Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Three Modes of Tarot (Reading)

This basic reading can help you identify some problem areas in your life and gives advice about what energy may be best expressed.
First, sort through your deck and divide it into three piles;
Court Cards
Numbered Cards
Major Arcana

Shuffle each deck with your question or problem in mind. Draw one card from each deck, respectively.

Card 1 - Court Card - You, the current role you are playing in this situation
Card 2 - Numbered Card - Your situation
Card 3 - Major Arcana - The archetypical energies that are being expressed... the root of your actions and situation, the advice card

If you wanted to, rather than randomly drawing the first card (the Court Card) you could choose one as a significator. Conciously choosing a card to represent yourself or the role you play may help you focus the reading in that direction. Not sure what card represents you in this current situation? Try Court Card Excersize 1 (previous post) and choose a card from the list you create.

Here is a format for anlyzing and interpreting the cards in your reading, from the book "Tarot For Yourself" by Mary K. Greer. Write the following sentence and fill in the blanks with the card meanings.

"I am acting like a ________________[Court Card], a ___________________________ __________________[describe the type of person you see in that card] in a _________________[Minor Arcana] situation in which ________________ ___________________________ __________________ [describe your situation using action verbs] because of ___________________ [Major Arcana], which describes my need to _____________________ __________________________[describe the archetypical energies in you that need to be expressed]."

"I am acting like a Queen of Pentacles, a nurturing woman who obssesses over houswork in a Two of Wands situation in which I am searching for control and independence because of Justice, which describes my need to find harmony, balance and justice in my life."

Taking it further; How can I best deal with this situation?

"I can use the attributes of _________________ [Major Arcana] to _________________ ________________________ [describe the best qualities you see in this card] in order to deal with ________________ [Minor Arcana] , which expresses my desire for (to) _____ ________________ _________________ [ describe the situation you have drawn to yourself] experienced by my Inner ________________ [Court Card], the one who ___________ _____________________ ____________________ [describe that aspect of yourself that chose to experience the situation].

"I can use the attributes of Justice to create balance and harmony in order to deal with Two of Wands, which expresses my desire to choose where and how I exert my personal power experienced by my Inner Queen of Pentacles, the one who is a nurturing, rescourceful Housewife but does not want to be tied down and restricted by housework and chores."

As you can see, I used one of my own cards from the Court Card Roles excersize to give the examples posted above. I chose the Queen of Pentacles to describe my role as a houswife because I see myself as creative, loving, and nurturing. The Queen of Pentacles has a dark side though - she can become obsessed withh housework and caring for others, and forget to take care of herself. OR, she can become discouraged when she finds herself unnapreciated, taken for granted, or overworked. This card seemed to quite perfectly describe how I am in the role of Housewife. So I drew the two other cards and found this to be very insightful. The Two of Wands shows how even though I love taking care of my home and family, I am dreaming of bigger things, adventures and accomplishments. I grow resentful of the never-ending housework when I don't have time to commit to my dreaming, my intellect, and my spirituality. I long for Personal Power, control, independence, and freedom, and my Queen of Pentacles expresses these desires by trying to control the household. I make lists, schedules, routines, chore charts, etc.... in short, I obsess... trying to find that sense of control and freedom. The root of the situation comes from the Major Arcana card, Justice. Above all things, I seek Balance and Harmony. When I lose my sense of Balance and Inner Harmony, I begin to feel like "It's not fair!" I lose my sense of Nurturing and Creativity when I feel unnapreciated... or when I feel that all the hard work I am doing is not being justly rewarded. So I have to ask myself.... is this really where I want to focus my energy? Is the gain or reward equal to the energy that I put out in the process? If not, then how can I shift that balance? If I don't ask myself these questions first, I will more than likely find myself revisiting the Queen of Pentacles "less attractive" qualities; Obsessing and Controlling. But if I remind myself to seek balance and Justice, to reward myself, to only put forth energy into the things that I know will leave me with a sense of balance and justification; then my Queen of Pentacles energy will flow as it should - creatively!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Court Card Excersize 1

Court Cards can be problematic for many people as they learn to use tarot cards... for many they are difficult to interpret in a reading. Some people will say that the Court Cards ALWAYS refer to other people in the querent's life, but I have found this to be far from true. My rule of thumb is this; Court Cards almost always refer to YOU and alternatively will sometimes refer to someone you know. In fact, the Court Card can refer to you AND someone you know. After all, the people in our lives often reflect some part of ourself.

