Last week I picked up a copy Marcus Katz’ Tarosophy and plowed through it in a couple of days. While I have mixed feelings about the book it does have some terrific exercises to help open up your intuition and get to know the cards on a much deeper level. After reading his book I decided to embark on his ‘Living The Archetypes‘ exercise. Touted as the ‘most powerful and life changing’ exercise in the book, the exercise can take from six to eighteen months to complete. Most people, Katz says, will only complete this exercise once in their entire life. (He’s done it three times over 30 years).
Living The Archetypes Method
This exercise is designed to show you how the archetypal energies of the Major Arcana are turning up in your life. Starting with The Magician you remove the card from the deck and place it somewhere of prominence where you will see it on a regular basis throughout your day. And then you wait. Eventually an event will occur that you will recognise as The Magician. When it happens, you return the card to the deck and move on to the next card. If you have to ask ‘Was that really The Magician?’ then it probably wasn’t. When the event happens it will be unmistakable.
Where’s My Magician?
I started this exercise 5 days ago by pulling The Magician from an old Rider-Waite deck and sticking him up on the wall in my living room. I read a few descriptions of The Magician in different books and tried to imagine how he might turn up for me but kept drawing blanks. I couldn’t think of one single example of something that could possibly happen to me that might constitute Magician-like qualities in my life. I secretly worried that it wouldn’t happen before I flew to America in two weeks time. I wasn’t sure I wanted to be sitting on a trans-atlantic flight worrying that The Magician’s trickster qualities might strike at any moment.
Keywords associated with The Magician are power, focussed will, creation, manifestation,skill, concentration, action, resourcefulness. The Magician is associated with Hermes, can be a bit of a trickster and balances that place between Sleight of Hand Con Artist and Magus. None of this particularly resonates with where I am at the moment, which is generally low – both physically and emotionally. I’ve been more Hermit than Magician for some time now.
This Is Where The Magic Happens
Today, against every fiber of my body telling me to go back to bed, I decided to take the dog out for a long walk along a bit of the London Circular Walk from Finsbury Park to Highgate, a wooded trail following, for the most part, a disused railway line. Today was cold but bright and sunny. We walked fast, the dog running circles around me, dashing off ahead exploring, following scents undetected by my mere human senses but always coming back when I called. He was immediately happy to have space, to have fresh air, real dirt and leaves and grass under his paws, squirrels to chase, other dogs to greet. Have you ever seen a dog smile? It’s unmistakable. It wasn’t long before I realised that I was smiling too.
I took a deep breath and understood that this was my medicine. Nature. And that I’d been neglecting taking my medicine for the entire Autumn. Several times the dog would dart off to my left, dash up a bank of trees or into some shrubs and disappear long enough for me to worry that he wasn’t coming back. Each time, the second I began to go off to the left to look for him there he would be running up to me from the right. He seemed to understand it was a game – this disappearing and reappearing act. He was laughing at me. Enjoying the game. And he was totally in control. This was his game. Not mine.
Then something shifted. Everything began to slow down, the light filtering through the autumn leaves turned golden and sparkly casting shimmering speckles over the ground beneath my feet. Something stirred in my heart and I saw the dog as a pure flash of light, a spark of instinct, totally in his element, at one with the environment and at one with me. We understood each other without words and were moving completely in sync and in tune with each other in the forest. Here was my Magician in the guise of a scruffy little dog delighting in this single, golden, moment.
Yes, I thought, I can still see the magic.