Dark Matter and Magic
Dark Matter is 90% of the Universe, unseen, unknown. The Western Magical preoccupation with the Tree of Life has blinded us to the possibilities. The Space around the Tree is vast, unknown, unexplored, a great loss to magick. However, all is not lost, since the Vedic and Tantric traditions discuss the Dark Matter, even if it has not been known by that name.
Shamanistic techniques are the preferred method for accessing Dark Matter, particularly when conjoined with Eastern Technologies and Philosophies, and the Dark Matter crystal Set. There seems to be a belief that Ceremonial Magic is the only way to perform magic. This is fine if you work in a Lodge structure as found in the Golden Dawn, or in Wicca, (whose rituals are GD based), but what if you do not or you work alone? Despite not having been a member of any magical organization, I have been performing magic successfully for many years - and without performing any rituals.
My preferred method for working magick is a mixture of visualization, intention and Shamanism. Shamanism involves working in an altered state of consciousness or trance. There are various methods of inducing trance, and with practice, the trance state can be achieved in seconds. Contemplating the Tarot cards can invoke a trance state, which assists in developing seeing visualizations. The best method for developing trance and visionary states is to use the Counting Technique of the Opening of the Key Spread. Developing Will is closely related to the ability to maintain a trance state. Alcohol and other drugs have been used to develop trance states, and while some drugs will undoubtedly assist in developing concentration and will, you have to ask the question: what do you do if you have to enter a trance state to perform magic, and you have none of the drugs (apart from alcohol almost all of them are illegal), you normally use available?
The spiritual powers behind the Tarot are found in Dark Matter. In particular, the Spirits of Liber 231 ruling the Major Arcana, the Goetia ruling the Minor Cards, and the Enochian Spirits ruling the Aces and Court Cards.
Goetia and the Minor Cards
The Goetic spirits are notorious in the occult world. The 72 Goetic spirits are probably the most misunderstood of all magical systems. The Goetia are discussed in the Abramelin rituals as part of the magician attaining his or her Holy Guardian Angel. The best example in recent times is Aleister Crowley's attempt while at Boleskin, Scotland. The Abramelin book is mediaeval, and so all spirits are portrayed as demonic in some form. The rituals used by magicians to invoke the Goetia have barely changed for centuries, and are unsophisticated at best, and barbaric at worst. The dangers of Goetic ritual are such that the Magician is more likely to harm himself than the intended victim. The nature of the Goetia are coloured by such perceptions. Treat spirits as demonic, and they will appear demonic, and act demonically.
All is not lost since there are divination techniques using the Tarot that will, with practice create a rapport with the Goetic spirits, who will appear voluntarily, and are very friendly and helpful, which is a marked contrast to traditional methods. My own experiences of the Goetia are found in The Tarot and the Magus.
The method used to associate the Goetia with Tarot is rather contrived. Instead of trying to associate them with 72 of the cards, they were instead doubled up as a Night and Day spirit, and associated with the decanates and the Minor cards from the 2's through to the 10's.
Liber 231 and the Major Cards
Liber 231 by Aleister Crowley details two sets of 22 spirits associated with the Major Arcana. The Mercurial set are discussed in the Book of Thoth, while the Imprisoned spirits are not mentioned. Liber 231 itself is very short, since it contains the full set of sigils for each of the spirits, and 22 verses. Kenneth Grant in Nightside of Eden describes his experiences after invoking the spirits using ritual magick (which presupposes a demonic nature - and that is what he found!). Linda Falorio was inspired by Grant's work to create the Shadow Tarot of 22 Major cards, and soon to be published as a full deck of 78 cards. Until recently, Grant and Falorio were the the only published sources, but while I was writing The Tarot and the Magus they appeared, and guided me to write many of the sections of the book.
Enochian Magic is quite possibly the most powerful magical system, but it requires great technical ability and talent. However, Enochian is intimately related to the Tarot, so any magician who is adept at the Tarot will have a head start.