"Jungian psychology provides a framework for integrating both points of view; the Court Cards as yourself and as another person. The concept called "projection" refers to projecting (or thrusting) inner qualities of yourself onto other people around you, whether or not they have these qualities. They become shadowy reflections of yourself. It works like this: You notice in other people some of the characteristics that you do not recognize in yourself - both positive and negative. As a result, you tend to let these people act out your own unconscious perceptions of yourself and your own inner situations, or you get angry with them when they don't." ~ from Tarot For Yourself by Mary K. Greer.

So, a good first step in understanding the Court Cards is to recognize their aspects and personalities within ourselves. We all have many different roles that we play in life... we change gears, energy, and focus depending on which role we are playing at any given time. Myself, for example; I am a Mother, a Wife, a Waitress, a Blogger, a Tarot Reader, and many other things. This excersize suggested by Mary K. Greer inher book, "Tarot For Yourself" not only helps you understand some Court Card personalities better but also helps you on your road of personal self discovery.

Make a list with two columns. On the first side write down the many different roles you play in your day to day life. On the second side, write the Court Card that you think is expressed in that role. Male/Female doesn't matter, and you can use the same card in more than one role if you feel it fits. Use this chart by Joan Bunning if you need help determining what card applies to each role.

Current Roles In My Life / Corresponding Court Card


My Court Card Roles
Current Roles In My Life / Corresponding Court Card

Mother / Knight of Swords
Wife /Knight of Pentacles
Housekeeper /Queen of Pentacles
Waitress / King of Wands
Friend / Queen of Swords
Volunteer /Page of Pentacles
Teacher-Writer-Blogger / Knight of Swords
Tarot Reader - Astrologer / Queen of Cups

If you wanted to take the self-discovery a step farther, you could revisit each of these cards to help you understand yourself better, make improvements on flaws, embrace your strengths, etc. The next blog post I make will be a follow up excersize of this nature - check back soon!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Mercury Retrograde; The Magician Reversed

Another Mercury retrograde period is upon us. This one will last between August 20th and September 12th, though it's effects can be noticed for a few days before and after the retrograde motion begins and ends.
What is Mercury Retrograde? Approximately 3 times a year, the planet Mercury appears to slow down and move backwards through the solar chart. Of course, it's not actually moving backwards. Have you ever been in your car, and as the car next to you moves forward past you; you temporarily have the "feeling" that you are moving backwards? That's the same effect seen with Mercury retrograde, but it lasts about 3 weeks! Mercury is the planet of Communication, Travel, and interpersonal relationships. Thus this backwards motion usually results in some kind of confusion in these areas... especially communication! Many people will say that it's not a good time to enter into any kind of contract or agreement, such as getting married, starting a job, or making a major purchase; because these deals will tend to fall through once Mercury goes direct. It's not that every deal goes bad, but it's often more likely to fail simply because during the Mercury retrograde things are overlooked or mis-communicated. It's a time to be very cautious, make sure you dot your i's and cross the t's, and be very patient of other people's tendency to mis-communicate... otherwise you certainly could feel Mercury Retrograde come back to bite you in the butt! During a Mercury Retrograde many people experience setbacks concerning money, travel, communication, and work.

Another way to look at Mercury Retrograde is to examine Mercury's related Tarot Card; The Magician.

