Tuesday 7 January 2003

Tarot Reading for a prominent E2 denizen, who shall remain nameless at his/her request.   This is a longish writeup, so if you have a short attention span head for the exit now please...

<<<<Disclaimer, I am TOTALLY plagiarizing snips of the descriptive material below 
from Joan Bunning1 who is a true goddess of tarot >>>>>>>>>

G'day my friend.

Shall we danse?

I'm ready when you are.

I have before me the twenty two Major Arcana cards of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. They are arranged in a single deck, in order from Zero, The Fool, to Twenty One, The World. The back of the deck is a blue and black plaid. Almost tartan. The deck sits on the polished golden oak surface of my desk. We're in my office, with lots of books and computers all around I'd like you to picture that clearly in your mind. Okay?

Do you have a question in mind?

 Ok, I have a question in mind.

Good.  Now it generally results in a significantly more powerful reading if you state the question out loud.  That said, if you want to keep it to yourself, that's okay too.  

I think I'd rather keep it to myself, if you don't mind.

Right then, here we go...

Handling the Cards

Now we'll handle the cards to arrange them in a way that resonates with your unique life and sheds some light on where it's going and whether you'll be happy. Since you don't have a deck, I'll be the hands and you be the brain. Okay? This is the part where you take a glance at How to throw the tarot for ideas on Handling the Cards, then you tell me exactly what to do for awhile. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Now I'm going to deal out the cards face up into piles and you're going to tell me which pile each card goes in. Make as few or as many piles as you want. Really concentrate on the imagery, but don't stress. Don't make a "Map" or anything, just relax and free flow on the topic. Be your quirky unique self. The bruja says, "let the cards know what you feel about them and let them answer back. What "goes together?"  Also, let me know if you want any of the cards to be put in their pile "upside down."

Along the way, I'm going to explain the mythology of The Fools Journey. Okay?

The Fool At the start of his trip, the Fool is a newborn - fresh, open and spontaneous. The figure on Card 0 has his arms flung wide, and his head held high. He is ready to embrace whatever comes his way, but he is also oblivious to the cliff edge he is about to cross. The Fool is unaware of the hardships he will face as he ventures out to learn the lessons of the world. 

The Magician and the High Priestess On setting out, the Fool immediately encounters the Magician (1) and the High Priestess (2) - the great balancing forces that make up our perceived world. It is a feature of the material universe that as soon as we name some aspect of experience, we automatically evoke its opposite.

The Empress As he grows, the Fool becomes more and more aware of his surroundings. As with most babies, he first recognizes his Mother - the warm, loving woman who nourishes and cares for him. He also comes to know Mother Earth, who nurtures him in a larger sense. As he grows, the Fool becomes more and more aware of his surroundings. As with most babies, he first recognizes his Mother - the warm, loving woman who nourishes and cares for him. He also comes to know Mother Earth, who nurtures him in a larger sense. The Empress (3) represents the world of Nature and sensation. A baby delights in exploring everything he touches, tastes and smells. He cannot get enough of the sights and sounds that enchant his senses. It is natural to delight in the abundant goodness of Mother Earth who surrounds us with her support

The Emperor The next person the Fool encounters is the Father in the figure of the Emperor (4). He is the representative of structure and authority. As a baby leaves his mother's arms, he learns that there are patterns to his world. Objects respond in predictable ways that can be explored. The child experiences a new kind of pleasure that comes from discovering order.

Now distribute the first few cards

So, tell me where the first cards should go?  Remember, as many or as few piles.  Pile 0 is at my left.

The first card is The Fool,  Pile One obviously. 

The next is the magician Where does it go, right, left, on top of The Fool? All directions are your directions - i.e., left = your left.

The magician goes on the right. The high priestess goes on top of that pile. The empress goes on the left. The emperor goes on top of that pile.

Good, So we now have three piles, 0 to my left arm, 1 & 2 beyond them.

The Fool's Journey continues...

The Hierophant A Hierophant is someone who interprets arcane knowledge and mysteries. On Card 5 we see a religious figure blessing two acolytes. Perhaps he is inducting them into church membership. Although this image is religious, it is really a symbol for initiations of all kinds. The child is trained in all the practices of his society and becomes part of a particular culture and world view. He learns to identify with a group and discovers a sense of belonging. He enjoys learning the customs of his society and showing how well he can conform to them

The Lovers Eventually, the Fool faces two new challenges. He experiences the powerful urge for sexual union with another. Before, he was mainly self-centered. Now he feels the balancing tendency, pictured in the Lovers, to reach out and become half of a loving partnership. He yearns for relationship.

