Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Lesson 8 -- Sample Reading

The last two cards weren't scanned in the order in which I drew them. I get easily confused when I scan a spread, I always get something turned around.

Alyssa asks: Will my relationship get stronger or fall apart. I’m not sure about the relationship being strong enough, although I do care for him.

The problem with this question is that the woman asking it doesn’t own the problem she’s asking about. She wants to know what’s going to happen. I consider it my job to empower her. Instead of asking the tarot what’s going to happen, I ask the tarot how she can improve the situation. I start by breaking down her question. I try to get as specific as possible.

What can Alyssa do to strengthen this relationship? Five of Cups

Look at the image on this card. The person on this card is grieving a loss. How does sadness figure into their relationship? Ask some questions. Is she grieving something? Is her lover grieving? Is she depressed? Is she addicted to drama? Does she create drama where it doesn’t exist? Does she know a relationship doesn’t have to be filled with pain? She may not know this. A lot of people don’t. If she clings to her pain, guilt, grief, and sense of loss she may not be giving herself an opportunity to enjoy life and love. This isn’t something she does on purpose, she may just not know better. I would probably draw a clarification card on this and ask the source of this pain.

What does Alyssa do that weakens this relationship? King of Rods

The King of Rods is an intensely enthusiastic individual. He can be kind of pushy, but only because he’s trying so hard to help those around him. He likes being involved, he’s very social. Alyssa is not a he, but this card could easily apply to her if her personality is very strong. So, the question is, does this card show what she does or what she doesn’t do. It’s such a positive card, I feel like this card isn’t showing her being overbearing but, rather, I think it’s showing what she’s not doing in the relationship. Perhaps she snubs the social stuff, doesn’t give into her passions much, and isn’t terribly supportive when it comes to work as well her man’s outside interests. Some questions I might ask Alyssa at this point is how she feels about his hobbies, his work, and his social connections. Is she jealous of them or does she support them? Does she try to get involved, or, at the very least, try and stay out of the way of her lover’s interest in these things?

But here is something else to consider. In the Hanson Roberts Tarot, this King looks rather sad. So, when you are doing a reading, listen to your intuition and consider what strikes you more powerfully about a card. Is it the emotion you see on the card? Or is it what you’ve learned about the card that comes to your mind? If you are more compelled by the figure of the King on this card who is looking down at the cups spilled over on the Five of Cups, well, this could open a whole new avenue of understand in this reading. Why does the King care about those cups? And how does this weaken the relationship? Because this really doesn’t take me anywhere, I don’t feel that it’s really pertinent, but it is something to be aware of. Sometimes something that just seems interesting at first, but doesn’t seem to apply, may have some meaning further into the reading. And I do feel, very strongly, that the King really is looking down at those tumbled cups.

If Alyssa does everything in her power to strengthen this relationship, what might the relationship be like in three months? Four of Cups.

Another Cups card!! This is a good sign that the tarot is working with me on this reading. Cups represent emotions and Alyssa is asking about love. Sometimes a card may not have any particular meaning except as validation that the reading is in sync with the question or with the person herself. In this case, I feel that even if Alyssa and her lover somehow manage to salvage their relationship that it still won’t be enough. The figure on the Four of Cups is surrounded by Cups and another is being offered to her, but it’s no good. It’s not what she wants. She is still sad.

If this relationship is still going in three months, what will Alyssa’s emotional state be like? Death

Notice that a man, woman, and child lie dead at the bottom of this card. The way I see this is that the couple is together, but there is no life in their togetherness. This card doesn’t hint that this relationship is going anywhere at all. At least not based on the current state of their relationship. This doesn’t mean that the relationship could never be successful, but things may have to be drastically different for the relationship to thrive.

What might Alyssa’s emotional state be like in three months if she backs out of this relationship right now? Nine of Pentacles

This is a very clear sign to me that Alyssa could be quite happy without this man in her life. The Nine of Pentacles depicts a lady of leisure. She is surrounded by beauty. She is alone but content. Her life is very very good.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Lesson 9, Exercise 1 -- Practice Reading

It's your turn. Here's a real question. If you need help creating a spread or drawing cards or rephrasing the question to make more sense to you, let me know. Post your reading here and I can help you fine tune your reading style. In addition to that, I can confirm your accuracy. This question will change every time someone reads on it so that the question is always fresh and different for each person who gets to this lesson.

Questions, pick one to start with:

1. My husband and I are involved in a few different "battles" (with outside forces) right now. Draw as many or as few cards as you like to see what you can learn about them.

2. I'm neck deep in a handwriting analysis for a friend. What is my analysis showing about him so far?

Monday, January 8, 2007

It's time to start warming up those psychic muscles!

Ready for some exercises? What follows are some practical exercises that will allow you to use and hone your skills with the added benefit of being able to see the results fairly instantly. You don't have to use these exercises, you can create your own. I simply hope that these inspire you in some way.

