Written by AndEl of CrystalWind.ca
The Tarot (pronounced tair-row) is a combination of teachings that reflect the aspects of life, a symbolic "book of life" in the form of pictures that can be read or meditated on from "cover to cover". It can also be opened randomly for insights to issues. As a source of information, it is actually a channel by which pictures bring the situation to light and explain what caused it to occur. Those same pictures depict how the situation is being played out as well as the predicted outcome when placed in "spreads" of various patterns. That outcome will be in accordance to the choices that have currently been made by the client as well as outside influences which they have little or no control over. The Querrent (person asking the question), needs to be informed of this so they understand that they have free will and can apply it if they so choose. The Tarot is informative, enlightening, and it's accurate.
The Tarot's history is veiled in the mists of time, surrounded by myths and legends, superstition, and diverse speculation. It speaks a language that is born of the universal collective mind through archetypes and symbols that range across the boundaries of astrology, numerology, mystical wisdom, religious teachings, and other psychic sciences. There are many stories as to its origin. Some say that the Tarot came from the Hierophants (priests of the Eleusinian Mysteries), the Gypsies, the Egyptians, the Jews, the Chinese, from India, the Hebrew Kabbalistic teachings, on and on. These teachings were handed down as the Major Arcana; cards representing the outside influences of one's life that remained out of the individual's control, alongside the Minor Arcana representing the individual and influences within daily life over which they did have control.
The Tarot does reveal the past, present, and future in a shroud of mystery and interesting perspectives. It is a living universal language that has merged with other occult secrets over the years and grown as a result. Today we have many different decks available and they cater to just about any persuasion you can imagine. These wide ranging decks are all based on the same premise and are simply variations on the same stories each card tells. The choice is yours as to which deck you would like to explore and work with, but it should be based on the deck that appeals to you, not the success of someone else.
Whatever the original source of the Tarot, the very earliest records show them in European museums around 1390 and origin is said to go back to the 12th century. Among occultists the Marseilles Tarot was considered to be the purest source. Waite was able to restore a large portion of the original symbolic meanings and this is the deck most people prefer to work with and teach from so it will be used here as an example. This is the Rider Waite deck sold in stores today.
The Tarot Deck Itself
The deck consists of 78 cards. Of those, 56 cards form four suits of the Minor Arcana (the basis of todays playing cards), and 22 cards of the Major Arcana. The Minor Arcana depict events, thoughts, actions, and choices to be faced in daily life while the Major Arcana depict the outside forces that come into play beyond our control.
Care of the deck is important. When you obtain your deck you should sleep with it for 7 nights under your pillow. This allows your subconscious energies to merge with it and helps to build a channel through which impressions will begin to flow. During the day you can handle them and examine them closely to tie your physical energies to them and get a feel for their messages. During this initial acclimation period it is important not to let anyone handle your cards. They are going to pick up vibrations from all they come into contact with and it is best to keep them with you and as close to your body as possible. Sleeping with them attunes them to your energy and you to theirs.
Many prefer to take one card each day and meditate on its meanings to get to know them better. Keep an amethyst with each deck (I have a variety of decks I've collected over the years) to keep their energy clean. When others handle the cards during the reading and shuffle it is possible to leave their residual energies on the cards…these can be negative so keeping them clean is important. The amethyst is generally enough, but should you have a reading for a client that has a perceived negative energy field around them it is best to "work" the cards for awhile. By this I mean several minutes of shuffling and cutting them. Over time you will develop a "feel" for when they are dysfunctional. (I can tell as soon as I turn the first card or two and I automatically start to work them back into place. I do this intuitively and it has served me well.) As you become more accustomed to working with the cards you will get your own feel for how that interaction is meant to go, we are all a little different and slight variances in methods are normal.
