After laying and interpreting a spread, do you sometimes need to find out the underlying influence in a situation? Or maybe a subconscious motive or desire? Look at the card on the bottom of the deck. It never fails to give additional insight.
Not Your Everyday Tarot Reading
If you would like a reading of a spiritual nature, take the twenty-two cards of the Major Arcana and perform a reading with them. The resultant reading will reveal the esoteric significance of the events going on in your life and tell you how your soul is progressing along its spiritual path.
Getting to Know the Tarot Court
For many tarot readers the court cards often prove the most challenging. Here are two exercises to help you develop a better acquaintance with these cards and a technique to add a new twist to your readings.
This exercise is an adaptation of one developed by Mark McElroy for use with the Major Arcana. In Mark's technique, you are seeking advice. You can do this exercise either to deepen your understanding of the court cards or to get advice.
Think of the court cards as sixteen people at a dinner party. Ask them all the same question, the sort of question you might do a tarot reading about or even something lighthearted, like "What movie should I rent this weekend?" Let each of them answer as befits their personality. By the time you're done, you should have sixteen different opinions on the subject.
Problem-Solving Tarot Technique
Here is a technique to use if you are having trouble communicating with someone. By using a court card to represent the person, you place some distance between yourself and the issue. This allows you to see things from the other person's point of view and focus on how to best communicate with that person.
Pick out a court card that represents the person you want to talk to. How would you communicate with the character in that card? What kind of arguments or reasoning would appeal to, say, the King of Swords? How would they differ from those that appeal to the Page of Cups?
Then select a court card that represents you. Imagine these two court cards having a dialogue. Where is there a conflict? Where is there a meeting of the minds? Is there any way the court card representing you can approach the other card in a positive way? Where and how does it break down? Which court card might be able to communicate better? Determine why and adopt those characteristics.
Just beginning your adventure into the world of tarot? Here are some quick tips to help you get started. Be aware that there are many types of decks available. Some are easier to work with than others. Most beginners are most comfortable with a fully-illustrated deck. So you may want to avoid, at least for now, decks that have some cards with just symbols on them. For example, the Eight of Swords has eight swords arranged in a pattern on the card.
Barbara Moore's Picks for Beginner Decks:
Whatever you wish to do with the cards—divination, meditation, self-improvement—you'll probably want a good foundation, a clear understanding of the meanings of the cards. Many beginner books are available. You may want to browse bookstore shelves to see which appeal to you.
Barbara Moore's Picks for Beginner Books:
Barbara Moore's Picks for Advanced Study:
In Mary K. Greer and Tom Little's Understanding the Tarot Court, you'll find lots of information and exercises to help you become more comfortable with these complex personalities.
For example, they suggest an unusual and fun guided visualization to help break the ice with each of the sixteen court cards. Imagine yourself at a beach party. Imagine a summer evening, pleasantly hot sand beneath your feet and a cooling breeze that makes you feel relaxed and comfortable. Hear a party in the distance.
As you approach the party, the first person you meet makes you feel warm and welcome. Which card is this?
As you chat with this person, you notice someone who immediately makes you uncomfortable, someone you will avoid if possible. Which card is this?
As you move through the group, avoiding this person, you notice someone you are physically attracted to. Which card is this?
At the same time, you see someone who is clearly the life of the party, making everyone laugh. Which card is this?
Before you can make your way to the fun, you notice someone you respect for their wisdom and don’t want to miss the opportunity to chat with. Which card is this? Take a moment and see what this person has to say.
After a while, it's time to leave the party. Take some time to note why you picked the cards you did and what the wise person had to say.