Figure 6

Before interpreting the cards drawn, the gypsy custom is to demand token payment by "crossing the palm" of the diviner with silver. Some have said this practice is a remnant of the ancient rite of offering silver to the priests of Hermes, the god of divination. As we shall see later, the trickster god plays a great part in the symbolism of the Major Arcana.

This layout may be elaborated upon by the addition of a third card. In this instance the first card drawn will act as an indicator of the past, the second the present, and the third the future. Remember, especially in the case of these elementary divinations, the cards must be allowed to suggest the answer rather than be rigidly interpreted If you have done your homework on them, this won't be difficult.

The Grand Cross

Building numerically from the simple draw method, we come to the "Grand Cross." Referred to by Waite under the name of a Celtic method, it is, like the Simple Draw, much in use among tarot readers. (See Figure 7.)

The significator is placed centrally and an unseen card is ¿rawn by the querent from the deck and set on top of it. This represents the querent's present state of mind and is said to "cover" him. The second card drawn is laid crosswise on top of this and represents any obstacles he is confronting at the moment, being said to "cross" him.

The third card is placed below the first two and represents what is "beneath" the querent—namely, those ideas which were once part of his thinking but have now been relegated to the background. The fourth card is placed above the significator, being said to "crown" the querent. This is an indicator of his present hopes or fears. The fifth card is placed according to which direction the gaze of the significator is turned in. If its gaze is to the right, then the fifth card is placed on the left, and vice versa; it represents the factors passing out of the question, "that which is behind him." Should the significator not face in either direction but be presented full face, then assume the left-hand side to represent the past, as in your Simple Draw method. Similarly, the direction in which the gaze of the significator is turned represents "that which is before him," the future, and this is where the sixth card is laid. Should the significator face front, then this will be the right-hand side.

You have now constructed the basic cross. Some readers use only the Major Arcana for this divination instead of the full deck of seventy-eight cards. The twenty-one (minus the significator) or twenty-two (if you plan to use a court card) should be shuffled and cut by the querent in the usual manner and then reshuffled by the diviner, and a number between one and twenty-one, or twenty-two (if you are using a court card) selected at random by the querent. The number selected is then counted off in cards from the top of the deck and the card arrived upon placed in position on the significator. The process then continues as before, with random numbers being selected from between one and twenty on the second card, one and nineteen on the third, and so on.

Four additional cards are sometimes selected to represent the future condition of the querent (number seven), his future

Figure 7

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heme life (number eight), his future hopes or fears (number nine) and, lastly, the final outcome, if it be a problem that has been inquired about (ten).

Figure 7

Alternatively, when forming a Grand Cross you may continue the deal after covering and crossing the significator by placing one card on the right, "spring," one at the base, "summer*" one on the left, "autumn" and, finally, one above, "winter," thus deriving a reading applicable to a yearly cycle. The so-called Horoscope deal, to be described below, can also be employed to a similar end.

The Hexagram deal A deal involving a circle of six cards plus the significator at

Figure 8

the center offers a slightly more elaborate version of the Simple Draw method. (See Figure 8.)

Here the cards are dealt clockwise as selected, beginning at the top and concluding at the top left-hand corner. The cards in the ascending triangle may be read as influences working in favor of the querent, while those of the descending, inverted triangle are working against him. This is a good framework for a reading concerned specifically with a question, as opposed to a general reading.

Restricted deck deals

When you are seeking enlightenment on one specific problem, a traditional method of narrowing down the range of variables is to divine with a restricted deck using one of the simpler layouts, such as the Simple Draw, Grand Cross or Hexagram. A restricted deck simply means using one or two suits germane to the problem, either with or without the Major Arcana, depending on how deeply seated the problem is. If the query is a superficial one, leave the Major Arcana out also. Thus, for a specific answer to a question concerning a business transaction, use the combined suits of Coins and Swords and Rods; for a purely financial one, Coins only; an emotional one, Cups, probably with the addition of the Major Arcana. A problem of work, especially if it is concerned with artistry in any form, might call for Rods and Cups, again with the Major Arcana added in.