Before you start actively reading for people, it's a good idea to do some real readings (like the exercises that follow) that allow you to check your accuracy. That way, when you're reading for more and more people, you are doing it with confidence and the knowledge that you have ability.
And here's a tip for you: you can use the tarot for so much more than you may realize. Don't be afraid to ask the tarot questions like, "What can I do to improve my abilities with the cards?" Or, "What blocks me from being able to read better for myself?"

Lesson 10, Exercise 2: The Yes or No Spread

I have personally never found this technique very accurate, but it may work very well for you. For me, the tarot has no yes/no answers. But we are all different and our psychic gifts work differently with the tarot. Therefore, just because it doesn't work for me doesn't mean it won't work for you.

The yes/no spread I learned and use most often is a seven card spread. It works like this: You ask the tarot a yes/ no question and draw seven cards from a deck that is shuffled for reversed and upright reading. In other words, there should be cards in the deck that are upright and reversed.

The seven cards are laid out, face side down if you prefer but I have always found this to be a technique used more for effect than practicality. Basically, you count 'em up and if the majority are upright, the answer is yes and if the majority are reversed, the answer is no. However, from here, you do a reading on the situation based on the cards you have drawn.

Card 1. How things started, their source, the beginning
Card 2. What fuels the situation, what perpetuates it
Card 3. A card for clear prespective on the situation, what brings it into balance, what is right/fair here.
Card 4. Who stands to lose or suffer from the outcome
Card 5. What will be gained from the outcome, what will be new or different when it is done/complete/settled/decided upon.
Card 6. What is the ideal outcome, what is most desired in this situation.
Card 7. What should be done to bring about the best overall outcome.

Even if the tarot answers wrong to the yes/no situation, it may still provide some much needed insight through the cards drawn.

The meanings ascribed to the different card positions can be changed as you please, so can the number of cards drawn (although it needs to be an odd number).

However, when you decide to create or change a spread, know clearly in advance (of shuffling and drawing) what the spread is about and what the card positions are going to represent. In order to get the clearest answers possible from the Universe, shouldn't your spread be as clear as possible?

If in doubt as to what meaning to ascribe to the different positions of a spread you are creating, then consult the tarot. Let Source now what spread you are working on and what meanings it suggests you ascribe to the positions. You might get some very good insight that way! Don't be afraid to consult the tarot in designing your tarot spreads. What tool could be better suited for it?

Feel free to practice this spread and send me your results if you want some help interpreting the cards you drew on the situation. Preferably, practice this on a real situation, take plenty of notes, then check back after the even has come to pass so you can make sense of the reading and the cards. How else will you learn if you don't take notes and look back at them after the fact? This is the ideal way to hone your skills. Upcoming elections, races, games, and the like are not a great way to practice your tarot accuracy because you are asking the tarot to tell you about the future, and the future is a constantly changing thing--difficult to predict. No, it's not cheating to try and use the tarot to predict lottery numbers, but if predicting the future were very practical, more of us readers would be quite wealthy.

Better to practice a spread like this on, say, a situation like, "Will the ____ I ordered arrive in the mail today?" It's not exactly a future prediction because your package may already be queued up for delivery to your house the day you draw. You've already ordered it, there's not much chance it won't show--it's only exactly when that's up in the air. There aren't as many factors to interfere with this future, a much clearer answer is likely.

This reminds me of an online Yes/No oracle. It's silly fun.

Sunday, January 7, 2007

Lesson 11, Exercise 3: What's in the News?

Here's an interesting exercise to develop your psychic intuition and tarot skills.

Before you turn on the tv or open your newspaper to check the news, grab a tarot deck and a pad of paper. Before you start shuffling, though, start attempting to tap into your own psychic skill and ask to be shown what the headlines are. If it's a newspaper you're about to open, ask to be shown the front page, especially the headline. Write down everything you intuit, letters, colors, shapes, faces, words, feelings. Write it all down. You can do something similar with the television news, but it's not going to be quite the same--understandably. A newspaper page is fixed, television news is in constant motion.

Now, start shuffling your cards, decide how many you are going to draw in advance and what kind of spread you are going to use. For instance, "I'm going to draw eight cards, the first four (top row) are to represent four different stories or separate bits of information on the front page, the next row of four will represent the content of each of those stories/bits of information, each card being the secondary card to the one above it." This is just one way you could do it, there are innumerable ways you could design your spread. But be clear about what you're going to do before you do it. Maybe you prefer to start small and draw one card to represent the lead story. It's up to you. Be one with Source, shuffle, draw, and and begin interpreting your cards. Take notes! Take lots of notes. Write down your impressions and stray thoughts. When you've exhausted what you are getting from the cards, THEN look at the paper. If you don't take these notes it's too easy to fool yourself into thinking your cards were more accurate than they are or, even worse, less accurate than they really are. Those notes will keep you honest with yourself.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

Lesson 12, Designing a spread for Stephanie!

