Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Bonnie Cehovet | Creating Your Own Tarot Spread

There are an infinite number of Tarot spreads out there, for an infinite number of purposes. Readers will often find, however, that creating their own spreads adds depth and specificity to their readings. The first step to be taken is to define what the reading is all about. What does the Seeker (either your client, or you, if you are reading for yourself) want to take away from the reading? Are you looking for a specific answer? A general answer? A direction to go in? An understanding of a situation/issue/person? Whatever the Seeker is looking for, the answer will come from their question.

Once you have defined the purpose of your reading, you can define the question to be asked. The question should be as specific as possible, and worded as concisely as possible. The clarity of your question is in direct proportion to the clarity of your reading, and the wisdom gained from it.

The next step is to decide the format for your spread, and the number of cards that you want to use. Any number of geometric forms can be used – linear (horizontal or vertical), circular, square, triangular – each has a different esoteric meaning, and each will fit into a different type of reading. A format involving imagery may also be used – such as the Tree of Life, a heart, or even a pumpkin (at Halloween or harvest time).

Now you will need to go back to your question, and decide how many positions you want to use, and how many cards at each position. If you are reading for a couple, you may want to include two or three cards for each position (one representing each partner, and a third to represent the partners together). Anywhere from three to ten positions is usually easiest to work with.

Once you have your question worded, your layout decided upon, and your positions defined, you are ready to do a reading. As you do your first few readings with a new spread, get a feel for how well it is working. Is there something that does not feel right? Is energy getting “stuck” somewhere? Does a position need to be redefined? Does the format of the spread need to be tweaked? This is your spread – move things around until they work for you!   

Creating A Tarot Spread Exercise:

Wording the question: Relationship questions generally head the list of topics that readers are presented with. Let’s say your client comes to you with this question: “Are my boyfriend/husband/significant other and I going to break up?”  This is a limiting question. The first thing that you want to do as a reader is to repeat your client’s question back to them, so that they can see that you listened to them. (Think bonding here.) The next thing that you want to do is to gently suggest that it would open up the reading to rephrase the question. There are several variations that can be used for this question:

1. What do I need to know about my relationship?
2. What do I need to know about my boyfriend/husband/significant other?
3. How is my relationship evolving?
4. Where is my relationship headed?
5. What do I need to know about my attitude towards my relationship?

The version that you and your client decide to use is: “What do I need to know about my relationship?”

Deciding on the layout: While the client is interactive in wording/rewording the question, the Tarot layout is solely up to the reader. See in your mind how the energy of each of the probable forms that you might use moves. For instance, a circle indicates continuous movement, while a triangle indicates point to point movement (as would a zig zag type pattern). The energy of a spiral is in constant movement. For this exercise, we will be working with a triangular format. Remember – you can seat the triangle in any fashion that you choose – i.e. point up, point down, point to the left, point to the right.

Determining the number of positions: When using the triangle format, three or more positions are needed. For this reading the positions will be limited to six – this will give a fairly good sized triangle, and still be quick to read.

Defining the positions: When defining the positions, keep in mind the overall question. In this case, your client is concerned about what they need to know about their relationship. You can do this in any number of ways – I did this by placing two cards at each position, one for my client (a), and one for their boyfriend/husband/significant other (b). Note: If you choose, your client can be interactive in defining the positions for their reading.

1. How does each individual see the relationship as of this day?
2. What does each individual bring to the relationship?
3. What does each individual need from the relationship?
4. What is known about this relationship?
5. What is hidden/unknown about this relationship?
6. What does your client need to know about this relationship?

Relationship Spread

..................1a 1b

...  .2a 2b             3a 3b

4a 4b          5a 5b          6a 6b    

Write the spread down, as well as the position definitions. As you do the reading, make note of where the energy flows, and where it seems to get stuck. If necessary, redefine the details of the spread for future use. Note your client’s reaction, and how connected they seem to be to the reading. Over time, as a reader you can develop a series of readings that fit different occasions, and work well for both you and your clients.