The Planetary deal

Here we use seven cards dealt in a seven-pointed star in the sequence shown (Figure 9). Each of the seven points is taken to represent the traditional field of influence of one of the astrological planets—the Moon, Mercury, Venus, the Sun, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn—and the cards are read to represent the influences working in these fields.

1. Place of the Moon—matters of the home

2. Place of Mercury—matters of business, skill or deceit

3. Place of Venus—the love life

4. Place of the Sun—matters concerned with fame or achievement

5. Place of Mars-matters of enmity or adversity

6. Place of Jupiter—matters of gain, acquisition and expansion

7. Place of Saturn-matters of intellectual deliberation and general restriction

The cards should be paired and read in juxtaposition: that of

Figure 9

the Moon contrasted to that of the Sun; Venus to Mars; Jupiter to Saturn. When a seemingly irreconcilable problem is encountered, the solution will be found to lie in the card of Mercury, the reconciler.

Alternatively, the seven cards may be reacl to give a projected weekly review. In this instance each card should be interpreted individually. You should also make up your mind before you begin the deal which type of reading you intend to use. The card readings in this instance are;

Place 4—Sunday







The Horoscope spread

The significator again is placed centrally and the cards selected positioned around the circle in the order indicated (see Figure 10). This pattern will, of course, be familiar to students of astrology. It is none other than a chart of the twelve zodiacal "houses" that the sky is divided into by astrologers. Each division, or house, governs a specific area of human experience, similar to those of the planetary places in the previous layout.

. House 1—the personality of the querent

2—his financial affairs

3—travel and communication

4—his home life and parents

5—his pleasures

6—his health

7—marriage or partnerships

8—legalities or deaths

9—his philosophy or religion

10—his business career

11—his friends

12—his burdens, restrictions and secret fears

For a more specialized horoscope reading the significator is left in and the entire pack of seventy-eight is distributed around and around the circle countcrclockwise, building up the packets of cards in the twelve houses to packets of six or seven. The packet containing the significator is then removed and the other eleven heaps discarded. Noting the house and the special field of interest which it represents, the packet should be spread out left to right and read in the direction in which the significator is facing. When a series of cards is to be read, this is always the practice to be adopted. So when a significator makes its appearance reversed, far from indicating some dire influence emanating from an occult source, it simply means that the cards should be read in the opposite direction to the spread in which the significator appears right side up. Should the significator lead the line of cards, there being in fact none before him, then

Figure 10

the reading in question is null and void and should be repeated using a different spread and, if possible, rephrasing the question if there is onea

The Tree of Life spread

This is a more complex cabalistic variant of the Planetary spread and lays the entire pack out in the pattern of the tree of life glyph. (See p. 85 for a discussion of the philosophy behind this symbol.) The order of dealing is thus (see Figure 11):

Card 1,11,21, 41, 61, 71 Kether—inner spiritual quest

62, 72 Card 3, 13, 23, etc. Card 4, 14, 24, etc. Card 5, 15, 25, etc. Card 6,16, etc. Card 7, 17, etc. Card 8, 18, etc.

Figure 11

Chokmah—personal initiative

Binah—sorrows and burdens Gedulah—financial gains Geburah—enemies and discords Tiphareth—glory and fame Netzach—love

Hod—wheeling and dealing;

communication Yesod—health Malkuth—the home

Figure 11

Again, all cards except the heap containing the significator are discarded, the dominant theme of the significator's sphere noted (the home, health-, etc.) and the accompanying cards laid out left to right and read off in the direction of the signifi-cator's gaze.

Figure 12

Twenty-one-Card layouts

Here are three methods of divining using twenty-one cards. First, a simple traditional gypsy method.

Method I

Having selected your significator and shuffled and cut in the correct manner, let the querent select twenty-one cards at random from the unseen pack.

Distribute them in a semicircle from left to right (see Figure 12).

The first three cards on the left-hand side are said to represent the querent's personality, specifically his present psychological condition.

The next three are said to stand for his present home life.

