The Three Modes of Tarot (a reading method)

This is a basic yet multi-layered reading that can help you identify some problem areas in your life and gives advice about what energy may be best expressed.
First, sort through your deck and divide it into three piles;
– Court Cards
– Numbered Cards
– Major Arcana

Shuffle each deck with your question or problem in mind. Draw one card from each deck, respectively.

Card 1 – Court Card – You, the current role you are playing in this situation
Card 2 – Numbered Card – Your situation
Card 3 – Major Arcana – The archetypical energies that are being expressed… the root of your actions and situation, the advice card

If you wanted to, rather than randomly drawing the first card (the Court Card) you could choose one as a significator. Conciously choosing a card to represent yourself or the role you play may help you focus the reading in that direction. Not sure what card represents you in this current situation? Try Court Card Excersize 1 (previous post) and choose a card from the list you create.

Here is a format for anlyzing and interpreting the cards in your reading, from the book “Tarot For Yourself” by Mary K. Greer. Write the following sentence and fill in the blanks with the card meanings.

“I am acting like a ________________[Court Card], a ___________________________ __________________[describe the type of person you see in that card] in a _________________[Minor Arcana] situation in which ________________ ___________________________ __________________ [describe your situation using action verbs] because of ___________________ [Major Arcana], which describes my need to _____________________ __________________________[describe the archetypical energies in you that need to be expressed].”

EXAMPLE- I used The Queen of Pentacles and drew the 3 of Pentacles and The World.
“I am acting like the Queen of Pentacles, a nurturing and down-to-earth teacher who is rescourceful in a 3 of Pentacles situation in which I am working on my goals and seeing progress because of The World, which describes my need to gain and share wisdom for the greater good.”

Taking it further; How can I best deal with this situation?

“I can use the attributes of _________________ [Major Arcana] to _________________ ________________________ [describe the best qualities you see in this card] in order to deal with ________________ [Minor Arcana] , which expresses my desire for (to) _____ ________________ _________________ [ describe the situation you have drawn to yourself] experienced by my Inner ________________ [Court Card], the one who ___________ _____________________ ____________________ [describe that aspect of yourself that chose to experience the situation].

“I can use the attributes of The World to gain wisdom and understanding that lead to completion of my goals in order to deal with the 3 of Cups, which expresses my desire to cooperate with others as progress is made as experienced by my Inner Queen of Pentacles – the one who chooses to be nurturing & generous with her resources.”

As you can see, I used one of my own cards from the Court Card Roles excersize to give the examples posted above.  The Queen of Pentacles is the card I chose to represent my role as teacher, since I am in this moment acting as a teacher by passing on this knowledge to others.  I laughed as the other cards came up – the 3 of Pentacles which can represent working on goals or getting a job done because of your knowledge or skills.  I have been feeling bad latley about not writing much on my blog, and it felt really good to be sharing and writing again.  Then The World card popped up – oh, hello Saturn/Capricorn energy!  I’m a Capricorn and really feel best when I’m getting a task completed – especially one that reflects my soul’s desire to share with and lead others.  Capricorn is ruled by Saturn – the planet of Structure and Wisdom – and Saturn is related to the Tarot card The World.  So it felt really good to me to have that card pop up as I worked this excersize as a confirmation that I’m doing the work I’m supposed to be doing.  I really hope that this reading can help you on your own journey of self discovery.  Feedback and thoughts appreciated – leave a comment with your results if you try this reading for yourself!


Understanding Court Cards – part 1

Court Cards can be problematic for many people as they learn to use tarot cards… for many they are difficult to interpret in a reading. Some people will say that the Court Cards ALWAYS refer to other people in the querent’s life, but I have found this to be far from true. My rule of thumb is this; Court Cards almost always refer to YOU and alternatively will sometimes refer to someone you know. In fact, the Court Card can refer to you AND someone you know. After all, the people in our lives often reflect some part of ourself.

Jungian psychology provides a framework for integrating both points of view; the Court Cards as yourself and as another person. The concept called “projection” refers to projecting (or thrusting) inner qualities of yourself onto other people around you, whether or not they have these qualities. They become shadowy reflections of yourself. It works like this: You notice in other people some of the characteristics that you do not recognize in yourself – both positive and negative. As a result, you tend to let these people act out your own unconscious perceptions of yourself and your own inner situations, or you get angry with them when they don’t.” ~ from Tarot For Yourselfby Mary K. Greer.