Tarot answers tend to be quite vague. So it's important that your spreads are clear. You already know the cards are going to be vague, ask a vague question for that vague card and you're getting a double whammy.

Sure, I ask some vague questions of the tarot, "What guidance does Cassandra need right now." I think it's always good to give Source the opportunity to speak its mind, after all. But don't let a vague question be the base of the work you are doing with a client.

A client comes in and doesn't know or says they don't know what they want to know. They just shrug and ask for a general reading. Maybe they're testing the accuracy of tarot. Maybe they are just getting a reading for fun. Maybe they really don't know what to ask. Ask them what they're main concerns are. It's usually love, money, their kids, or health. If they just aren't budging on information, no problem. Simply ask the tarot a few specific questions about your client. Some good ones might be,

"What question is on this person's mind right now?"
"What is s/he worried about right now?"
"Who is on her mind right now?"
"What should she be asking the tarot about?"

Voila, you've got a four card spread. I have a terrible memory so I'd have laid down four Post-Its already with these questions. I'd draw the cards and go from there. I'm asking the Hanson Roberts Tarot to help me with this lesson by playing along and pretending I'm really doing this reading for somebody. Oh, heck, Steph is the only one poking around lately. I'll do it for her. She can tell ME I'm off base for a change.

Six of Coins indicates she may be wishing for a little financial boost at the moment. This card indicates someone who is trying to lend a hand here and there. There is also the implication of someone trying to balance things out on a karmic level. The main character on the card is bubbly and joyous. The secondary figures are grateful to be receiving the older man's gift. Coins are the main feature, indicating money, health, land, or other material things. But my first impression was of Steph hoping for a little help and my feeling was that she was hoping for it from someone in particular.

The Ace of Swords is appropriate for a worry. This card often comes up to represent a change or shift in action or attitude towards an existing issue. Perhaps Steph is worried about a recent decision or perhaps there is some new issue that has just entered her life. The key points with this card are NEW and PROBLEM. So, if this card is right, the main worry for Stephanie right now is a new worry--or new worries on an old problem. Hard to be sure.

I asked who is on her mind right now and drew the Two of Swords. This gives me the impression that there is no one in particular who is weighing on her mind, rather, it's her own actions or choices (or perhaps waiting on the decision of another???) that weigh on her mind right now. There may be a who involved, but it seems that the center of this aspect of the question is about a choice or decision.

I'm always harping on how I'm not a fortune teller, but the appearance of The Wheel of Fortune for Steph rather clearly says, "She should be asking what's to come." Well, crap. I won't ignore fate. This seems clear. I'll ask what is coming around for Stephanie in the very near future. NOTE! I'm setting these cards aside. I'm still on the same reading so I don't shuffle these cards back into the deck. I may need to refer to them later in the reading. Sometimes what isn't clear at first becomes clear as the reading continues. Six of Cups. This card makes me want to put my hand on hers and tell her not to worry because balance is coming. Remember the Six of Coins? On the card the main figure holds a scale. Seems balance or harmony is an issue in this reading. This card says that the balance she is hoping for is coming.

Now, at this point I would rely on discussion of these cards to lead me to other questions or other aspects of the questions above. But I have to wait for Stephanie's input before I can do that.

Based on Stephanie's comments:

Ah, so the help is being given already. And more hours could be what you are counting on. Interesting. So, from here and since you aren't right in front of me where I can ask you for direction, I will ask what you can contribute towards harmony in your family situation and if the universe has any writing inspiration for you! Not that you asked for that, you implied more that it was a matter of organization and prioritization. I've switched to the African Tarot for it's bright colors in honor of Beltane.

I drew Five of Arrows and Judgment. Five of Arrows seems appropriate for your current family strife. My impression from this card is that there isn't a lot you can do except to stay out of the stuff that isn't important and only offer your input for the big stuff. Notice the smile on the adult figure's face. He's taking their squabbles lightly and is only standing by to keep anyone from getting hurt. He knows that, for the most part, he needs to let the kids muck through the little stuff on their own. The adult on the card isn't just an adult standing over children, I think there's a deeper meaning here. I hear the words, "Rise above it" in my head and feel like it's a message for you to just remain aloof of the more childish things. The adult isn't just taller because he's older, he keeps his head up and out of the drama the children have created. He hasn't distanced himself, he's still available, he's just not invested in their drama. And the interesting thing to me is that the adult doesn't seem to be admonishing the children, he's smiling. Yet the children still seem to be reacting as if they've been "schooled." It's possible that you need to lead by example and not through trying to point out to your family what should be obvious to them. The children are embarrassed not because their elder has told them what they've done wrong, but because he has set a higher example for them that makes them realize how foolish their actions have been.

As for your writing, the Universe seems to be listening! To me, Judgment is a wake up call. I think the only message for you here is what you already know, it's time to be working towards your goal.