The act of consecration is a ritual act which dedicates your tools to a decided purpose.
In magick, the purpose of a tool is primarily to carry a correspondence – to become a symbol of specific aspects of the outside world.
So a ritual Sword symbolises our will (and the will of the universe) and a ritual chalice symbolises our love (and the grace of the universe).
Whilst it might seem strange to an outsider, when a magician (or a priest, witch or shaman) traces a sword around a circle, they are making a powerful statement. They are enacting their will in the universe, and by making a circle they are uniting their will with the whole universe.
The circle is a symbol of that unity, so everything that is then done within it corresponds to the whole universe.
As a divine tool and universal mechanism, your tarot deck can also become a consecrated item.
By performing the consecration, you set your cards, box or bag, and other paraphernalia, apart from anything else, and thereby make them sacred. It is no coincidence that many words of magical significance derive from meanings of “separation,” for example ‘temple’, which comes from ‘templum’, to ‘separate out’.
Ritual does not have to be complicated to be powerful.
We follow a simple ritual pattern common to many ceremonies.
First, there is a preliminary step of purification, an act of cleansing. This removes all unwanted forces and influences, all prior psychological attachments, from the items, prior to their consecration.
In order to perform a consecration, you must first, in effect, consecrate yourself, by preparing a separate place of working in which the ritual takes place. This can be as elaborate as casting a full witchcraft circle, or building a ritual temple, to as simple an act as taking yourself to a favourite quiet outdoor location which feels sacred or special to you.
The five basic steps of a ritual are as follows:
A simple ritual following these steps for your new deck of tarot cards might be:
- Banishing – use your finger to draw a circle clockwise around you, sprinkle inside the circle some salt and water, saying “I banish unwanted influences and make myself a space of working”.
- Purification – using fresh water, sprinkle a little on your tarot bag (not the deck!), saying “I purify this bag, so that all associations and forces are removed from it”.
- Consecration – holding up the bag, visualise it strongly as an item charged and radiating protective influences, saying “I now consecrate this bag to the sole purpose of protecting my sacred cards of divination”.
- Invocation – make a statement to a Higher Force to bless the consecrated item, for example, “May the Powers of Light radiate within and without and bless these sacred cards with the power of Truth.” Spend a moment meditating on this blessing.
- Banishing – sprinkle salt and water again within your circle one last time, saying “I banish all residual forces from this space of working,” and draw your circle anti-clockwise, saying “I close this place of working”.
Any act done with intention is a magical act, so leaving your bag in gentle sunlight (or moonlight) for a day (or night) will also have the desired effect so long as your intention is focused and the ritual activity follows the sequence above.
It is no point, for example, consecrating an item without purifying it first. This is like trying to make a vegetarian salad on a work-surface on which the remains of Sunday Roast still resides.
You will also notice this is a non-denominational ritual – if you want to involve a specific deity, for example, Circe, Athena, Hecate, Thoth, Hermes, etc., then use an appropriate invocation.
Once you have consecrated your object, you can then invoke Thoth, for example, by saying “Thoth, God of Wisdom and the Word, may your Wisdom guide my hand as I use these consecrated cards of art, to obtain true knowledge of hidden things, to the glory of thine ineffable name.”
Then do the final banishing after a brief meditation or communion with the invoked deity.
Similarly, different decks may suggest different variations to your basic ritual – the Waite-Smith Tarot consecration can be empowered by a reading of Shakespeare to the cards during the ritual, the Thoth deck obviously can benefit from an invocation or image of Thoth during the ritual.
This ritual template will work for any item and any consecration, not just tarot, as it is the pared down pattern of most ritual activity.
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