Tarot Confessions Part 2

   Posted by: David   in Uncategorized

Tarot Confessions Part 2

I think each tarot reader evolves a style over time that is uniquely his or her own.

I do not believe there is a “right” way to read the cards or that each card has an orthodox definition or meaning. That attitude of course reflects my own personal style and approach to the cards.

Some read reversals.
Others turn all the cards face up as if a reversal never happened.

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When you mix the cards send your intent into them. Let the cards know which if any spread you will use, what information you are seeking, who you are seeking it for, and if you intend to read reversed cards or turn every card upright. These are only a few of the intentions you can work with.

When you are clear about your intentions at the beginning there will be less confusion later on however whatever intention you set, if you get a strong intuitive sense that you need to run against it then do so. Let your intuition be the final voice.

I don’t read reversals all the time and I’m usually pretty clear about sending that intention into the cards but periodically I will get a reversal that shouts at me to read the card as a reversal. In those instances I will. I will also completely ignore the “standard” meaning of a card in favor of what my intuition is telling me that card means at that moment or for that person. This is one reason why I love to read on line. My sitter can’t see the cards.

A lot of people have impressions about card meanings even if they don’t read. Instead of debating the meaning of a card I prefer not to disclose what cards I’m looking at unless of course the person is sitting next to me.

I know one reader who will intentionally lay out a huge spread even though she only reads the center cards. She does this to keep the debate over particular card meanings to a minimum.

People may become nervous when they see the death card, another good reason to keep the cards as confidential as possible or be prepared to do some major educating. I know a few readers who remove cards they know are likely to disturb sitters but a better approach, if you know you will be reading for newbies or nervous Nellie’s, is to select a deck with alternate visual imagery. Personally, I would never intentionally remove a card from the standard 78 but again, as readers and spiritual seekers we all have our own way

A reader once told me, “The best readers ‘see’ in the cards even if they use a pack of playing cards they can still ‘see.’” I think what she was saying is that the reader is the oracle not the cards. The cards are a tool.

For me, a good tarot deck is one in which each of the 78 cards has an image. Imagery on every card began with the Rider-Waite-Smith tarot. Prior to Rider-Waite-Smith most decks illustrated the major arcana only and many readers still prefer the older decks like the Visconti Tarot.

I do like decks that put their own interpretative spin on the deck. One of the most original I have seen in recent years is the Sirian Starseed Tarot. The Starseed Tarot is a complete re-visioning of the tarot and it is lovely. The Cosmic Tarot is another example of an excellent deck that somewhat departs from the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition.

When I do a reading for someone I usually use the Hanson Roberts which stays pretty close to the Rider-Waite-Smith. I have many dozens of decks. If a particular sitter’s energy seems to match another deck in my collection I may use that deck for that sitter instead of Hanson Roberts but most of the time I prefer the Hanson Roberts. It has all of the symbolic benefits of the Rider-Waite-Smith but it has, in my opinion, richer imagery.

I would love to show you these decks but I don’t think I can’t share images without violating copyright or intellectual property law. By the way, it is never my intention to tread on someone’s intellectual property. As a creative person and a writer, I would appreciate it if others respected my work enough to ask for permission before copy and paste and I will respect the rights of others. So if I have unintentionally violated someone’s rights please let me know and I will correct the problem.

While I don’t think I can post images I do think it is okay if I direct you to where images are posted. The following links will give you a taste of some of the great decks I have mentioned in the preceding paragraphs:

Visconti Tarot

Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot

The Starseed Tarot

The Cosmic Tarot

Hanson Roberts Tarot

As I mentioned, I prefer decks that visually interpret every card. Some readers prefer the tradition that preceded Rider-Waite-Smith in which the minor arcana are not visually interpreted. They feel the lack of visual imagery allows their psychic vision free reign in much the same way a radio or audio dramatization stimulates the mind’s eye while a film creates a visual story.

I use the imagery of my cards. When I look at a card I enter the world that particular card portrays. This is another reason why I don’t usually read reversals. I want to see, feel, and experience the activity and energy of the card not only in terms of physical action but also emotional and psychic content. I let that information enter my psyche then I blend it with my intuition to provide an interpretation that is unique for my sitter.

I pray before I read and I listen to Spirit, God’s and others as I read.

