Tarot Templates: A Card A Day Creates Magic

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How Zentangle Made Me A Better Psychic

There's this ugly little thought in the pagan community. It's an insidious thing--this thought. It says that if you can't still your mind, you can't work magic. It has a bit of shame connected to it. Like pieces of tissue with bits of the brown stuff stuck to your shoe, it flutters about just waiting for someone more knowing, more "silent of mind" to notice.

As you may have guessed I have really struggled with meditation. My walk on the path of the Craft began in the early 80's. My teacher did guided meditations. My mind did what I like to think of as solo explorations of the story possibilities of those guided meditations.



In other words, she would start us out on a beach and I would end up in Russia on a swing. Or I found myself swimming with whales and talking to seals. At least in that scenario I was still near the water, right?

Still mind? HA!

Don't get me wrong. I do think meditation is a good thing. I just don't think the only way to meditate is with a candle, soft music and a joss stick. I have to move. Since that earlier time, I've found ways to let meditation work for me. Ways that involve less quiet music and more movement.

Walking meditation has proven to be one of my best methods. I've come up with more than one Tarot spread while walking the dogs. I can just let my mind go quiet while I walk. Well, as quiet as I can when I'm monitoring the poop patrol. But there comes a point on the walk where we are all three just walking. That's when the magic happens for me. My monkey mind falls into a space where my mind finds answers just popping up. 

But as much as the dogs might love it, I can't take them for long walks every time I need to find that inner stillness. But I need that calm. Some days I need it for me. Other days it's just a good idea if I want to avoid jail.


In the past few years, I've found another tool that really works for me. It's a meditative art form called Zentangle(tm). Some folks dismiss it as just doodling, but I have to disagree. It's beyond doodling. The tagline is "one stroke at a time" which really defines how different it is from doodling. Mind you, there's not a thing wrong with doodling.

Zentangle is done on a small piece of art paper called a tile. I use the Sakura Micron .01 pen for most of my work. I am fortunate enough to have a teacher locally who has also turned into a friend. I took a class from her in August of 2012. If you can find a teacher, take a class. The books are great, but I don't think they really impart the wisdom of Zentangle. If you go the book route, read the reviews carefully.

So how has this made me a better psychic?

First, it helps me see patterns in a different way. I find that I am connecting the dots more rapidly as well. When I read Tarot, I get random things that pop up in my head. I tell my clients that what I see in one card for them might be completely different for the next person. That is why I style myself as an intuitive, or psychic, reader.


For the record, I don't do neon. I have been known to dress the part when I do large corporate parties. Hey! If you pay me enough, I will wear a turban.

Back to how Zentangle makes me a better reader. By training my mind to focus on the one line at a time method, I am able to zero in on individual cards not just more easily but for longer amounts of time. I've been reading professionally for thirty years now. I tend to read super fast because I know the cards.

But it's a better reading when I pull more out. When I dig deeper into the symbols in front of me. As I said, I am an intuitive reader so different things will pop out at me when I'm looking at a reading for a client.

So while I may not be a good meditator in the "sit on a cushion and breathe" sense, I'm finding that I'm very good at meditating while drawing "one line at a time" ala Zentangle. Strangely, tangling is when I love to put on quiet music and burn a joss stick. A favorite of mine is the Green Man from Bayou Witch.

So tell me what your meditation tricks are.


P. to the S. Many of the links are Amazon affiliate links. The Zentangles are all mine. I am slowly working on a Tangled Tarot as well.

P.P. to the S. I do a weekly Tarotscope forecast. This week's was done with the black and white Daughters of the Moon. Enjoy.

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Professional Tarot conversationalist, Arwen Lynch has worked with Tarot as a vehicle for personal transformation since 1980. Her personal philosophy is that Tarot is best used to correct your life course. She is a published author (in romance, as Marilu Mann) as well as past president of the American Tarot Association (4/1/2007-4/1/2014). She specializes in helping people who are determined find their joy and writers who want to finish their book. She's an initiate of Wicca.


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 17 May 2015

    Arwen, You rock! We are very alike, check out the following:

    Years back, I created a picture poem that was a doodle with the words "Doodling is a Faerie geometry lesson." I even created a doodling meditation as an exercise for my students.

    And I do walking meditations almost daily.

    I should add I tell my students it's important to set time aside for what I call "free-form meditation." For me, wandering leads to self-realization. Mind you, I have a very disciplined daily spiritual practice, in which certain things are done every day the exact same way. But I need to make sure that I allow regular times for free-form exploration in otherworldly realms.

    Yes, it is important for me to find stillness. But it's just as important for me to find explosions. And it is just as important for me to wander.

    Sometimes it is only in wandering that I find stillness. And joy.

    So those are some things I tell my students. My fey sister, rock on!

  • Sebastian Lokason
    Sebastian Lokason Sunday, 17 May 2015

    I can't do the sit-still candle-and-clear-your-mind meditation and I've been practicing magick for over 20 years; I'm glad to see alternative forms of meditation being discussed. :)

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 17 May 2015

    Nornoriel, I hear ya! For at least twenty years, I've been trashed for using the words "meditation" and "ritual" as synonymous. (I never said anybody else should find them synonymous, I was just speaking for myself.)

    One reason I used the words as identical was to fight bigotry against ritual. The oppressive bias was that you could never reach the spiritual depth through ritual that you could through meditation. That is a gender and class bias.

    I felt that if I used the words as synonymous, it was primal use of words to shift perception.

    If one's ritual practice is as committed, well structured, and informed as the best meditation practices, a solid spiritual basis is reached. So I thoughtfully channel curriculums, constructing lessons over time. I will take a decade to write a book or class curriculum.

    It is not sufficient to throw together a jumble of undigested white-bread ideas and declare, “Voila, genuine pagan stuff!” :-) That sort of material is not going to be a match for a good meditation practice.

    Mind you, at least for me, ritual is not sufficient on its own. Nor is what many of us think of as "eastern meditations" and their western derivatives. I need both. Going to one extreme or the other throws the baby out with the bathwater.

    Good grief, I have almost added a blog to Arwen's! My comments on your blog, Arwen, are stuff I say to my students, but now they're typed down here, so I can put them all together into a blog. Cool! Thanks for the chance, Arwen.

  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch Sunday, 17 May 2015

    LOL I love your comment. Hope to see you expand on it for one of your own. YAY for free-form thinking, eh?

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 17 May 2015

    Yay, indeed! Thanks!

  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch Sunday, 17 May 2015

    Nornoriel, what other things do you do?

  • Arwen Lynch
    Arwen Lynch Sunday, 17 May 2015

    Fabulous, Francesca! :D free-form meditation!

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Sunday, 17 May 2015

    I am so flattered you like that phrase, thank you.

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