How to Use Tarot to Work With Gods and Goddesses
Having just recorded a podcast all about our pagan gods, I thought an article about how to use Tarot to work with gods and goddesses would continue the discussion here on the blog. If you didn’t catch the podcast, listen to it HERE.
Tarot Isn’t JUST for Divination
When most people think of tarot and oracle, they think of divination – and for good reason. Tarot and oracle are primarily tools used as a means to divine current circumstances or used to predict the future. However, tarot and oracle are much more than just divination tools. Some practitioners even use them to commune with the deceased as a form of mediumship. Tarot and oracle are also used in spell-craft (this article to come!). But today we’re talking about how to use tarot and oracle to work with gods and goddesses.
First, Select a Tarot Card That Represents Your God or Goddess
Want to learn how to use Tarot to work with gods and goddesses? Think outside the box. One way tarot and oracle can be used for deity worship is by selecting cards which you feel represent their energy or represent them pictorially. A good example of this would be using the Hanged Man to honor Odin.
How the Hanged Man Represents Odin: A Tarot Example
The Hanged Man is a symbol of self-sacrifice, surrender, and patience to be pushed from our comfort zone to manifest our goals. In traditional depictions of the Hanged Man, he has the ability to release himself yet chooses to remain in stasis. It’s when we are in limbo, when we are between worlds, that we experience the most growth.
The Story of Odin, The Hanged Man
Odin observed the Norns (fates), who possess the runes in the Well of Urd from which the Yggdrasil’s roots were planted, from Asgard. He became thirsty for the Norns’ wisdom but knew the runes would only reveal themselves to those worthy. Therefore Odin pierced himself with a spear and hung himself upside down from the Yggdrasil tree for 9 days and nights, without food or water, and stared into the Well of Urd. He forbid help from the other Asgardian gods and, on the 9th night, the Well of Urd revealed the runes to Odin. He was bloody, bruised, starving, and dehydrated but he achieved his goal.
The Lesson of the Hanged Man
Odin could have been rescued at any time. After all, he is the All Father – the King of the Aesir. The God of Gods. But he knew the only way to achieve his goal was to show himself worthy of the reward he sought. The Hanged Man in the Tarot teaches us the same lesson. He pushes us out of our comfort zone into the space between. To be in the state of the Hanged Man is to be on the precipice of greatness. Odin is certainly not the only pagan God that teaches the lessons of the Hanged Man, he’s just the one I have the most experience with.
How to Use Tarot to Work With Gods and Goddesses
There are two ways I use tarot and oracle to work with gods and goddesses outside of their traditional divinatory uses.
1. Tarot and Oracle As Altar Decor
I love using tarot and oracle cards to represent deity on my altar. Although I’d love to have full statues, it’s often cheaper and easier. Remember when you’re using a card it can represent your deity literally, energetically, or both. I often pair a tarot representation with an animal oracle card to bring in the essence of a god. For example, pairing the Empress and the Horse to represent Rhiannon. Here are more specific instructions:
- Take the tarot or oracle card(s) of your choosing that you believe represents your deity. In the case of Odin, it’s the Hanged Man from the tarot, and in particular, I love using the Hanged Man from The Wizard’s Tarot by Corrine Kenner (as pictured above).
- Frame the card(s) in a photo frame to place upon your Altar in the space you dedicate to God energy.
- If you do not keep an Altar space for deity work, placing the framed card in a location where you see it often is perfectly acceptable.
2. Tarot for Meditation & Journeying (to Work with Gods and Goddesses)
Another way to use tarot or oracle to work with gods and goddesses is for journeying. Cards can focus your energy and help place you in a meditative or trance state. Here’s one of the ways to use cards to journey to the gods’ realms and commune with them:
- Place the card against a mirror so that it’s eye level.
- Turn on any music you’d like to accompany your journey. If I’m journeying to meet Odin for instance, I usually put on some good ole Norse drumming/chanting.
- Place a lit candle on either side of the card. White is always a good color choice but decide color based on your gods’ attributes.
- Turn out the lights.
- Sit across from your card in a comfortable position to meditate.
- Close your eyes and take three deep and controlled breaths.
- Open your eyes and focus on journeying into the card between the lit candles, letting yourself come to a deep state of relaxation, a trance like state.
- Commune with your deity. Spend time asking your questions or listening to what words of wisdom they have for you. Don’t be alarmed if they say nothing and instead show you symbols (they love to communicate to me this way).
- When you’re ready, bring yourself back to the current moment. Let your consciousness come back to fully present. Offer your thanks, turn on the lights, and blow out your candles.
- Journal your experience journeying into your card noting anything you found significant and how/why you believe it to be significant.
Tarot & Oracle Decks for Working with Gods and Goddesses
As I said, you can use ANY card you feel represents your deity to accomplish either of the techniques above. However, there are decks I’ve found more useful for deity work than others.
These tarot and oracle decks were created with the specific purpose of deity work. There are many decks tailored to specific cultures and/or deities. If you are looking for a deck that is more specific, simply google the culture or deity your looking for followed by “card deck.” You may be surprised what you find.
And, although there are many options, research the deck before purchase. For example, The Goddess Power Oracle by Colette Baron-Reid, although aesthetically pleasing to some, is controversial to others for its lack of accuracy and respect in both its artistic descriptions and guidebook.
Here are my recommended Tarot and Oracle decks for deity work:
- Goddesses and Sirens and Gods and Titans by Stacey Demarco (multicultural)
2. Gods and Goddesses Card Deck by Mantra Publishing (Hindu Pantheon)
3. The New Orleans Voodoo Tarot by Louise Martinie (Yoruba/African diasporic)
Tell Us How YOU Use Tarot to Work with Gods and Goddesses!
These techniques and recommendations are my own and you can always experiment to find new ways to use cards in deity work. If you have other ways you’ve found work, I’d love to hear them! Thank you for joining me for another guest post on the Otherworldly Oracle blog. As always, I’m honored. Much love and many blessings until we meet again! ~ Allorah Rayne
Are you Subbed to the Otherworldly Oracle Official Podcast?
The Otherworldly Oracle official podcast can be found and followed on Spotify, iTunes, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and RadioLive if you’d like to catch up on the last episode where Kitty and I talk all about deity in Episode 5: Our Pagan Gods.
Who is the Wayfaring Witch, Allorah Rayne?
Allorah Rayne is a practitioner of amnestic wayfaring witchcraft and has been part of the online spiritual community since 2012. Her introduction to Tarot was the age of nine and she pursued more intensive learning at fifteen. Allorah is the founder of Wayfaring Witch © where she offers occult readings, mentorship, and supplies. She is also the co-founder of Spread This, Witches!, a community centered divination organization. Contact her on Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Pinterest, and YouTube or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.