The Magician relates to Consciousness, Control, and Focus. The Key Words for The Magician are; Action, Conscious Awareness, Concentration, and Power. The Planet Mercury is named after the Greek God Mercury (also known as Hermes), who was also called "The Messenger of The Gods", bringing messages from the Gods to the Earth. The Magician symbolizes our connection to Divine Energy and our ability to use this connection and power to achieve our goals. The Magician teaches us to use our talents and the tools available to us to take action and carry out our plans. This card reminds us that if we are aware of our motivations and intentions, we can maintain focus, discover our source of power, and achieve whatever we want. With careful planning, attention to detail, skill, talent, and vitality - anything is within our grasp!!

When Mercury is Retrograde, we can think of this Magician Energy in it's reversed position. A reversal in a tarot card (when the card appears upside down in a spread) indicates that certain aspects of this card are blocked or being interrupted. A reversed card will sometimes indicate that the "Opposite" meaning of the card is being felt, or that the energy of the card is somehow being blocked from a person.

The Magician Reversed would symbolize Lack of Focus, Sub-conscious feelings or thoughts, lack of control, and a feeling of powerlessness. During a Mercury Retrograde or when someone gets The Magician in a reversed position, one might be forgetting that they have a connection with Divine Energy. It's easy to get wrapped up in the feelings of distraction, indecision, and an overall feeling of "I can't do this by myself". The Magician Reversed shows us the blockage of all things Mercury... such as encountering a lack of resources, a lack of skill, a lack of confidence, or an absence of commitment. No wonder things get so muddled during a Mercury Retrograde! Instead of a flow of energy from Mercury helping boost our connection with the Divine... we all experience a block. The cries of "It's not my fault!" and "What am I supposed to do about it?" can often be heard during a Mercury Retrograde. As we experience these blocks, and our projects or goals seem to hit bumps in the road or be put on hold, The Magician Reversed asks us to slow down and see through the illusion. While a Mercury Retrograde might not be the best time to start a new project or sign a new contract, it is the PERFECT time for self reflection and re-evaluation of our goals. Now is the time to cultivate your inner garden, pull the weeds that you've been neglecting and clear the space for new growth when the time is right. Rather than adding new projects, why not take a clue from Mercury's retrograde motion and back track a little bit. Finish up an unfinished project, or go over something with a fine tooth comb to see if you missed any important details. Get back to basics and re-evaluate your priorities, and take this time to heal and re-balance your perspective. Take the next three weeks one day at a time, and don't punish yourself for any lack of progress... but look within and let yourself heal and rest. Finishing up any unfinished projects will help you feel more balanced and ready to get back on your horse once Mercury goes back direct. Arm yourself with patience - not just for yourself, but for others. As everyone experiences the retrograde differently, some people may be more irritable, less patient, and lacking in the basic communication skills that they would normally have. Leave room for mistakes and misunderstandings. An important thing to remember about the retrograde is that although many things seem to go wrong, usually the effects are only temporary. Problems with our cars, our computers, phones, etc. (anything that deals with travel and communication) can be expected, but these problems WILL have solutions. Any misunderstandings or mis-communications that occur during this time usually won't have long term effects on our relationships; and sometimes these problems serve to help strengthen our relationships by bringing to light certain aspects that we had previously overlooked. Overall, it's best to just go with the flow... but to pay close attention and try to maintain some sense of focus.

Here are some journaling questions to help you through the retrograde. Ask yourself these questions when you start feeling overwhelmed or disconnected... your answers should help you get back on track!

  • Where are you focusing your energy?
  • Are your objectives clear?
  • What skills and abilities are needed in this situation?
  • How are you communicating with others?
  • What do you want others to believe or see?

(these Questions are from the book, "Tarot For Yourself" by Mary K. Greer)

Take some time with The Magician, looking at the card both upright and reversed, meditate on it's meaning and it's connection with Mercury. Journal about your thoughts or feelings about the card and the questions listed here, and use this affirmation as your mantra throughout this Mercury Retrograde period. "I am a willing channel for the manifestation of spirit in the world." Cheers and Blessings to you, and may we all come out of this Mercury Retrograde period relatively unscathed!!