A Suggestion For Those Learning Tarot


Hey Occulties,So in my many travels, I come across people who are learning tarot, which in their case means they bought a deck and often ask people what x, y, z means in regards to whatever question they are asking. Nearly every single time this is some “spread” or series of questions which they themselves just sort of created on the spot. Allow me to interject three decades of card reading wisdom and tell you to stop doing that if you're ever going to learn. There is a reason I use the Celtic Cross formation as often as I do. It's because the cards need to be read together to get the most information, and so even a trivial question tends to get a ten card spread. There is also a reason that you will find many experienced card readers will  at the very least do the past/present/future three-card standard if asked to look at something “quickly.” Again, you read all three cards together – the past and present have a fair amount of influence on the future. Think of this like structuring a word or a sentence. All languages use this, and cards are no different. So when you invent a spread and make it “This is their inner feelings, this is what they show others, and this is the outcome” for example, that isn't necessarily wrong, however, you want to frequently use that set up to read with to start seeing the patterns and use this as a standard spread for yourself. Allow me to explain using the ten cards of the Celtic Cross (having learned on the Connolly method, I am using the meanings of the positions given by Eileen Connolly): This is what covers you,” 2. “This is what crosses you,” – This is the present. Whatever is being shown is either happening or in the process of happening. Position 2 tends to be but is not always a complicating factor which is influencing the card of position 1. This helps me know if I've “hit my mark” sometimes as it will clearly show what the client has told me is the issue, and other times it gives me very pertinent information as to something coming in the near future (generally within 48-72 hours), or even something the client has hidden.3. “This is the basis of the situation.” This is what the client wants to really know about. If this is somewhat different than what you had been asked by the client, this is very valuable in lending insight when a client refuses to give any informaton past a vague inquiry. This also can  be proof that you  “hit the mark” (have all the right cards,) when it exactly mirrors your clients question. 4. “This is behind you or in the process of leaving” This is what has happened in the past which is currently impacting or influencing the situation being asked on still. It can be something easily identified by the client – for example a big fight that happened a few weeks ago, – or something more subtle which when pointed out or examined comes into focus as a complicating factor (for example a long standing feeling from their ex that the romance is sputtering out which they have felt for some time.) 5.  “This crowns you and could come into being.” This confuses a fair amount of people as it is often something super good or something super bad. 😉 So a lot of times when I get that bad ol' Tower card, it's stuck right here in position 5…which is better than position 6 or 10. I tell people the way to read this position is that whatever is sitting here is easily brought into your life, but can also be avoided if that's what you prefer. So if we see the 9 of Cups here (aka “The Wish Card,”) obviously I will look at my other cards and help advise the client how to bring this very desirable change to themselves. If, however, I see the Tower card, I would look at my other cards and then advise the client how to avoid bringing that very undesirable change to their lives. 6. “This is before you.” Position 6 must always be read with Position 10. Think of them like 1 and 2 spread apart with more information in the middle. These are “outcome” cards. The only 3 cards denoting the future in this ten card spread are 5, 6, and 10. While time IS FLUID, and we can change 6 and 10, and even avoid 5 if it's bad, you must keep in mind 6 and 10 are much more solidified as to what will come, and are very predictive. When you read 6 always look to 10 and blend the meanings appropriately because they will be paired in the outcome. That's the reason positions 4 and 7-9 exist. 7. “These are your negative feelings.” This confuses people as sometimes it's a wholly positive card. However, that can tell you that either the person believes that this positive influence exists where it does not, OR sometimes can mean they are blinding themselves to this positive influence. By looking at position 3 and 4, it is easier to discern which is the case. 8. “These are others' feelings.” These are the feelings of those close to the client and/or those who's opinions are influencing the outcome. 9. “These are your positive feelings.” This confuses people as sometimes it's a wholly negative card. In this case, if it is negative it means the person is fully aware of some antagonistic influence or problem which is exacerbating an unpleasant situation.10. “This is the outcome.” Keeping in mind positions 7-9, and read with card 6, this tells you what will happen in this situation and the factors as to why the outcome is what it is. Notice, as you go through that, with each step, I'm referring back to 4, that I'm looking at 6 and 10 to see how I can make 5 the outcome if that is preferable, that I'm also referring to 7-9 to see what factors are influencing 6 and 10 into being. Did you notice at no point am I suggesting that the reading is linear in the sense of I get a meanings book get the loose meaning of that card and record it, then move on to the next card, get it's meaning, and so on. That is not how you read tarot. You read it almost all at once like one might read a large word. The placing of each card in each position gives off a fair amount of information to each other card in it's position. They are all read in concert to get the most available information given in the spread. This is also going to happen in a past/present/future three card spread. The past has created the present so I read one and two together which births the future, and now I read three with two as it's influence. What I see when I see people learning is a bit more like “I read this tarot book and it said this card exactly means blah blah. Then this card means exactly this….” Never are they reading the cards in concert with each other and furthermore if you're still using a meanings book, it's like trying to tell me you understand the alphabet and then make all the noises say the letter “B” would make and move on to all the sounds the letter “U” would make, and eventually you say the word BUFFALO by pronouncing each letter with all the sounds it would make. Whatever you say sure as shit would not sound like BUFFALO, because clearly you can't read English, just like if you pick at every meaning a card could have and do not read it in concert with the other cards, you can't read tarot, either. Keep in mind, I'm well aware that I've been reading tarot for longer than several of my readers have been alive, and so I know some of you are newly learning. I might not suggest you all start as I did on a Celtic Cross (that's ten whole meanings,) but at least start using a three card traditional method, which will help you in reading all three together properly. Do not just invent a weird spread to see if your ex is coming back unless you plan on keeping that spread around so that you can read the cards together as they are meant to be read. If your “relationship spread” is one you intend on using time and again, I'm all for it. If it's just because you had those specific questions about this specific relationship this week, then I would actually say it is more likely to slow your education on cards. Hopefully that was helpful (and I'll try to post a visual on how the cards lie in the Celtic Cross to assist you in a little bit.)~Cat

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