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Reading the tarot correctly

To: alt.tarot
From: (Jess Karlin)
Subject: Re: Reading the tarot correctly
Date: 24 Jan 1996 13:45:03 GMT

In article , (Eugene Vallee) wrote:

> I was given my own deck of tarot cards from a friend as a gift. 

Good start. Was it a deck you like?

> She 
> claims that they will only work properly if they are given to someone as 
> a gift. 

She is wrong. There is a tradition of having one's first deck
be given to them and I think it is a nice one but I would
add the proviso---try to have that 'giving' person be someone
who both knows you and tarot quite well. At any rate, the
deck will work properly so long as you work properly.

> I have learnt the cards and am familier to the methods of using 
> the cards as told in my instruction book. But what I wish to know is how 
> do you actually use them. 

However you wish. However, most people would be well served to 
simply use them as disposable coasters and to give up any 
misplaced notions they have about becoming card readers.

> The book claims to lay a card in the center of 
> the table which would signify the person whose fortune or future is being 
> told. How do I decide on the proper card. 

The methodology for such things varies---I am of the school 
(a growing one it seems) that thinks you should simply let 
the deck tell you the significator, that is, don't treat that 
card differently---just deal it out as you would the other cards. 
You will be surprised how this liberates the card (in that 
position) to tell you what the question is REALLY about, instead 
of what others (like your subject or client or yourself) are 
superficially thinking it is about.

> And then how do I read them 
> properly when I have drawn all the cards out in the way described. 

There are many books you can read on this subject; unfortunately,
most of them are complete bullshit.

Reading cards, as we have said here so many times, is a skill
and an art dependent for success on the gifts of the reader---
their intelligence, insight, experience, intuition, AND their
understanding of what the cards mean (the denotative semantics
AND the connotative synthesis).

Think of what the word 'reading' implies. Lots of people can
read words on a page. That does not mean they understand them
or understand them correctly or understand them correctly
in the specific context for which they were written.

Being a 'good' reader means to be analytical but flexible---
realizing when and where and how analysis should be utilized
and when one should rely on a more synthetic or intuitional
approach (as one might do when reading poetry). Best is to
be so adept at the reading skill that one's art with the
thing shines through---their flexibility combining analysis
and intuition into an effortless (and rather invisibly 
intertwined) flow of mastery. One would not be able then to 
easily analyze NOR teach the nature of this ability. The best
we can do is talk about the nature of fundamentals and hope that 
yourinherent talents will guide you from there.

Basically it comes down to this: you need the talents of the
poet AND the scientist to do this thing well and even then
you may not be any good at it---for it takes, above all, 
a courage in your own abililty to do it combined with a
relentless desire to do it better and better as time goes by.

That means you must become a perpetual student of the 
reading process, of tarot symbolism, and of human 'being'.

To the question of 'how' you should read---you must learn
to allow the symbolism to tell you how to read just as words
tell you the meaning of a sentence, the syntax here being
the layout. If you know the nature of the question then
see how the card meanings overtly or subtlely connect to
what is being asked. If you don't know the nature of the question
or if the meanings DON'T seem to connect in any obvious way
then create the meaning (courage is called for here---you
may be dead wrong) with the indications you have before you.

And of course, as with all things---practice, practice, practice.

However, most of the people who will be good at reading simply
are---right from the start. They don't really ever have to 
learn to be so although they can improve a lot with practice and 
education. If you are having problems it could mean that you are 
not letting yourself read and you need to relax and do it. It 
could also mean you have no talent for the thing and should
perhaps be satisfied with learning about the card symbolism
(which is ver rewarding) and give up trying to read cards.



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