Tarot and the Ways of the Witch

Tarot and the Ways of the Witch September 6, 2018
The Messengers… An Oracle Reading.

The Tarot has been with us for many a moon, dating back to the 1400’s. In Europe it began to be used as a form of divination beginning in the late 18th century, by way of Tarotology or Cartomancy.

The lore of the connection between the Tarot and the Witch becomes more apparent in the 19th and early 20th centuries. When British occultists from the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn began to take interest. Golden Dawn members Arthur Edward Waite a poet, and Pamela Colman Smith an artist, collaborated to create the tarot deck of the 20th century, the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, the most commonly used tarot deck even today.

The Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

Another very prominent deck of it’s day with similar connections to the Witch was a deck from occultist Aleister Crowley, called the Thoth deck. Under Crowley’s supervision, artist and eventually member of Crowley’s “Order of the Temple of the East”, Lady Marguerite Frieda Harris was given the task of painting the artwork for this deck. A project that came to span five years for Crowley and Lady Harris to complete.
Witches have always been drawn to divination, one of the gifts of the Goddess Hekate, to many the Queen of the Witches.

For myself I spent my time studying and reading from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck. I was the only 11th grader I knew ditching school to do Tarot readings in the park across the street from my High school. It wasn’t until one day, maybe 9 or 10 years ago, that I decided to look into other decks. A turning point in how I now read the tarot…..

My journey into this began with the purchase of an Oracle deck, from well known Witch and Author Raven Grimassi. With author Stephanie Taylor, and illustrator Mickie Mueller, a magickal deck called “The Hidden Path”.

The Hidden Path Oracle deck. A enchanting deck to search the realms of your craft.

This deck gave me my sight so to speak. I began to take on a whole new approach to seeing the cards, so it became my “Hidden Path”. I was fascinated by this discovery, and from that point on just continued my pursuit of personalizing this for myself, to a point where I still focus on a traditional readings, but now have themed readings as well. Pagan and Celtic beliefs and traditions, with a focus on Wildwood themes, and the Darker realms.

A hauntingly dark and romantic deck that I use for my Lover’s readings. The Vampyre tarot deck.

I only obtain decks in which the artwork totally resonates with me, That begins your connection with the cards…

I have also always had a deep connection and attraction to crystals and stones. As a child even searching them out and collecting. The art of divination through stones is called “Lithomancy,” an ancient art as well, it too seeing it’s beginnings around the 1400’s.

Smoky Quartz crystal, known to aid the Darker realms, as well as your divinations.

I looked into crystals and stones that can aid in one’s clairvoyance and divinatory skills, deciding to use them to influence my readings. Stones such as Amethyst, Clear Quartz Crystal, and Smokey Quartz work nicely for this. Black Obsidian is great for truth and protection, while Selenite aids spirit communication, or past lives readings.

I placed a piece of amethyst in every tarot bag I have, I find it helps connect me faster to the heart of my readings.

I started using particular stones for pendulums, and followed up my readings with a pendulum divination if I felt additional insight was needed.

Try adding a Black Obsidian pendulum to your reading. It helps to clarify, gives truth, and lends protection to your reading.

One can really expand on this, using crystals and stones to customize readings. If it be a reading for Lovers let’s say, I will often ask for the zodiac signs of each person to represent them in the reading, obtaining the influence of their zodiac signs, and adding clarity.

Spell work can be enhanced with the combination of crystals and stones, and your tarot or oracle cards as well. Choose cards to represent the situation and outcome, even the season, maybe the element your working with. To this add stones or crystals who’s energies you want to empower into the cards you have chosen. Planetary influences, represented by the day, or hour, or by the stones who are ruled by that planet, or plants ruled by the planet burned as an offering, all give aid and empowerment to the outcome of your workinngs.

I now work with a Crystal oracle deck which will be perfect to use for healing in the Winter months to come, a time when it’s best to go inward. This reading brings stones and crystals to light that will not only address your current issues, but lend healing energies and meditations for you to do going forward in your healing ascension.

I am currently creating a crystal grid to accompany it as well, adding stones to gain insight on the areas I feel need focus.

The beginnings of my board, for Crystal readings and healing ascension work this Winter.

Experiment with what radiates within you, it’s amazing how by simply adding certain items to your readings, or spell work, one can “up” what you receive in your readings. I use bones in one of my readings to aid ancestral insight, and animal spirit contact, and since I have it has added a deeper and more connected reading.

So look into this ancient art, and expand your divinations into another realm…. )0(

About Raven Wood
Raven is a traditional witch of Celtic and Germanic roots, who lives and practices her craft within the wood. She is the owner of the online shop Deep Within the Hollow, a shop of seasonal woodlands, divinational readings and herbal enchantments. Raven has continuned to collaborate with dark occult and horror author Sarah England, in her shadowy thrillers ~ "The Soprano," "The Owlmen," and soon to be released "Hidden Company." Giving these dark works a bit of black arts traditional witchcraft and spell conjurings. Raven is also an author at Patheos Pagan, where She writes the blog "Witch of the Wood with Raven Wood." A blog about magickal folklore, wise-woman herbalism, and traditional witchcraft within the wildwood. Her first book is in the works. https://etsy.me/2L6rVih https://www.facebook.com/witchofthewoodwithravenwood/ You can read more about the author here.
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  • NightShayde

    Excellent read sister. The use of tarot is becoming ever more prominent in this age. I do hope many will read this article and truly learn something.

  • I enjoyed this article – thank you very much! I too choose my Tarot decks by artwork (among other things). If the artwork speaks to me, I’m much more likely to invest in the deck. Ciro Marchetti’s artwork is a favorite of mine, and I own several of his decks. I’m also partial to The Wild Unknown, and to the Dust II Onyx deck.

    Your article has sparked something in me – I love working with crystals, but never really thought / acted on the inspiration to use them in my readings. You’ve given me a new avenue to study and pursue – thank you again!