Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Tarot Card Meanings’ Category

Reading a Trump-Suit Combo with the Tarot de Marseilles

My favorite card-of-the-day draw involves shuffling the trumps and suit cards separately, then pulling a card at random from each stack. I like to flip the two cards over simultaneously so they hit my retina at the same time, setting up resonance between them.

Suit cards describe the details and address specifics. The trumps are like a color filter or a pinch of herbs – they bring out certain qualities of the suit card without altering its core meaning. Here’s an example from my tarot journal of several entries for one suit card in combination with different trumps. Read more

A Tarot Card Study Aid

I firmly believe that intuitive tarot reading should rest on a solid foundation of study. Read books, take notes, visit forums, compare decks, take more notes. Then let it all sink into your subconscious mind. Trust that during your readings you’ll know what to say without having to rummage through your mental file cabinet for memorized keywords.

Brigit at recently posted a brilliant tool on her blog at  that will help you study your cards in depth. In her blog post “Rapidly Deepen Your Tarot Knowledge with Tarot Card Profiles”, she provides a form to fill out that will help you think about each card from all angles. Print out 78 copies of the PDF file she provides, put them in a notebook, and you’ll have a personalized book of card meanings to go with your deck.

Here’s how I answered the questions on Biddy’s form for the Two of Batons from my favorite deck, the Avondo Brothers version of the Tarot de Marseilles.

Read more

Reading Techniques in Action

On New Year’s Day I picked up my free readings for the week over at (more about them below). One of my favorite features, “Tarot Treats”, delivers a card for the week on Sunday that I like to work with throughout the week.

My New Year’s Day card was the Ace of Swords – the perfect talisman for someone who has just resolved to do more writing and blogging in 2012. So far this week I’ve used two of my favorite techniques with this card.

I shuffled just the minor arcana of the Soprafino deck while asking for a message about how I can support Ace of Swords energy in my life during the week. When the deck felt well-shuffled, I went through it card by card until I found the Ace of Swords, and pulled it out along with the cards on either side of it. This gave me a spread where the cards work together synergistically rather than being compartmentalized into separate spread positions. Then I took the sum of the three cards (10) and found the corresponding trump card (Wheel of Fortune) to give me the theme of the reading. Read more

Graphic Structure and Card Meaning

I’ve just discovered a technique that helps me see the cards in a new light. It’s from a book written in 1973 by Fred Gettings that I just reviewed for the American Tarot Association’s Quarterly Journal. Gettings was way ahead of his time in his approach to tarot history and the Tarot de Marseilles, and is one of the first English-speaking authors to focus on this deck. I couldn’t find any biographical information on Gettings online. If anyone knows about him or if he’s even alive today, I’d love to hear about it.

Gettings’ method is all about analyzing the underlying structure of each card. When you reduce an image to its basic geometric shapes you can see how the parts relate to the whole and read astrological or alchemical symbols into the image, adding layers of meaning. Read more