ON THE MAJOR ARCANA
These Tarot cards represent a rich mythology in symbolic-picture
form. However, the most important thing is to allow the cards
to 'speak' to you directly by triggering archetypal processes
in your mind.
following meditations are really entry paths to these inner
symbols. They have a minimal descriptive content since excessive
detail impedes the spontaneous aspects of the mythic encounter.
all cases the meditations should commence with a progressive
We find ourselves in a field of grass. The wind blows gently
and we hear birds whistling in the distance.
feel at peace with Nature. And now, as we watch in our mind's
eye, the cycle of her seasons pass before us - the new birth
of Spring, the warmth of Summer, the ripeness and wholeness
of Autumn. Nature seems barren in Winter but new life will
come to a rugged cliff-face and a doorway opens, allowing
us to enter. We pass into the rock and find ourselves in a
tunnel. A light is shining at the end of the tunnel, and as
we draw closer we see that a beautiful naked woman is dancing...
Her dance is the dance of Nature. Element: Earth
We have come to a new land. Naked people are all around us,
and we are naked too. Suddenly the sky is filled with beautiful
music and we lift up our hands to the heavens in praise. We
feel the music filling our bodies, giving us energy, vitality,
life... We rise up into the sky embracing the music, and we
know that the gods welcome and protect us. Element: Air
The Sun is high above us as we come to the foot of a grass
mountain. A large, rocky wall halfway up the slope blocks
our path. But we know that we have come to a sacred place
and we must be pure in heart and spirit before ascending to
the peak. Two children - a boy and a girl - now appear before
us. They are young and innocent, and as they begin to dance
the light of the Sun pours down upon them. Now we feel the
sunlight pouring down on us also, giving us energy and filling
us with radiance. Element: Fire
We have come to an ocean shore. Waves lap against the beach
and, as we watch, a lobster struggles forth onto land. Now
two animals parade before us. One is a shaggy wolf, aggressive
and hostile. The other is a domestic dog, friendly and protective.
This dog leads us up a path towards a rocky outcrop, and as
we come closer we see a fortress in the distance. Now we look
up into the sky. A beautiful silver crescent Moon fills the
heavens. The Moon showers us with a cascade of silver droplets.
High above us in the night-sky a bright golden star and a
host of silver ones shower the heavens with their light. A
crystalline stream flows through this land and kneeling beside
the stream is a beautiful, naked woman.
her hands she holds two flasks, one made of gold, the other
of silver. Now, as she lifts her golden flask high into the
sky, a stream of liquid light flows from the golden star into
her flask. Bending down, she pours this liquid into the stream.
Now she comes across to where we-are, and our heads become
open vessels as she pours the precious water into our bodies.
We feel it filling us with energy and life. Element: Water
We have come to a land which is ominous and strange. An ancient
stone tower rises up before us and reaches proudly towards
the heavens. But now the sky darkens with storm clouds and
we hear a crash of thunder. Suddenly the sky fills with fire
and a burst of lightning crashes against the tower. Two proud
warriors, and the crumbling battlements of the tower, fall
to the ground. Element: Fire
A gaping hole appears in the ground before us and we enter
a subterranean cavern. Strange shadows flicker on the wall
as we come before a grotesque creature who stands on a pedestal
holding a torch.
head is like a goat and his legs those of an eagle. Batwings
extend from his back, and an inverted pentagram is visible
on his forehead. A man and a woman stand be,fore him, chained
to his pedestal like prisoners. At first the figures are threatening
but now they seem ludicrous. We smile to ourselves, and as
we do so the energy drains out of these strange beings and
they dissolve into dust before our eyes. Element: Earth
We come now to a gruesome land where the ground is littered
with broken human bodies. In the centre of the carnage we
see a frenzied skeleton-creature wielding a scythe and taking
his human toil. We feel a sense of dread as the skeleton figure
comes towards us, but we surrender ourselves to him knowing
that our inner spirit will triumph and only our vanities and
deceptions will fall upon the ground. Now we feel the limbs
of our bodies falling away in fragments and the real essence
of our being is flowing forth, freed from constraint. We journey
in the spirit vision towards a river and we see that others
have come here too. Now we flow with the river and it carries
us along. It purifies us, and we sparkle like flashes of light
in the stream. Elements: Earth and Water
We flow in a crystal river towards the Sun. On the left-hand
side of the river it is dark - the very depths of night -
while the other shines with the light of new day.
we flow along the river we come to the land of the Guardian.
We see him now, standing astride the river. The Guardian is
tall and majestic, his beautiful face ablaze with light. He
welcomes us and we have nothing to fear. Beside him, scowling
at his feet, is a red lion. The Guardian brings forth a golden
flask and bends down to fill it from the stream. Now he pours
the waters over the lion and it becomes peaceful. Nearby,
a silver eagle whips its wings defiantly in the air. The Guardian
brings forth a golden torch and, as we watch, a spark of flame
falls down into the eagle's body, filling it with love. Now
the Guardian is calling us towards the Sun, and as we draw
ever closer we feel the sacred light entering our hearts.