The Chariot The Chariot represents the vigorous ego that is the Fool's crowning achievement so far. On Card 7, we see a proud, commanding figure riding victoriously through his world. He is in visible control of himself and all he surveys. For the moment, the Fool's assertive success is all he might wish, and he feels a certain self-satisfaction. His is the assured confidence of youth.

Where do these cards go?

The Hierophant goes in my duality pile, with the Magician and the High Priestess. The Lovers go on top of the Emperor, which is my unity pile. The Chariot is fanned over the Fool, which is pile zero.

Strength Over time, life presents the Fool with new challenges, some that cause suffering and disillusionment. He has many occasions to draw on the quality of Strength. He is pressed to develop his courage and resolve and to find the heart to keep going despite setbacks. The Fool also discovers the quiet attributes of patience and tolerance. He realizes the willful command of the Chariot must be tempered by kindliness and the softer power of a loving approach. At times, intense passions surface, just when the Fool thought he had everything, including himself, under control.

Hermit Sooner or later, the Fool is led to ask himself the age-old question "Why?" He becomes absorbed with the search for answers, not from an idle curiosity, but out of a deeply-felt need to find out why people live, if only to suffer and die. The Hermit represents the need to find deeper truth. The Fool begins to look inward, trying to understand his feelings and motivations. The sensual world holds less attraction for him now, and he seeks moments of solitude away from the frantic activity of society. In time he may seek a teacher or guide who can give him advice and direction.

Wheel of Fortune After much soul-searching, the Fool begins to see how everything connects. He has a vision of the world's wondrous design; its intricate patterns and cycles. The Wheel of Fortune is a symbol of the mysterious universe whose parts work together in harmony. When the Fool glimpses the beauty and order of the world, if only briefly, he finds some of the answers he is seeking. Sometimes his experiences seem to be the work of fate. A chance encounter or miraculous occurrence begins the process of change. The Fool may recognize his destiny in the sequence of events that led him to this turning point. Having been solitary, he feels ready for movement and action again. Before, the Fool was focused narrowly on his own concerns. His perspective is wider, and he sees himself within the grander scheme of a universal plan. His sense of purpose is restored.

Where do these cards go?

Strength goes in Pile Zero, over the Chariot. The Hermit and the Wheel of Fortune both go on top of the Lovers in the left-hand pile, obscuring that card.

Justice The Fool must now decide what this vision means to him personally. He looks back over his life to trace the cause and effect relationships that have brought him to this point. He takes responsibility for his past actions so he can make amends and ensure a more honest course for the future. The demands of justice must be served so that he can wipe the slate clean. This is a time of decision for the Fool. He is making important choices. Will he remain true to his insights, or will he slip back into an easier, more unaware existence that closes off further growth?

Hanged Man Undaunted, the Fool pushes on. He is determined to realize his vision, but he finds life is not so easily tamed. Sooner or later, he encounters his personal cross - an experience that seems too difficult to endure. This overwhelming challenge humbles him until he has no choice but to give up and let go. At first, the Fool feels defeated and lost. He believes he has sacrificed everything, but from the depths, he learns an amazing truth. He finds that when he relinquishes his struggle for control, everything begins to work as it should. By becoming open and vulnerable, the Fool discovers the miraculous support of his Inner Self. He learns to surrender to his experiences, rather than fighting them. He feels a surprising joy and begins to flow with life. The Fool feels suspended in a timeless moment, free of urgency and pressure. In truth, his world has been turned upside-down. The Fool is the Hanged Man, apparently martyred, but actually serene and at peace.

Where do these cards go?

Justice on the right, which should put it on top of the Hierophant. The Hanged Man I want to put in a new pile, above the other two and centered on the axis that runs between them.

Death The Fool now begins to eliminate old habits and tired approaches. He cuts out non-essentials because he appreciates the basics of life. He goes through endings as he puts the outgrown aspects of his life behind him. He process may seem like dying because it is the death of his familiar self to allow for the growth of a new one. At times this inexorable change seems to be crushing the Fool, but eventually he rises up to discover that death is not a permanent state. It is simply a transition into a new, more fulfilling way of life.

Temperance Since embracing the Hermit, the Fool has swung wildly back and forth on an emotional pendulum. Now, he realizes the balancing stability of temperance. He discovers true poise and equilibrium. By experiencing the extremes, he has come to appreciate moderation. The Fool has combined all aspects of himself into a centered whole that glows with health and well-being. How graceful and soft is the angel on Card 14 compared to the powerful, but rigid ruler in the Chariot (Card 7)? The Fool has come a long way in realizing the harmonious life.

