The 21 Principles of Tarot – XII
XII. Seek to Find the Answer that is There
Tarot is both the Answer and the Question.
In the cards we can enter a dialogue with the deepest patterns of our life.
Tarot allows us to gain a new perspective, as if from another source.
So, we should consider that the Universe is a process of Enquiry.
Remember then, from the very beginning, to ask the question.
This will never be any different, from the beginning to the end.
The graduation of initiation is signposted by the questions which remain to be asked – and answered. That which is asked is a marker of value, perspective and identity, whilst also signifying present attachment. A tarot reading (or other divination) may be utilised to undo attachment, release identity, shift perspective and change value through action. We should aspire that anything less is a waste of an opportunity in a reading.
In this lesson, we provide a set of keywords and phrases to assist readers in the second half of this course, taken from our FREE Beginners Guide written under the pen-name Andrea Green.
You can also take another big free tarot course from us on that site which is delivered to you every day – going into more detail on every card!
As we’ve seen in the first half of these lessons, our aim is to be able to read any card in most any way – so these keywords are to be considered comparisons to any other meanings you ascribe to the cards, not as fixed meanings.
The Major Arcana
Fool: Freedom, Inspiration, Risk, Adventure, Innocence.
Magician: Success, Skill, Trickery.
High Priestess: Intuition, subtle change, divine law.
Empress: Harvest, natural growth, pregnancy.
Emperor: Power, control, dominance, energy.
Hierophant: Professional, advice, wisdom, revelation.
The Lovers: Love, relationship, choice.
The Chariot: Driving, ambition, control, force.
Strength: Management, maintenance, equal relationship.
The Hermit: Single person, loneliness, perspective, inspiration.
The Wheel: Luck, chance, cycles, habits, patterns, ups and downs.
Justice: Balance, Fairness, Right, Deserving, Rule.
The Hanged Man: Reversal, betrayal, lack of dignity.
Death: Transformation, change, moving to a new phase.
Temperance: Watering down, peace, diplomacy, mixing.
The Devil: Ignorance, attachment, secrets, darkness.
The Blasted Tower: Shock, sudden change, surprise, clearing away.
The Star: Vision, hope, guidance, seeking a direction, following.
The Moon: Changes, dreams, fear (unnecessary).
The Sun: Light, energy, power, growth, radiance.
The Last Judgement: Decisions, a calling, invitation, new life.
The World: Time, coming together, resolution, closing one door.
The Minor Arcana
The Suit of Pentacles
The Pentacles, disks or coins suit are all about the material things in life, be it money, resources or your time. They show us all the different stages of financial issues, from investing (Ace of Pentacles), saving (4 of Pentacles), through poverty (5 of Pentacles) to retirement (10 of Pentacles).
The Ace of Pentacles: Investment, Seed.
The Two of Pentacles: Juggling, uncertainty.
The Three of Pentacles: New skill, assessment, learning.
The Four of Pentacles: Saving, holding, possessing.
The Five of Pentacles: Holding back income, dispossession, poverty.
The Six of Pentacles: Charity, give and take, work/life balance.
The Seven of Pentacles: Review, assessment, taking stock.
The Eight of Pentacles: Work for its own sake, constant labour, skill.
The Nine of Pentacles: Things being good, but suffocating.
The Ten of Pentacles: Stability, financial settlement, family.
The Page of Pentacles: Contemplating a new project, planning.
The Knight of Pentacles: Solid work, consistency, trust, steady action.
The Queen of Pentacles: Nurturing, rewarding, holding.
The King of Pentacles: Riches, Wealth, Reward.
The Suit of Cups
The Suit of Cups are the dreamy, emotional aspects of our life, and all to do with relationships. Actually, all the cards show relationships, and lessons, but the Cups are specific; so we have the partnership of the 2 of Cups all the way to the happy family of the 10 of Cups.
The Ace of Cups: Overflowing, abounding, joy, delight.
The Two of Cups: Equality, partnership, meeting of hearts and vision.
The Three of Cups: Celebration, party, support of friends.
The Four of Cups: Missing a trick, being stubborn.
The Five of Cups: Sorrow, loss, disappointment.
The Six of Cups: Gifts, freely given, childhood, nostalgia.
The Seven of Cups: Getting distracted.
The Eight of Cups: Moving away from a long, outworn situation.
The Nine of Cups: Smugness, satisfaction, accomplishment, showing off.
The Ten of Cups: Family, Deserving, Reward, contentment.
The Page of Cups: Novelty, surprise, creativity.
The Knight of Cups: Vision, questing, on a mission.
The Queen of Cups: Deep emotional understanding, contemplation.
The King of Cups: Hidden depths, connection, wisdom.
The Suit of Wands
With Wands, we look at our lifestyle; our ambitions and decisions in the world. They are like the walking staff that supports us in our journey in life, they show us our beliefs and intentions, that guide us in our behaviour. So, they are connected to the other suits, as they provide the foundations of all our thoughts (Swords), feelings (Cups) and actions (Pentacles).
The Ace of Wands: Power, control, energy, will, direction, explosion!
The Two of Wands: Planning, comparison, strategy.
The Three of Wands: Setting things in motion, going ahead.
The Four of Wands: Invitation, friendship, mutual benefit.
The Five of Wands: Confusion, argument, re-arrangement.