Cards seven, eight and nine show his present desires.

Ten, eleven and twelve indicate his expectations.

Thirteen, fourteen and fifteen show what he does not expect.

Sixteen, seventeen and eighteen show his immediate future, while nineteen, twenty and twenty-one show more long-term influences.

Before actually committing himself to words—and this applies to all readings—the diviner should study the cards first to get the overall feel of them. Remember, they have to read as a unit, one card influencing and often totally changing the implications of another.

Methods II and III

These are best used for answering a specific question. Both require the entire pack of seventy-eight cards. After shuffling and cutting, these should either be laid out on the floor in a huge circle in which you and the querent place yourselves or arranged on a table in six rows of thirteen. Method II requires that you find the preselected significator and then, moving in the direction indicated by the card's gaze (or left in the case of the Female Pope, right for the Pope), read every seventh card until twenty-one have been accounted for (twenty-two including the significator). If you have arranged the cards in rows, be sure that you get the order right when you start your progression. For this reason, although cumbersome, the floor circle method is better here. When you come to the end of the deck, return to the beginning and continue your counting, until the full complement of twenty-one has been read.

Method III relies on the same layout but also on the use of two dice which are shaken and cast by the querent. The sum of the two faces indicates the number of cards to be counted along. Again the reading is complete when twenty-one cards have been counted out.

In both of these methods it is helpful if the diviner removes the cards as they are arrived at and places them in a small circle away from the bulk of the others for closer scrutiny.

Figure 13

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Of course, both methods may be considerably simplified by just counting off the required cards from the upward facing pack. This detracts from the ritual, however, which I find is an integral part of the process.

Finally, we should consider the area of the more complex tarot spreads. Until you have got the knack of "sliding over" the cards with ease to produce a reading, my advice is that you stay with the simpler variants. The complex ones are for experts. However, as it is quite probable that some of the readers will want to pursue the subject to more advanced levels, here are four of the major layouts.

The Forty-two-Card spread

This is a method at one time chiefly used by Italian witches, subsequently becoming popular in France (see Figure 13).

Step 2. After you have prepared the cards in your usual manner, the querent should select forty-two cards at random from the deck and form a line of six heaps, seven cards to each, right to lefty face upward. Selected cards one to seven should be contained in the first heap on the right; eight to fourteen in the next, and so on.

Step 2. Having done this, take up the first heap on the right and lay it out, right to left. Take up the second heap and also deal it out right to left on top of the cards from the first heap. Repeat this procedure until the six seven-card heaps are exhausted and you are now confronted by seven six-card heaps.

Step 3. Skim off the top card of each heap, shuffling them together and laying them out, right to left, as always, in a new line.

Step 4. Take the next two cards from each heap, shuffle them and lav them out as two new lines under the first.

Step 5. Gather up the remaining twenty-one cards, shuffle them and lay them out in three lines beneath your first three. Again, you are confronted by six lines of seven cards.

Step 6. Search for the significator—in this instance the Pope (Hierophant) for a male querent, the Female Pope (High Priestess) for a woman. If it appears within the spread, simply remove it and place it to the left-hand side of the array if it is the Female Pope, the right-hand side if the Pope. The querent should then draw another card unseen from the remaining pack to fill the gap. If the significator does not appear on the table, then simply search the unused deck for it and place it accordingly.

Step 7. Read the cards beginning at the top right-hand corner, working right to left, and ending at the bottom left-hand corner.

As you will notice, this process uses no framework. There is no division of the pattern into convenient areas of interpretation, such as "past" and "future." It offers very little support for the conscious reasoning processes to get to work on and because of this may be reckoned one of the more advanced methods. It is, however, to be recommended for its repetitious sjnps 3.4



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Figure 13

ritual and enormous attention to randomization. Fate is allowed every opportunity to step in and take a hand. Another process which employs a good ritual is:

The Horseshoe spread (Sec Figures 14) Step 1. Having shuffled the entire deck of seventy-eight and

Figure 14

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Tarot Card Readings and Your Destiny

Tarot Card Readings and Your Destiny

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