Counting the Omer with Tarot

The Omer is a seven-week period in Jewish tradition that links the holidays of Passover and Shavuot. In the Torah this was an agricultural practice, linking harvest seasons. Later it linked the story of the Exodus–moving from liberation from oppression–with the story of Sinai–finding new direction in sacred text.

Later, Jewish mystics saw this as a time for personal growth and assigned seven classical divine attributes of Kabbalah to the 49 days of the Omer. Each week was assigned an attribute, and each day within that week was assigned an attribute. Thus the intersection of the two attributes would serve as a kavannah (intention) for that day, a theme upon which one could meditate and orient oneself.

The practice of Tarot is a classical act of intention-setting through the drawing and arranging of cards. We have adopted this practice for the Omer by pulling one card for each day, and reflecting on the intersection of the mystical Jewish teachings and the meaning of the drawn card.

Traditional Jewish practice is to literally count these 49 days. We offer a new way of observing this practice by “counting cards.” May this be a period of deep reflection and personal enlightenment.

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