
If you’re dealing with Minor Arcana cards, you can pretty quickly guess which aspect of ordinary life the cards are speaking to. (Swords correspond with our beliefs & mental life, Cups correspond with relationships & intuition, Wands correspond with enterprises & creativity, & Crystals / Pentacles correspond with ordinary daily doings.). Major Arcana cards will speak to broader, transformational experiences.
If you pulled only Minor Arcana cards, you can bet the activity should challenge your ordinary approach to how you do things. If you’re dealing with all Majors, your actions should put you into a certain kind of experience, where you’ll be tasked to build or draw on an inner-resource, like serenity, self-authority, or clarity.
A mixture of the 2 indicates that you can use an ordinary aspect of life to create a Major experience that will evolve you deeper.
Write the follow-up actions on the back of your index card or begin plotting them out in your planner. Before breaking the circle, schedule when you’re going to take the action & decide how you’re going to reward yourself when it’s complete. (Incentives produce mad synchronicity.)
Once the activity is followed-up on, journal it! Get it down fast! You can’t reflect & integrate the insights until you do. Once the feelings produced by taking the action have passed, you lose clarity!
USING SPECIFIC CARDS in YOUR TAROT CASTS
Sometimes the outcome is more vivid to you than an intention. You feel it & want to strum that vibe.
In that case, random card-selection might not cut it for you. You need to go directly to the cards that sympathize with that vibe.
You can do this 2 ways.
THE FIRST WAY: You could fan your cards out face-up & select the ones you vibe with. This might take as long as 8 seconds & you might draw between 3-5 cards. You can jot down notes about what on the cards feels on-point with your intended outcome, then deconstruct their commonality.
THE SECOND WAY: Or you can draw cards that formally correlate with your intended outcome. Sasha Graham has written a book to help with that: 365 Tarot Spells. This article over at Biddy Tarot & this one at Llewellyn Worldwide have a couple quick references to help you choose the right cards for your intention, but all you really need is your deck’s guidebook. Flip through & set page markers on the cards that sound just right. Separate the winners out from the rest of your deck.
Once you have the cards, use them to charge the intention! If you’ve already created a sacred circle, you need to concentrate on the cards. Fully. Cleave away the usual banal mental chatter, the ping-ponging emotional reactions, & let the cards do what they’re designed to do: imprint your subconscious. Now your intention is auto-piloting your life, aligning you with the circumstances that produce sympathetic resonances which will orchestrate your desired outcome.
What else can you do to reinforce the card’s imprint?
Why don’t you...
Stack the cards & set a piece of sun-charged quartz on top, then carry the stone in your pocket & sleep with it under your pillow ✨ snap a pic of the cards with your phone (Instagram flatlay style) & set it as your lock screen ✨ scan the cards into your computer, print onto cardstock, then trim them down to clip inside your planner ✨ combine symbols from all the cards into a sigil, then draw the sigil in your planner, diary, on your lecture notes, & pin it to your vision board ✨ meditate on the cards in a new moon ritual
For Tarot Casting, you’re relying on the resonance generated within you to power you towards what you want. The conscious & subconscious minds flex with one another.
For anything truly specific, you need a strong psychic link. That’s why many witchy babes use correspondences or synthemata, like herbs, crystals, & flowers. Some even use hair or nail clippings. I explain more about correspondences & synthemata in this post, but they’re definitely not required for run-of-the-mill Tarot Casting.
When I incorporate the Tarot into bigger rituals (for bigger, more specified intention-setting), I photocopy the cards onto cardstock, so I can drip oils on them or even burn them up in my mini cauldron. I always mention the Tarot in my monthly Goddess Moon Magic posts, along with correspondences, synthemata, & other hardware you can use in a new moon ritual or with a particular Goddess.
You now have everything you need to start casting your own spells with the Tarot! If you have questions about the grammar & inner-workings of the Tarot, send me an email! I’ll answer you directly, & also use your Qs to inform the next few posts & offerings I have planned for bringing more of the Tarot into your life!
May all your dreams come true,
All Tarot images via The Starchild Tarot by Danielle Noel.