The 21 Principles of Tarot – XV

Tarot Principles 15

XV. Every Reading is as Important as Every Other Reading


Tarot is the story of everyone as told by someone.

It is also the story of someone told by everyone.

A Tarot reading can be the most important thing that someone ever ignores.

So, we might never know (as with everything) the full consequence of our cards.

Remember then, from the very beginning, to treat every reading with respect.

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


Extended Commentary

The first reading that ever tells you something should stop you ever reading again until you have come to terms with the consequence of the working of tarot. If it works, then what does it tell you about yourself, the universe, time, space, and the relationship of these things? What does it suggest as to the notion of purpose, of free will, of fate, fortune and destiny? How does it work to reflect all possibilities in one deck? Every reading engages in this fundamental act of enquiry; what is possible? And, most importantly above all considerations, every reading is the possibility for initiation.


In this exercise, we look at the final set of cards in a deck, the Court Cards.

There are many ways of working with Court cards, which we have cover in our books.

In these Principles, we will return to the key concepts introduced in Secrets of the Waite-Smith Tarot (p.10) with additional material.



Page: Unformed (make a start of …)

Knight: Directed (make a movement towards …)

Queen: Experienced (recognise the experience of …)

King: Established (work with the establishment of …)


Pentacles: Resources (finances, time, health, family)

Swords: Thoughts (education, learning, mind, logic, speaking, communication)

Cups: Emotions (feelings, intuition, depth, unconscious, unspoken)

Wands: Ambitions (will, direction, spirituality, lifestyle)

To practice with the Courts, select out the 16 Court cards into a separate deck.

Shuffle whilst thinking “What do I need to know today about relationships and people?”

Select ONE card.

Look up the key concepts by Rank + Suit.

Make a sentence as an answer to your question, modifying the words and grammar if necessary.

Then – and most importantly, extend your interpretation with commentary, by saying “Today I will …” and decide on one particular action or attitude that you will take today.



 Queen of Cups

 Queen of Cups

(I) Recognise the Experience of (that which is) Unspoken.

Today I will, at least once, speak something that has remained unspoken.





Ensure that the action is something that you can do and has an observable action or impact. So, rather than “I will be happier” state “I will watch at least one comedy video” or “make one person smile”.

Visualise the card when you take the action.


Intermediate Exercise


At the end of the day, consider not only how the card related to your action but also the results and consequences of that action, particularly if it involved another person or people.

How would you see them in terms of court cards?


Advanced Exercise

Consider that this 15th Principle corresponds to the Devil (XV) card of the Major Arcana. What does the Devil mean in the context of personality and people?

How might this exercise reveal something about the ‘shadow’, an attribute of the Devil?

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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