Do NOT allow anyone to handle your cards except when shuffling or cutting before a reading. The more you, yourself, handle them the better your results will become. Handling the cards impregnates them with your energy progressively over time and older decks are quite amazing with the amount of information and accuracy that is achieved. For this reason, readers take good care of their cards to avoid damage and insure prolonged life. A new deck is not nearly as responsive as an older one, it takes time to break it in, and the more you use it the better your results become. You, as a new Reader, need to be aware of that as your initial readings may seem vague at first.
To insure unwanted vibrations are not accumulating, never leave them laying around the house, or place them near things that are often used by others. Doing so will invite vibrations that will most certainly confuse your readings. Do keep them someplace safe: near your own things in a drawer, cloth bag, or small cedar box. Many people prefer working with two decks…one for material questions and the other for spiritual enlightenment. (Personally I feel the question itself defines the issues and I use a single deck for everything.) As you progress you will find the methods that work best for you.
Before placing your cards in a box, many people like to wrap them in a silk cloth corresponding to their astrological color--the one they find stimulates them harmoniously. It is often felt that it stimulates the mind adding to the positive energies of the card's auric energies in conjunction with yours.
Signs and Tarot Colors:
- Aries = Light red
- Taurus = Dark yellow
- Gemini = Light violet
- Cancer = Green
- Leo = Orange
- Virgo = Dark violet
- Libra = Light yellow
- Scorpio = Dark red
- Sagittarius = Light purple
- Capricorn = Dark blue
- Aquarius = Light blue
- Pisces = Dark purple
Planets and Tarot Colors:
- Sun = Orange
- Moon = Green
- Mercury = Violet
- Venus = Yellow
- Mars = Red
- Jupiter = Purple
- Saturn = Blue
- Uranus = Neon White
- Neptune = Iridescence
- Pluto = Ultraviolet
The Tarot Reading Environment
Where you read the cards is also something that is important to be aware of. Any flat surface will work and some people like to use a special table or Tarot-board they create for themselves. It is not necessary, but some feel differently. It should be an area big enough to accommodate the largest spread you would use; unvarnished and unpainted so it will take on your vibrations. Something as simple as a portable breadboard works great. Use a cloth bag of velvet to store the board, but many prefer to read on a silk scarf, so you'll have to experiment with what works best for you.
The reading environment is important. Working in a place where there has been discord brings an uncomfortable or disruptive energy to the reading with it's lower vibratory frequencies. Working in a public setting can be very disruptive to the reading as there are too many distractions for the beginner. Higher energies are needed and a strong focus is required. After you are accustomed to reading you can read anywhere, but by then you have learned to recognize the disruptive energies and know how to block them out or will elect to personally suggest moving the reading to a different location. Peaceful, quiet environments are best. Avoiding distracting small talk just prior to and during the reading is recommended as a definite focus brings more information and accuracy.
The person you are reading for should sit across from you, you should face North and the other person should face South to follow the natural magnetic flow of earth's energies. If you are reading for someone who is absent the position changes and you should face East, the source of your higher inspiration. The same thing applies if reading for yourself. Many readers feel that they are unable to read for themselves and this is common as too much insight into current conditions and the various meanings of each card tempt the interpretation to be one of denial or embellishment. Even on a subconscious level with emotional issues or those that are imperative to successful ventures, despite our need to know, we tend to embellish. For this reason most Readers will do a fair-trade-reading with others of like or similar ability.
Before a reading always ask a new client if they have ever had their cards read before. Advise all clients that there is a need for seriousness, how the process works (if they have never had a reading before) and the method by which they are to shuffle and cut the cards. This should take no more than a few brief minutes of your time. Joking, small talk, and banter detract from the accuracy. As you get proficient with the readings you will gain better control, but remember the client won't and it's important for the client to be focused as they are the subject of the reading and what you have to share with them is accordingly instrumental in the decisions they make. The best way to prevent small-talk is to ask the client to think about the issue they are concerned with while shuffling takes place.