© February 2010 Bonnie Cehovet

Many thanks to Bonnie for writing this first Guest Blog for TABI - hopefully it will be the first of many.  If YOU would like to write an entry for our Tarot blog, please get in touch!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

3 Wands | DruidCraft

An engagement ring is swathed in many memories and it was with a sense of foreboding that I accepted my mum's engagement ring as a gift after my dad died. Too small for me to wear, I secreted it away in a tiny red jeweller's box at the back of a drawer.

I think that I'm pretty good with jewellery.  I don't lose bits that often.  But when I do, it's always a bit of jewellery that I really mourn. When my son was a toddler, he accidentally binned my gold charm bracelet - a gift from my dad, who died before he was born. I have still not told my mum that the bracelet is gone.

If you are following @TABItarot on Twitter, you know where this story is going.  A couple of weeks ago I was asked to bring the ring to my mum to have it resized....and the ring box was empty.  A vague memory of threading it onto a chain to use as a pendulum around Yule was all that I had to go on.

Every day, I have spent hours turning the house upside down, looking for the ring.  Unable to focus on anything, my attention completely taken up with the imminent verbal stoning I'd experience at the hands of my mother when she knew that I'd lost it.

I sought help from everywhere - St Anthony, psychic input.....praying, begging, and heck, I even consulted the Tarot cards.

The card drawn was the 3 of Wands from the DruidCraft Tarot.

I scoured the card for meaning:

Path or Water - check all water sources - loos, sinks, outside taps, fish tank, bottles of water - nothing
Green tunic - check pockets of all green clothing (heck, check pockets of ALL clothing) - nil
One foot higher than the other - check all shoes and boots - nada
3 Wands - check anything that comes in 3s - pot plants, filing cabinet drawers....nowt
What's he doing? He's looking into the distance - search everywhere that offers look into the distance - include computer desk (what is internet if not the distance!), mirrors, pocket mirrors, shiny earrings - nil

Willie came home from South Africa last week and he assured me that HE'D find it.  Seeing as how this is a man who would organise the paper in his litter bin if I let him, I agreed that if he DID find it, he could buy anything he wanted for his beloved Subaru Impreza without me sucking my teeth and making the usual round of disapointed noises.

Cut to this morning, as we systematically trawled our bedroom.  I pulled stuff off the top of the wardrobe and began to sneeze my head off.  Look, what can I say, life is too short to dust the top of the wardrobe, right?  Willie looked at me with That Look, shook his head and disappeared to get a damp cloth.

As he stood on the bed, scouring the top of the wardrobe with the cloth, he asked me what the missing ring looked like.  As I opened my mouth to tell him, he produced The Ring from the top of the wardrobe.

Reader, I married him.

No...sorry, different story......I sank to the floor, unable to speak, weak with relief.  What on earth it was doing on the top of the wardrobe, I have no idea.

Needless to say, it is now carefully back in it's ring box.

I looked at the card again.  What was the only thing about this card that I failed to notice? That the guy was standing high up on a hill, looking DOWN at the landscape.  I failed to properly check anything high up.

The Tarot message? Even when you think you know everything that the card is telling you, allow yourself to be still and wait until some other answer arrives inside you.  It might just be exactly what you are looking for.

...and Willie, what is he hoping to buy for his lovely Scooby? A race track day? A new set of tyres? How about a Lotus Elise 'to keep the Subaru company in the garage'.  Hmmmmm - I'm sucking my teeth already.

Ali x

Monday, 1 February 2010

Tarot Article | Incomplete decks and what to do with them


By Alison Cross - originally in the Yule 2006 TABI e-zine

I was recently sent a deck for review that was missing a card and its Little White Book.  Rather than just moan about the lemons….I asked TABI members to help me make lemonade!  Next time you damage a card or discover one is missing, perhaps some of the suggestions below can spur you to a creative solution.

