The Reader's Reading

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

There are many things that I have yet to understand about tarot, and there are a few things that I already do. For example, I understand how the reader's interpretation (or question) can make the same card have a different meaning. I also understand that while no cards are inherently bad, there are a few that most people hope not to see in their spread, and others that are welcome. 

However, I wonder if I'll ever understand one thing - how your state of mind can so directly affect the cards you choose when you have shuffled them thoroughly and have absolutely no idea about their placement in the deck. Yet this appears to be the case.

As I sat down to do the first weekly reading from the Alternative Tarot Course by Beth Maiden, I decided to write the interpretation up as each card was pulled. Thinking about it gave me beginner's anxiety - I hate not knowing what I'm doing! I started worrying that I'd pull all the 'bad' cards, that I wouldn't be able to understand the cards, or my words wouldn't make sense - in short, I'd completely mess up the reading. So I pulled the first card and, what do you know, seven of swords - the card I think of as Sneaky Pete. Not a great start as it was meant to represent my most important characteristic! Next up, five of swords - in a nutshell, the card denoting self-destruction. 

At this point, I decided that I was indeed being self-destructive. I stopped and went off to breathe* for a bit. I came back later, deleted the draft post, and got my pen and paper out, deciding that I wouldn't share anything I didn't want to. Feeling much more relaxed about the exercise I shuffled the cards and started again.

Here's the reading.

Deck: The Wild Unknown Tarot by Kim Krans
Looking at the spread as a whole (the cards were drawn and read one-by-one), I notice that it consists of two-thirds wands - the suit of inspiration and creativity. I'm a creative person, so this seems fitting. There are no (emotional) cups at all.  Half of the cards are radiating energy - as depicted in the linework - while the Four of Swords and Six of Wands both speak to me of stillness and clarity despite potential threats. And so onto the individual cards...

According to this, my most important characteristic (in general) is that I'm a vibrant, attractive and self-assured woman, like the Mother of Wands - why, thank you, Ma'am. All joking aside, her other characteristics are pretty spot on for me. She's loyal, fierce, protective of her family - who always come first - and she's also compassionate. If you need a friend, she'll be there for you, but you wouldn't want to get on her wrong side! Those who know me would probably agree that sums me up. 

My existing strengths as a reader are that I tend to say the right things, just like the charming Son of Wands

The limits I feel at the start of the course are around being still and grounded. The example at the top of the post shows why this is important. My monkey brain is very loud and can get carried away, so I'll take this card as a gentle reminder - the Four of Swords tells us that being calm and contemplative is possible through sufficient rest and attention to the energy you're putting out there. She is centred and calm, come what may - I could certainly take a lot from this. 

A developmental journey with the tarot is looking prosperous for me, thanks to the Ace of Pentacles which represents the seed from which a big tree grew. A seed is such a tiny little thing yet given the right conditions, it will sprout up towards the light and put down roots ready to receive everything it needs. It grows in both directions at once - on the surface we see it transform into a shoot, a sapling and eventually a proper tree - and trees are the very things that give us breath. Underneath, unseen to the human eye, root growth matches that of the branches to anchor the tree and nourish it. I could run and run with this, but the message is already clear, right? It's a great card for the beginning of a project or endeavour. 

I can be open to learning / developing on this journey just like the Six of Wands. A butterfly, the very symbol of transformation, is rising up above tangled branches. Although her new wings are fragile, she is strong and she doesn't get snagged - she is calm and steady. Let's not forget that to get her wings she had to let go of everything. Her tissue and limbs, her entire form had to dissolve during metamorphosis, so that it could be reformed. She's been through it, but look at her now! 

The potential outcome of my journey is a celebratory Four of Wands - time to party! Four of Wands is the card of completion and appreciating all that you've achieved. I'll take that.

So after the initial worry, I ended up taking away a big message about being in the right frame of mind before approaching the cards and found this a great start to the course. You can find out about that here, and if you just want to try this spread as a stand alone, it's also available on Beth's Blog.

*Deep meditative breathing, using the built-in Apple Watch app.


  1. A fascinating reading. Loving your blog; very helpful to me :-) xxxx

    1. Thank you, Mrs P! And you're my first commenter too - thanks! xxx

  2. I'm going to do Beth's course. Something needs to awaken in me. I'm flat...there's nothing going on in me when once upon a time I was very intuitive and really open to so much. Mid life crisis! Thanks xxxx



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