So, a good first step in understanding the Court Cards is to recognize their aspects and personalities within ourselves. We all have many different roles that we play in life… we change gears, energy, and focus depending on which role we are playing at any given time. Myself, for example; I am a Mother, a Friend, a Lover, an Employee, a Blogger, an Astrologer, and many other things. This excersize suggested by Mary K. Greer inher book, “Tarot For Yourself” not only helps you understand some Court Card personalities better but also helps you on your road of personal self discovery.

Make a list with two columns. On the first side write down the many different roles you play in your day to day life. On the second side, write the Court Card that you think is expressed in that role. Male/Female doesn’t matter, and you can use the same card in more than one role if you feel it fits. Use this chart by Joan Bunning if you need help determining what card applies to each role.

Current Roles In My Life / Corresponding Court Card
_________________________ / ____________________________
_________________________ / ____________________________
_________________________ / ____________________________
_________________________ / ____________________________

My Court Card Roles
Current Roles In My Life / Corresponding Court Card

Lover / Knight of Cups
Friend / Queen of Cups
Mother / King of Cups
Employee / Knight of Pentacles
Blogger / Page of Pentacles
Teacher + Astrologer / Queen of Pentacles

(interesting to note, I did this excersize back in 2010 and found my journal entry after I just did it again now.  The cards I chose to represent the different roles I play in life are totally different now than they were 8 years ago!  Really thought it was interesting to see how I have changed – or at least how my view of myself has changed over time.  Also previously I was more Pentacles / Swords with just one Cups card.  This time I’m all Cups & Pentacles, no Swords. )

If you wanted to take the self-discovery a step farther, you could revisit each of these cards to help you understand yourself better, make improvements on flaws, embrace your strengths, etc. The next blog post I make will be a follow up excersize of this nature – check back soon!!

Cancer and The Chariot – Tenacity and Responsibility

Tarot The Chariot, Astrology Cancer
The Chariot – Radiant Rider Waitte
The Wheel Turns.  At the Spring Equinox we entered Aries season – the First sign of the Zodiac that explores the question of identity and individuality with the phrase “I AM”, and we meet the Tarot card The Emperor.  Next, the sun travels through the sign of Taurus, and we learn all the pleasures and pains of physical embodiment, and thus learn that our identity is shaped by what “I HAVE” and what we value – even building structures and systems like The Hierophant to try and save or maintain these things we find beautiful.  Yet- all of these ideas about identity and value don’t get us very far without deeper thought and communication – and Gemini season begins to teach us about how we present ourselves in more refined ways, echoing “I THINK” (therefore I Am?”) out into the universe.  With our thoughts come counter-points presented by others and thus we begin to enter into the realm of partnerships and duality with the tarot card The Lovers.
Then at the Summer Solstice – the first quarter of the year has ended and we come across Cancer energy. Cancer is the nurturing, affectionate, emotional force of the Zodiac. Through Cancer energy we learn about intuition, loyalty, sympathy, and imagination. Cancer nature is also dualistic and sometimes contradictory, much like Gemini energy which is always changing based on who they are around… Cancer energy transforms within itself. On one side it wants to be nurturing and helpful, but on the other side it is self-centered and brooding. It longs for adventure yet craves security. The tarot card related to Cancer is The Chariot, and you can see the opposing forces present on this card. But the one thing about Cancer energy is that it is tenacious. Once a crab grabs hold of something, it won’t let go. The Chariot teaches us that once our choices have been made, a commitment is made. (This is the realm of Consequences – very fitting to first really face this lesson through the soft mothering sign of Cancer – in direct opposition from the more strict sign of Capricorn where this lesson is taken to the next level) For now, no matter what, whatever choices you made have set the wheels in motion and you have started down this path. The Chariot and Cancer teach us about responsibility, about having strength of resolve. We might not know exactly what lies on the path ahead of us, or how many turns onto new paths we might take. But once we take hold of the reigns and make the choice, the journey has begun! Don’t let go of the reins, don’t loosen your grip, keep your head up and accept responsibility for whatever choices you have made. Once you accept responsibility, you will find that you can channel your emotions more clearly, use your intuition to your advantage, and you will find yourself seeing creative answers to whatever problems and roadblocks you may face.  We first encounter these lessons of responsibility and consequences at home in our early childhood – often from our mothers.  The sign of Cancer is deeply associated with Home, Early Childhood, and the type of nurturing stability we seek as a home environment in our adult lives.


