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!!