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Circle Readings

This post was written by Barbara Moore
on May 13, 2010 | Comments (9)

Although I haven’t quite figured out how I will fold this technique into my regular reading practice, this was one of my very favorite activities of this year’s Readers Studio (and you’ll hear more about why tomorrow). It would work well, I think, with a small group of friends who know tarot or who are willing to open up their intuitive selves or with a Tarot Meet Up group.

To begin, Mary K. Greer, the master teacher for this workshop, had everyone form groups of exactly five people. Once we had our group, we pulled our chairs together into a very tight circle so that our knees were touching. Although awkwardly intimate at first, this helped establish connection and, well, intimacy that made the experience all the more magical and meaningful.

We went around the circle asking and answering questions. The key is to answer quickly, taking generally no more than 30 seconds per answer (although some were allotted more time). We sometimes went in one direction and sometimes in another, per Mary’s direction. At one point we got up and changed seats so that we had new people on either side.

Each person in the circle had a deck of tarot cards fanned out on their lap. The first person (person A) turned to the person on their right (person B) and asked a question, any question they wanted. Person B pulls a card from any of the tarot decks in the circle and answers the question posed by Person A with the first thing that catches her eye in the card. Then Person B turns to Person C and asks a question, and so on until Mary called time.

Other prompts included:

Describing the card in second person, present tense.

To have Person A ask the question silently, and Person B answering with something suggested on the card.

Answering the question with a question based on the card.

Answering the question with one word based on the card.

Answering the question with strong advice, “You should….” based on the card.

Answering the question with either “yes, if…,” “no, if …,” or “maybe, if ….”

And my very favorite:

Person A asks a question. Person B pulls a card but DOES NOT look at it, answers the question however she likes, and returns the card to the deck with no one having looked at it.

How would you incorporate this into your regular readings? Can you see yourself trying it with a group?

Reader Comments

Written By Theresa
on May 13th, 2010 @ 8:20 am

This was my favorite part of the RS10 and such a good exercise. Our group had a lot of fun with it and I learned a lot!

Written By Ellen-Mary
on May 13th, 2010 @ 8:42 am

This was, without a doubt, the best class at RS10. The group I ended up in spontaneously came together. Two of the women I didn’t know at all and one I knew only a little. Ten minutes into that class we bonded and were on a roll.

Mary’s technique gets your ego out of the way. The time constraints don’t let you think too much so your intuition takes over. What you know about the cards is more than you think you do and her exercises get you out of your own way. Every one of those things made me a better reader already.

Written By Rose Vanden Eynden
on May 13th, 2010 @ 8:55 am

I try to regularly read Mary’s blog, and she described many of these techniques in a recent post. It inspired me so much that I decided to form a Tarot Wisdom Circle for the summer to try some of them out! Thanks for putting the information here, too, Barbara.

Written By Koneta
on May 13th, 2010 @ 10:28 am

This sounds like fun. I can’t wait to try this out with my Tarot Study Group. If it goes well, I can see using it in Workshops too!

Written By Gloria
on May 13th, 2010 @ 5:48 pm

I loved this one as well. I was in Theresa’s group and yes we did have a lot of fun! I did practise it in a smaller group than suggested and I am considering using it in a larger group that I can break up into the 5 people too. It was just to much fun not to share with others.

Written By James Wells
on May 13th, 2010 @ 8:54 pm

I too enjoy doing this tarot circle process. Could be helpful in consultations for study groups, committees, spiritual gatherings, boards of directors, artists, writers, families, couples, etc. In one-on-one consultations, I can see using this method by trading back and forth between who asks the questions and who responds to them. e.g. first the reader responds to the readee’s question, then asks the readee a question that s/he needs to respond to from the viewpoint of a card, and so on. Other ideas?

Written By Christiana Gaudet
on May 14th, 2010 @ 7:56 am

I run quite a few Tarot Meetups, and am so excited to see this. I do an exercise similar but much simpler than this, called “Round-Robin Readings.”
I am definately going to incorporate some of this for Monday’s Tarot Circle Meetup!

Thank you, Mary and Barbara!

Written By Donnaleigh
on June 15th, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

This was so much fun. The hardest part was not peeking at that card we weren’t supposed to look at! One of our group members did by mistake and she immediately caught herself… the amazing thing is that she had described the card perfectly before she peeked! Ye gods!


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