Tarot Workout: Reconciliation

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Enjoy this as a sample reading. Or, if you are a tarot student, read the question, check out the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Read the end later to see how my response compares to your own.

The Question

A man — I’ll pick the name Xavier — wrote to ask if his ex would return to reconcile after a fight. He gave me no more information than that his ex is a man whom he loves dearly.

This is the kind of question that often brings people to a tarot reader. It is wonderful because it is heart-felt, and tricky because it is a yes-no question largely focused on someone other than the questioner. I opened up the question and gave it a twist to allow for Xavier’s free will to enter while honoring the spirit of his inquiry. I asked, “show me this relationship’s most likely next stage, with a guidance card for Xavier.”

The Layout

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  • CARD 1 (Covering energy) This is like the card in the center of a Celtic Cross spread. It represents the overall feeling of the time in question.
  • CARD 2 (Crossing energy) This is like the second card at the center of the Celtic Cross. We often say that it “represents the opportunity that shows itself for better or worse.”
  • CARD 3 (Guidance) What it sounds like.

The Cards

  1. 10 of Pentacles, reversed
  2. Princess of Pentacles
  3. The Empress, reversed

Present Day Tarot reading workout

I used the Light and Shadow Tarot deck by Brian Williams and Michael Goepferd. I love the bold block prints and energy in this deck. However, the cards are oversized and printed on very tacky card stock, which makes them unusually difficult to handle. I reserve this deck for email readings to avoid the inevitably awkward situation of having a client struggle to shuffle the cards.

***** Tarot students, stop here and formulate your own answers ***** Continue reading “Tarot Workout: Reconciliation”

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Tarot Workout: Play it Safe or Jump?

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Enjoy this as a sample reading. Or, if you are a tarot student, read the question, check out the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Read the end later to see how my response compares to your own.

The Question

I did a distance reading for someone who was finishing up a teaching certificate and had mixed feelings about the road ahead. “I’ve invested in this program and have no regrets, but I don’t feel like jumping straight into the classroom. What do my tarot cards say?” She summed up her question beautifully: “How can I best contribute to the world with the skills I have now?”

The Layout

I pulled a simple trio of cards from the Golden Tarot by Kat Black. I asked for the first card to show the main energy of her best option, and for the next two to show clarifying details.Present Day Tarot workout

  • CARD 1: (Central energy of best option) Knight of Coins, upright
  • CARD 2: (Supporting detail) The Fool, upright
  • CARD 3: (Supporting detail) 4 of Coins, reversed

***** Tarot students, stop here and formulate your own answers *****

This was my written response to the client (with details altered for anonymity). Did you see it in a different way?

“The first impression I get from these cards is a sense of being open-minded and curious – both you and the people you work with in your next chapter. I feel like the best path for you, as you suspect, is not the status quo, but something that captures your sense of possibility and wonder. My overall feeling is that this shows you pursuing a very specific project next, once your program is complete, and that this chapter will be a halfway point in your best career path. I feel the cards are saying that this experience – which may seem like a temporary fling at first – will lay the groundwork for new inspiration.

I don’t see what I consider the traditional teacher cards in this spread. Instead, I associate these cards with projects and tangible products. I also see a fair amount of inspiration (and some naïveté) on the part of people around you. I feel like your educational skills will be in high demand, but that you will aim them more toward advancing a product rather than, say, educating students in a classroom.

Version 2The Knight of Pentacles is the main energy in this reading. This card can be interpreted in several ways. My first feeling is that it represents another person (possibly someone younger than you) who invites you to be part of a project. (In her feedback to me, the client verified that she was already speaking with a younger potential collaborator). This can also represent the project itself, which I see as a for-profit company, or some other kind of tangible, earthy endeavor. (Again, this was verified by the client). The Knight can also be your spirit of daring and curiosity as you move toward something that is intriguing and new.

Two of these cards show you challenging the status quo. The Fool shows inspired play, which I feel may grow with time out of the work you pursue next. In this deck, she is literally dancing to the beat of her own drum! The 4 of Pentacles, when reversed, is about letting go of your security blanket. This can be uncomfortable, but with a school book in her lap, the figure in this card seems to say that your learning has given you valuable skills that you can bring with you even if you apply them in a different way than you originally thought you would.”

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If you enjoyed this Tarot Workout, these other offerings may interest you as well:

  • Come to my August classes! No tarot experience is necessary — just curiosity. If you live in Seattle, this is a great chance to do something different for yourself this summer. Check out the details here!
  • Contact me for a reading. For a short time, I will offer distance readings (via email) for a discount price of $25 per reading. This price will only last through August 2017, so email me today if you are interested. (yetta@presentdaytarot.com)

Tarot Workout: Who Will I Marry?

Tarot Workouts are short, real-life case studies to help you exercise your tarot-reading muscle. Tarot students: read the questions, see the cards, and then step away from the essay to formulate your own response. Come back to check out how my response compares to your own ideas.
A Tarot Workout is an academic exercise, not a true reading. It is an opportunity for you to practice putting card meanings together. Since the questioner has no energetic connection to my essay, you will not have the benefit of an intuitive interaction – except, perhaps, with me! Of course, I alter all identifying details to respect anonymity.

