Note from Brigit: Get your dancing shoes on because today, Tarot is about to get super musical and super fun! In this blog post, Tarot reader Elizabeth Louw takes us on a magical, musical mystery tour of the Tarot and shares her very own Tarot ‘playlist’. Ready to get inspired?
I’ve been actively walking my Spiritual Path for almost twenty years, but I’m a newcomer to Tarot. To help my growth in this new area, I’m always looking for ways to enhance my communion with the cards. Right now I’m enrolled in the TF1: Master the Tarot Card Meanings home study program, and I find that the many exercises Brigit recommends for getting in touch with the cards are providing me with lots of opportunities to practice. The Soul Meditations Program offers another, deeper way to connect with the cards.
Perhaps as a result of all this “Tarot goodness” floating around in my head, I’ve recently happened upon another way to find resonance with the cards. If the word ‘resonance’ makes you think of music, you’re on the right track!
One morning a couple years ago, the song Atmosphere by Kaskade played through my headphones while I wrote a poem about the Hermit card. Without warning, the song’s resonance with the card struck me like lightning. Here are some of the lyrics from the song:
“When I was young I would stand alone / With visions of worlds that were all my own
The lights in the sky weren’t that far away / Living in the vastness of outer space
(Refrain): All my life I’ve been a star/ Holding a light up in the dark
While I try to keep clear/ Of all the waves in your atmosphere”
How could I write something better for the Hermit than that? Although the energy of the song is slightly more up-tempo than what I would associate with the Hermit, the expansiveness of the universe can be felt in that high-energy, synthesized beat. Then, the song takes us down to an almost solo piano; like one soul, in solitude.
I didn’t really do anything with that song and card pairing after that, but it stuck with me over the last two years. Then, a couple of weeks ago, I was on the train and ruminating on Brigit’s characterization of the Devil card while listening to a TF1 session. I thought of another song in my playlist, Addiction by Medina:
“… I am here and it eats me up / but I love the way it feels /
I really shouldn’t stay but I can’t get up / The more it hurts the more I need /
It’s like an addiction / and I can’t break free of the nightmare.”
For me, this song really captured the challenge revealed in the Devil card. The simultaneous pleasure and pain that chains us to a particular negative impulse, habit, person, or addiction.
Inspired, I sought out some more card/song pairings. Because the cards are so contextual and multifaceted, no song is going to fit a card perfectly (although some get pretty close!), but here are four more I discovered, that I think you will find worth exploring.
The Fool – Bigger than my Body, Jon Mayer
Although Bigger than my Body doesn’t literally speak to the beginning of a journey, the song exemplifies that same recognition of the desire to ‘become something more’ that we find in the energy of the Fool card. When I hear the lyrics, “Someday I’ll Fly / Someday I’ll Soar” I can feel the enthusiasm of the Fool as pictured in the Rider-Waite deck, standing on the cliff and looking to the sky.
Strength – Roar, Katy Perry
It may sound obvious, but, for me, Katy Perry’s song, Roar resonates with the Strength card. Not only do we hear the obvious connection in the mention of the lion (“…you’re gonna hear me roar / louder, louder than a lion”), but the song speaks to the artist surfacing her inner strength.
The Star – Living for Love, Madonna
This song really captures both the position (within the Fool’s Journey) and meaning of the Star card. Thematically, Living for Love is about picking up the pieces that have resulted from dealing with the Devil and Tower cards and finding new direction and, ultimately, hope. Some interesting coincidental references in the lyrics are “I was bound to your game” symbolic of the chains in the Devil card and, “Picked up my crown / put it back on my head” a reference to the crown we see falling in the tower card.
The World – Thank You, Alanis Morisette
If the World card is the ‘end’ of the Fool’s Journey, Thank You could be the final credits. For me, this card is like the culmination of a large life cycle; an opportunity to recognize that behind lays a series of teaching moments, each represented by one the Tarot cards in the Major Arcana. Thank You sums up the learning on that journey from a point of reflection.
Making Your Own Playlist
After finding these song and card pairings, the natural next step for me was to imagine a Tarot Playlist that covers all 22 of the Major Arcana. These songs representing the Fool’s Journey could be played in sequence to enhance how the songs resonate with the individual cards and with the journey as a whole. I really enjoyed this process and found it helped me to understand the cards on a whole new level. I definitely recommend you give it a try!
Since there are often multiple aspects of a single card, a mini-playlist for each card could also be created and listened to either in isolation or – again – as a string of songs ordered at a meta-level to follow the Fool’s journey.
For example, I love Map of the Problematique by Muse for the Tower card, but I also love REM’s It’s the End of the World as We Know It as a song for the Tower. The first resonates with the distress part of the Tower card, the second exemplifies that moment where we turn the corner; yes, the world is falling down around my ears, but I’m going to be okay.
This can be used by professional Tarot readers as well. If a card comes up in a reading that you have already paired with a song, you could mention that song to the client as a way to help them resonate with the card’s message or energy and even more importantly, the life lessons behind the card.
Of course, you would also want to leave the door open for them to find music to their taste that represents the card’s message for them. For example, I found the Katy Perry song, Roar, after a long and exhausting battle with my ego. So when I hear this song, it’s a song with a message for my ego. For me, Roar refers to my spirit taking its rightful place at the helm of my being, a sentiment I associate with the Strength card.
For those of you who have been working with the cards for a long time and also love music, you can probably think of a number of song/card pairings that would work right off of the top of your head. The important thing is to find pairings that have meaning and resonance for you.
Below are the song/card pairings I have found thus far. As you can see, I’m missing a few. I would love for you to share pairings that you think would fill in the gaps, and other song/card pairings that you love. Together we can create some amazing 22 (or more) song journeys!
- The Fool – Bigger than my Body, John Mayer
- Magician – Magic, Olivia Newton John
- The High Priestess – Silence, the Delerium or Tiesto version depending on taste
- Empress – Video,Arie
- The Emperor – ?
- The Hierophant – ?
- The Lovers – We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris), Rihanna
- The Chariot – Control, Janet Jackson (another idea: Life is a Highway, Tom Cochrane)
- Strength – Roar, Katy Perry
- The Hermit – Atmosphere, Kaskade
- The Wheel of Fortune – Open, still looking
- Justice – ?
- The Hanged Man – Let it Go, Demi Lovato version
- Death – Walking Dead, Z-Trip
- Temperance – Be Still, Loverush UK!
- The Devil – Addiction, Medina
- The Tower – Map of the Problamatique, Muse (or REM’s The End of the World as we Know It)
- The Star – Living for Love, Madonna
- The Moon – Come Clean, Hillary Duff
- The Sun – Beautiful Day, U2
- Judgment – My Vision, Seal, Jakatta Remix
- The World – Thank You, Alanis Morisette
What songs remind you of Tarot cards? Share yours in the comments below!
About Elizabeth Louw
Elizabeth Louw is a Spiritual Path Consultant and founder of Liquid Mercury Inc. Drawing on her twenty years of Spiritual Path experience, Elizabeth’s mission is to help spiritually conscious individuals find success, love, and fulfillment in their current life experience by understanding and walking their own, unique spiritual paths. Through strategic use of consultation, meditation, and other tools, she helps people find and unblock their paths to become stronger in this lifetime and those to come. Elizabeth works with Tarot in her personal life and is looking forward to bringing it into her professional practice.