Party Spread

A question on the Tarot Talk Google+ community inspired this post. One of the members wanted to know if he could read more than one person at a time, like at a party, using the same spread. I think this is a great idea given the right party and people. I think it should be kept rather lighthearted and focused on the group dynamics and individual personalities, rather than trying to be predictive.

Let’s say there are nine people at the party. You choose one card to represent each person and then look at the layout to see how everyone interacts based on the visual cues. Here’s a real reading using imaginary people. I only used the court cards but you could use the whole deck or maybe just the Majors.

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Over the Moon Tarot deck
Images courtesy of OldBookArt.com

The party goers:

Jerry (Page of Wands)

Steve (Queen of Pentacles)

Katrina (Queen of Swords)

Daphne (Page of Cups)

Debbie (King of Wands)

Mark (Knight of Wands)

Patti (Queen of Cups)

Stacey (Page of Swords)

Bill (Queen of Wands)

What do you observe about them and their interactions? Who came to the party together? Who has mentally checked out of the party? Where are the conflicts? Who is the life of the party? These are some possibilities….

There is a couple at the center of this group — Debbie and Bill — The King and Queen of Wands respectively. Debbie keeps the group in harmony (this King plays music). Debbie wears the pants in the relationship — Bill simply dances to whatever music Debbie plays. They came to the party with Jerry and Mark (the other Wands).

There are three people who are not really engaged in the festivities. They are all facing outside the spread. Patti, who is constantly looking at herself in the mirror, brought sidekick Daphne, who doesn’t want to be there and definitely isn’t having any fun. Mark, a natural salesman, is actually outside, selling bootleg CDs from his car trunk.

Jerry who always looks busy running around and often misplaces things (Page of Wands is missing a shoe), has to run interference between Steve and Katrina. Notice how the Queen of Pentacles and Queen of Swords are having a face off. Everyone at the party knows Steve and Katrina don’t get along…perhaps it’s just some misplaced sexual tension.

Stacey doesn’t notice anything that’s going on with the people at the party. An animal lover, she spends her time trying to get the pet parakeet to repeat her name.

What do you see?

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Archetypes of the Soul Spread

I’m working on a couple of archetype decks right now. I’ve been interested in archetypes for a very long time. Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed that archetypes are models of people, behaviors and personalities and that they are part of the collective unconscious mind. This means that regardless of your culture or background, you have an innate understanding of archetypes because their themes are universal. A few of the archetypes Jung described:

  • The father: Authority figure; stern; powerful.
  • The mother: Nurturing; comforting.
  • The child: Longing for innocence; rebirth; salvation.
  • The wise old man: Guidance; knowledge; wisdom.
  • The hero: Champion; defender; rescuer.
  • The maiden: Innocence; desire; purity.
  • The trickster: Deceiver; liar; trouble-maker.

If you use a tarot deck you have already become accustomed to seeing archetypes, as they make up the Major Arcana. Read this article by Corinne Kenner: Tarot Archetypes of the Major Arcana.

The Archetypes of the Soul spread uses 3 cards. The goal of this spread is to see what archetypal role you are projecting, what role you suppress and how to bridge the two aspects for a more balanced perspective on life. Select each card from the deck one at a time in this order: (1) Primary, (2) Shadow, (3) Bridge.

Primary Archetype — this is your core energy; it reflects the real you and the energy you lead with and project to others.

Shadow Archetype — this is still the real you but reveals another side of you that you reject, repress or dislike. It doesn’t have to be a negative quality, just one that you don’t align yourself with.

Bridge Archetype — this is the energy that will bridge your primary and shadow archetypes. This card represents a role or action to balance these two energies for overall harmony and growth.

Try this spread with your tarot deck (all or just the Majors) or other oracle deck.

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Archetypes of the Major Arcana – images courtesy of The Classic 1910 Tarot by The Fools Dog

READ: Jung's Archetypes (article) & My Archetypes of the Soul Reading

Seven Deadly Sins Spread

7sinsThis post was inspired by leikkona’s Wind in my Heart blog post. I’ve adapted it a little to suit my version of a card spread. Choose one card (from your tarot or oracle deck) for each of these sins. Each of these would also make a great divination journaling prompt too.

Lust: What I want.

Pride: What I’m proud of.

Sloth: What makes me lazy.

Envy: What I wish I was better at.

Gluttony: What I have too much of.

Wrath: What makes me angry.

Greed: What I can’t get enough of.

My Watchword Reading Part 2

Here’s Part 2 of my Watchword reading using The Prairie Tarot. I took out positions Station and Battle and just used Destiny for the center position. See Part 1 for the initial assessment. This time I’m adding my own card interpretations for each position.

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The Prairie Tarot images courtesy of The Fool’s Dog

Giant (top middle) — 8 of Staves….represents my strengths and motivation
Strange…these look like colored pencils floating in the air above the water. Completely useless up there though. They remind me of the colored cups in the 7 of Cups…brightly colored things floating in mid-air. This card is about moving forward because all of the pencils point to the right. This card also shows when you need to move forward it’s best to rely on your mind (air) rather than your emotions (water).

