A Comprehensive Course of Study
The Initiatory Path of the Tarot
The Initiatory Path of the Tarot comprises twenty-two lessons—each focused on one major arcana card from the tarot. This course initiates you into the inner worlds of the Western Mysteries through the deep symbolism of the tarot’s major arcana. These twenty-two cards form the foundation of a Western spiritual path. When you engage the potent symbolism of each tarot card through via meditation, ritual, and divination, you open doorways into the deep interior of the self and the collective imaginal world.
The course is taught in seven modules and follows a fun and focused thematic progression: The Court, Guides, Changemakers, Underworld, Stellar World, Virtues, Alchemy.
Registration opens for Module 1- The Court every four months. Click here to receive course announcements and calendar updates.
What Makes this Course The Initiatory Path of the Tarot Unique?
1. Harnesses the Power of the “Primary Symbol Group”
In recent research for an upcoming book, I made a side-by-side comparison of major arcana cards spanning 500 years. Through careful observation and tabulation, I derived the “primary symbol group” for each major arcana card—the core collection of symbols that have gathered around each card’s archetype since the tarot’s inception.
When you consider this symbolic core, an essential message is revealed which often profoundly deepens your understanding of the card and connects you to an authentic tradition behind the Tarot.
This course emphasizes the importance of each card’s “primary symbol group” and distinguishes between this symbol group and the “extended symbol group”—correspondences based on other systems such as astrology and the Kabbalah.
2. Flows with the Lunar Cycle
Lessons flow with the lunar cycle and begin on the new moon with a specially crafted divination. I approach divination as in ancient times, not as a simple foretelling of the past, present or future, but as a means of receiving guidance and teaching from inner sources of wisdom.
As the moon waxes (grows to full), you practice an active meditation approach to the inner worlds that employs the creative imagination. Each meditation takes you to the mythical “Land of Oma,” an inner representation of the axis mundi (cosmic axis, world pillar, navel of the world). The Land of Oma when visited regularly is a potent tool for gaining insight and bridging your inner and outer worlds.
Yggdrasil, the Norse world tree, and an example of axis mundi.
During the waning moon, I encourage you to take a more receptive approach with a meditation grounded in stillness and surrender.
Along with training in divination and meditation, each lesson provides you with instructions for ritual. Ritual is action of a symbolic nature done with intent. Rituals are often, but not always, performed on the full moon.
Within the Western Mysteries, ritual is used to focus your mind, imagination and desire towards experiencing the numinous and to participate in acts of creation, communication, and celebration.
Each lesson builds upon the previous as your ritual skill-set advances.
3. Follows a Fun and Focused Thematic Progression
Instead of following the traditional numbered sequence of the major arcana, these lessons are grouped into the 7 thematic modules plus an optional concluding project:
The Court: Fool, Empress, Emperor
These three lessons set important groundwork for meditation and
ritual practice. Exercises include: The Fool on Mt. Eru, Taking Flight,
Full Moon Ritual, Alpha Male Spread.
Guides: High Priestess, Hierophant, Hermit
Become acquainted with key guides in the Land of Oma. Exercises
include: Magda’s Cave, Initiation Spread, Ritual of Purification
Changemakers: Magician, Chariot, Wheel of Fortune
Harness the power of the Changemakers. Exercises include:
Magic in the Marketplace, Invoking Change Spread, Seeding the Inner,
Empowering a Talisman.
Underworld: Hanged Man, Death, Devil
Visit three manifestations of the underworld (temenos, crypt, and cornucopia). Exercises include: Dance of Death, Letting Go Ritual, Feast of Shadows, Seeds of Fertility.
Stellar World: Tower, Star, Moon, Sun
Important inner contacts await. Learn more advanced skills. Exercises include: Caer Rosyn: Tower of Secrets, Soul Loss Spread, Lighting the Eternal Flame Ritual, In the Library with Ogma.
Virtues: Strength, Justice, Temperance
Success in the Great Work of personal transformation depends upon the development and exercise of virtue. Where do you stand? Exercises include: Empowering Fortitude, Subtle Body Spread, To the River Dika, Bow of Promise Spread.
Alchemy: Lovers, Judgement, World
Foster the alchemy of conjunction—the marriage of opposites—and the production of the Philosopher’s Stone. Exercises include: At the Forge, Coniunctio Spread, Seat of Reckoning, Stirring Up Spirit, Sophia.
Joseph Campbell, author of The Hero with a Thousand Faces, outlined three main stages of the mythic quest: departure, initiation and return. In the final stage, the quester gives back to the community by teaching what they have learned. Likewise, in the second half of this course students begin a specialized study and may be invited to share their project with the Hermetic Rose community. In order to keep a Tradition vital, there must be those that actively contribute— those who push at the edges and weave the tapestry that is the Tradition. This final exercise is devoted to this important task.