A brief discussion of the situation at hand should be held prior to the reading. This allows a question to be set firmly in mind aiding the reception of a definite answer. All other desires and thoughts need to be set aside by both parties. The question should be clarified so they can be addressed properly. As the reading begins the cards will draw a picture of the events leading up to the current situation and that will address the client's apprehension as to your perceptive abilities automatically. The see this validation and open wider to what it coming through in the cards.
Ask the client to think of the question they have in mind or about the issue as they shuffle. Ask them not to present their question until you have shared what you are getting initially. This creates validation as to accuracy in a very direct way and eases any apprehension they may have. As the reading progresses they often will confirm or adjust the perspective somewhat and that brings more to light. From that adjusted perspective the rest of the reading falls into place and the results astound clients leaving them quite satisfied and amazed.
Even with the silent client that listens intently and does not give you a clue as to your being able to pinpoint issues, the reading itself will make sense to them. With people like this or those who don't know what question to ask offer a "general overview" that can be expanded upon later. These types of clients often confirm it afterward, present questions that clarify the spread and direct the focus properly for greater details to emerge.
Knowing the variations of each card, how they are affected by the cards next to them, and the direction the results are taking defines the interpretation further. Experience will show that it all falls into place quite naturally and the channel between you and your cards opens wider. With each client session try and do 3 separate spreads. This lends credence to the issue at hand, it clarifies points not comprehended fully, drives an issue home if it is being ignored, and takes the information to greater depth if the client is taking it in properly. This generally takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete the three spreads.
Finally, you need to address the issue of client confidentiality. This is critical to your success as a Reader and the client base you are building. Assuring the client that the information being exchanged will be held in the strictest of confidence is conducive to building a good rapport and puts them at ease from the start. Tell clients that you are in the business of spiritual counseling and treat each reading as a doctor or lawyer would: ethically, with integrity, and full respect for their privacy.
You can discuss issues from client experiences from time to time with others, but NEVER indicate which client being referred to. It is always "a client" and left at that. The only time to exchange this type of information is to demonstrate by example either the method or accuracy of the results obtained and how validation showed in a similar experience. (When I began reading I would say my accuracy level was about 50%. I read the cards for family and friends initially and as I began to see that level rise expansion came about by reading for their friends because word was spreading. Today I rate myself in the high 90% range. Between you and I it is close to 98%, but I do not tell that to a client. There is always room for error, we are human, and I leave that open by saying I am in the high 90% range.)
Inform all clients that you are not responsible for the information that is brought to light. When doing a reading the information comes through the spiritual link you have developed, sometimes in conjunction with spirit guides that may be present, and never from you as a source. You are the channel for that information and the cards are the canvas on which the painted pictures appear. This leaves the responsibility for that information in the hands of the client and it's source-where it belongs!
Often when reading for a client the most personal and sensitive issues are brought into the matters at hand. This is often embarrassing and can cause the client to tighten up and withdraw unless they have the reassurance that this is a confidential session and will go no further. If you talk about what information comes through and involve the client's name in such conversations with others your reputation will become mud overnight. Word-of-mouth is your best form of advertising and you want it to be excellent.
In conclusion, the client needs to be reminded that they have choices in these matters and those choices will directly effect the outcome of the given situation. They need to know that the outcome predicted is relative to the choices they have made so far and the outside influences that may be beyond their control. NEVER predict death or destruction of someone's life. If you see these issues coming to bear on a situation express them as cautions against those conditions. It is always best to offer alternative solutions or imply the client needs to find them on their own or risk a negative situation. NEVER take responsibility for the choices your clients make, the results of a given reading, or the outcome that follows in their lives. You are merely the messenger, not the cause or effect, and there is no reason for you to carry that weight.
