Exploring Tarot Seminar 2010

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Mark your diaries – July 31st, 10am-5.30pm – if you’re anywhere near London, the first Exploring Tarot 2010 seminar will be held at the College of Psychic Studies (South Kensington). Emily Carding will talk about her new Transparent Oracle and how Tarot & Oracles combine; Martin Jeffrey will look at archetypes, and Avril Price will discuss Spirit & Spiritualism. My angle will be the creative process of making your own tarot deck – I found that the process led me into a world which was deeper and richer than our own. Now it’s often called the OtherWorld; back then (1973) I had no words to describe it, but the gifts it gave me were immeasurable.

Ticket price is £40 – call 020 7589 3292

Tarot Card Meanings Online – What’s it for?

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Tarot Card Meanings Online is a blog designed to help you to find your way round the Tarot. I add articles regularly – I try to write at least one a week (although it is not always easy to stick to the timetable!). If you would like to hear about a particular aspect of Tarot, please let me know – I would be delighted to hear from you.

Tarot Spreads

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Learner readers set great store by different spreads, but in fact the more you read, the more you’ll find that one or two spreads will do. You can also create your own spreads – as long as you identify the positions clearly (and remember them), the cards will fit those positions. As with so much of the tarot, it is all about conscious intention.

As a professional reader, I mainly use two spreads – the Celtic spread (both full and truncated), and a three card spread, the positions of which are identified beforehand (usually covering relationship, career, family or health). I’ll then add to those three cards by drawing a card for ‘anything you need to do here'; and a third layer to look at ‘what will help you’.

I use the Celtic spread for invaluable background information on the main issue or issues the client brings to the reading. I use the short version for 1/2 hour readings, and the full version for hour readings, followed by the 3-card spread shown above so the client can have a look at current questions in more detail. (The full version of the Celtic spread was shown in an earlier blog – below). Herewith the truncated version:

There are of course thousands of other spreads. I’ll be giving a few different ideas in later posts, but meanwhile a good one for relationship issues is shown below (adapted from one at www.aeclectic.net/tarot/spreads/relationships.shtml). I’ve added two cards at the end as a suggestion for possible actions, as in my view there’s not much point in knowing that your relationship is in trouble (well, hey, you probably know that already if you’re asking the question); you need to know what, if anything, you can do about it.

This spread will work best if the two people involved are drawing cards together. However, that’s the ideal. Person A can draw all cards, trying to avoid too much projection or wish fulfilment; or the reader could draw B’s cards.

Tarot Card Meanings: Origins

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As an introduction to Tarot Card Meanings, let me start with what we know about the origins of the Tarot as a means of divination.

The origins of the cards themselves are shrouded in mystery, though they were first described in 1377. It is possible that at first they were merely used as a game (Tarocchi); however, we know they were first used for divination purposes in the 16th Century.

A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards, which are divided into the Major Arcana (or Trumps), and the Minor Arcana. The twenty-two Major Arcana are seen as archetypal or allegorical images representing the journey through life. The Minors (the remaining fifty-six cards) are similar to today’s playing cards, with four suits of 14 cards (the numbered or pip cards 1-10, and the face cards: page, knight, queen and king). Each suit represents a different aspect of humanity and are usually seen as Cups (the emotions), Pentacles or Discs (material issues), Swords (the mind), and the Wands (intuition and creativity). Each suit is usually linked to the four elements – water, earth, air and fire.

The full tarot pack is used to provide readings intended to help a person achieve a better understanding of issues that may be affecting them, such as relationships, problems to be overcome, opportunities etc. Each card has a range of meanings, which, taken together, can allow the skilled interpreter to help their client (usually referred to as the Querent or inquirer) to focus on the issues affecting them and thus find a way through problems or take advantage of opportunities.

The cards in the Major Arcana carry more weight than the Minor Arcana. Therefore, in a reading, the meaning and position of Major Arcana are interpreted very carefully as they are considered to be important unseen influences, indicating major changes in the inquirer’s life. In contrast, the Minor Arcana usually refers to day-to-day events, or people surrounding the inquirer.

A skilled Tarot reader also interprets the meaning of the cards according to the position they occupy in a spread (different ways in which the cards are laid out). However, where the inquirer is open to the tarot card meanings, as represented by the pictures and symbolism, their own intuition can provide a major boost to the power of the cards. Indeed, many practitioners of the art of Tarot believe that its greatest benefit is in the conduit it provides to the subconscious mind, thus allowing the process of “physician heal thyself”.