What You Get With Each Lesson
Each lesson is comprised of text, video, and audio material. Images augment all lessons. I demonstrate many exercises on video and the instructions for all exercises can be followed online or can be downloaded as a PDF. Each lesson includes:
Once a month live stream Q & A session with Kate. Sessions are recorded and can be accessed later for those who cannot attend at the scheduled time. (The length of each session depends on the number of people enrolled in the course, typically an hour.)
10-15 page printable PDF packed with information and images explaining the history and meaning of the card’s symbolism from the tarot’s inception in the 15th century and reveals the mythological underpinnings of the tarot. (This PDF is a pre-publication draft chapter of a soon to be released book!)
A correspondence chart of the tarot key’s “extended symbol group,” these are attributions from other symbol systems like astrology and kabbalah.
A divination guide based on the discoveries that the primary and extended symbol groups reveal.
A guided meditation for developing your inner connection to the card’s archetype (audio file available for download).
A uniquely designed and tested tarot spread specific to the lesson material. This spread is crafted to personalize the teachings as they apply to you and your life. (Layout and instructions available for download.)
A scripted ritual incorporating material from the lesson’s work. (Video demonstrations included, instructions available for download.)
Access to an online discussion forum where you can meet others on the same path and get additional support and feedback from myself and others.
Prerequisites and Requirements
There are no prerequisites. But, I recommend that you have some basic knowledge of the tarot. If you want a tarot refresher before embarking on the Initiatory Path of the Tarot, you might enjoy the free introductory course Learn the Tarot described here.
While taking the Initiatory Path of the Tarot, you will need:
A Waite-Smith tarot deck. (You may wish to use a deck other than the Waite-Smith. This is fine, but it will work best if you use it side-by-side the Waite-Smith deck.)
A notebook or binder to serve as your tarot journal.
There are no required books. However, I provide lists of optional reading at different points in the course.
At a minimum, I also recommend you put aside about 30 minutes a day on the exercises and lesson material. You will receive the most benefit from a regular daily practice. The more you put into the course, the more you get out of it. Therefore we expect students to:
Be committed to increasing self-knowledge
Make an effort in pursuing the practices
Keep an open and inquiring heart and mind
Have a respectful attitude to others in the community.
I encourage you to participate in the discussion forum and attend live stream sessions when they occur. But, how much time you wish to spend as part of the community is up to you.
You can receive help and get your questions answered by participating on the forum where I or someone else will answer can answer your questions. I monitor the forum frequently. If you feel the need for a more in depth or private response, you can purchase additional consultation time with me.
The rewards of this course are skill, knowledge, and spiritual connection. With sincere and consistent effort you can expect to:
Gain understanding and insight about the symbolism and the meanings of the major arcana cards, as well as the major traditions that are encompassed by the Western Mysteries.
Learn how to use the tarot for personal divination and have at your disposal 22 unique spreads for specific purposes, such as New Beginnings, Inner Work, Deliberation, Soul Loss, Healing, Growth.
Create a tarot journal containing your associations, meanings and personal insights gleaned from your readings. Your journal becomes an indispensable resource for understanding future readings and your personal symbolic language.
Become adept with the ritual practices of the Western Mystery Tradition.
Receive the health and emotional benefits of meditation. You may also experience peace, feel connected to the pulse of life, and access an inner source of creativity from your meditations.
Establish a personalized and integrated spiritual practice that you can further develop after you finish the course.
By the end of the course, you will have an evolving map of your inner worlds that you can navigate to seek wisdom and support in your continued search for self-knowledge and the expansion of consciousness through the integration of the inner and the outer, the dark and the light.
Through this, you are working the western spiritual tradition that is the Tarot.
How Much Does the Course Cost?
The twenty-two lesson Initiatory Path of the Tarot is purchased by the module. The seven modules are The Court, Guides, Changemakers, Underworld, Stellar World, Virtues, Alchemy.
Each module costs US $297. Monthly payment plans ($99/month) are available. Discounts are also available when you purchase more than one module at a time. The lessons included with each module are automatically delivered to you one-by-one every 28 days. Payment can be made by credit or debit card.
With the first module FREE bonuses include:
A copy of The Tarot Court Cards by Kate Warwick-Smith (Inner Traditions, 2003), a $16.95 value.
A spiral bound copy of Learn the Tarot for Self Discovery, Insight, and Fun by Kate Warwick-Smith, a $19.95 value
An optional, complementary 30 minute phone call with Kate to discuss your learning objectives for the course, a $50 value.
How to Get Started
Registration opens to new students every four months, around the time of the Solstices and Equinoxes. Click on the GET STARTED button below to sign up to receive notification when registration opens for Module 1: The Court.
Still have questions, read the FAQ or contact me.