The 21 Principles of Tarot – XIX

Tarot Principles 19

XIX. See the Spaces Between the Cards


Tarot is as much about silence as it is about speech.

In a reading there are spaces that make up the spaces outside of the lines.

Tarot shows us not only a map of the land but of the people, the politics, the names of the places as they were and are and will be known.

So, we might see that we can look between the cards and through them, as much as we can look simply at them.

Remember then, from the very beginning, to recognise the vast space that awaits beyond the edges.

This will never be any different, from the beginning to the end.


Extended Commentary

There is an idea in art that one can draw a shape, such as a horse, by imagining not the horse itself but the outline of it as being a coastline of the space that is not the horse – the space around the horse that forms in the middle as you draw the lines of the space. This perspective applies as much to tarot as to any situation. What cards are not present in a reading? What Suits are missing? Why did the Court card that most applies to the most significant person in the situation not turn up at all? Ask not what you are missing or have got “wrong” but what the silences and spaces are shouting to you.


In this practice, as we approach the conclusion of the 21 Tarot Principles, we provide a method for daily practice.

I do not teach “one card of the day” as I find it slow and limits the student in later years.

Rather, practice this spread every morning and review it in the evening. It is called the Dawn Spread (designed in 1983) and was introduced in Tarosophy.

The Dawn Spread

Dawn Spread

Simply use this spread for your ongoing practice and review.




The practice of this spread will increase your ability to interpret every spread or method for other people.


Intermediate/Advanced Exercise


In Tarot Twist (2013), I published a companion spread for additional use as an evening review once the student has become comfortable with the Dawn Spread.

They can be used together, or switch from the Dawn to the Sunset Spread as you find works for you.

The Sunset Spread

Sunset Spread

The 3 Base cards (left to right)

Review – What is the basic lesson I can take from today?

Resolve – What do I need to do differently tomorrow?

Refine – What can I see now that I couldn’t see before?

The 5 Arched cards (left to right)

Others – What have I learnt about those around me?

Environment – What have I learnt about the world?

Me – What can I say about myself now?

Problems – What is the nature of the challenges I face?

Solution – Where shall I look for solutions tomorrow?

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