How The Tarot Functions
The characteristics of the cards are general and interpretation depends on many things. When shuffled the cards naturally fall in an upright or reversed position and that alters their meaning accordingly. The nearness to (and combination with) other cards affect the interpretation, as does the frequency or dominance of a suit. For example, if the spread of the cards is dominated by Wands there will be a focus on changes and goals; dominated by Cups there will be good news and happiness as a focus; dominated by Swords there will be striving to attain things; Pentacles/Coins will address finances, career, and wealth.
The Tarot is a science of vibration, spiritual matters, divination by cards, and by numbers. When the cards are shuffled the subconscious mind directs the motion and results. The range of our subconscious perception exceeds that of the physical senses and functions as a link or channel that can contact any source of information beyond that which the individual possesses. As soon as the subconscious mind focuses its attention on obtaining specific information the psychic senses respond. Many times spiritual Guides enter into the input of a reading, if yu are missing a point of importance or slipping off in a wrong direction. They will step in and emphasize things or redirect the focus. Concentrating on a specific question is important. It adds energy used to gather the facts. As you gain experience you learn to feel that energy present in the room and in the cards. It directs how you will read them, and determines the way they will fall. Many times I receive an intuitive impression to set aside a traditional interpretation of a card for something totally different. I go with that impression or end up regretting it later. Trust your impressions! Experience will demonstrate this again and again. The accuracy of the information received depends on the ability of the Reader's subconscious to perceive the nudges it's getting to bring it through. This involves the use of ESP or your heightened senses and trusting in yourself to be accurate. The subconscious mind does not question, it simply responds. Training your mind to focus and intuit and your body to feel shuts out the irrelevant side issues.
The cards are shuffled and the querrent is told that the truth will be revealed no matter what they want the outcome to be. Holding the question in mind, the shuffling begins. Some people tell their clients to shuffle once, cut the cards three times with their left hand (changing the direction the cards are facing in the process), and repeat these steps two more times for a series of three shuffles. Others will have the cards spread out and ask the client to stir them up. Some will shuffle and cut for the client, spread the cards out on the table in a sweeping motion and have the client draw the appropriate number or one card at a time as the spread progresses. This is an effective method. There are specific spreads used as "layouts" that focus on drawing in certain elements of perception. While many readers use them, and have a couple theymploy on a regular basis, the choice of spreads is optional. Another method that to use is to tell the client to shuffle and cut the cards until they feel it is time to stop. If they take too long tell them it's enough.
The decks are oversized when compared to normal playing cards making them awkward for clients to handle. Intuitively shuffle for them if you feel they are struggling and then allow them to pick the cards individually from the deck. Either the overhand or the riffle shuffle is fine, just stay with what works best for you. Cutting and reversing can be done in a pre-set manner or intuitively. Cards are always read from YOUR perspective. Thus, a card that is upright is seen in it's most positive interpretation and a reversed position represents the negative connotations of that particular card and situation. As each card is turned from top to bottom and read as it appears. Each card is an event or influence following the last card read. Spreads use Key card positions to represent these events or influences, and random draws simply tell a story from start to finish without definitive timelines. The scope of a reading is always limited by the present situation and past of the querrent. Unless otherwise specified by the selected spread, most readings will extend outwards of 3 months. In spreading out the cards the right hand is considered positive (when dominant and vice versa for the dominant left). So to balance the magnetic flow of the current between them the cards are dealt from left (incoming information) to the right (outgoing information) unless specific patterns are used. Layouts are face down and the remaining cards are set aside. Then as you read you turn each card letting it influence those that follow and the message unfolds. Trust the message as it comes through to you. Practice and feedback as the client experiences events will become your validation for accuracy.
Overview of Major and Minor Arcana
The Major Arcana Tarot cards (also known as the trump cards) form the foundation of the Tarot deck and consists of twenty-one numbered cards and one unnumbered card (the Fool). They represent a path to spiritual self-awareness and depict the various stages we encounter as we search for greater meaning and understanding. In this way, they hold deeply meaningful lessons.