Devil The Fool has his health, peace of mind and a graceful composure. What more could he need? On everyday terms, not much, but the Fool is courageous and continues to pursue the deepest levels of his being. He soon comes face to face with the Devil. The Devil is not an evil, sinister figure residing outside of us. He is the knot of ignorance and hopelessness lodged within each of us at some level. The seductive attractions of the material bind us so compellingly that we often do not even realize our slavery to them. We live in a limited range of experience, unaware of the glorious world that is our true heritage. The couple on Card 15 are chained, but acquiescent. They could so easily free themselves, but they do not even apprehend their bondage. Note They look like the Lovers, but are unaware that their love is circumscribed within a narrow range. The price of this ignorance is an inner core of despair.

Tower How can the Fool free himself from the Devil? Can he root out his influence? The Fool may only find release through the sudden change represented by the Tower. The Tower is the ego fortress each of us has built around his beautiful inner core. Gray, cold and rock-hard, this fortress seems to protect, but is really a prison. Sometimes only a monumental crisis can generate enough power to smash the walls of the Tower. On Card 16 we see an enlightening bolt striking this building. It has ejected the occupants who seem to tumbling to their deaths. The crown indicates they were once proud rulers; now they are humbled by a force stronger than they. The Fool may need such a severe shakeup if he is to free himself, but the resulting revelation makes the painful experience worthwhile. The dark despair is blasted away in an instant, and the light of truth is free to shine down.

Where do these cards go?

Death goes on top of the Hanged Man. Temperance on the right, on top of Justice. The Devil goes on the left. The Tower goes on the top, in the third pile, over Death.

Star The Fool is suffused with a serene calm. The beautiful images on the Star attest to this tranquility. The woman pictured on Card 17 is naked, her soul no longer hidden behind any disguise. Radiant stars shine in a cloudless sky serving as a beacon of hope and inspiration. The Fool is blessed with a trust that completely replaces the negative energies of the Devil. His faith in himself and the future is restored. He is filled with joy and his one wish is to share it generously with the rest of the world. His heart is open, and his love pours out freely. This peace after the storm is a magical moment for the Fool.

Moon What effect could spoil this perfect calm? Is there another challenge for the Fool? In fact, it is his bliss that makes him vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon. The Fool's joy is a feeling state. His positive emotions are not yet subject to mental clarity. In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion and a false picture of the truth. The Moon stimulates the creative imagination. It opens the way for bizarre and beautiful thoughts to bubble up from the unconscious, but deep-seated fears and anxieties also arise. These experiences may cause the Fool to feel lost and bewildered.

Sun It is the lucid clarity of the Sun that directs the Fool's imagination. The Sun's illumination shines in all the hidden places. It dispels the clouds of confusion and fear. It enlightens, so the Fool both feels and understands the goodness of the world. Now he enjoys a vibrant energy and enthusiasm. The Star's openness has solidified into an expansive assurance. The Fool is the naked babe pictured on Card 19, riding out joyously to face a new day. No challenge is too daunting. The Fool feels a radiant vitality. He becomes involved in grand undertakings as he draws to himself everything he needs. He is able to realize his greatness.

Where do these cards go?

Star on the left. Moon on the right. Sun in the top pile.

Judgment The Fool has been reborn. His false, ego-self has been shed, allowing his radiant, true self to manifest. He has discovered that joy, not fear, is at life's center. The Fool feels absolved. He forgives himself and others, knowing that his real self is pure and good. He may regret past mistakes, but he knows they were due to his ignorance of his true nature. He feels cleansed and refreshed, ready to start anew. It is time for the Fool to make a deeper Judgment about his life. His own personal day of reckoning has arrived. Since he now sees himself truly, he can make the necessary decisions about the future. He can choose wisely which values to cherish, and which to discard. The angel on Card 20 is the Fool's Higher Self calling him to rise up and fulfill his promise. He discovers his true vocation - his reason for entering this life. Doubts and hesitations vanish, and he is ready to follow his dream.

World The Fool reenters the World, but this time with a more complete understanding. He has integrated all the disparate parts of himself and achieved wholeness. He has reached a new level of happiness and fulfillment.

The Fool has experienced life as full and meaningful. The future is filled with infinite promise. In line with his personal calling, he becomes actively involved in the world. He renders service by sharing his unique gifts and talents and finds that he prospers at whatever he attempts. Because he acts from inner certainty, the whole world conspires to see that his efforts are rewarded. His accomplishments are many. 

Now, where do those last cards go?

Judgment goes in the zeroth pile, fanned like the rest so that there's a progression culminating in Judgment. This might be kinda weird but I'd like to put the World overtop all three of the other piles, so that they form a sort of three-tiered pile with the World as the capstone. (That could be counted as a forth pile in between the other three, if you prefer.)

Well done.  Now tell me how to assemble the piles back into a deck?  Smooch together, or carefully stacked up, your call.

