Court Cards Exercise – Whose Shoulder Would You Cry On?

The Court Cards *sigh* They seem to be tricky for  most people to get a handle on. That seemingly universal frustration in mind, I had this idea for an exercise which you can do to get to know the court card personalities a little better.

So here is the exercise in a nutshell…Imagine what you would enjoy doing with each court card or what you would go to each of court card for.

For example…if you needed a shoulder to cry on, who would you go to?

Queen of CupsI would go to the Queen of Cups, she is a nurturing person who understands the complexities of emotion and the value of expressing one’s emotions. She would let me ball my eyes out with no judgement and probably say “there, there” and stroke my hair and make me safe while I’m being vulnerable. If I tried going to the Queen of Wands she would probably tell me to stop blubbering and go do something about what was bothering me…perhaps helpful advice in its own right, but not what I would personally need in that moment. But maybe you would prefer or need some tough love, so you might go to the Queen of Wands or the Queen of Swords instead.

King of SwordsOn the other hand if I was having trouble at school I might go to the King of Swords to get counsel. He is sharp, intellectual and good at explaining things. He would have the skills to break down the intellectual concepts I needed to master and make them easy to understand. He could also help me set up a productive study schedule. If I went to the Knight of Swords instead, he would tell me I didn’t need a study schedule and that I should just wing it. Geez dude, not so helpful.

So bust out the tarot journal and figure out who you would talk to about career concerns? What do you think their advice would be?

Who would you go to if you wanted to foster your creativity? What kind of encouragement do you think they would extend to you?

Which court card would be your best friend and why?

Which court card would you most want to take on a road trip with you? What type of road trip music would they pick?

Who would be your workout partner?

Which court card would you like to be your mentor? What wisdom would they impart to you? Which of their attributes would you like to emulate?

Maybe you could consider which Page you would feel most comfortable with baby-sitting your kids.

Which court cards would form a band? What genre would it be? What would they name their band?

This is just a list of prompts to get you started, so feel free to come up with some of your own ideas. Have fun!

-Cameron

 

Tarot Card Daily Draws

Greetings Tarot Family,

Daily draws are a great way to become acquainted with a new deck, gain a more intimate understanding of the individual tarot cards and get some daily wisdom.

9 of Cups Rider Waite Tarot

Smith-Waite Centennial Tarot Deck

Almost every tarot book you come across and most tarot teachers that you encounter, will recommend that you use daily draws, especially if you are beginner. I personally didn’t start doing daily draws until a full year into my tarot journey. I have “rebellious tendencies” and can also be a bit lazy at times and the idea of committing to a daily practice, especially when everyone said I “should” do it, made me uncomfortable. I got over my resistance however, and I’m really glad that I did because pulling a card everyday really has deepened and enriched my understanding of the tarot. Its also helped improve my client readings and showed me patterns in my life that stood to be changed.

So now that’s I’ve convinced you that drawing a daily tarot card is the way to go, what should you know about doing it yourself?

To start off I find it best to draw my card in the morning. Its a good way to get yourself centered before heading out into the “real world”. This isn’t the only way to do it though, some folks like to pull a card the night before, as a part of their preparations for going to bed. The advantage of this is that you don’t feel rushed to get to work, or school, or some other obligation that usually occurs most mornings, and also taking time to ground yourself in the evenings can help you get to sleep more quickly. I personally always forget if I try to draw a card at night, but its definitely an option.

To prepare for my daily draw I usually light some Palo Santo or a small stick of incense, take a few deep breaths and try to achieve a lightly meditative state. If I have time I will actually meditate for about 10 minutes before drawing my card, but its not necessary, though I do recommend it.

When I draw my card I try to come up with a meaningful question. Some of my favorite general questions are:

  • “What should I focus on today?”
  • “What advice does the tarot have for me today?”
  • “What should I be aware of today?”
  • “What lesson can I learn today?”
  • “What energy is available to me today?”

or for something more specific:

  • “What can I focus on that will bring me the most joy?”
  • “What can I do today that will bring me closer to my goals?”
  • “How can I focus my energy to better align myself with my higher purpose?”