The Six of Wands: Success, but beware of pride, leadership.
The Seven of Wands: Standing your ground, fighting off others.
The Eight of Wands: Swiftness, movement, travel, news.
The Nine of Wands: Holding fast, ignoring other opinions.
The Ten of Wands: Overburden, responsibilities, overload.
The Page of Wands: Journeying, adventure, following a calling.
The Knight of Wands: Activist, doer, fiery passion.
The Queen of Wands: Wisdom, experience, confidence.
The King of Wands: Dignity, honour, living to one’s word.
The Suit of Swords
The Swords are the Suit of the Mind, all our thoughts and plans. As a result, they show us our worries, our concerns, and matters of knowledge and education.
The Ace of Swords: Decision, cutting, black and white.
The Two of Swords: Denial, holding off, avoidance.
The Three of Swords: Separation, judgement, sorrow.
The Four of Swords: Rest, respite, recuperation, removal.
The Five of Swords: Putting arguments aside, regrets.
The Six of Swords: Movement, assistance, travel.
The Seven of Swords: Treachery, sneaking, underhand action.
The Eight of Swords: Holding yourself back, an old habit of thought.
The Nine of Swords: Pity, grief, sorrow, and worries. Not thinking through.
The Ten of Swords: Pinning something down, everything out in the open.
The Page of Swords: Watch and wait, spying the land before action.
The Knight of Swords: Rushing ahead, entering the discussion.
The Queen of Swords: Calm but swift action, decisiveness.
The King of Swords: Wisdom of experience, applied to fair decisions.
In this exercise, shuffle the entire deck to ask a question – make the question a very clear one and one which requires some action.
It does not matter if it is a very minor question, the most important thing is that it is a simple question that can be clearly stated.
What can I best do this weekend in order to most successfully finish [a specific thing]?
Shuffle and lay out FIVE cards in a cross as illustrated.
Now read the cards individually as below, using your own or the suggested sentences.
Rather than give “positional meanings”, in Tarosophy we give “suggested sentences” as every reader will be saying their interpretations, whether to themselves or other people!
DO NOT FORCE THE SENTENCES TOGETHER – YET.
TAKE EACH ONE AT A TIME, INDEPENDENT OF THE OTHERS.
1. The Centre card “In this centre card is pictured my current situation with [specific thing] and it seems to tell me that the most important/interesting/new/obvious thing about what is happening is …”
2. The Left card “The situation has developed because of what has happened before, which is … [read the left card or use the keywords]”
3. The Bottom card “I have the resources to draw upon to [subject of question, i.e. finish the specific thing] by following the advice of this card, which suggests …”
4. The Top card “In drawing on those resources, mindful of the past, and in the current situation, I should aim for … [read card as something that will be obvious when achieved]”.
5. The Right card “And if I do so, I will realise that … [read card as a lesson, or perhaps a further challenge to can meet, or a resource that you can find for yourself in this situation].
Remember, take each card and each sentence one at a time.
I have mainly stuck to the keywords as given in this lesson and a little bit of additional interpretation of the specific illustrations and symbols in the cards, which are from the Jolanda Tarot.
Click on image for full-scale photo.
1 – 7 of Wands: In this centre card is pictured my current situation about the project and it seems to tell me that the most important thing about what is happening is that I feel as if I am fighting off a lot of unknowns – or perhaps I am attracting attention from dangerous animals? I have a light and a club, but am I ready?
2 – 3 of Wands: The situation has developed because of what has happened before, which is that things were set in motion. Perhaps it was originally done in a light-hearted, almost naïve, fashion? This is in the past.
3 – King of Cups: I have the resources to draw upon, to be successful in the project, by following the advice of this card, which suggests drawing on my inner depths and wisdom – i.e. experience. This is rather than any other factors, I should stress my experience rather than anything else.
[Comparing cards 2 & 3 really says “it is time to grow up about it”]
4 – Devil (XV): In drawing on my experience, mindful that I need to be more serious, and in the current situation where I feel overwhelmed, I should aim for dispelling ignorance, banishing shadows and putting everything utterly out in the open. Be a devil for good! Have a good time doing it!
5 – High Priestess (II): And if I do so, I will realise that things have changed over time, and that there is a spiritual progress already in motion that will be fulfilled in this project.
I can then spend time comparing and contrasting the cards, particularly positions 2 & 5 and 3 & 4. I may smooth over the sentences too, and weave them more together as whole.
Use everything you have learnt already.
Feel free to go back and look at any previous principle or all of them.
Have several goes at it if you want.
Take all the time you want.
Word it however you want.
Allow things to not make immediate sense.
Seek only to find the answer that is there.
Take a look at the card that remains on the bottom of the pile once you have laid out the five cards.
Take this as an illustration of what is really going on underneath the whole situation – the real answer to the whole question.
How does it work with the five cards – is it confirmatory or conflicting?
Example Base Card – 5 of Cups: This situation has put me in touch with something powerful in the past which was disappointing. I do not need to take that into the new situation other than as a challenge to enjoy myself in comparison to the past.
Each of the 21 Principles will build together and give you absolute confidence in reading tarot in three weeks.
This exercise is a modification of one of the fifty exercises found in Tarosophy: Tarot to Engage Life, Not Escape it.
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