Posts Tagged ‘card combinations’
The Tarot Journey –Turning Challenges into Stepping Stones
One of the questions asked that prompted this series for challenges in the Tarot Journey was about how to tell a story with the cards. The specific question that was asked was telling a story with a 3-card or a 10-card tarot spread, such as a Past-Present-Future layout, or a Celtic Cross.
I really pondered how to approach this subject, because much of the “story telling” will come from you and your intuition when you lay out the cards.
Additionally, the idea of “story telling” could be viewed in different ways. For example, if you are a new reader, and you want to just lay out three cards without any positional meanings for those cards – basically to just read in free from – this may be a bit of a challenge for you, at least until you’ve gained enough experience to comfortably put the cards together.
So if you are new to Tarot, or you’ve just started getting the meanings down pat, you may want to consider sticking to a spread that has positions assigned. This will give you some structure and a foundation for the direction of your reading. While I do enjoy laying out a few cards in free form style, I generally still won’t lay out more than 5 cards to read in a free form manner. For bigger readings, I still like to have the structure behind the cards.
I think the concern behind today’s question relates to feeling like your responses to a reading are somewhat herky-jerky or going in different directions. Perhaps you don’t feel or find the “flow” to the reading. Again, this question about “telling a story” with the cards could mean a number of things. It could relate to how you are trying to blend the cards around the common theme or question. So you might also want to practice on card blending or card combination skills.
Here’s one way that can help you.
Let’s go ahead and use the example of a Past-Present-Future spread since that was specifically asked about. And let’s say that someone wanted to know if love was coming into their lives. We’ll use that as the basis of the question.
Drawing three cards at random, I get:
1) Past: The Hanged Man
2) Present: 4 of Wands
3) Future: Page of Cups
The first thing you will likely do is sort out what each card means individually, especially if you are fairly new in reading the cards. You need to find a starting point to build on. So let’s do that.
1) Hanged Man: Pause and wait. Delay. Voluntary Sacrifice. Having to wait.
2) 4 of Wands: Celebration; Accomplishment; The harvest is gathered; A time to come together and celebrate at this stage in a particular process. Satisfaction. Achievement. A happy atmosphere.
3) Page of Cups: Happy news or surprises. Learning about emotions. A new emotional beginning
Okay, so while you may understand what each card means individually, the job now is to put it all together in a meaningful way that takes you from the past, to the present, and the future.
Notice that the Hanged Man could be considered “different” among the 3 cards, because it comes from the Major Arcana of the Tarot. In the same token, the Page of Cups might also be “different” because it’s a court card.
For that matter, you could even say that the 4 of Wands is different than the other two cards, because it is a pip card to suggest daily matters, while the other two cards have special designations as a court cards or a major card. It depends on what you feel calls to you.
In this case, I really notice the major Arcana energy first; it’s what stands out to me – but just know that you don’t have to start reading a spread with the very first card. If something else calls to your attention, you can go to that part of the reading first. Just because the cards are ordered 1, 2, 3, etc., doesn’t mean you have to read them in that order. But be mindful of whatever positions you are using.
So we indicated there was a time in waiting, and possibly a voluntary sacrifice with the Hanged Man. That relates to the Past. This person may not have had a relationship for awhile. Their love life has sort of been put “on hold” it seems. And that’s probably the reason the questioner wanted to ask about love. They’ve been waiting and waiting, and they wonder if it’s “ever” gonna happen for them to be in love.
What does the present tell us with the 4 of Wands? It offers reason for celebration. But why, we might ask? The person asking is single and doesn’t even see love in their range of vision at this point. So does this mean the seeker is supposed to jump up and down and celebrate their loneliness and lack of relationship? Of course not. Remember to infuse some common sense alongside your intuition and response to the cards, and this will help you, too.
What this can mean is a shift in the energy that is already happening in the present! The atmosphere of party or celebration can suggest that there is an opportunity for this seeker to meet someone in a group type of activity – perhaps a social function of some sort. That’s a sign that the seeker should not avoid social events, but should get out there and enjoy herself (or himself). This is an active energy – unlike the passive energy of the Hanged Man. And that can be a huge key here! It can suggest that the seeker really hasn’t been “actively” trying to pursue a relationship or get involved with events that could lead her to that possibility. But now, if she really wants love, and she’s growing impatient . . . getting actively involved is an important key to bring her more excitement in her life – and the possibility of meeting someone.
This celebration in the 4 of Wands sits between the waiting of the Hanged Man and the expectancy of the Page of Cups. Look at the cards. The Page of Cups is even looking in the direction of that celebration. That gives me the feeling that this seeker’s special someone is coming in the near future. He’s probably wishing for her as much as she’s wishing for him. And the eventual meeting of these two individuals is likely to occur in a group type of setting that is a social occasion. So I wouldn’t necessarily feel that this person is going to meet anyone at work. After all, they’ve already been waiting for awhile, and no candidates have likely emerged from a work setting.
So here, I might ask the client what she has been doing during this time of waiting. Has she been getting out socially? Or has she been keeping herself at home and at work? What has she been doing all this time? A lot of the answers I get to this question are, “Oh well, yes, I’ve been out a lot! I go to the store, shop, go pay my bills, I go to work, I visit my parents and my friends. I’m really active and social.”