The Major Arcana Tarot card meanings illustrate the structure of human consciousness and, as such, hold the keys to life lessons passed down through the ages. The imagery of the Major Arcana Tarot cards is filled with wisdom from multiple cultures and esoteric traditions, including the Egyptian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Hebrew and Christian religions.
In his book Pocket Guide to Tarot, Alan Oken suggests that the twenty-two Major Arcana cards are like the mandalas of the Tarot. Mandalas are detailed images painted onto canvas and used as spiritual study and meditation aids by the Tibetans.
Therefore it is important to study the images of the Major Arcana cards and contemplate their messages. Look beyond the simple keywords and traditional Tarot card meanings, and seek out your own personal meanings of these significant cards. The more you understand about their symbolism, the deeper your understanding of what they represent.
The Major Arcana cards can also represent Carl Jung’s archetypes – consistent, directing patterns of influence that are an inherent part of human nature. They are themes which mark, portray and symbolise stages in our psyche whereby we aim to become a balanced and integrated person. Along this journey, we encounter challenges, face adversity, perform labours, make hard decisions and fight opposing forces. Each step of the way brings us closer to enlightenment. This is often referred to as the journey of the Fool.
Major Arcana Cards in a Tarot Reading
When a Tarot reading is predominantly made up of Major Arcana Tarot cards, the client is experiencing life-changing events which will have long-term influences. There are important lessons which the client must pay attention to in order to progress further in their spiritual and personal quest.
If many of the Major Arcana Tarot cards are reversed, however, it is indicative that the client is not paying attention to these important life lessons and must return to the lesson of the previous card before moving forward.
Major Arcana Tarot Spreads
It is possible to conduct a Tarot reading only using the twenty-two Major Arcana cards. This method is typically used for Tarot readings relating to spiritual self-awareness or where you require deep insight from the collective unconscious.
Major Arcana Tarot Card Meanings
The Suites of The Minor Arcana
The Suit of Wands is representative of the element of Fire. The Suit of Wands Tarot card meanings are associated with primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion, original thought and the seeds through which life springs forth. Wands deal with the spiritual level of consciousness and mirror what is important to you at the core of your being. They address what makes us tick – our personalities, egos, enthusiasms, self-concepts, and personal energy, both internal and external.
Wands are also indicative of all things that you do during the day to keep you busy, be it working at the office, home or the great outdoors. Wands have to do with movement, action and initiatives and the launching of new ideas. They may be indicative of a never-ending ‘Ideas List’ or ‘To Do List’, whereby the client has many projects on the go to keep them busy.
The negative aspects of the Suit of Wands (i.e. when the Wands cards appear reversed) include illusion, egotistical behaviour, impulsiveness, a lack of direction or purpose, or feeling meaningless.
When referring to timing in a Tarot reading, the Suit of Wands traditionally represents Summer or weeks. In a deck of playing cards, Wands corresponds to Clubs.
Suit of Wands Personality Characteristics
Wands represent the Fire signs of Leo, Sagittarius and Aries. Wands people (as typically seen in the Court Cards) are energetic, charismatic, warm, spiritual.
Wands Cards in a Tarot Reading
Should a Tarot reading be predominantly Wands cards, then you can be sure that the client is seeking solutions to issues that are based mainly in the realm of thought, or are in the first stages of development. The client may also be seeking greater purpose and meaning in their lives and will want to understand more about what motivates and energises them.
The Suit of Cups is representative of the element of water.The Suit of Cups Tarot card meanings deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections. Cups are about displays of emotion, expression of feelings and the role of emotions in relation to others. The Cups Tarot cards indicate that you are thinking with your heart rather than your head, and thus reflect your spontaneous responses and your habitual reactions to situations. Cups are also linked to creativity, romanticism, fantasy and imagination.
The negative aspects of the Suit of Cups (i.e. when the Cups cards appear reversed) include being overly emotional or completely disengaged and dispassionate, having unrealistic expectations and fantasising about what could be. There may be repressed emotions, an inability to truly express oneself and a lack of creativity.