From the book; “The Everything Tarot Book” by M.J. Abadie;” The Chariot is related to the sign of Cancer, which symbolizes the sheer tenacity of the life force. It’s image, the Crab, is known for the ability to hold on, just as the Charioteer holds firmly to his steeds. Cancer is the first water sign, and it represents relatedness, whether with others or with the opposing forces within one’s self. Cancer represents the process of the growth of the soul through the sustaining efforts of the life forces, which are by nature dual. Thus, Cancer’s primary characteristic is Tenacity. The Crab is known to never let go. Also representative of motherhood and family, Cancer is an extremely powerful sign, for the pulsating life force within it is extremely strong. Cancer’s relation to the moon and the High Priestess identifies this connection to The Great Mother and the strong inner force represented by this energy.”
In the Great Wheel, Cancer is the first Water sign that is encountered in the Zodiac year – bringing in a new layer of intuitiveness and nurturing to the Fire, Earth, and Air already experienced.  It is the second Cardinal sign of the zodiac – so we’re revisiting the Cardinal energy first introduced with Aries, but it takes a totally new approach with water as it’s guide.  Cardinal Fire can be pushy in a way that burns quick and bright – while the Cardinal Water energy has a more patient pressure, like the water of a river carving out a canyon.  The symbolism of The Chariot can provide more clues to these elements of responsibility, drive, and tenacity of the astrological sign of Cancer.


  • The main figure sits beneath a canopy of stars – both 5 pointed and 6 pointed stars adorn this canopy – representing the celestial influences or a connection to some kind of deeper intuition beyond body and mind.
  • Alchemical symbols on the man’s cloak represent the transformative power of mankind,while the cresent moons on the shoulders represent a receptiveness to collecting and holding space for the world around him.
  • The laurel and 7tarot the chariot-pointed star of his crown represent a higher level of spiritual awareness has been attained, while the square on his chest represents Earth – a certain groundedness and strength or stability has been obtained.
  • The wings on the chariot represent inspiration and the ability to seek new heights or elevate ourselves.  The wings also represent the union of opposite forces – perhaps the union of the duality that we experienced in Gemini.
  • The black and white sphynxes also represent this cohesion or union of duality – much like the yin-yang of Buddhist philosophies.  Balance is gained through the mastery of both positive and negative forces.
  • The driver holds no reins – only a wand like that seen in the tarot card The Magician.  This suggests that his control over the chariot comes not from physical power or force – but from a more refined willpower and focus.
  • The city is behind the chariot – the driver has already learned as much as he can from the structures of the city (the first quarter of the zodiac year) and has now struck out to create his own life, his own path, and create a new home for himself.  There is also water behind him – indicating he has made a journey across water – often a metaphor for a transformational and spiritual experience.

Take some time to notice how you feel the influence of The Chariot in your life during Cancer season.  You can intentionally sit with this card and some of the lessons of it in meditation, or place it on your altar to see it frequently and try to activate it’s energy in your life.  Ask yourself how you can be more like the chariot driver.  Or, if you ARE the chariot driver – what is it that is behind you ?(your city and water that you have already passed through)  Where is it that you are going?  Are you trying to use force (reins) when you could just be using your willpower and magick?  Have you mastered balance over duality well enough that your sphynxes (horses) will both go in the same direction when you give the command?

These are some great questions to explore as we approach the New Moon in Cancer coming up on July 13, 2018.