(These questions aren’t original by any means, I’ve picked them up from various tarot teachers along my journey, though at this point I can’t remember exactly from who.)

Rider Waite Tarot,  Journal & Pen

I highly recommend keeping a tarot journal.

Once I’ve drawn my card for the day I will write it down in my tarot journal along with my interpretation of how it answered my question. This can be in the form of bullet points, key words, short concise sentences or long intricate narratives. I’m always amazed how the format of my tarot journal entries change from day to day. I think it just depends on how I perceive the card’s message, some days its short and concise, some days its more complex. You don’t have to stick to one format or one template for journal entries, just so long as you scrawl some impressions down.

I really do think its important to have a place to document your daily draws. In my experience it helps connect with the message and also it gives me a reference if I want to look back on a certain period in my life and see what was going on. I spent one month where almost every single card I got was Major Arcana and looking back on that now it makes sense, I was experiencing a lot of significant changes and shifts at that time. Once the cards became more regularly minor arcana I knew that things were “settling down.”

Rider Waite 9 of Cups on Altar

Candle, 9 of Cups, Sage & Rose Quartz

If I get stuck at any point and I don’t feel like I understand what the card is trying to tell me or I’m not connecting with it, there are two things that I tend to do. I’ll either spend some time meditating with the card or I’ll leave it out on my altar where I can see it throughout the day and see if something comes to me later. I usually try to meditate with the card whenever this happens, but some days I don’t have time and leaving it out to ponder later is preferable to skipping the draw all together or entirely giving up.

At the end of the day I come back to my journal and write down any additional thoughts I’ve had about the card I drew in the morning. I’ll also try to associate the card with experiences that I had throughout my day. For example if I had drawn the Page of Pentacles and I spent a particularly large amount of time that day doing school work, I could associate the Page of Pentacles with my school activities or with my role as a student. If I drew the Seven of Wands and then at some point in the day I had to tell a friend that I couldn’t hang out because I had already committed to staying home and spending time with myself, I could associate the Seven of Wands with asserting my boundaries.

If you try this out, I would love to hear how it works for you and if you already use daily draws please share how they have made a difference in your tarot practice. Feel free to comment below.

Until next time love and blessings

 

Reading a Single Card

How much information can you get from a single card tarot reading? I’ve come across some incredibly detailed readings online where only one card was used. Recently I’ve been very drawn to the idea of trying it for myself. I’ve definitely done single card readings before, you can see some of them on this blog, but I really want to focus on seeing how much depth I can get from a single card, not just describing it, but to actually answer a query. I decided to do a one card reading for myself to try it out.

A little background on the question: I am currently trying to expand a hobby of mine (not tarot related) into a small business, or at least into something that would make a little extra money. I have currently taken steps to move that venture forward and I asked the tarot “What do I need to know about the current trajectory of this project?” I used the Steampunk Tarot by Barbara Moore & Aly Fell…

…and I got THE TOWER!!…

Steampunk Tarot The Tower

…Oh goddess!…

Well, as much as I wanted to re-draw, or tell myself I picked the card too quickly, or that I was distracted and picked the wrong card, I stuck with it. One of the most important things I have discovered in reading tarot is that you must stick with the cards drawn and trust that you received them for a reason. If you don’t, you will be second and third guessing yourself forever and experiencing self doubt and anxiety that is unnecessary and in no way helpful.

So, I sat down and looked long and hard at that card and tried to stay as objective as possible. I tried to consider what I would say to a client who may receive the same card.

I wrote down the following bullet points and keywords to get me started:

  • sudden change
  • the unexpected
  • be prepared
  • major arcana (major force)
  • breaking down
  • stripping away
  • intense energy
  • experimentation (I got this particular keyword from looking at the art and Barbara Moore’s description of the card. It almost appears like there is a mad scientist inside the tree structure and his experiments are causing sparks to fly everywhere.)

