Posted in Evolutionary Tarot on April 14, 2008|
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Earlier today, I was giving a tutorial to a woman who comes to me to sharpen specific tarot skills. We always have enjoyable sessions and today was no different. Today was about engaging the readee/querent more actively during the course of a tarot consultation instead of her/him just sitting there listening to pronouncments from the reader/consultant. The largest body of what we came up with was a series of questions one can ask the client at the beginning of the session, during the body of the session, and at the end of the session. Here are some that we came up with:
AT THE BEGINNING:
- What would you like to accomplish in today’s tarot session?
- What would be helpful for us to explore today?
- What feelings have you been having that led you to the tarot today?
- What is the most important thing (in your life) to know or learn about at this time?
DURING THE SESSION:
- What in this image really grabs your attention?
- What’s happening in this card?
- How does it feel?
- What might this mean?
- If this card were a story, what would it be telling you?
- For me, this card can be about A, B, C, or D. Given your own experience, which of these makes sense to you?
- How might the things I’ve/we’ve said about this card relate to [spread position/question]?
AT THE END:
- How would you summarise everything we’ve talked about today?
- What do you most want to remember from this consultation?
- What one constructive thing can you do this week to help you remember the session?
In a wonderful moment of synchronicity, I encountered more questions at lunch-time. I’m reading the newly revised edition of Christina Baldwin’s Life’s Companion: Journal Writing as a Spiritual Practice, and today’s chapter just happened to be — you guessed it! — The Art of Questioning. It contains delicious phrases such as:
- Our spiritual lives are defined by the questions we raise and write about…
- Through questioning we learn to hold our own course — to absorb life’s mysteries and keep moving through the territory questions release to our exploration.
- The comfort that comes from questioning is this: even if there isn’t an answer, there is response.
Whether over tarot cards, in our journals, deep in the process of council, or simply in everyday conversation, questions open us up to more of who we can be, to more of what life can be. So, dear readers, I leave you with this question today:
What is the burning question you need to ask right now?
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It’s hard to believe that Mary Greer’s third book, Tarot Mirrors: Reflections of Personal Meaning, first came out 20 years ago. I’ve been revisiting Tarot Mirrors this week and remembering what a treasure trove of tarot counselling techniques it is. Every serious tarot consultant would do well to read and do the activities in this text. Especially helpful, for me, are the sections on the four different methods of working with a tarot card, four levels of meaning, the Breakthrough Process, the Dialectic Spread, clarifying one’s primary way(s) of working with the tarot, the emotional healing process, and the Star Spreads. Perfect for anyone who uses, or wants to use, the tarot as an implement for insight, self-awareness, self-expression, and self-healing.
By the way, it was Mary Greer who set up this blog for me. She’s not only a stellar tarot practitioner, but also a generous, sweet, and supportive friend. Long live Mary Greer!
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Posted in Evolutionary Tarot on April 12, 2008|
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The Maat Tarot, by my friend Julie Cuccia-Watts, has been a huge hit with my clients this week. Almost everyone who has come to me for tarot consultations since last Monday has chosen the Maat deck to use for their sessions. There’s something about the artwork that just grabs people’s attention and speaks loudly during their appointments. Some of the images are so “real life” that they’re captivating. Others are deeply mythic, so they speak to that eternal part of us. Something I’ve noticed is that the Maat Tarot brings up a lot of ancestral issues — energies and situations that people are carrying on behalf of those who have gone before them. It’s almost shamanic. And the deck’s concepts and illustrations always offer very healing suggestions for how to shed those ancestral burdens. Hats off to Julie for such a work of beauty and healing!
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To interpret the Minor Arcana (the four sets of suit cards), it really helps me to have a system in place that combines a card’s suit, its value (number or court/person), and its orientation (upright or reversed). This gives me something concrete to fall back on, reflect on, and draw upon when interpreting a card for myself or a client. For example, I can muse to myself, “This is the Page of Cups, reversed. Reversed Cups can be about intuition, inner feelings, addiction, codependency, or my relationship with Spirit or self. Pages are about risk-taking, recommitting, going out on a limb, diving right in, or daring. So, this could be about taking intuitive risks, recommitting to a codendent relationship, going out on a limb in my relationship with Infinite Mystery, or diving into my innermost feelings.” Then, I simply look at the topic and question or spread position in order to help me narrow down the possibilities of meaning. I can think to myself, “OK, the topic is about my tarot practice and the spread position is ‘What’s the best thing I can do this month with regard to my tarot practice?’ So the most likely interpretation of the Page of Cups reversed in this context is ‘Take greater intuitive risks and/or dive into unorthodox hunches when reading the cards.” So the formula is Suit + Value + Orientation + Topic + Question/Position = Interpretation.
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