The Hanged Man
We have come to a place where the air is heavy with water
droplets and glistens like shining mist.
see before us the strange figures of a man hanging upside
down, his feet supported by a loop of rope. His coat is decorated
with crescent moons and his face is aglow with gentle, lunar
as we look more closely we see that he is upside down because
he is a reflection in water. From high above, rays of light
descend into his body and radiate into the mist. Element :
We enter a royal chamber and come before a goddess seated
on a throne. She has love in her heart but her expression
is stern and impartial. In her right hand she holds a large
sword and in her left. a set of scales. We submit ourselves
before her, lowering our gaze. Now she rests her sword upon
our heads, but we feel the power of her mercy flowing over
music rises up, and fills our entire bodies with vibrant energy.
The Wheel of Fortune
We have come to a mighty gateway - doorway to the peak of
the mystic mountain. On this gateway is a wheel of light which
slowly rotates, sending forth pulsing waves of energy. As
the wheel turns, different gods come into view upon its rim.
We are journeying towards the very heart of the Cosmos. Element:
The world grows dark and we find ourselves on the side of
a mighty mountain. We feel alone, abandoned, desolate . .
. But now a guide appears before us to show us the path of
ascent. Our guide is an old man with a long gray beard. He
wears a flowing cloak and a hood which partly hides his face.
In his right hand he holds a wonderful lantern which glows
like a radiant star. He leads us slowly up the mountain path,
and as we travel with him we feel our bodies gradually merging
together. We become one with him and now the light of his
lantern shines from deep within our hearts. Elements: Earth
We have come to a grassy plain. The sky shines with radiant
yellow light. Before us two figures engage in a struggle;
one is a beautiful young maiden dressed in a flowing robe,
the other a hostile lion. Unafraid of his strength, the maiden
opens the jaws of the lion and sings him a soothing song.
The song flows down into his heart and lulls him into a state
she places a wreath of white roses around his neck and the
lion falls asleep at her feet. Elements: Fire and Water
We continue our journey across the grassy plain. The sky has
changed colour to a majestic blue and drops of crystal dew
hang suspended in the air. Once again we enter a world of
mist. Now we hear a sound like thunder. We look upwards to
the heavens and see a mighty air-borne chariot drawn by winged
chariot lands nearby and a tall warrior steps forth.
of light shine from his polished armour as he comes towards
us, and he invites us to journey with him through the heavens.
We mount his chariot, there is a rumbling of hooves, and we
rise up into the sky. Elements: Air and Water
We come to a sacred grove high upon the mystic mountain. This
is the land of innocence and purity, the land of the first
man and the first woman. An abundant garden appears before
us, and as we watch, a beautiful naked woman and a beautiful
naked man embrace in an act of love. Ethereal, haunting music
descends from the sky and the garden tingles with dazzling,
vibrant colours. Elements: Earth and Air
As we ascend the mystic mountain we arrive at the Temple of
the Sacred Song. Seated before us on a splendid throne is
the God of Wisdom. He is awesome to behold. He is the guardian
of our secret name. As we bow before him a wonderful song
rises up within us and we rejoice. Elements: Earth and Water
We ascend still higher upon the mystic mountain. Here the
land is ablaze with red light. Volcanoes erupt in the distance
and the terrain is barren and unfriendly.
are grateful when, at last, we come to the temple of the Merciful
God. He sits upon a red throne, a red cloak flowing from
his shoulders to the ground. He is a majestic ruler and we
feel at peace with him for we are his children.
as we rest awhile we sense that he is sad, for his beloved
wife is far distant and his kingdom is without a queen. Elements:
Fire and Earth
We make our way to a mighty forest where regal, luxuriant
trees reach towards the heavens. Passing through the forest
we come to an abundant field where golden wheat quivers in
the air. A stream of clear, pure water flows through the field
and as we trace it to its source we find ourselves before
a great goddess seated on her throne. Beautiful flowers decorate
her cloak and beams of light dance in her hair.
as we watch the goddess, her form seems to dissolve before
our eyes and she has become the stream itself. And now the
stream has become a river, and the river has become a sea
and the sea has become an ocean. And all is still. Elements:
Earth and Water
The High Priestess
Beyond the veil of mist, seated on a watery throne, is the
Virgin Goddess. We see her dimly through the haze, and as
we draw towards her a shimmering silver light floods over
Goddess looks down upon the scroll of memory which rests unfurled
upon her knee and once again, uplifted by beautiful and mysterious
music, we hear our secret, inner name. Elements: Water and
High upon the mystic mountain we come to the Sacred Temple
of the Magician. Before us is a mighty doorway, flanked by
columns which seem to sustain the universe. Passing into the
temple, we come before the great god. His eyes blaze with
lightning, thunder roars in his hair, and as he lifts his
right arm above his head the air shudders with a vibrant force
that fills the temple. Before us we see each of the elements
born from a spinning vortex - Earth, Water, Fire, Air. Then,
as he passes his hand above them, they dissolve into Spirit.
Elements: Fire, Air and Spirit
Overwhelmed by the awesome nature of our journey, we come
at last to the peak of the mystic mountain. Around us, in
all directions, infinite space flows into the distance.
have never been so alone, but as we contemplate that feeling
a wonderful sense of love descends upon us. Once again we
hear our secret song inside our hearts. And then that song
escapes on a gentle breeze and it just wafts away, dispersing
its melody in the vastness of space. And now we are floating
. . . floating . . . floating . . .
see the mountain peak recede in the distance . . . And we
are coming home. . . Element: Spirit
Visualisations from the book Music For Inner Space by Nevill Drury ISBN 0907061745