The Ritual Tarot of The Boundless Heart is meant for both beginners and those experienced with tarot and/or ritual work. For novices, using the set will be a crash course. For those with previous knowledge, it will be a unique and flexible tool to add to your practice. No belief in magick or the super-natural is required.
Before using the tarot, take out the two cards that bear the symbol of the Temple of The Boundless Heart. If you have a friend that you think would enjoy this tarot, give them the one with writing on it. The other one is for your altar, your shelf, your wallet, or wherever else you're inspired to keep it to remind you of your ritual work.
What is a ritual tarot?
Tarot decks are generally representations of the different aspects of life and experience. While each card is associated with a meaning, those meanings are somewhat flexible and open to interpretation. The most common use of tarot decks is as a tool to inspire (or divine) insight into life by exploring the meanings and arrangement of a set of drawn cards relative to a person's actual life situations. This process is generally known as a tarot "reading". The ritual tarot has a related but extended purpose.
Ritual tarot cards are meant to be more than just passive carriers of symbolic meaning. Each card is a tool for use in ritual, meant to energize the aspect of life that the card represents. Depending on a person's worldview, this ritual can be viewed as magick, prayer, self-hypnosis, or celebration. Regardless of how one views it, using the ritual tarot involves more than laying out and observing the cards. It involves action; specifically, it involves choosing and burning a card to symbolize one's desire to activate that aspect of life.
How to read the ritual tarot:
There are a million books on how to read tarot cards. There is no need to rehash those lessons here. Suffice to say that everything you know about reading tarot cards, runes, I-Ching, etc. can be applied to reading these cards. If you don't know anything about those things, that's okay, you don't need to: below is an easy-to-follow set of instructions. If you are experienced, you can follow the instructions below or do your own thing, but The Fire Ritual of The Boundless Heart is what the tarot is designed for, so that part is recommended.
Light a candle, or a bunch of candles if you're so inclined. Maybe even some incense.
Close your eyes and take at least 3 deep, slow breaths. Try to stop thinking about everything so much. Seriously. It won't kill you to just relax and be present for a minute.
Draw 3 cards. The easiest way to do this randomly is to stack them and pull three out at random.
Go through each card you drew one at a time. The single word on the card encapsulates the meaning. Think about that meaning and connect it to some part of your life. Don't be afraid to be creative in your interpretation. Take a moment with each card to feel the emotions you associate with the connected part of your life. Don't just think about it, feel it.
Explore the meaning of the 3 cards/parts of your life together, relative to each other. Are they related? Do they occur in a certain order, either in time or importance? Arrange the cards in different orders and configurations to assist in your exploration.
Pick one of the cards to use in your ritual. It should be the thing you most want to apply energy to in some way. You could pick one that you'd like to begin a cycle of, end a cycle of, get unstuck about, come to terms with, etc. Your intention around the card can be general or specific, but for best results it should be meaningful to you. Whichever card you pick, you will burn. You can burn it now or later, but don't put it back in the set.
Perform the Fire Ritual of The Boundless Heart
Fire Ritual of The Boundless Heart:
The most important pre-requisite to burning your chosen card is having a safe place to put it when it gets too hot to handle. Some possibilities include a cauldron, a metal cup, or a stone bowl. It's not going to be a big fire, but it's still a fire, and requires the proper respect. The easiest way to set your card alight is with an open-flame candle. Candles whose flames are inside cups or glass will more be difficult to work with. Tea lights work well and if you are outside, the burning card can be placed carefully in the tealight wax. This technique creates a larger, long lasting burn and should not be used indoors. Cards can of course be thrown in a larger fire, but holding it by a corner while it starts burning is recommended for full psychological effect. It should also be noted that some of the Ritual Tarot sets are painted on the back. Paint does release a small amount of mildly toxic smoke, so these should be burned outdoors or with proper ventilation.
Step by step Instructions for the fire ritual:
Look through the card at the flame. The fire is the primal energy source. The card's symbol shapes that energy. Your eyes receive the shaped energy. Your mind adds the penultimate magick to that energy: meaning. Take a moment to revel in this multi-faceted process, from fire, through card and eye, to mind. Finally, bring yourself back to the emotion you associated with this card to add the final ingredient: feeling.
Carefully set the card alight, holding it by one corner while burning it in the candle flame from the other corner. Feel the power of this unusual moment. You are holding a spell as it burns with the fire of your mind, the fire of your heart, and literal fire. The cards often burn in strange ways. Enjoy the flame's shape and character. Allow it to be magickal.
While the card is burning, sing or speak your intention aloud. If nothing else, say the name of the card three times. This can be anything that comes to mind, don't be shy about it.
When you can no longer hold the card, place it in your chosen receptacle to finish burning. It might not be completely burned and that's okay.
When your ritual is complete, if you want to dispose of the ashes, don't just throw them in the trash like a piece of junk mail. Put them outside or somewhere else that has meaning to you. If necessary, fold them into a piece of paper after they are completely cooled for disposal at a later time.
Some important notes on fire safety:
This might be the most dangerous tarot deck in the world. That isn't saying a lot, but still... Fire is really hot and you can get hurt. Follow the instructions here at your own risk. This ritual is for adults. Be intentional and careful. Make sure there's water readily available. Don't panic and throw a burning card. Whether outdoors or indoors, follow local fire safety recommendations. Do not attempt to perform this ritual when too intoxicated to maintain control of the situation.