Psychedelic Aids & The Art of Reading Tarot

Long before I adventured down the rabbit hole of awareness through meditation, magic and psychedelics I was someone altogether different. I spent a great deal of my college time doing what everyone else in college was doing: partying, drinking and generally living a life of endless hedonism. Those were fun days and I don’t feel bad about them, but I will say that no matter how much I tried to fill the cup that was my being with pleasure and experience, everything always seemed to fall short.

One night despondent and tired of the excess lifestyle that accompanied the college campus, I wound up staying home rather than go out for yet another night on the town. Going through my backlog of books I stumbled upon something that would profoundly change my life. It was an edition of “The CELTIC ANIMAL ORACLE”. These were medicine cards, each one symbolizing the power and spirit of a specific totem animal.

Now maybe it’s because my bloodline stretched back to the Celts, maybe it was because I had always had a passing interest in tarot/medicine cards, but the words in the Oracle’s guide book really spoke to me. As a cynic I had all but abandoned any form of religion or spirituality, and yet this book and the animals on the cards really spoke to me and I soon found myself memorizing their meanings, names and stories. It wasn’t long before I started doing card readings for myself and others as well. It was a fun pastime and study and with the benefit of hindsight, one of my first steps into becoming a more meditative and spiritual person.

Fast forward fifteen years, I had now found myself a tarot deck that spoke to me (The Osho Zen Tarot) and had taken to studying it intimately. I knew these cards, or at least I thought I did. It would take me one trip down the rabbit hole in Montreal to help me realize that as much as I thought I had learned to read my cards, I had a long way to go before I could call myself a remotely competent tarot card reader.

Up until that point all my readings had been by rote. I would repeat memorized card definitions, like a parrot and while people enjoyed the readings I gave them I couldn’t help but feel that I was just skimming the surface of something far greater and larger. That if I could just meditate enough or practice enough that my tarot cards would somehow speak even more to me.

It was during a wonderful acid trip with my then girlfriend, now wife, that we decided that enough was enough, if we wanted to be good card readers we would need to really engage not just with the superficial image drawn into these magical cards, but past them to the energy and spirit that they all tapped into. On a practical/therapeutic level Tarot is a lot like an ink-blot test, everyone sees and identifies with the imagery on the cards differently. Just on cold reading alone I could gauge what a person was going through based on how they reacted to the cards.

Over time I’ve come to believe that the cards also act as windows into another small world composed solely of the energy/ideas the card is trying to represent. If you look hard and long enough you can actually see this world come to life in front of you. But try explaining that concept to a non-believer without them getting uncomfortable and wishing to change the subject.

Up until I had tried psychedelics and card reading together at once, I had never been able to see that connection. It was something I believed but had yet to experience. And that one night with my wife changed everything. For some reason we decided that we would spread out all the cards from all six of our tarot decks (come people collect stamps, we collect tarot decks) and spread them out across the floor of our apartment. The air was thick with different energies and personalities as we stared in wonder at the vast tapestry of cards that we had created before us.

All of them seemed to work together and as we dropped more and more cards next to each other in an ever-expanding spiral we could see how a card could represent the energy the accompanying guide-book said it possessed. We could see the ideas and emotions that they wanted to convey.

And we came to realize that while they may not be alive, that each and every Tarot deck, like a cat, has its own personality. Psychedelics allowed me to see and engage with these personalities far better.

I remember staring into a card for what felt like hours, but was later revealed to be minutes and losing myself in the world drawn on it. I could see the leaves in the trees moving to and fro, I could almost see the people on the card moving. It was incredible and while a cynic might have dismissed that as me just being under the influence of a psychedelic drug, I know that what I realized and experienced was quite real.

My deck of cards, the one that I read on my YouTube channel, the one I’ve been reading for the past eighteen years, is imbued with an energy that has only given it more and more personality. It always drops the right card for the right occasion. It speaks to everyone and anyone I do a reading for and on that topic, my readings have become clearer over time. Psychedelics have seriously helped with that process.

It was as if I hadn’t even been speaking to the deck during all those years until that very day. And even now as I write down these words I can’t believe we’d never thought to try that. Psychedelics and magic/spirituality do have a part to play with each other. I do not think it a coincidence that the majority of first nation and indigenous cultures appear to have their own psychedelic ritual, often associated with healing and growth.

It is obvious that these trips down the rabbit hole are not just simple states of intoxication. Rather they are doorways to different states of awareness, perhaps even putting us in the receptive condition we need to be in order to communicate with this higher form or thought and consciousness. All drugs alter our awareness and bring us to a different place. Some of these places are great others not so great. And through the many years of my spirit/magic studies I have experienced the good, the bad and many spectrums in-between.

It is difficult to clearly explain with words these concepts to someone who chooses to neither believe or recognize the sacred reality we tap into while in this altered state. It would be just as hard to explain color to the blind or an I-phone to an ant. The state, the higher consciousness that the psychonaut/spiritualist community is taping into is something beyond words, beyond even dare I say Human understanding. We are wired in these biological computers to experience the universe in one way, using finite minds, lives, words and notions to explain the infinite and beyond.

But we are ever changing, ever improving, ever growing and with each generation we come closer and closer to realizing our sacred place in the universe and the role we can play in it. Will psychedelic use be the answer to the question? I don’t know, but I do know that they will be part of the answer.

What I can say is that they serve as a guide point, they point us in a direction, and it remains up to us whether we will take those directions or not. Some of us will get lost but in the end I believe we can all find our way. Some of us sooner, some of us later. In any case we will all make it to that sacred elevated place, in this life or the next.

Until we meet again.
In love, light and laughter.
Be well

DaVila LeBlanc Aka DaV

Here are some interesting videos and documentary films about Tarot and the Mysticism associated with this ancient divination tool !

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