Thursday, September 27, 2012

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Step 12 - Modification

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
Mary K. Greer
In step twelve of our journey, we explore how various factors interact to modify the cards meanings.

Main Factors: Elements within the card itself, question or issue, spread position, and the individual circumstances.

Two Additional Factors: Stance (upright or reversed) and interaction among cards.

The author goes on to explore and give examples of the different factors and possible spread positions.

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011  
Activity 12:1 - Using the 8 of Wands, give the possible responses to the following positions -  (1-3). How would you modify its meaning in response to the questions and positions - (4-5)?

  1. Recent past - You have been in a hurry to achieve something, to move forward.
  2. An obstacle - You are going too fast, the task needs more thought, more preparation.
  3. Your strength - Once you get your sights on something, you go full force toward obtaining or achieving it.
  4. Question: What is my purpose in life? Position: The best that can be achieved. - You are quick on your feet and will accomplish plenty as long as you keep going forward, making progress.
  5. Question: What do I need to know about buying this house? Position: My fears. - Your fear is that you may be moving too fast toward the purchase.
Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011  

Activity 12:2 - Using your chosen card in answer to your the original question, "What do I most need to look at in my life right now?" turn the response into a question. Pick three spread positions and interpret your chosen card from these new perspectives.

What do I need to do to allow myself to make a choice and move forward?

  • Fears - You fear what may happen if you make a move toward change.
  • Strengths - You are patient and able to stand still in a difficult situation.
  • Advice - Stand still, remain calm, and take your time with making a decision.

Activity 12:3 - Using your chosen card in the position of Issue or Situation, create two additional positions to help clarify the question. Select two more cards and interpret. How do the new cards offer insight to the chosen card?

Question: What do I most need to look at in my life right now?
Positions: Issue/situation, Source, Advice

  • Issue/situation - Two of Swords - You are avoiding a situation, choosing to make no choice at this time.
  • Source - 5 Emperor - The source of your position comes from your need to be in control and to have order. You'd rather not rock the boat or be a rebel in the situation, better to just continue as is.
  • Advice - 10 of Wands - This situation is more of a burden than you may realize, perhaps more than you can bear. It's time to ask for help, let someone else shoulder some of your responsibilities.

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011 

Need some extra help on using reverse cards? Mary K. Greer goes into detail in this step, in The Way of the Adept section.


If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book for a deeper understanding of 21 Ways to Read the Tarot. Available in Print and Kindle.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Step 11 - Range

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
Mary K. Greer
In step eleven of our journey, we explore the range of a card's meanings. Imagine a meter, similar to a gas gauge, with Benefit on the left side and Liability on the right. Imagine different levels of the cards meaning running through the gauge.

"A range, when seen as a spectrum, emphasizes the energy of the card."

We will explore the extent, where you are, where you want to be, how to move between levels, and how to move freely within the spectrum of the meanings of the card.

For example: The Sun: Benefit - Success, Liability - Egotism or Three of Swords: Benefit - Emotional release, Liability - Sorrow.

Activity 11:1 - Name some benefits and liabilities for the following cards.

  • Nine of Pentacles: Benefit - Self-sufficient, Liability - Alone
  • Page of Swords: Benefit - Reaching for the stars, Liability - Daydreamer
  • The Chariot: Benefit - making progress, choosing direction, Liability - stalled by indecision
Activity 11:2 - Working with your chosen card:
  • Decide upon your range. Hold your arm in front of you, bent at the elbow, like the indicator on the meter. Swing from left to right, saying aloud your range.
  • Continue this process until you 'feel' where you are at this moment in the arc. Now imagine all possible meanings. Where are you?
  • Move your arm to where you want to be on the spectrum of possibilities. What could move you there? What aspect of the card do you need to align with? Is there an image in the card that could help you? How?
Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011   
Two of Wands: Benefit - Taking a moment of pause can give better insight (problem solving), Liability - Avoiding the situation does not solve the issue (unsolved issue.)        

Where are you? I fall near the quarter of a tank mark. :) So empty is the benefit, problem solving. I've moved away from the unsolved issue, moved pass the moment of avoidance (3/4 of a tank), moved passed not understanding the issue (1/2 tank), and have entered the decision making stage (1/4 of a tank), which should lead to the problem solved.

Where do I want to be? Problem solved. What could move me there? Let down the swords and allow the sun to illuminate the issue further. 


If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book for a deeper understanding of 21 Ways to Read the Tarot. Available in Print and Kindle.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Step 10 - Meanings

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
Mary K. Greer
In step ten of our journey, we take a look at meanings found in books. Some may find it a method of cheating to fall back on interpretations supplied by others. But, Mary suggests this is very useful, and I have to agree with her. On more than one occasion, I've used the process in this step to complete a reading.