Tarot Workout Question

A man asks: “What kind of person am I going to marry? Will she be someone who loves and respects me, or….?” I devise a 3-card spread and draw the following cards from the Pamela Coleman Smith commemorative deck:

  • Card #1 (Kind of person you are most likely to attract right now): Page of Cups, Reversed
  • Card #2 (What you should be on the lookout for): The Lovers, Upright
  • Card #3 (What you should be wary of): 9 of Swords, Upright

********** BREAK HERE TO PONDER THE CARDS *********

Yetta’s Response

  • My overall take on this reading is that it cautions you to beware of your attraction to lesser people than you deserve. It says that you are capable of finding a forever and respectful partner, but that it may not be your first impulse. The key to knowing the difference is being able to admit when things are going wrong.

Version 2The Page of Cups shows upside-down as the person you are most likely to attract in your current state of being. If this card were upright, it might be a childhood sweetheart and soulmate at the same time. Upside-down, I see this Page as cute, affectionate, and fun, but also emotionally immature. She may also be younger than you. This is not a ‘bad’ person at all, but it is someone who is not a capable partner in the long run.

Version 3Your Major Arcana card, The Lovers, shows upright as “what you should be on the lookout for.” To have such a big card in this position makes me feel that you are entirely capable of attaining this outcome if you, ahem, play your cards right. The challenge will be to listen to your inner wisdom. Despite its name, the Lovers card is not as romantic, in my view, as the Page of Cups. This card is about long-term commitment, choice and consequence. When you look at the Page you might say: What fun! When you look at the person represented by the Lovers you might say: I could see myself growing old with this person. The way you worded your question to me makes it clear that your inner voice is pointing you to the energy of the Lovers and not the Page.

9 of Swords Colman SmithThe third card, indicating what you should be wary of, is the 9 of Swords. This card is about stress and concern, and basically says that it will be abundantly obvious when you are on the wrong track. In your next romantic relationship, look for signs of worry and anxiety. Do you have a nagging feeling that this isn’t right? Do your friends express concern? Does that person live stressfully, and in a way that transfers stress to you? My sense from these cards is that it should not be a subtle sign, largely because it is in the upright position. However, the challenge is always (in my experience) to trust yourself enough to act on your best judgment.

When I look back at your question, it strikes me that — like Dorothy! — you had the answer before the reading even began! “What kind of person will I marry? Someone who respects me, or …?” You know yourself well enough to recognize that you have a weakness for people who are not the best for you. So know this as well: Tarot works as a reflection of your intuition. The correspondence is illuminating and not accidental.

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Follow this blog if you are interested in doing more Tarot Workouts in the future. I have a growing number of offerings for students, including a Tarot Explorations class in Seattle on May 4th, 2017. To find out more and to sign up, visit my partners at The Field Trip Society.

If you want a reading, email me (yetta@presentdaytarot.com) or go directly to my scheduling software.

The R.A.I.N. Tarot Spread

Next time you want a little help feeling serene, I recommend the recordings of Tara Brach, a Buddhist teacher, psychologist, and author based in Washington, DC. Earlier this year on a gorgeous day, I sat by Lake Washington and listened to her podcast about a practice she calls RAIN. It lends itself beautifully to a 4-card tarot spread.

Recognize. Allow. Investigate. Nurture. R.A.I.N. This is a sequence to follow when you find yourself looping through familiar, unhelpful, and stress-inducing cycles. It is a system to help move through stuck places and raise awareness by asking very specific questions of ourselves, or – as in a tarot reading – by asking questions of the cards. Here’s a summary using the Rider-Waite-Smith deck to illustrate the energies for each step. 

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Card 1: Recognize. When you find yourself in the charged spot, pause and name it. This will bring your awareness into the dynamic. Ask, “What is making me uncomfortable right now?”

 

Version 2

 

Card 2: Allow. Our typical reflex is to fight or flee the discomfort. Tara Brach (like the Hanged Man) invites you to sit with it instead. This in itself can be a profound game changer. Ask, “What does this discomfort do to me?”

 

Version 3

 

Card 3: Investigate.  Once you are sitting with the feeling rather than fleeing from it, you can examine the experience. Ask, “What is hiding beneath my discomfort?”

 

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Card 4: Nurture. Once you have uncovered your own vulnerability, greet it with love and care. Ask, “How can I meet the need that this discomfort has revealed?”

 

For those of you using tarot to deepen your awareness and understanding, try out this new spread with something that matters to you. Or book a reading with me.

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Here is the link to Tara Brach’s hour-long presentation about RAIN. If you are interested to explore a 4-card RAIN spread, check out her anecdote starting at 31:54. She tells a very relatable story about helping someone with the RAIN process of inquiry. What cards might have shown if this had this been a tarot reading?

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