Smooch together. The piles are still distinct from each other but they all share the World as the top card.

As you wish.  

I have assembled the deck and placed if face down on the polished surface of my desk.  Linda Ronstadt is playing softly, Canciones de mi Padre.  Outside a fluffy snow is more floating than falling over Cape Cod and on the flat gray surface of Buzzards Bay...  

Ready to continue? 

I want you to quickly help me shuffle the deck again, this time face down into as many piles as you choose. Pile 0 is at my left, 2,3,4... whatever are beyond it.  Quickly now, send me 20 deals...

Three piles, in a line.  Deal them out one at a time, alternating your motion from left to right, until you run out. You should have one end pile with six cards and the other two with seven.

How should I reassemble the deck this time?

This time integrate the piles. Intersperse them. Leaf them into each other.

Complete the Handling

This is the part where I ask you if you'd like to do one last touch. It can range from a simple tap on the top of the deck, to a full on five pile upside downer kludge. Most people just cut the deck somehow. Dig really deep and let the right action come into your mind. Flow, don't flail...

I'll just tap it.

Done.

The Celtic Cross Spread

There are a bunch of different patterns that Readers use, to get the cards on the table, so to speak.  Old gypsy ladies sometimes just lay them out one by one, in a row, reciting the reading as they go.  There's also a Yin & Yang spread and a Medicine Woman Circle that la bruja  prefers.  I feel most comfortable with the Celtic Cross so that's what we'll use here.

NOTE: For more info on the Celtic Cross in  How to throw the tarot

I'm turning over the first card and laying it on the table without changing it's orientation.  All cards are "face up," if they appear that way to me.

I Turn over the second card and place it over the first card horizontally, creating the "inner cross.

Starting at the bottom of the cross, closest to me, I deal cards the next four cards as follows to form the "outer cross," 

3 - bottom

4 - top

5 - left

6 - right.

 

To the right of the two crosses, in a vertical line starting at the bottom, I deal the last four cards, 7,8,9,10. This is the "staff."

It looks something like this: 

-----4---------10
-----1---------9
5--222--6----8
-----1---------7
-----3-----

What the positions mean

Card One, the heart of the matter. This card represents the fundamental issue you are addressing.  If it's upside down, perhaps the issue is only just beginning, or just wrapping up.

Card Two, the opposing factor.  This is what's getting in the way at the moment.  It might also be thought of as the factor for change, or unbalancing force that is surprising you.

Card Three, that which is beneath you. Your gut instinct about the issue.

Card Four, the conscious influence.  What your head is telling you.

Card Five, the past.  A receding behavior or influence.

Card Six, the future.  An emerging influence, behavior or factor.

Card Seven, you, as you see yourself.  Your overall perspective on yourself and the issue at hand.

Card Eight, you, as others see you.  Your current environment, or the context in which you must operate.  

Card Nine, your guidance card.  Your clue to how best to proceed, or what you might do.  Someone you should look to, or look after.

Card Ten, the outcome. The most likely result or outcome.  If it's upside down it's what may occur rather than what will.

 

The Interpretation

Here's your spread. Write it down, then go get a glass of water (wine? do you drink?) The hard part is over for now and I need to pee... 

We’ll interpret it in a minute.

Your Celtic Cross spread on 7 January 2003, 

  1. 20 Judgment
  2. 21 The World
  3. 19 The Sun
  4. 16 The Tower
  5. 2 The High Priestess
  6. 17 The Star
  7. 8 Strength
  8. 11 Justice
  9. 3 The Empress
  10. 15 The Devil

... having regained the peaceful feeling, we continue.

Card One, the heart of the matter. This card represents the fundamental issue you are addressing.  If it's upside down, perhaps the issue is only just beginning, or just wrapping up.  In your case, Judgment seems to be the crux of things.  This could be as simple as your final exams, or as serious as a heart attack.  Having a day of reckoning, taking a stand, making hard choices.  These types of things are associated with Judgment.  

Any comments on that one?    

Judgment *is* the crux of the matter. It was the culmination of my personal powers, and my response to my current situation could put that in jeopardy for quite a while to come. In essence, I feel like the way I deal with this problem will reflect the kind of man I am or am going to be.

Card Two, the opposing factor.  This is what's getting in the way at the moment.  It might also be thought of as the factor for change, or unbalancing force that is surprising you.  Your second card was The World, which, in my experience is an unusual combination.  The World is all about completion, about finishing the last lap.  experiencing wholeness, realizing your goals, achieving your heart's desire.  Could be finishing school, perhaps.  Whatever, it's what's standing between your root issue, Judgment, it's what's crossing you right now.