One thing I noticed about this card, which is different than a lot of other decks, is that the fire or lightening seems to be coming from within the structure, rather than from the sky. Also, there are no figures falling from the tower in this card, as opposed to most decks. Here is a picture of Pamela Smith’s art from the Waite deck as a comparison:

smiththetower

I figured it was worth noting the differences, since they seemed to give the card a different energy.

So, once I had a bit of framework, I started with the actual interpretation…

“You will experience some unexpected challenges as you continue with this endeavor. It doesn’t appear that there will be a lot you can do to avoid these bumps in the road, but you can learn a lot from them. These sudden setbacks have the potential to create a great deal of energy and motivation which may be used as a catalyst to move you further along the road to success than you would be able to do otherwise. The important thing is knowing how to direct that energy. During this time things will be moving rather quickly, try to flow with the pace. This is also an excellent time for experimentation. Creative solutions and unconventional approaches may bring criticism, but will ultimately result in a more compelling, authentic and fulfilling experience for you and your clients, so trust in your own unique vision, even as you are riding out the storm. When a problem arises it will show you what isn’t working, and from there you can formulate a new course of action. You have a strong foundation, so even if things go badly you will have a base from which to rebuild. The concept is solid, its just the delivery system that may need to be refined or revamped. A good thing to focus on right now is what works and what doesn’t and why. It also may be worth considering ways you can simplify and streamline your project. Get down to the essence of what it is you are trying to do. Having this focus will make it easier to channel the energy that is coming and to achieve the result you want.”

Overall I felt like I got a good amount of information from this card. Part of me wanted to keep digging and try to get more, but once the information stops flowing freely and I start feeling like I have to “think too hard”, I believe its an indication that there is nothing more that I need to know. Regardless, I felt like it was a very helpful exercise and it certainly has given me things to ponder as I continue with growing my project.

Blessed Weekend

Single Question Tarot Exercise

As a follow up to the Single Card Tarot Exercise that I posted earlier in the week, I have the Single Question Tarot Exercise for you guys today. I was all about tarot exercises this week. 🙂

universal rider waite deck

So for this exercise we are essentially doing the opposite of what we did for the Single Tarot Card Exercise. Instead of coming up with several different questions and using one card to answer them all, we are going to select one question and use several different cards to answer it. Shall we begin?

Just as a reminder, this is only an exercise, not a reading.

First off decide what question you want to use. I used the question “How can I Improve my Relationship?” from the exercise I posted on Thursday. Once you have chosen your question, shuffle your cards. As I was shuffling I stated my intention, that I wanted to receive cards that would give me the best practice possible. Once your cards are shuffled select one. Use that card to answer the question you chose. Challenge yourself to see how many layers of meaning you can get out of that single card. When you are tuned in to your intuition its amazing how much information you can get from just one little tarot card. Next, set your first card aside and select another one. Use that second card to answer the same question. Repeat this process as many times as you like, but don’t rush through it. Take time with each card to see how much depth of meaning you can find.

Here is what the exercise looked like when I did it. I selected five different cards and the first card I received was…

Card #1: The Hanged Man:
My guess is right now you feel stuck, like your hands are tied and no amount of struggling will help. So stop struggling. See what you notice when you hang quietly and observe the situation. The solution will come to you.

Card #2: Four of Swords:
Rest your mind. Take a break from all those thoughts that are telling you that something is wrong. Make some time for yourself, to focus on yourself. You will be amazed how self care and becoming a healthier individual creates an environment where a healthy relationship can grow and become strong.

Card #3: Five of Swords:
Things may be too competitive in your relationship right now. You are putting yourselves in a position where there can only be one winner, which means someone loses and in a partnership if one person loses both people are losing something. I’m guessing there has been a lot of arguments and verbal sparring. Time to set aside the blaming and winner-takes-all attitudes and focus on a course of resolution that isn’t polarizing. Set the egos aside and come together humbly with the intention of finding a real solution which will support both your needs and the needs of you as a cohesive unit.

Card #4: Six of Wands:
I’m getting a sense that one of you has achieved something recently and is currently receiving a lot of accolades and attention because of it. Unfortunately that may leave the other person in the relationship feeling ignored or left out. The best thing to do in this case is t open a dialogue about it, find a way to celebrate this milestone together. Make sure that appreciation for the supporting partner is expressed. Make some time to reconnect.