Dwarf (bottom middle) — Magician….represents my weaknesses and limitations
A con artist who plays parlour tricks for money. Step right up and prepare to lose every dime in your pocket. This guy can make your money disappear. This card symbolizes games of chance and life experiences that are too good to be true.

Persona (right middle) — 6 of Staves….represents the face I present to others
This guy is competing at a rodeo and he and his horse are doing very well in the competition. He looks a little nervous but his horse is confident in his jump. This card is about taking a leap of faith and trusting your instincts. It also relates to healthy competition and getting over life’s hurdles.

Soul (left middle) — 7 of Cups….represents the real me
This man is sitting in a room alone. He’s been drinking so he’s hallucinating these colored cups floating in the air. He’s about to pass out and when he does all the cups will figuratively come crashing down to the floor. This card is about different ways of being drunk and disillusioned. It also relates to imagination and seeing the world in bright colors like the cups.

Imago (top right) — Empress….represents my goals or aspirations
A languid woman sits on her porch feeding chickens and doing needlepoint. She looks like the type of woman who is very much in charge, perhaps she has quite a few adult children and grandchildren, all of whom call her Ma. She is very content with her place in life, now that she is older and wiser. She doesn’t make a fuss about most things. This card is about being content with your place in life and owning your space.

Shadow (bottom left) — 10 of Pentacles….represents what is hidden
An older gentleman pets his loyal dogs while his disloyal family walks away from him. They think he’s getting in the way and they are unsure of what to do with him (put him in a nursing home, etc.). The only ones that don’t judge him are the dogs.

Spectre (bottom right) — Page of Swords….represents fears and anxieties
A gentleman has just won a duel but he’s not happy about it. He got what he wanted but he had to kill another man in the process and the victory has left him empty.

Guide (top left) — 3 of Staves….represents guidance from Higher Self
A man is standing on the docks. A bird friend stops by to stare into the distance with him. This man is pondering something, his future perhaps. If he stares into the distance long enough, he will gain a new perspective and know just what to do.

Destiny (middle) — 2 of Pentacles….represents where things are headed
A rattlesnake has coiled around 2 coins. This is unfortunate because what is a rattlesnake going to do with money? Yet it’s protecting the coins and doesn’t look like anyone will be able to take them away. This card is about protecting your assets and guarding your possessions. It’s also about holding your valuable qualities close to you and not letting others dismiss them.

RELATED POSTS: The Watchword Spread & My Watchword Reading Part 1

Dream Analysis Spread

Typically, I would just work with the dream symbols but sometimes you have a dream you can’t make heads or tails of. In this case, choosing a few cards may help shed light on the symbols and the overarching subject.

Carl G. Jung, the Swiss psychotherapist and psychiatrist who founded analytical psychology, describes the structure of a dream in four phases:

Exposition

  • Sets the scene and provides a summary of the dream
  • “this is what the dream is all about”
  • Who the dream is about. Is the emphasis on you or someone else?
  • What environment you are in or how you perceive your environment.
  • What issues you are facing

Development

  • What’s happening
  • The problem and where/how it began
  • Your level of involvement
  • Your feelings
  • What you want and don’t want
  • Who else plays a role? Are new characters introduced?

Culmination

  • Ways you try to resolve your problems
  • What happens as a result of trying to get what you want
  • What is creating inner conflict or anxiety
  • What you don’t know or haven’t accepted

Lysis

  • What results
  • Whether you may be successful in avoidance or reaching a goal
  • An unanticipated new development
  • Whether or not a solution is found
  • The bottom line
  • The moral of the story

Let’s do a sample reading using one of my recent dreams:

I was working at a retail store and I gave away some merchandise. I then had second thoughts as I realized that although it was a generous thing to do, I was at work and I had not received permission to give those items away. So I had to go to the customer and ask for them back. I felt very uncomfortable asking for the items and explaining why I needed them back, but I felt it was the right thing to do. Essentially I made a mistake and was trying to correct it. I should not be generous with things that aren’t mine. I don’t remember how the customer reacted. I just woke up with a sense of relief that the dream wasn’t real.

Well, it would seem I’m trying to give away things that aren’t mine to give but I don’t know how to relate this to waking life. Let’s see what the Second Sight Cards show.

Exposition — The retail store

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Books — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com

Development — Giving away store items

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Mouse — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com

Culmination — Realizing I made a mistake and going to correct it

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Hide and Seek — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com

Lysis — No real lysis here so the card will show the outcome or direction of this situation.

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Gone Fishing — Image courtesy of OldBookArt.com

Now that I see all these cards, it seems to be bringing up the same issues that came out in My One Card Celtic Cross Reading.

A retail store is where goods and services are sold (you’ll see the humor in this after you read My One Card Celtic Cross Reading). The exposition phase of the dream tells you what it’s all about — it sets the tone and lets you know the environment or aspect of life the dreamer is concerned about. In this case, BOOKS (I’m literally surrounded by at least 10 books as I write this) shows I’m concerned about work, my studies, my current projects (i.e., my goods and services) and all the time I spend developing those goods and services.