My Judgment is trying to discern what is fair and what's good for myself and someone I care about, and whether those are reconcilable. The issue is really whether to end now or to finish what I started, so the World is a fitting opposition I think

Card Three, that which is beneath you. Your gut instinct about the issue. The Sun is all about thinking clearly and using your head and since this card represents your foundation for dealing with the issue, we'd expect that you are taking a pretty rational approach to things, using your head. The Sun is the "confidence card," which suggests that you have total confidence in yourself and are profoundly sure of your power.

I think I almost always try to resolve issues according to the Sun.

Card Four, the conscious influence.  What your head is telling you about it. The High Priestess suggests being intuitive, withdrawing from involvement allowing events to proceed without intervention.  Your head is being intuitive, while your gut is being intellectual...  What's that all about?  

My gut is always analytical and my head always endeavours to arrange things so that my gut can take over. It makes perfect sense to me. In this case I'm trying to go with my instincts but my instincts themselves are overanalyzing.

Card Five, the past.  A receding behavior or influence.  The Tower is pure chaos.  Lightning bolts are slamming into the ramparts, the King and Queen are jumping out the windows, and flames lick out the windows.  It this was your recent past, we think you are glad it's behind you.

The Tower sounds like an accurate description of the past (though it's perhaps a bit of a dramatic characterization), but I'm afraid of a recurrence or relapse. The Star of the future looks promising but it's whether there is a specific course of action I need to take to get there, and if so what, that's troubling me.

Card Six, the future.  The emerging influence, behavior or factor.  The cool clear and honest light of The Star is a peaceful place to end up.  If there were an exact opposite to the Tower, this is it. Realizing an inner strength, seeing the way clear, being stimulated to a higher level, all these things are associated with The Star.

Card Seven, you, as you see yourself.  Your overall perspective on yourself and the issue at hand.  Strength, this is consistent with and supported by The Sun.  Finding the sense behind the chaos comes to mind.  You're pretty good at what you do right?

Card Eight, you, as others see you.  Your current environment, or the context in which you must operate. Justice has a sword in one hand and the scales of the law in the other.  Acting on ethical principles insisting on fairness, trying to do what is right. 

Card Nine, your guidance card.  Your clue to how best to proceed, or what you might do. The Empress is where you must look for guidance on this issue.  She is all about mothering and nurturing and caring for others.  She's giving and receiving pleasure, perhaps sensual, pleasure, perhaps just the sense of security.  I'm betting you know who this Guide of yours is...

The Empress, I think, is not what I need from someone else, but what I need to do for someone else.

Card Ten, the outcome. The most likely result or outcome.  And here comes The Devil, complete with horns and bat wings and an unholy upside down pentacle on his forehead!  He's one ugly brute and to make matters worse, he's got the young lovers chained to the throne at his feet.  Oddly, the chains are loose and they could easily escape if they wished.  But they don't and that's because the Devil isn't evil in the traditional sense, but the bondage and hopelessness of ignorance that chains us to a wrong course of action.  

This card suggests that you are caught in a unhealthy, or unproductive situation. You may be in the dark about something - ignorant of the truth and its implications. You may be obsessed by a person, idea, substance or pattern that you know to be bad for you (or maybe you don't!). Sometimes this card reflects back the negativity that has made you doubt yourself and your future. We are prone to many errors in life. Card 15 lets us know when they are serious enough to require attention. When you see the Devil, examine your assumptions carefully. Make sure you are not working from a false picture of yourself and the situation. Hold fast to your highest vision of who you are.

 

Epilog

Damn, that sounds a bit heavy.  I hope you asked a good serious question, cause you sure got a serious answer!

Ok, that's a very grim reading. It means that I've got a lot of thinking to do and a lot of work to do before I can approach a solution I can be sure of. It also means it might be quite some time before I could say whether this reading was helpful, but it sure as heck was fun!

Does it address your question in any meaningful way?  We can use more cards from your deck to elaborate on any card in the spread if you'd like...

I think this'll do. Like I said, it gives me a lot to think about anyway.

As you wish my friend...





Thursday 9 January 2003

Tarot Reading for the redoubtable SEF who has kindly agreed to share it with us all.   

<<<<Disclaimer, I am TOTALLY plagiarizing snips of the descriptive material below 
from Joan Bunning who is a true goddess of tarot >>>>>>>>>

G'day my friend.

Shall we danse?

I'm ready when you are.

I have before me the twenty two Major Arcana cards of the Rider-Waite tarot deck. They are arranged in a single deck, in order from Zero, The Fool, to Twenty One, The World. The back of the deck is a blue and black plaid. Almost tartan. The deck sits on the polished golden oak surface of my desk. We're in my office, with lots of books and computers all around.  Bobby McFerrin Don't Worry Be Happy is playing on the stereo.  Outside, the snow has all melted.   I'd like you to picture that clearly in your mind. Okay?