Spica: Virgo’s Light

The Hermit from The Celestial Tarot by Kay Steventon & Brian Clark

Spica; Virgo’s Light

My eyes search the darkened cosmos
Searching for a light to lead me
Orion, he is always there, and
Ursa Major dominates the night sky
I recall an ancient phrase;
“Arc to Archturus, then speed on to Spica.”
Following the Arc of the Great Bear
(once the pure and chaste Callisto, princess of Arcadia; Raped by Zeus and cursed by Hera)
Past her protector, Archturus
To find Spica, brightest star of Virgo –
A yellow sheaf of wheat,
Golden ear of corn
White Spark of light
Fire of Hearth,
In the hands of a something so Pure
That one name will not suffice.
She is the Virgin, Virgo
Astraea; Goddess of Purity and Innocence who clung to hope for human kind longer than any other
Shala, Goddess of Grain
Hestia, Goddess of Hearth and Home
Vesta, Keeper of the Flame
The Blessed Virgin Mary.
Father Time has watched her transform,
Watched her name change,
Watched as Man’s study of Spica
Brought the knowledge of the Equinoxes.
What other secrets may she hold?
Father Time, the Hermit only nods and winks
As if to say
“Time Will Tell,”
And he turns to walk away “but don’t give up the search”.
And suddenly I know
I am beautiful
I am pure
You are beautiful
You are pure
And Astraea can return;
Through us.

~ Wendy @Hestia’s Muse

Notes:  I wrote this poem in 2010, inspired by the image and meaning of The Hermit Tarot card from The Celestial Tarot (pictured above).  The booklet that comes with that deck described the Star called Spica as the central star of the constellation Virgo. Quote from the booklet to The Celestial Tarot: “At this point in the journey we meet the Hermit, the Major Arcana card associated with Virgo, the harvest maiden, intertwining the paradoxical themes of fertility and purity. In the Celestial Tarot she holds the wheat in her left hand and disseminates seeds with her right. The card depicts the season of withdrawal. For psyche the time of harvest has come; it is time to withdraw and prepare and reflect. In the background is the traditional image of the hermit holding the lamp of inner guidance necessary during this time. Virgo embodies the wisdom of cycles, a respect for fate and an openness to destiny. The Hermit augurs a period of meditation where the inner world is fortified to prepare for a major shift on the life path.”
Original poem post at my old blog.

At the time, I did some research on the star Spica, and the Virgo constellation and was inspired because I was also working closely with Hestia / Virgo – Virgin Goddess of the Home & Hearth.  Astrea is the Greek Goddess of innocence and purity – known as the Celestial Virgin.  Ovid wrote that Astrea fled the earth during the Iron Age -“fleeing from the wickedness of humanity”, she maintained her innocence and ascended to Divinity and became the constellation Virgo.  Legend states that one day Astrea will return, bringing with her the next Golden Age.

Here are some highlights on the star Spica from Constellation Guide:

“Spica, Alpha Virginis, is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo and the 16th brightest star in the sky.  The name Spica (pronounced /ˈspaɪkə/) comes from the Latin phrase spīca virginis, meaning “Virgo’s ear of grain.” The Latin word spicum refers to the ear of wheat Virgo holds in her left hand. In Greek and Roman mythology, the constellation and the star were associated with Demeter (Ceres), the goddess of the harvest.”

“Spica can be located by following the arc of the Big Dipper‘s handle. The first bright star along the imaginary line is Arcturus, the Bear Watcher, and following the same curving path, the second bright star that appears is Spica. The apparent distance from Arcturus to Spica is roughly equal to the distance between Arcturus and Alkaid, the star marking the tip of the Dipper’s handle.”

“Along with Regulus in Leo, Alpha Virginis is believed to be one of the bright stars that made it possible for Hipparchus (160 – 120 BC) to discover the precession of the equinoxes, after comparing his data to that of the Alexandrian Timochares, who had observed Spica and Regulus around 300 BC. Spica was later observed by Nicolaus Copernicus, who also used it to study precession.”

“A number of temples were oriented to Spica’s setting, including the temple of the Sun at Tell el-Amarna (2000 BC), two temples at Rhamnus in Greece (1092 and 747 BC), another two at Tegea, Hera’s temples at Olympia (1445 BC), Girgenti and Argos, the temple of Diana of the Ephesians (715 BC), and the temple of Nike Apteros at Athens (1130 BC). The temple orientation indicates that these cultures had knowledge of the precession of the equinoxes far earlier than Hipparchus documented his discovery.”

“Babylonian observers called the star Sa-Sha-Shirū, meaning “the virgin’s girdle.” The star represented the wife of Bel.”