A Stone Tarot
Taken from Cunningham, Scott. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1988. Pp. 47-53.
The tarot- a mystic book, a tool of divination, a pack of cards.
The tarot is perhaps more popular today than it has ever been, and new decks seem to be released every week. Collecting them makes a fine, if expensive, hobby.
Chapter Nine outlined some forms of divination utilizing stones. This chapter describes a more complex form-a veritable 'stone tarot'.
This is like the more familiar form except that, rather than using symbol-packed cards to point to future trends, the stones themselves contain this symbolism. Thus, instead of interpreting the situation by studying the symbolism of the cards, the reader studies the stones, recalling their symbolism.
In general, this type of stone tarot relates to the major arcana of the most popular decks, such as the Rider-Waite. I have tried to eliminate most of the Christian influences on this deck, using earlier associations and names for the "cards." In particular, this system is symbolically associated with Wicca. The third tarot trump, known elsewhere as the Empress, is here termed the Goddess. An olivine, peridot, turquoise or one of their magical substitutions is used for this trump. The Goddess represents the moist, female, nurturing, creative aspect of the universal force- the receptive energies. The Goddess is one-half of the deity orientation of Wicca, the other being the God, here represented by a ruby and related to the Emperor card of the Rider-Waite
This stone tarot consists of twenty-two stones. It's best to obtain stones that are the same approximate size, though you don't have to mortgage the house to buy a huge emerald to match your quarter-sized rose quartz. polished and tumbled stones are best for this use, but crystals can be used as well. If you don't agree with some of my associations between the stones and the cards, fine. Make your own system.
Obtain all twenty-two stones (you cannot work this magical tool without the full number) and cleanse each. If any are unfamiliar to you, work with them as outlined in Chapter Seven until you know their symbolism and magical uses. Once you've done this, read over the divinatory information contained in this chapter for each stone. Attune with one stone at a time, relating the information to the stone itself. It's best not to begin working this tarot until after you know each stone. Sure, you can look up the meanings I've included in this chapter, but such forms of divination are second best.
Relying on the written word during a reading is limiting. When you glance down at the stones, the overall picture they're presenting should 'flash' in your mind.
As you see each stone, recall its divinatory meaning. Look at its proximity to other stones, its relative position. It is this information which unlocks your psychic awareness, allowing you to find an answer, clear up a situation, or determine possible future events.
When not in use, keep the stones in a yellow cloth bag or some other suitable container. Expose them periodically to moonlight.
Wearing psychic-influencing stones such as lapis lazuli, moonstone, azurite or others may help you tap into your psychic awareness. If you wish, burn yellow candles and sandalwood incense while casting the stones. Anoint yourself with a similar oil, such as tuberose, nutmeg, lemon grass or sandalwood. Eventually, the way of the stones and their messages will come easily, and you'll be able to perform a stone tarot reading with little difficulty. It can work!
For quick reference, here's a list of the major arcana and their associated stones. Remember, I've changed the names of some of these trumps, but their basic meanings are similar to the standard ones. I've included the more usual names in parentheses.
0. THE FOOL ............... AGATE
1. THE SHAMAN (MAGICIAN) ............. QUARTZ CRYSTAL
2. THE HIGH PRIESTESS ........... EMERALD, PEARL
3. THE GODDESS (EMPRESS) ......... PERIDOT, OLIVINE, TURQUOISE
4. THE GOD (EMPEROR) ........... RUBY
5. THE CHIEF (HIEROPHANT) ........... TOPAZ
6. THE LOVERS .............. ROSE QUARTZ
7. THE ELEMENTS (CHARIOT) ............ STAUROLITE, CROSS STONE, ANY TWINNED CRYSTALS
8. STRENGTH .............. DIAMOND, HERKIMER DIAMOND, GARNET
9. THE WISE ELDER (HERMIT) ........... SAPPHIRE, BLUE TOURMALINE
10. THE SPIRAL (WHEEL OF FORTUNE)....... SARDONYX, BLACK OPAL
11. JUSTICE ................. CARNELIAN
12. INITIATION (HANGED MAN) ........... BERYL, AQUAMARINE
13. CHANGE (DEATH) .......... AMBER
14. TEMPERANCE ............. AMETHYST
15. FOLLY (DEVIL) ............. BLACK DIAMOND, BLACK TOURMALINE, ANY SQUARE BLACK STONE
16. FORCE (THE TOWER) ......... LODESTONE, LAVA
17. THE STAR ............... METEORITE, ANY STAR STONE
18. THE MOON .............. MOONSTONE, CHALCEDONY
19. THE SUN ............... TIGER'S-EYE, SUNSTONE
20. REBIRTH (JUDGMENT) ........ FOSSIL
21. THE UNIVERSE ........... OPAL, KUNZITE
I have listed one or two recommended stones above. For those stones you cannot obtain, any of their magical substitutes can be used, provided that they aren't used to represent any other card. For example, though the peridot is a substitute for the emerald, you wouldn't want to use it for the High Priestess if you've already allocated it to the Goddess.
SYMBOLISM AND DIVINATORY MEANINGS OF STONE TAROT
0. THE FOOL - AGATE. Scattered energies, extravagance, waste "head in the clouds," imbalance, pride, ego, hubris, vanity.
1. THE SHAMAN - QUARTZ CRYSTAL. Magical attainment, control. power, balance, center, unification of spiritual and physical, self-knowledge, depth, confidence.
