Tarot card spreads are just one method of reading cards. Card spreads run sequentially, like frames in a comic strip. Spreads act like storyboards. Alternatively we can use a system of card counting where the tarot deck is shuffled and four strings of cards are generated. Each string details the elements of fire, water, air, earth. Strings of cards spotlight potentials of creativity, desire, thoughts, and the future in your life.

 

card spreads

 

Symbols - Tarot can help alert you to the truth in a world full of alternative facts

 

Just as we learn to read faces and street signs, Tarot helps us recognize certain symbols & subtleties, noticing this, but not that, as being relevant to us.  
Gestures, signs and symbols are an embedded private language just waiting for you to make the connection.


Example -
Writers often use tarot to generate plot lines for storytelling and give depth to their characters.

 

I set out to write a section on symbols and this has proved challenging. I thought I’d tell you that four threes mean ‘happy family’ and stability for the future. Or that often a dot in the centre of a circle can indicate the sun or perhaps a light at the end of a tunnel. One implied symbolism of shoes in a Tarot deck drawn in 1910 meant civility within society. I thought I would talk about these kind of things – but there are already great books on Tarot symbol systems available – so I wanted to share with you a more personalized journey with symbols.

 

If we slow down we look at what there is – we stop shuffling around in our chairs and flicking through our notebooks to make sure we are seeing and reading the symbol ‘right’. Instead, if we just look, we can start to see more – when a line makes a shape that might mean something to us it then engages the right caliber of interest.
It is in this way that symbols act like descriptions, tempting menus that act to engage us.

 

Symbols function as points of contact linking external language to our internal interest – personal enough that we continue later to direct effort and attention to that symbol. Perhaps we actively consciously look out for that symbol appearing again - but we are unlikely to find anything if we plod consciously along looking only at what we are used to.

 

There are other things to look out for. The top half of a card can be described as ‘above’ – ‘airborne’ – the realm of birds and wind. The lower half of the card could be described as ‘below’ – ‘earthbound’ the realm of plants and stones.

These two states – upward and downward – are made with whatever shapes and lines are held in common but also atmospheres and moods that are unique to themselves. Two motivational levels, two versions of one movement. What is above? Sunlight. What is below? Forests.

 

One card alone contains multiple symbols, all of which we could read – but right now we focus on only those that are most relevant to the time and to the particular question. One line, shape or curve might show itself again and again and continue on into the next card/picture we see.

 

I am also interested in the gap between the repeated symbols – not just how one moment the symbol did this for our attention, and now it is doing something else, but how and why the symbol took our attention to this outcome. Tarot symbols act like signal points on a train track. The symbol might be a walking stick and a lamp. The book may tell you that this symbol means ‘hard work’, being prepared and dedication to a life process. But it is not until you get inside a symbol and experience what it actually relays to you – following your own chain of thought – that real insight is given.

 

Symbols attempt to chalk an outline around your presence. One way symbols do this is to show you connections you can relate to and see as alternatives. That is all we need – recognition = re cog notion = start solving and restart thinking.

 

Other techniques to interpret symbols –

 

I am interested in ‘The Language of Birds’.
The Language of Birds uses letters as symbols. It works by studying the letters and seeing a narrative.
So - The letter S may look like a road or twisting journey, and the letter P turned on its side looks like a postcard poking through the slit in a letter box.  Or P might look like a tongue at the corner of a mouth. Tasty news . Hunger for information will be satisfied. News coming Home.
You can also take apart words – for example if you take apart the word STAR - S makes a shape like a movement downwards towards the ground. TAR remains – the lining inside a burnt out firework.
These narratives will mean something to us, give us new perspectives, new ways of seeing and understanding our world.

 

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