How Tarot Can Transform You
Wrangler Jay Cassels of Jay’s Mystic Blog offered alternate paths for today’s Tarot Blog Hop, exploring the general topic of “transitions.” Of the questions he posed, the one I chose to run with was, “how has Tarot helped to transform you, or your clients?” Transformation has been key to my personal spiritual direction and is foundational to my classes and client work. In this post, I’ll share with you how to transform your life in three easy steps. The steps to transformation are easy. The work is not. But when we let the symbols of the tarot guide us, we begin to see opportunities for transformation each day.
A History of Transformation
I explored a similar topic for a blog hop in September 2012, The Power of Transformation. That post shares part of my personal story. Working toward transformation has been an ongoing part of my personal work my whole life. Likewise, it is essential to my client work. In fact, if you read through my Services page on my website, you’ll see that I define the basic services I offer, tarot and astrology, in terms of how they can transform you.
But the culmination of that transformative work manifests in my signature Empyrean Key process . My current offering, the Empyrean Way Year-Long Creativity Program, is the best thing I offer. It synthesizes Empyrean Key transformation with the core disciplines of tarot, qabalah, and astrology in a matrix of personal development and spiritual direction practices.
The Empyrean Way
However, I’m not one to sit back on my laurels. My ongoing commitment to transformation for myself, my clients, and my students continually leads me to seek deeper understanding of how we can each improve ourselves and our lives. My commitment is to achieving the most perfect expression of self, the true nature. This is the part of you that is one with Spirit, reflecting Divinity but completely you.
As a result, my studies have continued to deepen. I studied the Cube of Space in a group for several years. My explorations have touched on alchemy in the past. But finally this year I began a structured study of that hermetic philosophy.
The Three Steps
The goal of alchemy is transformation. Moreover, it outlines the steps of transformation. The number of steps varies according to the underlying symbolism. For instance, there can be twelve stages corresponding to the twelve zodiacal signs. Currently I’m studying the seven operations which align with the classical planets. But there are even simpler breakdowns with as few as four or even three steps. In fact, at its most basic, alchemy teaches you how to transform your life in three easy steps.
- Die (Sacrifice)
- Be Reborn (Resurrect)
- Become One with Spirit (Ascend)
Ok, I’ll admit, maybe the steps aren’t so easy. The good news, though, is that they are metaphorical! Phew. That’s a relief!
In fact, it’s reassuring to know that these steps are not “one and done.” Rather, transformation will repeat throughout your life, sometimes working deep, sometimes rising back to the surface. But it is always guiding you, step by step, in getting to know your mysterious self.
The Three Stages of Alchemy
In alchemy, the various operations are summarized in these three steps.
- Nigredo (Blackening)
- Albedo (Whitening)
- Rubedo (Reddening)
The first stage is Blackening. This equates to a symbolic destruction of self. What are you willing to sacrifice to achieve your ultimate goal? Invariably we do not set out on this path of transformation. Instead, it finds us. We know we have begun the process when our life crashes down around us. Any time you have experienced utter despair, total failure, or devastating loss, you have entered the temple of transformation. Now what? It’s time to face your fears. It’s time to let go of what you’re convinced is true. Now is when you lose all sense of who you are. You are on the path to learn your own truth.
The second step is Whitening. One way of looking at it is as a resurrection into a purified body that has been washed clean. It’s as if the body understands its connection to soul and spirit and recognizes them as its own. But the fullest experience of the connection has not yet been achieved. This sets up a yearning for the ultimate integration of body with soul and spirit.
Reddening is the third and final stage. The body is not only fully purified, but also spiritualized and refined at the most ethereal levels. Now it completely melds with soul and spirit, all levels consecrated, aligned, and unified. The life force is completely concentrated within this synthesis. This stage represents the perfection of the self, a complete individuation. This unity of being is an invisible beacon that draws everything to it. This is its service and reverence.
Black, White, and Red in the Tarot
The next time you pull cards, note where you see black, white, and red. What do these colors tell you about your process? How do they provide perspective on your question?
For instance, perhaps the Death card represents the blackening phase. Everything comes to an end, the temporal part of self dies so the soul is released. What fears do you have around losing your sense of self? What is possible if you sacrifice all that is not eternal?
The Moon card could stand in for the whitening phase. The body is seen as the crustacean, crawling out of the morass. It is guided by the white light of soul and spirit combined, but yet has a long path before it. What is your guiding light? What direction do you need to go to reach it, or to become one with it?
The Sun card represents the reddening phase. Here is the child, free and pure, the offspring of the previous purifications and conjunctions. The bright red flag is the strong life force, plain for all to see. What are you ready to reveal to the world? What shines brightest in your heart?
Advance to the Next Stage
What other examples of black, white and red do you see in the tarot? There are lots! How can they help you in your transformation? Let me know in the comments! And then hop forward or back to read how the other bloggers interpreted the theme of “Transitions.”