The Suit of Cups traditionally represents the west and autumn. If using an ordinary deck of playing cards, Cups are represented by the Suit of Hearts.
Suit of Cups Personality Characteristics
The people represented by the Suit of Cups (i.e. typically the Court Cards) are emotional, artistic, humane and creative. They are connected with their emotional selves and will draw energy from what they feel within. They are said to correspond to the water signs in the zodiac (Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio) and to water as a symbol of the subconscious mind and reason.
Cups Cards in a Tarot Reading
Should a Tarot reading be predominantly Cups cards, then you can be sure that the client is seeking solutions to what are primarily emotional conflicts, love matters and emotions.
The Suit of Swords Tarot card meanings are associated with action, change, force, power, oppression, ambition, courage and conflict. Action can be both constructive and/or destructive, sometimes resulting in violence. This suit can also mean hatred, battle, and enemies, and of all the suits, this one is considered to be the most powerful and dangerous.
The Suit of Swords deals with the mental level of consciousness that is centred around the mind and the intellect. Swords mirror the quality of mind present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs. Swords themselves are double-edged and in this way the Suit of Swords symbolises the fine balance between intellect and power and how these two elements can be used for good or evil. As such, the Swords must be balanced by spirit (Wands) and feeling (Cups).
The negative aspects of the Suit of Swords (i.e. when the Swords cards appear reversed) include anger, guilt, harsh judgement, a lack of compassion and verbal and mental abuse.
When referring to timing in a Tarot reading, the Suit of Swords traditionally represents Winter or Spring, or months. In a deck of playing cards, Swords corresponds to Spades.
Suit of Swords Personality Characteristics
Swords represent the Air signs of Aquarius, Libra and Gemini. Swords people (as typically seen in the Court Cards) are intelligent, thoughtful, rational, logical and excellent communicators. They are rational beings and like to experience the world by understanding and analysing what is occurring around them. On the flipside, Swords people can be ruthless, domineering, confrontational and rigid.
Swords Cards in a Tarot Reading
Should a Tarot reading be predominantly Swords cards, then you can be sure that the client is seeking solutions to what are primarily mental struggles, conflict and arguments, and decisions which must be made. Also, there could be many arguments or even violence at present. While Swords can carry with them many negative or very strong, forceful messages, Swords serve also as a warning to be more cautious of what is occurring around you.
The Suit of Pentacles(also known as Coins or Disks) is representative of the element of Earth. The Suit of Pentacles Tarot card meanings cover material aspects of life including work, business, trade, property, money and other material possessions. The positive aspects of the Suit of Pentacles include manifestation, realisation, proof and prosperity.
Pentacles deal with the physical or external level of consciousness and thus mirror the outer situations of your health, finances, work, and creativity. They have to do with what we make of our outer surroundings – how we create it, shape it, transform it and grow it. On a more esoteric level, Pentacles are associated with the ego, self-esteem and self-image.
The negative aspects of the Suit of Pentacles (i.e. when the Pentacles cards appear reversed) include being possessive, greedy and overly materialistic, over-indulging and not exercising, not effectively managing one’s finances, and being overly focused on career to the detriment of other life priorities. Often what is required to counteract these negative aspects is a return to nature to ground oneself and rediscover what is truly important. In addition, there may be blockages in being able to manifest ideas and plans resulting in a lack of success. Better goal-setting and planning is required.
When referring to timing in a Tarot reading, the Suit of Pentacles traditionally represents Autumn or years. In a deck of playing cards, Pentacles corresponds to Diamonds.
Suit of Pentacles Personality Characteristics
Pentacles represent the Earth signs of Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn. Pentacles people (as typically seen in the Court Cards) are practical, career-minded, down-to-earth and generous. They are tactile beings and like to experience the physical, tangible world. They are connect through the senses and seek pleasurable and sometimes indulgent experiences.
