Interpretation

But how do you interpret the cards? There are books written on the tarot, most of which offer possible interpretations for each card. You might purchase one of them (I would recommend one of Eden Gray's: either The Tarot Revealed or A Complete Guide To the Tarot). Read through the book, to get an idea of the traditional interpretations ... then, PUT THE BOOK AWAY. Once again let me stress that NO TWO PEOPLE ARE ALIKE. If you are reading for two different people and the same card happens to come up in the same position for both of them, it is highly unlikely that it will have the same meaning (the interpretation found in the book) for both people. They are each individuals; it will mean something different for each of them.

How, then, do you interpret? Go by your instincts; your feelings; your intuition. As you turn over each card, think of the position that it occupies. For example: position #6—the immediate future. What, of the illustration on the card, strikes you most forcibly as you turn it face up? Invariably one thing—one small part of the overall design—will "hit your eye" first. Think of what that object, color or symbol, can mean in relation to (in this example) the Querant's immediate future. For example, suppose you are using a Rider-Waite deck (I will discuss the different decks later) and you turn up the "Death" card (See Figure 9.1). Does this mean Death is in the near future? No! The interpretation given in one book is "transformation; change. Sometimes followed by or preceding destruction. Sometimes birth or renewal." It could mean the death of an idea, or a job—perhaps leading to "rebirth" in a new job (incidentally, I should mention here that it will help immeasurably if you disregard the titles on the Major Arcana cards. "Death" is not necessarily death; "Justice" is not necesasrily justice; the "Devil" not necessarily the devil, and so on).

But going by our method, there are far more possibilities. You might be struck by the small boat in the background and associate it with travel. Or you might be impressed by the sun rising (or setting?) between the two towers on the right; or the rose on the banner; or the bishop-like figure ... there are so many things which might strike you forcibly. You will find it is a different thing each time you read the cards, giving a different—and therefore far more personal—reading for each individual. So, don't go by the book... use your own powers.

In interpreting, you might keep in mind that the Swords suit is usually associated with troubles and misfortunes (also with the element of AIR); Cups associated with love and happiness (WATER); Wands with enterprise and glory and sex (FIRE); and Pentacles with money (EARTH). This does not mean to say, of course, that every Sword card (for example) turned up has to reflect troubles and misfortunes! These are general associations, so just keep them in mind.

You should also try the Tree of Life spread, to see how you like it. It, also, uses ten cards plus the Significator:

Significator Spreads

Figure 9.1

DEATH

Figure 9.1

1—Querant's highest intelligence—Ideals

2—Creative Force

4—Virtues; good qualities

5—Conquest

6—Health

8—Arts, Crafts; Procreation

9—Imagination; Creativity 10—Earthly home

A very useful layout, especially for a quick reading, is the Seax-Wica Path spread, which uses eight cards (picked by the Querant) and the Significator:

S—Significator

1—Inner self

4—Family

5—Health

6—Religion

7—Friends

8—Final outcome (future)

Practice as much as you can. Read for everyone— people you know well and people you don't know at all. Don't be afraid to say what you see, yet use a little discretion in phrasing it. For example, if you should see death, or some bad accident approaching, DON'T say "You're going to die"! Tell the person that, as the forces are at present, it would be wise to exercise extreme caution in the near future; there is the possibility of an accident. And that's all it is—a possibility. We can alter what lies ahead.

Do not read for the same person (or for yourself) on too frequent a basis. A good rule is, examine the cards used in the reading to see how many of the Major Arcana are present. If there are several (four, five or more), there are strong forces at work. Things are unlikely to change much in the next month, so there is no point in doing another reading for that long (unless it is to examine a totally different question, of course). If there are few, or none, of the Major Arcana, then the forces are light and changing, and it might be well to re-examine the situation in about a week.

There is a tremendous variety of tarot decks available. At last count there were close to two hundred fifty different ones on the market! The best known is the Rider-Waite deck, and it is certainly a good one for the beginner (or for the experienced reader). Its advantage lies in that it has a different full picture for every card; Major and Minor Arcana. Many decks have no symbolism for the Minor Arcana... for the Three of Swords, for example, there are simply three swords; Four of Swords—four swords, and so on. With the Rider-Waite deck there is a whole scene, incorporating three swords, on the one card, and then a totally different scene incorporating four swords on the next, and so on.This obviously gives much more to work with.

Another fine deck, based on the Rider-Waite, is the Morgan-Greer. In fact I, personally, prefer this deck to the Waite. For a change of pace—and some truly exciting symbolism—I would highly recommend the Thoth (pronounced "toe-th") deck, which was designed by Aleister Crowley. Try many of them. Find your own favorite.

Fundamentals of Magick

Fundamentals of Magick

Magick is the art and practice of moving natural energies to effect needed or wanted change. Magick is natural, there is absolutely nothing supernatural about it. What is taught here are various techniques of magick for beginners. Magick is natural and simple and the techniques to develop abilities should be simple and natural as well. What is taught on this site is not only the basics of magick, but the basics of many things.

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