As you read over a meaning in a book, it's important to pay attention to your reactions to each suggestion. Your body and mind will give clues to the interpretations best fitting for the reading. It will feel right, it will have you saying 'yes, that's it,' and/or the phrase will seem to leap out at you.

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011  

Activity 10:1

  1. Gather together a couple of books with varying length interpretations, including the booklet supplied with your deck. (You will use these to look up the meanings of your chosen card.) 
  2. Refresh your mind on the question used in the beginning of the steps. 
  3. Make a list of the meanings that grab your attention and summarize their message in a couple of sentences. How do these compare with your earlier interpretations?
  4. If you like, note where the meanings used in previous steps and the book meanings are the same or different. Write one-sentence summaries of these similarities and differences.
  5. Sometime later, revisit this reading and see which meanings were most accurate and which gave the greatest insight.
The question I began with was, "What do I need to most look at in my life right now?"

Here are a few meanings which jumped out at me.
  • She is refusing to see the problem at hand, therefore avoiding making a decision.
  • Feeling uncertain about which way to go.
  • Unable to make a move.
  • You don't know rather to follow your head or your heart. 
  • A tense situation.
I'd say for the most part these are similar to the descriptions and meanings thus far explored by the steps, although the wording may be slightly different. For instance: following your head or your heart can lead back to finding balance, and a tense situation is likely if you cannot decide what to do.

Activity 10:2

You may also find it useful to turn the book interpretations into questions to answer. Use some of what you chose, turn them into questions, and then answer them.

Some questions:
  • What is the problem at hand? 
  • How do you feel about the available directions?
  • What can you do to make the move a little easier?

If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book for a deeper understanding of 21 Ways to Read the Tarot. Available in Print and Kindle.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Artist's Way meets the Tarot - Anger

the Artist's Way
Julia Cameron
Week Three - Recovering a Sense of Power

As we move into week three, we look at using anger to move us forward in our goals. Through life, we are taught to suppress anger, but Julia suggests using it as a fuel. Recognize your anger and put it to use.

Tarot Dude takes a look at the five of swords.

5 of Swords

Here you can see anger from both sides. You have the two victims turning the other cheek, and the bully taking what he wants. Who would you rather be?

As nice people, we steer away from anger, drive it deep down, avoid situations which could lead to a fight. But, sometimes it's better to stand your ground. And when it comes to your creativity and your goals in life, it's time to take a stand against others and against yourself.

You are your biggest enemy when it comes to accomplishing your goals. Through procrastination, self-doubt, avoiding the challenge, and so many other ways, you successfully deny yourself your dreams. It's time to get angry and take control.

Knight of Swords
Tarot Dude offers a Tarot Task

Use the energy of the Knight of Swords - Feel his anger at your lack of persistence, at your inability to follow through, and at your failure to take those tiny steps forward. Become the Knight, sword raised high, charge forward, and change - take control of your destiny.

Take a close look at your life. Are there things you push aside to another day? Do you scatter your energies so thin nothing gets done? Do you allow yourself to be victimized by others, letting them pull you away from your goals?

Meditate upon the Knight. Feel the anger, the betrayal, the need to charge forward. Start a journal and make entries of your experiences. Set yourself in motion, charge toward your dreams, your goals.

Artist's Way Exercise Available.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card - Step 9 - Query & Snapshots

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card
Mary K. Greer
In step nine of our journey, we learn how to transform metaphor into message by asking questions and capturing snapshots.

"Asking questions is the quickest and surest way to determine what a reading is really about - how to excavate the riches buried within. Questions also stimulate the energies that reveal a life pattern; turning a little story into a big story. This same energy creates change."

Using the steps already taken, we formulate questions to go deeper into the cards. The questions should be open-ended. You should not use yes-no questions, for they offer no room for exploring. Sample question openings are, How, Where, What, Who, and When. Avoid 'Why' to avoid justifications.

Snapshots, also referred to as memory images, are a normal occurrence, which most of us ignore or push aside. In this step, we are asked to pay close attention.

"They arise for a reason - there's an unconscious neural link between the emotions and sensations in former situations and in the current one."

Artwork © Jennifer Galasso, 2011 

Activity 9:1 - Part One - Go back over the descriptions you've given for your chosen card. Ask at least three open-ended questions. Answer these questions in writing. As you answer, pay attention to any memories and scenes flashing through your mind. Jot down a quick note and continue answering the questions. When you've completed that, go back and write about the memory and how it relates back to the question.

  1. What are you waiting for? The disaster, the one mistake which could take everything away. As long as I stand still and make no decisions, nothing will change, life will continue as is and will remain safe.
  2. What do you fear? What keeps you on the ground, rather than souring into flight? Failure, a sudden drop back to the ground.
  3. How can you take that first step? Trust in a higher power and accept my own intuition. Remember I am where I am now, not because I stood still, but because I moved forward.