A big thank you to everyone who contributed, especially Tim whose comments egged on everyone else.  Thanks for that Tim :-D

Ali x

*Bin them, you don't know where they have been or why some cards are missing. It's like picking food out of the gutter.... only do it if you are desperate.                    Tim

*Give the undamaged cards as sort of a 'souvenir' for folks I did readings for - eg If I had a significant card from their reading in the partial deck, I gave it to them to carry with them, or set some special place. If I didn't have an appropriate card, I let them pick a random card from the partial deck, which I explained briefly, and they kept as food for thought.                                                       Bev

* mount them to make greetings cards,
* "skin" them to make decoupage tarot card boxes  out of plain boxes  (available from craft suppliers) or even decorate a blanket box or  chest of drawers or lacquer-work or place mats, coasters - good grief
the list is endless!
* mount and frame them in groups or pairs, e.g. Devil with the Lovers  or a set of Courts, depending on which cards are missing
* fix them onto stiff card and make a Tarot jigsaw
* make a mobile from your favourite cards
* laminate them and attach to wind chimes in the garden
* laminate or frame them to decorate your reading area/table if you  read at fayres
* stick them on your wheelie bin with sticky back plastic to make it less of an eyesore

*Use them for the front of note cards, stationary – select an appropriate image to get across a point to the person you are sending the card/note too...if possible.                Rose

* I lost two cards from my first deck and replaced them with a couple of 'instruction' cards that the deck came with. I found that although I had two cards missing, the deck still worked with the ones I replaced ....     
I would be inclined to keep them and think of reasons why particular ones were missing compared/ contrasted with those retained.

Perhaps the "absence" of a particular card may well present itself during a spread.  Celia

* Use whichever COMPONENT (if any) of the deck is COMPLETE, i.e. as a  Majors ONLY, Minors only or Courts only deck. Tailor the spread for  this component to reflect... "spiritual", "mundane", "interpersonal" etc. aspects, respectively? ;-)

Not an entirely original idea - ISTR Rachel Pollack used "categories" for the COMPLETE Haindl deck. This is also a useful possibility for Minchiate decks, which have "Zodiac" and "Element" Cards, t'boot! :-)

* Bookmarks
* Mat and framed as pictures
* if you're into 'scrap-booking' or similar paper-craft type stuff they can be  used to illustrate milestones in the subject's life
* journals don't just have to be writing, use cards to add a bit of colour or to kick start personal reflections
* I have my 'special box' decoupaged it with angel pictures, some of  which were from an angel oracle deck. When it was finished I covered it with layer upon layer of lacquer until it was smooth and the edges of the separate pictures couldn't be felt
with the fingers. Now, some twelve or so years later, it has taken on the appearance and feeling of an old icon.                                                                                Di

* Artistically arrange them on the back wall when TABI is reading at events.
* Alternatively distribute to querents as a memento /business card, contact details could be attached on the back via a self adhesive label.                                           Judes

* The missing cards are the ones "left blank" as it were for you to design yourself in keeping with the rest of the deck.                                                                         Lucy

Perfect for a Coffee table - an unordered spread, some glue and a piece  of glass set on top - interesting talking point.                                                                   Osmond

TABI members could donate partial decks, odd cards etc. and then create your own large-sized "comparative tarot"?                                                       Helen

* Maybe a thread should follow on how NOT to damage decks - here's my advice:- Make sure you place drinks on coasters with rims and that plastic beakers aren't cracked.  Extra security - keep drinks away from decks, so that's imbibe the wine, mead etc - don't spill it . ;-).  Also, never take decks to work only protected by silk bag to read for colleague, and get caught in a rainstorm on way home.

Sharon (Ace Deck Destroyer!) 

* Make a work of art
* If it's a deck you really love frame the cards.
* Make a collage.
* Use them to illustrate your tarot journal.
* Let your Seekers rifle through them if they're new to tarot, you won't be so worried about them messing things up then :)
* Use them as significators with other decks for readings.
                                                                                      Clare [Dark Flower]

It depends on which cards are missing,I guess.... :)  But if there's a small amount (5 or less) I'd maybe draw up ones of my own and then use the deck ;)