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Portable Divination - How to make a travelling tarot kit?

Posted by Esra Dagtekin on


Home is where the cards are, our sacred of all places. It’s only natural that when we’re planning to go for a long holiday or are always on the move, we feel drawn to carry our decks everywhere with us. What if we suddenly feel a call or get inspired for a reading? Too often though, our practice and sometimes altars are big and complex due to the flexibility and freedom of our homes. This makes them too complex to carry with. Not to worry, this blog post attempts to cover all your alternatives!

What to add to your travel tarot kit?

We all have different practices, rituals and needs when it comes to divination, but to put it simple, a good travelling tarot kit for an on-the-go reading consists of at least three things:

  1. Your choice of divination. With cards, poker-sized or ‘mini’ tarots work better than traditional sizes.
  2. A means of ground and cleansing. Don’t take Palo Santo or sage because you don't usually use a whole stick in one go, thus you're risking to smudge your cards and bag black or in dry leaf crumbles if you store them together. Consider quartz stones, rock salt or candles as a cleansing alternative. Crystals can double as a meditative medium, too, and can help you ‘open’ and ‘close’ yourself. This is especially important in new places where energies are unregulated.
  3. A means of keeping your tools safe and clean, be it a bag or a cloth for any surface.

For some people, this is literally all they have even at home. Theoretically, the post can stop right here, but for others, certain altar pieces or rituals are inseparable. So here are a few ways to optimise your travel tarot kit.

Fill up your tarot bag!

A golden rule for compact travelling with tarot: take whatever fits in your tarot bag. Bags are much more versatile than boxes, taking up space more flexibly, and you can always fit something more in it.

In the picture below, a 17x22cm Fantôme Tarot Bag has been, for experimental purposes, stuffed with a random selection of things from a divination corner. Without fault, the bag fit inside the Fairy Tale Tarot Deck, the Dreaming Lenormand, an owl tarot cloth, a pocket guidebook, a small notepad, a card holder, a mini pentacle symbol statuette, a small deity statue, a premade spell-jar, four tumbled crystals, some leftover wax candles for sealing small notes, and still it had space left. Many people don’t even need this much and won’t end up filling your bag to the brim.

Pro tip: play around with a would-be holiday tarot kit in advance, see what you can comfortably fit in a bag and try carrying it around with you for a few experimental days. Depending on your needs, a tarot bag can fit small props like a religious icon, a prayer book, candle stands and more.

Consider Lenormand cards

When you’re really tight on space or your trips are tiny, Lenormands are the choice for on-the-go divinations. Lenormands have a few advantages over tarot, but their main one is that they're always poker sized and are only 36 cards thick! You can even fit them in a large purse.

Chances are, you're not gonna be asking cosmic level questions on a short trip, so you can use them for quicker, more down to earth daily divination. Check out this introduction to Lenormands and how they compare to tarot, and absolutely download the free, mobile-friendly La Muci Lenormand Guidebook!

 

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Magick box as a portable altar

Chances are, you already have a chest or special drawer where you store your tools when not in use. While it might not be travel compatible, you can use that same logic to invest into a generic travelling purse, like those messenger bags with many pockets that you take on a plane.

If you're thinking less holiday and more travelling between two homes or cities often, and/or you're more flexible with space, you could bring your entire altar in a compact way. Again, same pro tip: experiment with fitting things in advance. WIth enough practice, you can seamlessly fit things into your container of choice like in the gif below.

That box just fit half an altar of someone who travels between towns regularly, and among many other smaller things: a big handmade ritual knife, handmade candle holder and incense holder, a wooden cross, a small speaker for sound mediation and a 188-beaded tiger-eye necklace. All not easy to carry, but in a box it can fit in a large backpack along with a laptop.

Think about using a paper altar.

If you can't afford to take any altar elements with you due to weight or other worries, you can also work with a paper altar! Draw one in your journal, or even print a picture of it with you if it helps. It might feel silly, but it's common for divination witches to have some form of an altar drawn in their grimoire or book of shadows. The box owner above has a special connection with a postcard which reminds her of her Guidances that she carries in a tarot bag when low on space as a portable altar locator.

A tarot bag serving as a holder for the tarot kit

Consider Pendulums in your tarot kit.

Pendulums can easily be carried in your pocket, making them the most portable divination tool. Some pendulum boards are portable, too, but if you're too worried it might get damaged, you can: use a pendulum with tarot, or, draw a board in your journal or on plain paper!

Side note: Have you tried adventurously deciding on a menu item with a pendulum before while overseas? How's that for Foolish!

Consider... playing cards, and other local products.

Let's imagine you decided not to take anything, and regretted it. Not to fear! If you're on holiday, a new deck of poker cards are not only a meat souvenir, but also pretty much the entire Minor Arcana (except for Pages) at your disposal. Just never play with them, because you can't divinate on played cards. And, for future purposes, if you're ever unsure about the safety of your tarot cards, you can always have an emergency deck of poker cards that you won't be as worried about wearing out.

On another note, there are things that you can easily buy and discard at your destination. Is it hard to find colored candles, cinnamon and other knick knacks in a store? You might find local twigs or seashells to turn into a makeshift altar. Perhaps, you want to leave your crystals in case you find a special, new gem in your travels, or even a whole new deck in a spiritual store. Allowing purchases to happen and being ready for them is usually how things that are meant to find us - find us!

Post scriptum

Travelling tarot kits are unique to many and can look like many things. Hopefully, this post gave you a lot of inspiration for your travelling plans or on-the-go kits. Do you think La Muci should provide portable tarot kits? If you have any ideas or personal tips to add, feel free to do so in the comment section. Until next time!

 

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