One of the reasons so many of us love tarot is the cards...we like to collect decks because we love the art. We love reading visual images (rather than words). In addition to the symbols, composition, and style in each of these tiny pieces of art, color plays an important role in how we respond to a card or to a spread.
Interpreting color as symbol can be tricky, as not all artists use the same sort of palate. However, artists create images meant to evoke certain responses and to do that they use the rules of design and also what they know of our responses to color. I don't always consciously scan a reading for color in order to interpret it, but I do know that as a reader I do respond
On of the things I like about The Ultimate Guide to the Rider Waite Tarot by Joannes Fiebig and Evelin Burger is their lists of "10's." There list of The 10 Most Important Rules for Interpretation inspired me to write my own list:
7 Tips for Interpretation
Because any one tarot card has such a wide variety of meanings, these are tips I use to zero in on the right one for any particular reading. My list only has 7 because that's all I have and I didn't want to make things up just to have 10, even though that would have been nicer.
1. Consider the basic card meaning. For me, this is almost always the starting point for interpreting a card, although it often happens simultaneously
Most tarot readers agree that any card can have many meanings. Determining which meaning apply to any specific reading depends on several factors, such as the deck used, the question asked, the reader (including her/his intuition), and spread position.
Some spread positions have what we might think of as "negative" meanings, such as "challenge," "problem," "roadblock," or even the "crossing card" in the Celtic Cross.
What happens when a card that we generally read as a "positive" card falls into a negative position? How do we interpret it? For these examples I will use the "stable family life" interpretation. Yes, I know there are many other possibilities!
Here are some tips:
About a month ago, I wrote about reading the numbers present in a spread to gain information about the situation or question before beginning to interpret individual cards. You can find that post HERE.
In addition to gathering information from the numbers, I also scan the elements present to help form my initial outline for the message in the cards.
There are different meanings and associations for the suits, depending on who you ask and what system they use. Below, I'll give mine. Because I associate very naturally and easily with the elements, I rely on those associations quite heavily.
Elemental Association: Spirit. Many readers assign each card in the Major