Activity 9:1 - Part Two - Re-evaluate according to your responses. What do you most need to look at in your life right now? Where were the strongest emotions? This is your access point to the greatest energy for manifesting what you want.

I need to look at the areas where I'm most cautious and where I experience the biggest feeling of fear. I need to address these areas and begin taking small steps forward. The strongest emotions are in the fear of loss.

This step has been huge in my discoveries of myself and other important issues. I explored much deeper into this than revealed on the blog. I strongly suggest you to dig as deep as you can with this step. If you have the book The Way of the Adept section will assist you even further.

If you haven’t already, grab a copy of the book for a deeper understanding of 21 Ways to Read the Tarot. Available in Print and Kindle.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Artist's Way meets the Tarot - Recovering a Sense of Identity

the Artist's Way
Julia Cameron
Obviously, we are beyond keeping up with a weekly schedule, but if you are following along, this is the beginning of the second week.

Recovering a Sense of Identity

It is urgent to find boundaries in your life. In my opinion this goes for all, whether you are following a creative venture or struggling through daily life. Often our identity gets wrapped up in the needs and dramas of others surrounding us, and we sometimes lose ourselves and who we are.

Self-doubt can quickly turn into self-sabotage. A little voice speaks, "You can't do that.", "Who are you trying to kid, you have no talent.", "Only lucky people can find success." The little voice will go on and on until you successfully find a way to put a stop to it. And, don't fool yourself, if you don't face it head on, the voice will win, because it comes from a deeper place than your conscious mind.

So, how can you win?

Recognition and acknowledgment are the first steps to survival of the mean-spirited saboteur. The words are not true. They are a mechanism to control you from stepping beyond your comfort zone. It is rather easy to prove it wrong, by just trying - one step at a time.

Another method is affirmations. By simply putting a positive spin on those negative words, you can both create your own affirmations and begin ridding yourself of that pesky voice. For example, "You can't read the tarot cards. Who do you think you are some type of tarot reader?" First of all, anyone can read tarot cards and with practice anyone can do a great job at it. So turn those negative words into, "I am a skilled tarot reader, and with each day I become better."

Tarot Dude offers a Tarot Task

Take out your tarot deck. Explore the following questions, pulling one card for each.

3 of Wands - Rider-Waite
How do I sabotage or attack my own work?

As I look upon the 3 of Wands, I think of looking into the future or on distant lands. There's a destiny, and it's right over the horizon, right at the tip of your fingertips.

So, how does this relate to the question? Perhaps the card tells me that by looking too far ahead, setting my goals too high, I am sabotaging my progress.

4 of Wands - Rider-Waite 
Why do I do this?

Looking at the 3 of Wands, I think of a celebration, a resting moment, and a timeout from hard work. In one's life there has to be some playtime after a long day's work.

In relating to the question? By setting such high goals, I don't leave time for this break. I stay busy working toward my pie in the sky. Without downtime, I am, without realizing it, sabotaging myself from truly achieving what I'm after, happiness.

6 of Pentacles - Rider-Waite 
What first step can I take to move away from this behavior?

The 6 of Pentacles makes me think of give and take. It has a sense of 'getting what you deserve.' If you open your heart to others and give them what is most precious to you, you are also opening your heart to receive from those you have given to. Now this doesn't mean give away your best pair of shoes and expect an expensive bike in return. No, the giving must be done without thought of what you get back.

In relating to the question? The first step away from sabotage is to give to others. Take a moment to look around and see who I could help with my gifts and by doing this I will release any pressures for achievements. Without the pressure, goals will be achieved at a more natural pace, and therefore I will follow through on my dreams and be happy while doing so.

Tarot Dude offers an Artist's Way Task

List 20 things you enjoy doing. When was the last time you did each? Put a date beside each. If it's been so long you can't remember, feel free to put 'Forever'. Sometimes life gets away from us, and we forget to enjoy life. This list is a great source to pull from for your artist's date. (I've placed my top five here for your viewing.)

  1. getting lost in a book
  2. horseback riding
  3. boat riding
  4. 4-wheeler riding
  5. camping
The timing on all of these would be 'Forever', except the first one, getting lost in a book. As a writer, reading is a part of my schedule. But, truly get lost in a book - haven't done that in a couple of months.

Crazymakers - Find out their characteristics, discover who they are in your life, learn ways to protect yourself. 'Tarot and Artist's Way Exercises'

Battling Skepticism - Find out more on how to keep it at bay. 'Tarot and Artist's Way Exercises'

Pay Attention - Tap back into your creative side. 'Tarot and Artist's Way Exercises'

Rules to the Road - End of Week Two.