Do you have a question in mind?

 Yes. Should I state it?

Now it generally results in a significantly more powerful reading if you state the question out loud.  That said, if you want to keep it to yourself, that's okay too.  

Ok..I need to know how to deal with our 21 year old son, who is presenting serious difficulties. That specific enough?

Excellent & serious question, here we go...

Handling the Cards

Now we'll handle the cards to arrange them in a way that resonates with your unique life and sheds some light on where it's going and whether you'll be happy. Since you don't have a deck, I'll be the hands and you be the brain. Okay? This is the part where you take a glance at How to throw the tarot for ideas on Handling the Cards, then you tell me exactly what to do for awhile. Doesn't that sound like fun?

Now I'm going to deal out the cards face up into piles and you're going to tell me which pile each card goes in. Make as few or as many piles as you want. Really concentrate on the imagery, but don't stress. Don't make a "Map" or anything, just relax and free flow on the topic. Be your quirky unique self. The bruja says, "let the cards know what you feel about them and let them answer back. What "goes together?"  Also, let me know if you want any of the cards to be put in their pile "upside down."

Along the way, I'm going to explain the mythology of The Fools Journey. Okay?

<<<<<This transcript has been truncated for brevity.
To see an example of a complete reading transcript,
take a look at the first reading in Online Tarot Reading.   >>>>

The Fool 

The Magician and the High Priestess  

The Empress  

The Emperor 

Now distribute the first few cards

So, tell me where the first cards should go?  Remember, as many or as few piles.  Pile 0 is at my left.

The first card is The Fool,  Pile One obviously. 

The next is the magician Where does it go, right, left, on top of The Fool? All directions are your directions - i.e., left = your left.

The Magician left.  High priestess above Fool, empress on top of Fool, Emperor with Magician

Good, So we now have three piles, 0 to my left arm, 1 above & 2 to the left of 0.

The Fool's Journey continues...

The Hierophant  

The Lovers  

The Chariot

Where do these cards go?

Hierophant upside down to the right of the Fool, Lovers right side up on top of Hierophant, Chariot in a new pile to the right of Hierophant, Lovers

Strength 

Hermit  

Wheel of Fortune  

Where do these cards go?

Strength on top of Empress/Fool, Hermit upside down on top of High Priestess, Wheel on top of chariot

Justice 

Hanged Man  

Where do these cards go?

Justice on top of Hierophant/Lovers, Hanged Man in a new pile below the Fool and his crowd.

Death 

Temperance 

Devil 

Tower  

Where do these cards go?

Death upside down on top of Hanged Man; Temperance, on the Fool's pile; Devil on top of Justice, Lovers, Hierophant.  Tower upside down on top of Wheel/Chariot

Star 

Moon What effect could spoil this perfect calm? Is there another challenge for the Fool? In fact, it is his bliss that makes him vulnerable to the illusions of the Moon. The Fool's joy is a feeling state. His positive emotions are not yet subject to mental clarity. In his dreamy condition, the Fool is susceptible to fantasy, distortion and a false picture of the truth. The Moon stimulates the creative imagination. It opens the way for bizarre and beautiful thoughts to bubble up from the unconscious, but deep-seated fears and anxieties also arise. These experiences may cause the Fool to feel lost and bewildered.

Sun 

Where do these cards go?

Star in a new pile to the left of High Priestess/Hermit, above Hierophant and crowd; Moon upside down on top of Emperor/Magician; Sun on top of Fool's pile

Judgment  

World The Fool reenters the World, but this time with a more complete understanding. He has integrated all the disparate parts of himself and achieved wholeness. He has reached a new level of happiness and fulfillment.

The Fool has experienced life as full and meaningful. The future is filled with infinite promise. In line with his personal calling, he becomes actively involved in the world. He renders service by sharing his unique gifts and talents and finds that he prospers at whatever he attempts. Because he acts from inner certainty, the whole world conspires to see that his efforts are rewarded. His accomplishments are many. 

I'm thinking...at first I saw Pat (the kid) as the Fool, but this is really about me, isn't it. And in a way that's a part of the question: how do we, his parents, behave? We cannot control the behavior of anyone else....

C'est vrai.

Now, where do those last cards go?

Judgement and World on top of the fool's pile

Well done.  Now tell me how to assemble the piles back into a deck?  Smooch together, or carefully stacked up, your call.  Don't forget upside down if that feels right.

Stack em up, Fools pile on the bottom, then the stack to the left on top of that, then the bottom stack on top, then the top stack, the Star, then the Hierophant and Chariot stacks on the bottom, with Hierophant on the very bottom.