Pentacles Cards in a Tarot Reading
Should a Tarot reading be predominantly Pentacles cards, then you can be sure that the client is seeking solutions to what are primarily material conflicts, financial matters and concerns with career and work.
THE CELTIC CROSS
***This spread is the preferred spread. It is very simple to read, it is efficient, and it makes the most sense to those who you are reading for. There are books on the market that give interpretations, methods of reading, and other spreads if you want to explore those options. However, of all of them this is the most efficient and easily remembered.
**In any spread the card layout is face down. They are then turned over one at a time as the reading proceeds. This keeps the client's attention on what you are telling them. Clients are fascinated with the cards and the pictures they contain, thus they are easily distracted by seeing "what's up next".
In the form of a cross, placement is as follows:
Card 1 on top, below it card 2, below it card 3, to the left of card 2 is card 4, over card 1 is card 5, to the right of card 2 is card 6. In a descending line to the right side are cards: 7, 8, 9, 10
Card 1: The general atmosphere or situation.
Card 2: Obstacles or issues that interfere or enhance.
Card 3: The distant past and its lesson giving the world view held by the querrent/client.
Card 4: The recent past (last couple of months or so...3-12 month periods as a rule) and event/s leading to the current situation.
Card 5: Current thoughts of actions to be taken, preparation not yet acted upon.
Card 6: The near future (next 6-8 weeks or so).
Card 7: Hopes the querrent holds about the situation, things wished for to resolve it.
Card 8: The environment around the issue: social, vocational, personal, and family matters either supportive or interfering. The opinions of others, family, and friends.
Card 9: These are the fears held or your querrent's idea about how the issue will be carried out either validated or annulled.
Card 10: This is the final outcome (extending about 3 months ahead) as a result of all other cards in the spread.
***To this spread you can add an additional 5 cards. They are read successively as an encapsulation of events surrounding the outcome for more clarity on the final issue. Go directly from one to the other reading left to right. The card in the center is the focal point so the two to the left lead to it, and the two to the right will follow explaining why things are this way. This addition has proven very reliable for me over the years and lends a lot more depth to the question at hand. Here card 1 represents the outcome; card 2 their wants or actions; card 3 the truth of the reality seen; 4 the process surrounding the matter; and card 5 the reconfirmed or enhanced view of the outcome itself. If the client continues to ask questions about these issues already raised I continue to draw five cards reading them as a running answer to each question. This is quite accurate and often requires the session to go longer so I leave it to my clients to decide.
THE YES OR NO SPREAD
The card layout is comprised of 5, 7, or 9 cards depending on the depth of detail required. Whatever number of cards you select, the center card is always the Key. It tells you the present situation and is equal to the weight of two cards. When the majority of the cards show as upright the answer is yes, when reversed the answer is no. If evenly matched there is no decisive answer. It can happen from a lack of concentration; lack of desire for the truth; wishing rather than concentrating; or undecided factors surrounding the situation.
Here you can stop or you can continue for more details. The center card representing the current situation revolving around the question at hand, those to the right are the past and those to the left are the future. The dominant suit will tell you what needs focus, and any Major Arcana will be the outside influences while the Minor Arcana represent the immediate influences.
THREE SEVENS SPREAD
Three rows of seven cards each are in this layout. The bottom row represents the situation in the past that surrounds the current situation. The middle row represents the current situation and the present as it stands. The top row represents the future. All center cards are Keys. In reading this spread the Key card is served by all surrounding cards and should be read as they modify it blending them together.
THE WISH SPREAD
Used when the querrent wants to know if a definite thing will come to pass. A card representing the querrent is selected from the deck by choice (e.g. a Virgo man would have the Queen of Swords reversed however any card may be selected according to appearance or mood at the time). The Reader then fans the cards face down on the table and the querrent draws 15 cards at random holding the question strongly in mind. Then the querrent shuffles and cuts the 15 cards. The others are set aside unused.