Card #5: Strength:The time may have come to get to know eachother on a deeper level. Go below the surface. It takes a great deal of courage to let someone else see your shadow and your scars, but the bond will grow stronger and the connection will be deeper if you do.

One thing I noticed with this exercise was that by the third and fourth card the interpretations came very easily, I got tapped into my intuition and was really on a roll. Did any of you experience that? I hope you did, it was very empowering. 🙂

PS~ For a little change of pace next week I’m going to be doing a single card tarot reading every morning (starting with Monday and going through Sunday) and posting it here at The Tarot Parlor. I’m excited. 😀

Single Card Tarot Exercise

I discovered this exercise in a book by Barbara Moore and its a great tool to learn the many ways of interpreting a single tarot card.

deck

To start, come up with a list of questions to ask the tarot,  5  or 6 is a good number, but if you can think of more, fantastic. The list doesn’t have to be questions you actually have, we aren’t doing a reading, just an exercise to get to know the cards better, so they can be questions anyone might ask. This was the list I used (feel free to use these if you like.):

  • What can I do to improve my chances of getting a job soon?
  • What will be most helpful for me to do in order to find love?
  • How can I discover my highest spiritual path?
  • How can I overcome what is currently blocking me?
  • What can I do to improve my relationship?

written questionNote: You may notice that I framed my questions in a way that focuses on receiving advice and taking action, rather than predicting an outcome. I find that it is much more helpful and empowering to ask for guidance so that you can go into the world and manifest the outcome that you want, rather than just asking for an arbitrary outcome that you have no influence on. I believe that its a good idea, even in exercises, to practice forming questions this way.

Back to the exercise…

Once you have your list of questions shuffle your cards however you like. If you want, ask the tarot to provide you with the card that will be the best teacher as you go through the exercise. This will give you the opportunity to state your intention, another part of tarot work which I believe is very important. Once you have shuffled thoroughly select a card in whichever manner you prefer. Use that card to answer each of the questions you have listed. Notice how the meaning of the card changes based on the type of question you are answering. Notice whether the card changes from positive to negative, or negative to positive with the different questions. Which answers come easy? Which are harder to figure out? Are there any that you can’t figure out at all? What methods help the answer come more easily (deep breathing? having a dialogue with the card? closing your eyes and visualizing the card? meditating on the card etc.)

IMG_20131114_144632 When I did this exercise I  got the Five of Pentacles. Apparently the tarot felt like it would be most helpful to give me a challenge, because using this card was quite challenging. This is what my answers looked like:

  • What can I do to improve my chances of getting a job soon?
    It appears that you may not have many resources of your own, so it could be beneficial to ask for help. If you aren’t good at writing a resume find an online resume tutor. Check with your local employment office for workshops or classes on resume writing and interviewing strategies.
  • What will be most helpful for me to do in order to find love?
    Work on your growth as a charitable, compassionate person. Consider volunteering, doing service for those in need, soup kitchens, charity organizing. Its a great way to strengthen positive qualities in yourself and to meet people.
  • How can I discover my highest spiritual path?
    Be humble and accept people where they are in their life circumstances and on their life’s path.
  • How can I overcome what is currently blocking me?
    You may be stuck in a loop of poverty thinking, or feelings of deficiency. Trust yourself and that what you have to offer is valuable.
  • What can I do to improve my relationship?
    It looks like financial situations may be forcing both of you to focus so much on the day-to-day logistics of life, perhaps working extra hours, or picking up a second job, that you are missing out on eachother. Consider where your relationship is lacking and see if you can dedicate some time to working on those areas together.

You can repeat this exercise with as many cards as you like, the  whole deck if you feel motivated, though that may take a couple days worth of practice. If there is a particular question that you just can’t answer with a given card, come back to it later with fresh eyes, but do come back to it.

I hope everyone found the exercise helpful. Feel free to comment and let me know what you thought.