The key to successfully reading any tarot spread is creating a story. If you think of a tarot reading as something to be dissected card by card, you will have trouble grasping the real and subtle meaning of the spread as a whole. A story doesn’t come from without; it comes from within, from the part of you that is seeking creative expression. You need to learn to recognize and go with your gut feelings; these feelings are not emotions, but the intuitions, knowings, words and phrases that arise without effort as you gaze upon the cards. Try “stream of consciousness”, speak your thoughts, uncensored and uncontrolled, simply let the words come out. This will by pass your critical Ego, and help you to access your Inner Guide. Your first attempts may be awkward, but you will improve with practice- sometimes insights will surface that completely surprise you! Some of the most accurate readings I have done for other people just felt (to me) like I was talking “off the top of my head” and sounded (to me) like silly nonsense that must surely be way off base… but the client’s reaction was something else!
If you are doing readings for yourself, you might like to write you spontaneous reactions to the cards down in a tarot journal. In my tarot journal, I will draw a little picture of the spread, then write comments on each card, stream of conscious. It is interesting to go back after a few days or weeks, and see how accurate your readings were. This will also help you to develop your own meanings to the cards- yes! Your opinion counts too! We all carry within us our own personal iconography and myths, through which the archetypal images of the tarot will speak. You may find the same cards keep coming up in with the same sort of situations, people or related to the same feelings over and over, and this will help you to develop your own personal interpretations of the cards.
The numbers of the tarot have significance, as related to the art and science of numerology. What is Numerology? Numerology is the language of numbers and their symbolic meaning. Each number has its own vibration and its own vibratory influence upon the individual. In all the occult sciences, there are correlations between observable physical phenomena, and the inner workings of people. The universe has provided keys which, when understood, provide excellent tools for the understanding human nature. You can also utilize the numbers on the cards (and their associated numerological vibrations) to enrich your readings.
One- The Aces correspond with the number one. This is the beginning- of an idea, an action, or a venture. The number 1 contains raw energy, but as of yet, there is no substance; it is simply the beginning. One is the point at which individuation occurs, it is the moment at which new life results, the moment of conception. By the time that growth and development begin, we have already moved beyond one.
The Aces are raw expressions of the element they represent, they usually relate to beginnings, and always relate to great power and force. Whenever an Ace comes up in a spread, it indicates sudden movement, and usually promises hope and progress. The Aces are the rulers of the elemental suits, and all other minor cards are seen as developments from the Ace.
Two- Two is about joining together and partnerships of all kinds, whether in love, business, artistic, or ‘just friends’. The energy of the solitary Ace is beginning to adapt itself according to the features of outer life, and to grow around them.The most important principle of the number two is balance.
Three- Three may be seen as a progression from one, the ego, the primal force; and two, where force begins to integrate and work in harmony with others. The three, therefore, might be considered to be the end result of this initial integration of forces. Three represents a Trilogy or Trinity, where two elements come together to form something new… the sum is greater than it’s parts.
Four- Four is a number of balance; four forms the solid foundation, the basis. There are the four elements of air, water, earth and fire (also correlated to the four suits of the tarot) and also the four concepts of spiritual, intellectual, emotional and material life, which form the basis of human existence. This is a number of secure and safe foundations in whatever suit it applies. It indicates that the person has already done the work to form the foundation upon which more success can be built.
Five- Five is a number of drive, ambition, courage and daring; but also, conflict, uncertainty, dread and turmoil, and often brings arguments, anger, and change. Five is also a number of freedom from constraint, convention and habits. With five, everything will be quite dramatic and far-reaching. Five is also about the practical use of independence. Five represents the struggle and responsibility of controlling and balancing your own life. Five is a test of our character.
Six- Six is a well-rounded and balanced number, it’s influence is harmony and accord. It is the number of a peacemaker. With the influence of six, we recognize the perfection and beauty loveliness around us. Six brings harmony to situations, people, plans, and environments Healing, recovery and reconciliation are also facilitated by the number six. Six is an optimistic, loving point of view which radiates and gives confidence to all it touches. When we are influenced by six we see the beauty, and fun in our world.
Seven- Seven is a number of wisdom, personal growth, understanding and knowledge. Under the influence of seven we gain insight, confidence and autonomy, your understanding and perception of your Higher Self is beginning to emerge. When you begin to see yourself properly you can more clearly identify your true purpose. Seven represents a powerful intuition, which you must learn to trust; it is a wisdom born of experience and knowledge.
Eight- Eight is a number of wholeness and completion, concerned with practical matters and the ordinary demands of life. Eight demands hard work and attention to detail; in order to reap, you must sow. With eight we develop our business skills, decision-making qualities and ability to organize. We can apply ideas, making them workable with our life expectations. Eight is a number concerned with perfection, influencing us toward the best.
Nine- Nine heralds the arrival of what we manifest, nine is a number which allows us the rewards of our labor. What we have put our attention to now comes to fruition. Of course, if we have focused our attention on the negative, we can expect the results to be negative. People strongly influenced by nine are idealistic and sometimes opinionated. They tend to be moralists, and are often in positions of leadership. They are sensitive to the feelings of others, and have a desire to help and heal.
Ten- With ten we realize what we have been living and working towards; of course, if what you have been living and thinking is negative, the end result will not necessarily be positive; it is simply the manifestation of what has been held in your thoughts for days, months or even years. Ten is about completing a stage in your life. You have manifested what you have been aiming for, including your subconscious needs. When you reach ten, you could be at the beginning all over again; you might say that ten is not only the point of fulfillment, but also the birth of the next step. It is both the beginning and end.
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