The layout for this is simple:
Cards 1-3: What surrounds the querrent.
Cards 4-6: Factors describing the wish.
Cards 7-9: What opposes the querrent.
Cards 10-12: What comes to the querrent's home.
Cards 13-15: What will be realized as a result.
THE TRIUNE SPREAD
This spread is used to gain an overview of a given situation, to gain insight into the reasons why it has arisen and its effects on both the emotional and physical body. It contains only 6 cards with card 1 on top, 2 in the center, and 3 on the bottom.
Card 1: The cause, dynamic, impulse, guiding idea, or motive behind a situation or event.
Card 2: The effect at the emotional, social, or relationship level.
Card 3: The effect at the physical level of manifestation in the physical body or material world.
THE FLOWING SPIRIT SPREAD
This is used for divine inspiration or blessings developed from the Triune Spread for more details. It calls for 9 cards and a reshuffle of the deck. The cards are laid out in three rows from top to bottom with the rows going from left to right.
Row 1: Cards 1-3; as the left-hand ray we have the past.
Row 2: Cards 4-6; as the center ray we have the present.
Row 3: Cards 7-9; as the right-hand ray we have the future.
Top cards represent the guiding ideas, causes and impulses, or dynamics.
Center cards represent the emotional effects.
Bottom cards represent the physical level of manifestation.
SPREAD OF 36
Six rows of six cards from the bottom up.
Cards 1-6 represent the past.
Cards 7-12 represent the present.
Cards 13-36 represent the future.
The cards are first read in their numerical order. Then since the past influences the future, more information concerning the question can be gained by pairing cards 1 & 36, 2 & 35, in a continuous pattern ending with cards 18 & 19.
THE FOUR ELEMENTS SPREAD
This spread is used to gain insights into the aspects of the individual that may need development, balance, or issues that need attention. Five cards are drawn with the first card being selected to represent the querrent beforehand.
Card 1: Is placed in the center; represents the querrent.
Card 2: Is placed to the East; represents the intellectual and mental life.
Card 3: Is placed to the South; represents the sensual, instinctual life.
Card 4: Is placed to the West; represents the emotional, feeling life.
Card 5: Is placed to the North; represents the intuitive, spiritual life.
The relationships of the cards will be indicative of the overview and trouble areas as well as assets the querrent has in their favor.
There are numnerous other card spreads available. You can create your own and many of the spreads above may come with different names or configurations. It really is up to you and how you feel about them and what may work best for the given reading at the time. For more details on spreads check out this book here:
Reading the Tarot should be an intuitive process first, but based on a focus and understanding of the card and the position/issue it holds dominant. There needs to be a progression from past to future so the querrent can understand how things developed, what has influenced current perception (or lack of it), how they are handling the issues, the outside influences that are entering into the matter, and that the projected outcome is based on current decisions and actions of the querrent and others involved. The querrent needs to understand that Free Will (or choice) is always available to them and nothing is carved in stone. The further out the projected outcome the less concrete it is because other issues have to unfold bringing it into manifestation. The choices they have made (or their indecision) to this point have brought them to the current situation. How they choose to handle it now will bring about the outcome. What you see before you is based on projection resulting from the querrent's current viewpoint (including their fears or insecurities as well as their confidences). If they choose to change their mind or actions another outcome will result. If they are uncertain about how they want to handle things another spread can be done taken from that perspective to indicate the results they can anticipate. Each option can be explored in subsequent readings allowing the querrent to make the best choice in the matter accordingly.
The Tarot touches the hearts and emotions of millions of people all over the world. In the past few years interest in Tarot has grown tremendously. More and more people are seeking ways to blend inner and outer realities so they can live their lives more creatively. They have discovered in the Tarot a powerful tool for personal growth, for inner as well as spiritual exploration.
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