Ummm . . . can someone cue in the sound of a scratching record player with that ripping sound effect here?
If this person has been so busy in those ways, it’s not the kind of ways she could expect to meet someone for a relationship – at least not for the most part. So it’s no wonder she’s been waiting and in limbo like the Hanged Man. She wasn’t putting herself out there, and thus, what she was doing was adding more time to the delay of her non-existent love life.
But the 4 of Wands suggests that now is the time to change that. It suggests getting out there and being part of social activities. Have fun! And the future, with the Page of Cups, can indeed suggest a new love peering just around the corner – someone whom she could meet at one of those social events she attends.
So this story has a beginning, a middle, and an end – as do all readings. The beginning is shown to us with the long waiting of the Hanged Man where life is on hold. The middle part of this story shows a shift where one stops hanging around the house and starts engaging with people and with life. And the “end” of this 3-card story suggests the potential to meet new love.
This reading doesn’t tell us how the relationship will go from there or if it will even get off the ground in a serious or committed way, but what it does tell us is that this person who is alone can meet someone if she stops holding herself back and gets more involved.
Can you see the “story” in that?
Reading the cards is very much like telling a story. It’s a matter of putting the energies together and reviewing what happens between Point A and Point B. And it takes time, practice, and patience – and the allowance of your intuition – to tell that story.
Let’s look at card reading from the angle of actually trying to create a story for fun.
This can be helpful if you are a writer, but even if you aren’t a writer, this will give you practice in blending the cards and finding a story or a plot within the cards.
Let’s say that you wanted to write a novel, and maybe you had some ideas of what to write, but didn’t know for sure what direction to take it.
Try this – and note that I’ve pulled cards to go with each one:
Card 1: The overall theme of the entire story – what the novel will be about (5 of Wands)
Card 2: Main character of the story (2 of Swords)
Card 3: Secondary character of the story (The Emperor)
Card 4: The troublemaker or villain – or the problem (Ace of Cups)
Card 5: Beginning of the story (Strength)
Cards 6 & 7: Middle of the story (I used two cards, because the middle is going to be the “meat” of the whole book. You could still just pull one, or you could pull more cards.) (The Fool and The Moon)
Card 8: The ending of the story. (The Sun)
Whew, that’s a lot of cards to explore. But let’s do it anyway. Let’s look at the images, as that’s important to help get a feel for what we are dealing with.
5 of Wands: Overall Theme
2 of Swords: Main Character / Emperor: Secondary Character / Ace of Cups: Villain
Strength: Beginning / The Fool and The Moon: Middle / The Sun: Ending
If I was going to write a story, I could see lots of ideas here to help enhance any ideas that I was already working with. The Tarot can be a great tool to boost your creativity and give you additional ideas in your storyline and plots.
The 5 of Wands indicates the theme is about some kind of a struggle. That’s usually typical for a story. There is usually a challenge of sorts within any good story.
The main character is represented by the 2 of Swords. So it looks like we have a very indecisive person who can’t seem to make up her mind. A decision may loom in front of her, but she doesn’t know what she wants, or she doesn’t know what to do.
The secondary character (Emperor) could be her influential father – perhaps someone pushing her toward an arranged marriage.
But alas, the problem or villain in this story is the Ace of Cups. Wait a minute! How can such a positive card be a villain? Use your imagination here! Maybe this Ace of Cups is the man that the young lady is really in love with, but perhaps he’s not rich, and to the woman’s father, he’s the “villain” and doesn’t want his daughter to have anything to do with that young man.
How does the story begin? Strength is the card that tells us that the story line might start with a strong family line. The girl, however, is faced with having to dig for her inner strength and take a stand on what she wants. The story might start by talking about the families involved, and then lead to the dilemma of this girl’s problem.
As you move to the middle part of the story, there is the Fool and the Moon. This can speak of the girl’s desire to have an adventure of her own – and maybe she is secretly seeing the young man on the sly without her father’s knowledge. The Moon can show hidden things and secrets! But it’s her adventure and her fantasy . . . even though when reality returns, she is still faced with her father’s insistence of whom she should marry – and it’s apparently not the Ace of Cups whom her father wants her to marry.
But it looks like this story will have a happy ending with the Sun card. Perhaps this young girls breaks free from the authority of her father and his wishes, and she rides away in the sunset with her true love.
Of course, this is merely like an “outline” of a story. You need a lot more “meat” to put into that novel. And you could even draw additional cards to help you create more events in that story.
Even if you are not going to write a novel or a story, this exercise can help you to put pieces together and blend the cards in magical ways that will tell a story.
If you are a writer, however, I recommend that you read “Tarot for Writers” by Corrine Kenner. This book can help you boost your creativity and shift your imagination into places you’ve never been before!
On the back of this book, Corrine tells us that famous writers such as John Steinbeck and Stephen King have used the practical methods in this book to tap into the wells of inspiration.
In the same way, you can liven up your own stories with guidance from Corrine’s Kenner’s “Tarot for Writer’s.”
Tarot for Writers is available at Amazon.com if you want to kick-start YOUR creative writing experiences through the use of Tarot.
Do you have a dilemma with tarot that’s got you perplexed? Are you facing a particular challenge with Tarot? Please share, and your topic may be covered in a future blog post in this Tarot Journey series.
Happy Tarot Journeys