What’s happening is I’m giving away merchandise. I’m giving away too much of my time and energy with all of these projects and this causes stress and worry (one of the divinatory meanings for MOUSE). The mouse (stress and worry) is stealing my sugar cubes (the sweetness of life).

This sweetness issue came up in other Journal posts: JOURNAL: What tastes sweet in my life? & JOURNAL: What tastes bitter in my life?

In HIDE AND SEEK, a dog is hunting for the critter hiding in the foreground. I think this card reveals what is creating anxiety and conflict and what I haven’t yet accepted: I’m seeking something that seems elusive but it’s right under my nose. Yep, I’m a seeker at heart and all of my many projects are borne out of seeking but, alas, a seeker’s work is never done — there’s always more to be sought. During the dream culmination, I realize I made a mistake and I’m going to correct it. This is a positive sign that I’m ready to make some changes. I notice I told the dream mostly in past tense which is also a good sign that shows I’m putting these issues behind me.

My result is GONE FISHING. As the moral of the story, it suggests I need to spend more time relaxing and enjoying life, which is the same conclusion from My One Card Celtic Cross Reading:

Next, I will put everything down for a while. I may even kick up my feet to relax and put the twelveofhearts stuff down for a while before I have to work on it again.

Just examining the dream alone, I would never have made what is now an obvious connection to the issues brought up in the Celtic Cross reading. I also think it worked well with these cards because they are very simple and direct. Using a traditional tarot deck would have introduced too many additional symbols to wade through.

You may have figured out that you don’t really need a dream to interpret in order to get great insights with this spread!

Share your reading with this spread!

Can you get an accurate reading with a tarot app?

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Images courtesy of The Fool’s Dog Tarot Sampler App

I recently purchased an early Xmas present for myself – an iPad and I’m totally obsessed with it! While meticulously searching through the app store, I ran across a few tarot apps by The Fool’s Dog, a software company in Silver Spring, Maryland. They featured a few decks I wanted to get to know better so first I downloaded the Tarot Sampler app which gives you a taste of several different decks:

  • The Ator Tarot
  • The Classic 1910 Tarot (Rider-Waite)
  • The Fellowship of the Fool Tarot
  • Housewives Tarot
  • The International Icon Tarot
  • ISIS Tarot de Marseille
  • The Prairie Tarot
  • The Rosetta Tarot
  • Tarot of the Holy Light
  • The Tarot of Trees
  • The Wildwood Tarot

My next downloads were The Prairie Tarot and The Fellowship of the Fool Tarot because it’s easy to pull a story from their images and that’s how I read tarot — simply write what I see.

I’m very familiar with doing online tarot readings, most of which seem accurate enough but I guess not accurate enough to do as more than a passing fancy. So I put this app to the test and found, to my surprise, that there is a higher degree of accuracy than I expected. Actually, accuracy is not the correct word…connection is a better choice. I seem to connect with these cards in the same way I connect with my 3D decks.

There are several methods to shuffle and draw the cards. I usually use the shuffle and cut the deck methods and then draw them from a fan while concentrating on my question. I’ve also decided to use only my card interpretations. The app allows you to create your own meanings for the cards and use them exclusively for interpretation.

Overall, I’m pleasantly surprised by this new “game.” And you’ll be seeing more posts featuring these beautiful decks.

My Watchword Reading Part 1

I performed a modified Watchword reading using The Prairie Tarot. I usually take a few days just to examine the visual statement the cards make in their various positions, so this is all we’ll focus on in Part 1.

  • Do you notice any symbols repeated?
  • Are the characters in similar poses?
  • Contrast action vs. inaction.
  • Contrast left column (inner self) vs. right column (outer expression).
  • Contrast top row (progression) vs. bottom row (regression).
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The Prairie Tarot by Robin Ator courtesy of The Fool’s Dog Tarot Apps

Top row shows what moves me forward. These characters look very serene, and powerful in a quiet way. The top middle card looks like colored pencils pointing to the right or toward the future.

Bottom row…After studying the bottom row for some time I realized that there is something that doesn’t belong in each image. The distinguished gentleman carries a sword, the Magician who tricks your eyes with games of illusion is wearing glasses, and the old man is in the way at his own home.

Left column is my real or hidden self. You can’t see anyone’s face in these 3 cards.

Right column is what’s external. Contrasted to the left column, everyone here is looking forward or to the right (facing the present or looking toward the future).

Two images show floating colored objects…this reminds me of all the ideas that are constantly floating around in my head.

Two cards show home life. Top right corner (Imago) showing the Empress and bottom left corner (Shadow) showing 10 of Pentacles. But the Empress looks like she owns her home while the old man in the 10 of Pentacles looks like he’s in the way.

Two cards depict one man standing alone outside. These are also in opposing positions. In the top left corner (Guide) is the 3 of Staves and bottom right corner (Spectre) shows Page of Swords. The Page faces us but the 3 of Staves character looks off into the distance.

There seems to be only one card (Persona) that shows real action.

READ: The Watchword Spread