As you wish.  

I have assembled the deck and placed if face down on the polished surface of my desk.  Linda Ronstadt is playing softly, Canciones de mi Padre.  Outside the temperature is above freezing for the first time in days.  Birds and the big flying squirrels are working the jungle below my window. 

Ready to continue? 

I want you to quickly help me shuffle the deck again, this time face down into as many piles as you choose. Pile 0 is at my left, 2,3,4... whatever are beyond it.  Quickly now, send me 20 deals...

In a square, first card upper left, second to right of that, next one below, then one to the left of that, around and around clockwise until you're done

One of the cards in pile two just jumped out and turned itself upside down.  Dunno which cause they are face down.  How should I reassemble the deck this time?

Turn the top two piles upside down, then assemble counterclockwise, pile 0 on top of the pile below it, all that on top of the pile to the side, the whole thing on top of the last pile.

Complete the Handling

This is the part where I ask you if you'd like to do one last touch. It can range from a simple tap on the top of the deck, to a full on five pile upside downer kludge. Most people just cut the deck somehow. Dig really deep and let the right action come into your mind. Flow, don't flail...

I'll just touch the top

Done.

The Celtic Cross Spread

There are a bunch of different patterns that Readers use, to get the cards on the table, so to speak.  Old gypsy ladies sometimes just lay them out one by one, in a row, reciting the reading as they go.  There's also a Yin & Yang spread and a Medicine Woman Circle that la bruja  prefers.  I feel most comfortable with the Celtic Cross so that's what we'll use here.

NOTE: For more info on the Celtic Cross in  How to throw the tarot

<<<<<Snip the description of throwing the Celtic Cross. >>>>

The Interpretation

Here's your spread. Write it down, then go get a glass of water (wine? do you drink?) The hard part is over for now and we could both use a break. 

We’ll interpret it in a minute.

Your Celtic Cross spread on 7 January 2003, 

  1. 2 The High Priestess
  2. 18 The Moon
  3. The World (Reversed)
  4. 3 The Empress (Reversed)
  5. 7 The Chariot (Reversed)
  6. 5 The Hierophant
  7. 17 The Star
  8. 4 The Emperor
  9. 19 The Sun
  10. 0 The Fool

... having regained the peaceful feeling, we continue.

Card One, the heart of the matter. This card represents the fundamental issue you are addressing.  Since it's upside down, perhaps the issue is only just beginning, or just wrapping up.  In your case, The High Priestess appears to be at the core of this issue.  The High Priestess is associated with passivity, waiting for things to develop, allowing events to proceed without intervention, remaining calm, being patient.  Perhaps waiting is the prudent course, but it's difficult to stand back and let things unfold...

Any comments on that one? Comment whenever you want as I proceed.   

.Man, we got THAT one right! Waiting is really all anyone can do right now, but it's pretty frustrating. How to wait well,perhaps.

Card Two, the opposing factor.  This is what's getting in the way at the moment.  It might also be thought of as the factor for change, or unbalancing force that is surprising you.  Your second card was The Moon which, to be blunt is the "Clueless" card.  The thin shifty unreliable light of the moon makes it difficult to proceed with confidence.  We're going to go out on a limb here and suggest that someone is being a kook, and "crossing up," the designs of The High Priestess.

The "kook" here might be the kid himself. He seems to be turning self-destructive..

Card Three, that which is beneath you. Your gut instinct about the issue. The World is the Godhead card.  Represents the glorious end of the journey after overcoming every obstacle and challenge that was confronted along the way.  This where you are coming from, a mature, well balanced accomplished adult-type.  But wait, the card is upside down, so maybe this approach isn't working so well, or perhaps this is the way you'd like to approach the issue of your son but are having problems doing so? 

I think my World approach to all this doesn't SEEM to be working. I'm wondering if it's the right strategy, but I still feel inside that it is.  

Yeah, the Tequila probably won't work here either :--)

Card Four, the conscious influence.  What your head is telling you about it. The Empress generally represents mothering in all it's many forms. We think that you have been the mommy with respect to this issue for a long time now and, like your root instinct, The World, it comes pretty naturally to you. 

Mothering is the natural response here, and I think the "former success' card means that whereas a protective style of mothering for this severely disabled kid was a working strategy THEN, it's not going to work now.

Card Five, the past.  A receding behavior or influence.  The Chariot shows our young Fool blasting along with the reins of power in his hands and two might beasts harnessed to his task and his kingdom stretching out in the background.  This is the Victory card, but since it's upside down, we think that perhaps it represents the successes of the past rather than command of the present.

