Before digging into the details of a reading, I like to get an overview. Looking at the big picture helps me relate the details in a reading to each other, creating a more coherent message. I think of it as an artist first sketching in a composition and then going in a filling in the details. The sketch helps keep everything in perspective and in right relation. The details give the image nuance and bring it to life.
1. Look for Major Arcana cards.
The Majors make up fewer than one-third of the deck. If there are more than that in a reading, it tells me that there is something bigger going on than perhaps the querent thinks. There are life lessons and probably many forces beyond the querent’s control.
2. Look for the Court cards.
Fewer than one-quarter of the cards are court cards. If more than that shows up in a reading, I keep in mind that there may be many other people involved or influencing the situation. Or perhaps the querent is feeling torn about how to behave.
3. Analyze the suits present.
Are all four suits equally represented? If not, what is predominant and how might that influence the energy of the situation? What is missing? Is that suit one that should be brought into the situation by the querent?
I don’t always expect the suits to be equally represented. For example, if I would expect more cups in a relationship reading. What is striking to me is when there are no cups present in a love relationship reading. When reading about a job or career, it is interesting to determine the querent’s priorities by the suits present. Pentacles is financial, of course. Wands shows that ambition and excitement are valued. Swords indicates a love of problem-solving and analysis. Cups suggests that emotional fulfillment and good relations with co-workers and clients matter a lot to this querent.
4. Look at the visual pattern made by the cards.
Tarot is a visual medium. Art and artistic elements matter to most readers. Before looking at the art of each card, look at the cards on the table altogether as if they were one picture. Look at the colors and shapes. Is there a flow…or lack of flow…that you can see?
The next time you do a reading, try these four steps and make a sketch of your interpretation. Then fill in the details card by card.
Let me know how it works for you!