previously published at Suite101 Tarot
illustrations from Katelan Foisy's deck in progress.
4 of Wands
You've bought a tarot deck and are eager to use it. You shuffle. You lay out a Celtic Cross. You're at a loss. The book that came with your deck lists dozens of meanings for each card. Which to choose? What to do? How to read them? Throw out the book! Separate the Major from the Minor and try this method instead of getting lost in the madness.
Divination can be easy. Shuffle the Major . Focus on the backs to clear your mind. Deal them in rows of three across. Place the odd card to the side. It represents the outcome.
Look at the cards. Their symbols activate the intuitive part of your brain. What do you think they mean? I strongly recommend considering this only with your mind and the guide below. However, if you must have a supplement try Tarot Symbols
Identify patterns that strike you. Do you see shapes that seem to repeat? Are there similarities/opposites in the pictures that seem to jump out? Try to find a group that tells you a story. What is it? Use the guide below to help identify interconnections.
Patterns may occur left to right or more haphazardly. The first one you see identifies the major issue. For example: If Sun (money) is beside Magician (job) beside the Tower (chaos), this person's main issue is financial because of job chaos. Read the pattern like a sentence . Subsequent patterns illustrate other issues you or the person you're reading for have.
That's right - you.
There are taboos about reading your own cards. This is because it's difficult to be objective about yourself. Pretend they're someone else's cards for better results.
When reading for another person, don't ask what's on their mind. You need to learn to pick up on it yourself. Additionally, their current idea of the problem is probably not the true problem at all. Usually current issues are the result of past events. Providing insights about these events is what then resolves current situations.
Meaning: Look before you leap.
Meaning: Represents employment. Most commonly means being expected or able to pull a rabbit out of your hat in some way.
The High Priestess
Meaning: Hidden knowledge
Meaning: Will, Intent follows action.
Meaning: College, Marriage, things moving to a higher level
Meaning: Love or choice
Meaning A car, moving quickly, taking control.
Meaning: Physical health, tame the beast within.
Meaning: Introspection,lay low.
Meaning: Unexpected events
Meaning Rationality, fairness.
The Hanged Man
Meaning: Plans are suspended. The sacrifice may be too great, When you're at the end of your rope, tie a knot and swing.
Meaning Death of a person, situation, issue
Meaning: Emotions, keep things flowing smoothly.
Meaning: Abuse of people or substances, sex, you're controlled only as much as you allow yourself to be.
Meaning: The chaos that comes before enlightenment, everything has blown up because you've let it build up. Learn something from it so it won't happen again
Meaning Hope, careful what you wish for, you just might get it.
Meaning: Money, you reap what you sow.
Meaning: Fate, you get what you deserve.
Next, make your own guide. Draw a Major card each day. Consider the figures and their environment. Write down the card & your impressions. At the end of the day, compare what you wrote down with what happened and record connections. When you've done this with each card, you'll have your own interpretation of the Major .
Cups: Love; emotions
Swords: Conflict; mentality
Wands: Health; creativity
Pentacles: Money; business
To understand these, lay out each suit in order. You must use a deck with pictures in the Minor. If you love the Major of one deck but the Minor look like playing cards, get 2 decks and combine them. Write down what you think the story of each suit is. Use your interpretation of them as a guide. For concise summaries to supplement this see: http://www.vcsun.org/~ /tarot.htm
Deck books are useful for interpreting court cards. Consult the meanings listed there and keep in mind the fact that they often represent real people. Assign the characteristics of the card to people in the situation at hand for more insight.
Use the Minor to elaborate on situations you've already identified. If you want to know more about a job issue, lay some Minor cards on top of the Magician and the surrounding pattern cards. Continue to do this for any situation you want more information about.
Practice frequently on yourself and friends. The key to this method is to learn to trust your intuition. You'll be amazed how quickly your reading skills develop.