A victory in the past. hmm

Card Six, the future.  The emerging influence, behavior or factor.  The Hierophant represents Education, belief systems, structured ordered knowledge and cultural norms.  We think this kid is either in school or belongs in school.  Or perhaps, more deeply, this person is about to get a serious wakeup call from The Establishment.

Hierophant for the future. hm. this kid probably should be in school, but isn't. If he doesn't wake up pretty soon he's going to be in jail, which would certainly be an authoritative wake-up call, and might work out for the good. But how does that impact what I should do, I wonder.

Card Seven, you, as you see yourself.  Your overall perspective on yourself and the issue at hand.  The Star is consistent with The World and The Empress as a self image for you.  The cool, clear steady and reliable light of The Star is halfway between Lunacy and the hard light of Day, The Sun.  You are comfortable with yourself, effective, but retaining your feminine intuition.  You've been doing what you do for a while now, you're good at it.

Hm. The Star. Well, yes, I guess I do see it that way. I'm the one who insisted on keeping this kid out of institutions, who believed in him, and I think, deep down, I still trust that original judgment of mine.

Card Eight, you, as others see you.  The Emperor represents Fathering, taking a leadership role, creating order out of chaos, setting direction and tone. We're wondering why you appear to be both the Father and the Mother in this situation?

Well, the kid's father is very involved too, of course. But the problem here is Asperger's Syndrome, which is hereditary, and the father has it too. Sometimes I have to bail them both out emotionally. It certainly FEELS like I'm playing both roles, though I know my husband makes an invaluable contribution here. In some very important way I've had to take the lead, because I'm the only one with normal neurology.  the kid sees me as leader too, too much. I wish he didn't.  he sees me as leader, then his young manhood rebels, and he behaves out of anger

Card Nine, your guidance card.  Your clue to how best to proceed, or what you might do. The Sun completes the trilogy of the light, The Moon, The Star and The Sun, together comprise a continuum from shifty unreliable to bright, clear and a little harsh.  Your guide card suggests that you need to get to the heart of the matter, recognize the truth and act clearly and authoritatively.  The Sun shows a happy child riding a great white horse while the warm sun beams down from behind.  We think that once you apply the hard light of day to this issue the solution may well be clear.  Perhaps The Sun is someone close to you who can shed their light on the subject.  

I think clear vision and clear action here are not only going to seem harsh, they're going to BE harsh. But cleansing too, as the sun is. And what appears in the light is simply what really is there, no? There seems to be an uncompromising quality about this card. Not a bad thing, just very up-front? (this is kind of uncanny, y'know?)

Card Ten, the outcome. The most likely result or outcome.  And here we find The Fool, that joyous soul, big smile on his face, earthly belongings slung on a pole behind him, stepping off a cliff and into the abyss of the future.  Somehow we know his isn't going to come to any great harm, at least not at the moment.  The Fool represents beginnings, entering a new phase, striking out on a new path, heading into the unknown or perhaps letting go of expectations and stepping into the unknown.  We're thinking that your Fool, and you, will get through this and will delight you with a completely new set of problems down the road.  

The Journey never really ends does it?

New phase of life for me certainly. I've been much caught up in the raising of this difficult kid and his younger sister, the last. New lives for them too, of course.

Epilog

We're also thinking that you've traveled a long road already with this situation and weathered many bumps along the way.  We think that you are a pretty robust person, combining the Authority of The Emperor, the wisdom of The World and the mysterious feminine instinct into a pretty capable Empress who may not always know the answer, but has the resources already to find it.

.

Does it address your question in any meaningful way?  We can use more cards from your deck to elaborate on any card in the spread if you'd like...

I sort of wanted more of a "do this" reading; what I got was deeper, but more problematic: "trust yourself." I'm wondering if enlarging on the Solution card, the Sun, would be of any use?

Ahem, looking deeper into the Guide Card, we turn the next card in your deck and find The Devil, a nasty bugger symbolizing ignorance and bondage.  The Devil is as black and dark as The Sun is light.  Instinctively, we place The Devil to the right of The Sun rather than covering it.  We think this suggests that it's important to avoid ignorance and use the pure light of The Sun to guide you.  The phrase "Alternative Outcome," comes to mind for some reason, also anti-guide...

That's very helpful, actually. I'm always tempted to find out as little about what's going on as possible; that may not be a good strategy here, then, which is consistent with everything else.  This was a very intense one. But VERY useful. maybe I'll take a little stroll down to the wine store when we're finished.... :)

Any other points to amplify?

that's it. Very clear. Uncanny really. Thank you!

As you wish my friend...


Want more?

How to throw the tarot

Online Tarot Reading Volume 2

1Joan Bunning, my tarot guru: www.learntarot.com (Copyright © 1995-2003 by Joan Bunning)

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