It’s not always easy to know if you should be doing a spell to fix a problem in your life or not. And if you should, which spell? And how do you know what mundane or inner work you should be doing alongside your magical workings to make them work better, quicker or succeed at all?
Divination is an essential skill for anyone who wishes to become truly effective in their magical workings. It allows you to not only see the potential futures you wish to create, but also allows you to look deep into your heart and see any potential internal obstacles, too.
A regular daily or weekly divination practice will also allow you to make use of charms, astrological timing or smaller spells to gently push your plans and goals along, too.
Understanding the Situation
The first step to doing any kind of magical working is to understand why you potentially need to do one in the first place.
You can pick any spread that you like for this part. I normally use this spread of mine to get a good view on what’s coming up, or a variation on the Celtic Cross to look deeper into a situation that’s bugging me.
Cards that Suggest Magic Solutions
When you’re doing your usual Tarot spreads, look for cards that indicate magical solutions.
Everyone sees Tarot slightly differently, and if you’re used to working with a specific deck then your view gets quite idiosyncratic. I use primarily the Wildwood Tarot, deliberately because of its focus towards magic. Therefore some of these associations may not always match directly in line with a different deck. I’ve split up my cards here into cards that definitely, absolutely have magic messages within them across most or all decks, and another section of cards that do in my deck. I’ve changed their names into the Rider-Waite-Smith equivalent for ease of use.
The Magician & The High Priestess
The Magician obviously and clearly indicates the need for magical intervention. If you’re pondering whether or not to do a magical working and this card comes up, it’s a definite yes. The High Priestess also indicates magical workings, but more often of the inner kind, or the informal kind.
Strength is a funny card. Sometimes it means looking after or improving your Will. Your True Will or Will is the generative force of your magic. It’s basically you saying ‘I intend this’ and it happening. Strength indicates the need to look after said Will, often by doing what you say you’ll do.
The Aces are all about new solutions and ideas, and so can definitely indicate the benefit of magic. However, they also indicate the opposite if you’re too tied into the idea of doing a spell at all costs.
These are just a few cards that indicate performing magic, but they’re the most common in my experience.
What if the Cards don’t Indicate a Magical Solution?
Unless the cards indicate a very specific course of action that does not include magic, you could still include a magical working in your plans. You could also do a spell, carry crystals or similar things to bolster your ‘mundane’ actions. A lack of cards indicating magic often means that there is an easier course of action to be had. Magic is not a last resort, but it certainly isn’t a first resort either. Sometimes you just gotta put your head down and work, or have a difficult conversation with someone. You can boost those actions with appropriate magic, but you can’t always avoid them.
How to Figure out Magical Solutions
Sometimes when you do your basic reading, the magical solution is obvious. A love spell, a protection spell etc. Sometimes, however, it isn’t that easy. Here’s a spread that’s designed to help you attack a problem from all angles:
Here is a spread to figure out magical solutions:
1 What’s the issue?
2 Which part of this can be fixed by magic?
3 What area of shadow or inner work should I focus on?
4 What mundane actions should I take?
5 What kind of spell or magical action should I take?
Divination is also important when you actually get down to doing the spell or working. One thing I always tell my students is ‘Don’t guess, know.’ Instead of trying to find or make a spell that catches all potential fallout or covers any limitations, divine what specific actions are actually needed. You save yourself so much more work and heartache in the long run.
Here’s a spread to improve your spellwork:
Spread to make sure you cover all bases when actually doing a spell
1 What’s another method of magical attack I could use?
2 What mundane work do I still have left to do?
3 What’s an obstacle that may arise?
4 How will I know the spell is successful?
Tarot (or any divination) is not a passive medium. It is not a prescription, or even a forecast. Used properly, it can help you overcome obstacles or even avoid some entirely. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Tarot should be an integral part of your magical practice because it allows you to put your magical workings into a larger plan rather than grasping at straws. Using Tarot in this way will genuinely save you time and effort, and make improving your life a lot easier.
Siobhan Johnson is an esoteric author and practicing witch, currently living in Greater Manchester, UK. After practising a blend of traditional British witchcraft, Western sorcery, Chaos Magic and crystal healing for over 10 years, Siobhan has written a series of well-received courses and programmes distilling the essence of magic into a practice that every seeker can learn and adapt to their own needs and desires. She writes about all things magic at www.siobhanjohnson.com
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