Active Imagination with Tarot Cards

Active Imagination with Tarot

I want to offer you a simple exercise: it concerns the active imagination with the Tarot. Active imagination with the Tarot is a practice aimed at establishing a deep and creative contact with the Major Arcana.

Active imagination is a method developed by Carl Gustav Jung to relate to your own unconscious. It is a simple and equally surprising method that can be summarized as follows:

1) Close your eyes and try to achieve a state of relaxation.

2) Pay attention to the images that will spontaneously begin to occur “inside your eyes”.

3) Observe how these images develop and change, trying – and this is the peculiarity of the method – to always be present, carefully observing what is spontaneously manifested.

Practical exercise of active imagination with the Tarot

I would now like to propose a small exercise, which is based on the technique of active imagination applied to the Tarot.

Take a Tarot card, randomly. It can also be the one that inspires you the most or the one that inspires you the least. Take the Chariot for example.

Active imagination with Tarot and the Chariot
The Chariot Tarot Card

Watch this Tarot for a few minutes, observing the arrangement of the figures, the colors, its smallest details. Now close your eyes, and try to reconstruct the image of the Cart “inside your eyes”, but according to the approach of active imagination explained above. Therefore, trying to follow carefully what the unconscious represents spontaneously.

Now focus your interest on some details of your Chariot. How does the look of the knight appear to you? Is he sad? Is he proud? Look down and observe the animals that pull the chariot: do you see two horses? Or do you see any other strange creature? What is the roof of the Chariot like? Which shape does it have? Does it look solid or fragile?

Write down all these details in a notebook, or even draw them! In this way you will get a sort of “snapshot” of your unconscious. For example, the sad look of the rider may indicate a lack of enthusiasm in leading your life. And if instead of horses you seem to see two large insects or two snakes, you live as “disconnected” from your instinctual energies.

How to work creatively with the Chariot Tarot Card

After becoming aware of the previous elements, the next step is to interact with the product of your unconscious. Close your eyes and try to work again with your imagination on your Chariot, adding elements and features to enhance and strengthen it, making it more appropriate to your needs and your fulfillment.

Imagine feeding the creatures that pull it, making them evolve, training them.

If you enjoyed this game … there are 21 other Major Arcana with which to repeat the experiment! You will discover how the active imagination with the Tarot will highlight various aspects of your inner world to relate with.

This is the beauty of Jung’s teaching: drawing the raw material from the depths of the unconscious and bringing it to light, refining it and integrating it into consciousness.

Have a good active imagination!

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