2. THE HIGH PRIESTESS - EMERALD, PEARL. Spirituality, secrets, power, Earth religion, the unknown, female mysteries.
3. THE GODDESS - PERIDOT, OLIVINE, TURQUOISE. Receptive energy, women, cycles, fertility, creativity, abundance, growth, love, female sexuality, money, mother.
4. THE GOD - RUBY. Projective energy, men, compassion, force, movement, aggression, male sexuality, father.
5. THE CHIEF - TOPAZ. Authority, captivity, confinement, abandonment, advice, employer, honor, technology.
6. THE LOVERS - ROSE QUARTZ. Love, sexuality, relationships, friendship, duality, polarity, symbiosis, balance, beauty, family.
7. THE ELEMENTS - STAUROLITE, CROSS STONE, ANY TWINNED CRYSTALS. Earth power, nature, self-control, triumph, success.
8. STRENGTH - DIAMOND, HERKIMER DIAMOND, GARNET. Power, courage, will power, activity.
9. THE WISE ELDER - SAPPHIRE, BLUE TOURMALINE. Wisdom, knowledge, mysticism, enlightenment.
10. THE SPIRAL - SARDONYX, BLACK OPAL. Transformation, fortune, luck, exterior energies, unknown factors.
11. JUSTICE - CARNELIAN. Law, legal matters, dominance, submission, outside authority.
12. INITIATION - BERYL, AQUAMARINE. Introspection, trials, tests, sacrifice.
13. CHANGE - AMBER. Renewal, beginnings, endings, health matters,
14. TEMPERANCE - AMETHYST. Moderation, scattering of energies, non-focused, closed, disciplined, balance.
15. FOLLY - BLACK DIAMOND, BLACK TOURMALINE, ANY SQUARE BLACK STONE. Addiction, delusion, pity, depression, violence, pettiness, lack of vision, control by others, submission.
16. FORCE - LODESTONE, LAVA. Adversity, accident, challenge, oppression.
17. THE STAR - METEORITE, ANY STAR STONE. Universal energies, astrology, eclipse, travel, hope.
18. THE MOON - MOONSTONE, CHALCEDONY. Psychism, emotions, depression, night, winter, sleep, dreams, tides, magnetism, water.
19. THE SUN - TIGER'S-EYE, SUNSTONE. Mental activity, over intellectualism, thought, visualization, contentment, employment, day, summer, the seasons.
20. REBIRTH - FOSSIL. Reversal, outcome, evolution, growth, life, childbirth, lessons.
21. THE UNIVERSE - OPAL, KUNZITE. Interplay, success, movement, harvest, overview, ability, completion, higher forces.
Admittedly, these are rather cryptic descriptions. In performing any type of divination, the diviner must interpret the symbols, as explained in the last chapter. The simplest way to consult this stone tarot is to visualize your question, or the area in which you feel you need help.
While visualizing, reach into your bag of stones and draw one out. If you're in tune, you've familiarized yourself with the stones and hold their meanings in mind, all you may have to do is look at the stone and say, "Yes. Of course."
Say I was wondering if a project I was considering -a new book, for example-would be worth the time and energy I'd invest in it. I call my publisher and talk to him about it, and I grill my friends for their responses to it, but I'm still unsure. Then, I reach into my tarot bag and draw out a stone. Remember, I'm not consciously trying to select any particular stone. Even if I can differentiate between the stones with my fingers, which is case, I simply allow my subconscious mind to choose the stone. Feeling its energies in my hand, I look down and see an Opal-The Universe.
Success, movement and completion are the meanings which first come to mind. Harvest and ability are also involved here. It seems that the book will be a success. If, when doing this, you feel the first stone hasn't given you a complete picture, choose another and interpret them together.
There are more complicated methods of consulting the tarot. These are called 'layouts'. Here several stones are chosen and placed on some flat surface in a particular pattern. The stones are then 'read' in conjunction with this pattern, in the proper order, and with the other nearby stones in mind.
There are endless variations of patterns which you can use. Here are two of them; feel free to make up your own.
This is ideal for discerning the true nature of a problem, or for a general look at your life.
Place one stone slightly to the left of you. This represents the recent past that is influencing your current situation.
Place the second stone to the right of the first. This represents your current situation.
The third stone is placed to the right of the second and signifies the future.
Read all three stones together.
The stones are laid out to form a rough pentagram or pentagon (five-sided) figure. Draw a five-pointed star with one point upward and lay the stones on this.
Place the first stone on the upper right point. This represents the emotions involved in the problem-your own and those of others.
Place the second stone on the lower right point. This represents conflict, binding and illusions which you may not be aware of. It can also represent the obstacles which must be faced.
The third stone is placed on the lower left-hand point. It rep-resents the foundation of the problem, the basis for its existence, the forces at work behind it.
Place the fourth stone on the upper left-hand point. This stone symbolizes your thoughts on the subject at the current time. These thoughts may hinder or help you.
The fifth stone is placed on the top point and signifies the final outcome.
Read the stones in the order in which you placed them on the pentagram. You can lay down all five before starting to interpret them, or work with each one singly.
Remember to judge each stone in connection with the other nearby stones. Of necessity this is merely an introduction to stone tarot divination. This is truly an area where those who work with it can evolve a unique, personal system.
If it speaks to you, use it. If you don't like my version of associating stones with the tarot, change it. Work with it every day, and you'll discover how fascinating and correct the stone tarot can be.