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Monday, 27 August 2012

Mantra and Tarot: Fool, Magician, High Priestess

I use mantra in my meditation practice and have been building a set of correspondences between mantra and tarot. These mantras can be used to enhance tarot spells or meditations on the cards. I arrived at these connections using three main sources: Healing Mantras by Thomas Ashley-Farrand, 78 Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack, and my own intuition. 

The Fool:  'Om vajrasattva hum'
Universal Waite 
Vajrasattva is the being who purifies and protects the sincere seeker. The mantra helps us purify our minds of doubt and fear and any other taint or negativity we might find there. It helps us move toward the pure state of the Fool, true innocence. 

Lotus Mudra
The Fool enjoys total openness to life, complete freedom from fear and doubt. He represents that pristine state that humankind, in many world myths, experienced before some primordial 'fall'. The Vajrasattva mantra is meant to help us achieve this kind of purity of mind and spirit. 

The mantra is chanted, traditionally, 108 times using a mala. I suggest using a crystal mala made of agate or tourmaline, or hold an agate or tourmaline in one hand as you chant. Or, you could chant it while holding your hands in the lotus  mudra at the heart chakra, to symbolise purity and openness. 

The Magician: 'Tattwam asi'

The mantra means 'I am that'. The intention of the mantra is to realise our oneness with the All, or to put it another way, to become in practice what we are in potential. To realise that we are that which we seek. The Magician becomes that which he seeks when he allows himself to be a lightning rod or conductor of the energy of the universe (of which he is actually a part) and the mundane world (of which he is also a part). He is the will unified and directed toward a goal, to create 'as above, so below'. 

Try it  holding a clear quartz crystal or labradorite, or a mala made of either while chanting this mantra. Or you could create your own style of 'as above so below' hand position (mudra) to accompany the chant.

The High Priestess: 'Om mani padme hum'
The High Priestess - Rider Waite Tarot Deck
This well-known mantra means 'Hail, jewel in the lotus,' or 'The jewel of consciousness is in the heart's lotus'. The phrase suggests hidden depths, as does the High Priestess. She represents dark mysteries, psychic forces, a wisdom that cannot be expressed in rational terms. And neither can the meaning of this mantra, which carries far more meaning than its surface suggests. Try holding a moonstone when chanting this mantra and contemplating the High Priestess. 

These are just my own associations, based on nothing but the connections that I personally have made between mantra and tarot for my own practice. 

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I love this! What a nice additional perspective to add to the cards, and to a meditation practice. I used to meditate on the High Priestess frequently, and imagine chanting that mantra before pathworking would increase the sense of connection...