When I began and to this day I read every book I can get my hands on. The best I have found to date is Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack. The book is amazing. I would also suggest that you read carefully the booklet or book that normally comes with the new deck. I have not as yet purchased used decks. If I do begin to collect vintage decks I will not use them as reader decks because I want mine to be the only energy in my decks. I don’t even want sitters cutting the deck as so many readers do. No one touches my cards but me, again, personal preference.

Read every book you can, take every class you can because the more information you absorb the greater the reservoir you have at your disposal to pull from when you give a reading. Think of your mind as an ocean – is it deep or shallow. You deepen your mind with intentional effort, dedication, and study. The deeper your mind is the more resources you have but tarot is not like math. Two plus two does not always equal four in a tarot reading and what the book says may not be so during a particular reading.

Every card is a story and every card, in a good deck, is full or so many possibilities that it would not be possible to explore them all with your sitter so you must choose what is and is not important for that particular reading. This is why I pray for wisdom, discernment, and insight before I read. I ask to be directed to what is relevant at that moment in time.

I once met a young lady so intent on “getting it right,” that she typed the meaning of each card on the face of the card itself, even reversals because she felt reversals had to be read as reversals. She obviously thought reading the tarot was a mechanical process. Even sadder she did not trust her own intuition. Tarot reading is 90% intuitive or psychic insight and only 10% cards and so it is with any form of divination.

The reader is the oracle; the cards, crystals, tea leaves or whatever is only a tool.

Spreads are another issue.
“What spread should I use?” is a common question.

I use a combination of spreads and different combinations for different people. It depends on the circumstance. Again, the more spreads you know the more flexible you can be. Don’t be afraid to invent your own. I do it all the time but be sure to tell the deck what spread you will use and what each position will signify as you mix the cards.

When I first started reading, other readers that I respected would tell me that the cards “spoke” to them. I’m a bit of a literalist so I thought they meant they heard a voice telling them how to interpret what they were seeing in their spread. I’m not sure what they meant but I can tell you that yes the cards speak. It is a little like a Spiritualist circle meeting. If you listen you will hear that still small voice telling you where to look, how to interpret, what to say. That voice might be God, it might be Infinite Intelligence, or any other god concept that you might have. It could be one or more of your sprit guides. It could also be your sitter’s guides or sprit helpers. My point is mediumship is not an isolated skill from tarot reading nor is tarot isolated from spirit contact. Listen and you will hear, ask and you will receive. As you develop your skills as a medium, clairvoyant, or psychic these skills will enhance your tarot reading.

I prefer to do what might be termed a “general” reading. I discourage such questions as “when will I die” or “who will I marry.” I would rather let the cards, and my intuition, speak to the sitter’s situation but I do often get specific questions: “Does he love me,” “will I get the job,” etc.

I do my best to answer specific questions but I think that kind of thing cheapens the cards and divination in general. It makes of it fortune telling and the cards are so much more.

I dislike sweeping generalities about populations of people because each person is individual however I have noticed an alarming and disturbing tendency at least among those that come to me for a reading: women more often than men want to know, “does he love me.” Men more often than women want to know, “should I leave my wife and family for my mistress,” or “should I leave my job for a new venture.”

I read the cards and try to get them to look at themselves in the mirror but I’m not going to tell anyone what they should do with their lives. I invariably say, “That is your choice and your responsibility.”

The cards can show us who we are. This is why I say that I think questions like “will I find romance,” cheapens the cards.

Isn’t your character more important than any particular circumstance?

Romance will come and go, careers will come and go, but your character will endure forever. I much prefer to use the cards to work on a person’s understanding of who they are and how they can shape their character and destiny.

I’ll have more to say later loved ones.

Many blessings,

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 15th, 2013 at 12:34 am and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

5 comments so far


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September 1st, 2013 at 7:54 am

I am just starting out with tarot cards and I sucking up all of this very useful information that I am finding here from such friendly individuals.
Mark Foster

September 21st, 2013 at 11:49 am

Thank you so much for writing Mark. There will be much more to come on the tarot but there are also some great blogs dedicated only to the tarot and don’t forget to visit the American Tarot Association on-line.
Take care,

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October 11th, 2013 at 12:01 am