Over the past week I have been thinking about what it would be like to do a reading. I've been working on meeting my cards, one at a time; spending time with each and journaling about it on several levels: first impressions, Insights and Keywords, and supportive information from several sources. This is the coure I decided to choose for learning how I'd study the basics.
On April 28, I met The Chariot, which according to a passage in Rachel Pollack's book, "Tarot Wisdom," is the last of the First Level trumps. I liked how she described how the journey was split into 3 levels. Having reached this place in my work, I considered, as was suggested, to review what I'd been taught by these first 8 cards of the deck. As I work, I've also been reading about spreads, and the endless possible ways or doing a reading. Right from the start, I was creating my own course, while taking what I felt would enhance my work from the authors of many Tarot books, as well as from the many wonderful members of AT.
While I originally thought I might actually begin with a simple 3 card spread, I also came across a few interestingly creative spreads at the forum. As happened with my first moments after stepping over the threshold of this Path, I had no idea how or what I'd do until I got there.
I knew the actual question, because it was recommended in "Tarot Wisdom," but I also realized that there is often more to a spread than simply throwing down three cards in succession. Each position in the spread, I learned, often carries its own question.
I thought about the fact that I would be working with 8 cards. BUT, I also decided that I'd make #0 the significator - because I was the querent, and I have considered this part of my journey to be my own 'Seeker's Journey.' That gave me seven of the original eight to consider when deciding on the structure of the spread.
This was completely intuitive. I have not looked at many spreads so do not know about other seven card spreads. I wrote down seven questions, based on the original idea of 'What have I learned from these seven cards' with the recommended review of Level 1 as its foundation. With the questions before me I began to picture how the spread would look. Finally, I had it in my head, but it wasn't until I laid the cards upon the table that I actually really SAW it. It felt so right I was quite pleasantly surprised as well as pleased with the result.
Using the forum mapping, hopefully this will come out the way it ended up on the table:
I wasn't sure to show in the diagram that the significator was under Card 7.
I placed the Seeker (0) card in the center of the table, and then placed the 1 and 2 positions on either side, but spaced out so the cards above and below would line up (as seen above). Why I placed card 3 where I did, seemed logical, and keeping a symatry, I placed card 4 diagonally opposite it on the bottom row, which led to card 5 being on the top row on the other side of the significator, and like wise, card six taking its place in the bottom row diagonally opposite 5 on the bottom row. This left card seven to lay upon the significator.
The questions for each card follow:
1. What have I learned from my work with these cards?
2. Where does my strength reside?
3. What areas need more work?
4. What do I understand most?
5. What puzzles me most?
6. How can I improve my studies?
7. Who is my greatest teacher?
The actual reading follows:
1. Hierophant I have learned the importance of following tradition and the 'rules' which are associated with the original Way of Tarot, as I begin my journey.
2. High Priestess My strength resides in my intuition.
3. The Lovers I need to learn to integrate myself more, and be balanced through harmony of all the parts of myself.
4. The Magician I understand the need to master the basics first, balancing the outward knowledge with my intuitive sense.
5. The Empress Here I had to think about why The Empress would puzzle me, but the reality is that I tend not to be in touch with the feminine aspect within myself, and push it away, and yet, I felt very comfortable meeting this card. This allowed me to acknowledge that there is great power in being 'The Mother' and the recognition as well as acceptance of that part of myself.
6. The Emperor Practice makes perfect, and to continue with my plan to follow the traditional route during this period, before stepping outside the box.
7. The Chariot That I have maintained a deep and abiding interest in my studies, and am ever progressing, moving toward my goals.
*will try to make an actual jpg of how the layout looked.