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Posts from the ‘Tarot Reading Tips’ Category

The Triadic Tarot

A square Tarot de Marseille with cards that can be turned in any direction! Pips arranged in triads according to a system described by the French occultist Papus. This radically unique deck will spark your intuition and give you a solid system for interpreting the pips. The sixty-page booklet that comes with the deck gives you everything you need to read with it. It’s great fun playing with the possibilities in these cards. Let’s look at each component of the deck in detail. Read more

Rereading the Classics: Yoav Ben-Dov

About this series:

If you want to read with the Tarot de Marseille (or any deck with non-illustrated pips) and only know English, get acquainted with these six essential authors: Yoav Ben-Dov, Jean-Michel David, Camelia Elias, Enrique Enriquez, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Caitlín Matthews. I plan to spend the winter rereading them and reporting on a few tips or exercises from each author that strike me as especially interesting. Stay tuned for J-M David in a few months. Here’s what stood out for me in Yoav’s book, Tarot: The Open Reading. Read more

Speed Reading the Tarot with Christiana Gaudet

Christiana Gaudet is my kind of tarot reader: concise, no-nonsense and practical. She gets right to the point without stalling for time; and knows immediately what aspect of a card to highlight. Her decades of full-time reading shines through her technique. She intuitively knows what the client needs: practical advice, compassion, reassurance, a kick in the pants – she can deliver any of that with any card. I’ve given an exercise below that will help you read just as fluently and quickly. Read more

Untold Tarot by Caitlín Matthews – Book Review

This book is destined to become a classic, along with books on the same topic by the likes of Jodorowsky and Ben Dov (to whom the book is dedicated). Three kinds of people need this book:

  • People who are curious about reading with the Tarot de Marseille (TdM) or other historic decks, but are put off by the thought of reading cards that don’t have fully illustrated scenes.
  • People who dove into intuitive reading feet-first and now feel the need for grounding in systematic study.
  • People like me who have been immersed in historic decks for years and think they know just about everything. The book gives lots of new techniques to try as well as fresh insights into the cards.

Read more

Divinatory Meanings for the Tarot de Marseille

At the bottom of an old carton, I recently found a file folder stuffed with divinatory meanings (DMs) for the Tarot de Marseille (TdM) pip cards. When I began reading with historic decks about 20 years ago, I bought European TdM books, snapped up English language books when they became available, and downloaded lists of card meanings online. Then I took copious notes and made charts comparing various authors’ meanings.

I pulled the 4 of Swords out of a deck at random and listed the DMs for that card given by the eleven authors in my folder: Read more

Cross Spread with the Rosenwald Deck

I just did my first reading with my new Rosenwald deck. This deck reads like a dream. The fluid lines bring the images to life, and the pips are enough like the TdM so little adjustment is required.

Since my question was “should I or shouldn’t I” do something, I used the Cross Spread. (There’s a link below to a blog post I did a few years ago on the details of this spread). Read more

Three New Tarot de Marseille Books

Things have certainly changed since I began reading with the TdM around the turn of the millennium. Back then there were no books in English on the subject; so I spent a fortune on shipping for a small collection of books in French. Since then there have been almost no other basic TdM books in English. I recently found three books that show the tide is turning. Read more

Reading Between the Cards

Lately I’ve been doing readings with just two cards. I don’t read the cards one-two, past-present, cause-effect. I read the space between them: the field of energy, the tension, the interaction. I ask what must happen for one card to turn into the other, or for one card to reach out to the other and transform it?

A few weeks ago I asked Lo Scarabeo’s Ancient Italian deck what I can do to kick off a summer of creative and artistic experimentation. I got the Star and Nine of Cups: waters of heavenly inspiration cascading through the levels of cups. But the Nine of Cups has a sterile, conformist feel, like rows of soldiers or synchronized dancers. Something stale and dry is being watered. The cards resemble the fountain in my living room where water cascades down several vertical levels of copper flowers. Read more

Three-Dimensional Tarot Spreads

A comment on facebook inspired me to search for “playing card holders for the disabled”. The results gave me numerous alternatives to laying a spread flat on the table.

In the top photo, the Ancient Italian spread on the left sits on a flat board set at an angle with four grooves to hold cards. The Pierre Madenié cross spread is set up using two card holders with three grooves each.

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Is the Tarot de Marseille Suit of Cups about Romance?

Since the Ace announces the energy of its suit, let’s look at some Aces of Cups to see if they conjure up romantic associations.

In the image above, the 1830 Vergnano ace is a big bowl of flowers. The Avondo Brothers 1880 knock-off of the soprafino pattern (published by Lo Scarabeo as the Ancient Italian Tarot) has a cherub popping out of the window in a fancy urn. Green dolphins, sacred to Aphrodite, play around the base. Claude Burdel’s 1751 ace (from the Universal Tarot de Marseille by Lo Scarabeo) is energetic and cheerful, with a phoenix rising from a fire under a bright sun. To my mind, all three cards conjure up love, romance and friendship. Read more