AN INTRODUCTION TO TAROT CARDS Tarot Cards are universally recognized as a tool for reading ones past, predicting ones

future and to some extent defining ones character. Over the centuries they have evolved and changed with how they are used and today we see many varieties of the cards. The deck of Occult Tarot Cards were first popularized by Etteilla, a French occultist who made them known to a wide audience and became the first professional occultist. Etteilla published his ideas and thoughts on tarot, astrology and the four classic elements Earth, Wind, Fire and Water and made his living by card divination in the 1700's. The Occult Tarot Card deck comprises of seventy eight cards in total and is split into two very distinct parts, the first is the Major Arcana (greater secrets) and then second is Minor Arcana (lesser secrets). The Major Arcana has twenty two cards within its group and whilst there is some variation, the main names and numbers that comprise of the group are as follows: 1 The Magician / The Juggler 2 The High Priestess / The Popess 3 The Empress 4 The Emperor 5 The Hierophant / The Pope 6 The Lovers 7 The Chariot 8 or 11 Justice 9 The Hermit 10 Wheel of Fortune 11 or 8 Strength / Fortitude 12 The Hanged Man / The Traitor

13 Death 14 Temperance 15 The Devil 16 The Tower / Fire 17 The Star 18 The Moon 19 The Sun 20 Judgment / The Angel 21 The World The Minor Arcana consists of fifty six cards, which are grouped into four suites with fourteen cards in each. These, again, can vary depending on who is using them but they generally have a Latin name that then relates to the four classical elements and are matched as follows: Wands and Fire, Coins and Earth, Cups and water, Swords and air. It is considered that Wands relate to creativity and will, Coins relate to material body or possessions, Cups with emotion and love whilst Swords relate to reason. How many cards are pulled out, in what order and placed where is determined by what spread you choose. There are all manner of different spreads which can be chosen dependent on what you want to find out. From relationship tarot spreads to decision making tarot spreads it really is determined by you which one you choose. HISTORY OF TAROT AND CARD MEANINGS Tarot dates back some 5000 years and initially comprised 22 cards called the Major Arcana. The Tarot is based on a form of Numerology and the twenty two cards represented the journey of an apprentice (The Fool) through various stages until he reached the end of his journey having acquired the full spiritual knowledge to become a Magi (The Magician). In later years, the French added a further 56 cards called the Minor Arcana in order to play the game of Tarot. The 56 cards of the Minor Arcana are divided into four suits: Wands, Coins, Swords and Cups. Most professional clairvoyants dismiss the Minor Arcana and only use the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. Tarot spreads An instruction book will tell you that there are several spreads:- Celtic Cross, Tree of Life etc. Again, my opinion is that you should ignore these and devise a spread which is personal to you! Throughout my career I have always rebelled against regimentation. No two people are the same, we are all unique. No book can provide intuition. You must use your own!

Reading Tarot cards is all about sensing and feeling, not interpreting a card from a book! Professional clairvoyants use the Tarot as a focus and, during a reading, will seldom mention the card upon which they are focusing. Beware the reader who says, for example, " I've got the King of Cups and it means....." That reader is probably telling you something he has learned, rather than "sensed" or "felt" However, a professional might say "looking at the cards in front of me, I sense and feel ........" which will prove he is a genuine clairvoyant. Upside down or Reverse Tarot cards The meaning of reverse cards depends upon the card and the reading. Suppose, for instance, that you are asking about a relationship and the spread of cards includes a man and a woman. One is the right way up, the other is reversed. This would indicate that the people concerned are going in the opposite direction. Reading the cards The Major Arcana is indeed beautiful and mystical. The following meanings are supplied by Graham. 0 The Fool Positive Unrestrained and naïve, an innocent, childish nature, fun loving Negative Making poor decisions by failing to learn from past experience, clownish I The Magician Positive Creative genius, flair, impressive skilful, ability to inspire Negative Use of skills to destroy, control or deceive other people II The High Priestess Positive Wisdom, patience, someone who listens and has a helpful nature Negative Opinionated, shallow, interfering, running other people's lives III The Empress Positive An accomplished female, perhaps rich or in a position of authority Negative A female with an inflated ego or abuser of power IV The Emperor Positive An accomplished male, perhaps rich or in a position of authority Negative A male with an inflated ego or abuser of power

V Jupiter Positive Kind, generous, philanthropic, relaxed, easy going, jovial, proud Negative Lazy, complacent, reliant on others for support, a sponger, pompous VI The Lovers Positive Harmony, new love or deep appreciation between two people Negative Unrequited love, a secret affair or other form of betrayal VII The Chariot Positive Triumph through hard work, panache, style, daring, courage, flair Negative Failure through lack of caution or taking on too much VIII Justice Positive Getting what you deserve, reward for past efforts Negative Getting what you deserve, retribution for past misdemeanours IX The Hermit Positive Caution, need for isolation or contemplation, ageing, older person Negative Physical deterioration, antisocial, reclusive, outcast, over cautious X The Wheel of Fortune Positive Imminent change for the better, good luck through trusting in fate Negative Imminent change for the worse, failure of a new venture XI Strength Positive Strengthening of body or mind, success in head-on confrontation Negative Failure through underestimating the opposition, aggressive nature XII The Hanged Man Positive Letting others have control, standing back, waiting to see what happens Negative Complete loss of power, helplessness, someone else calls all the shots

XIII Death Positive Major transition, a drastic turning point preceded by loss, starting afresh Negative Physical death or loss of someone close, sad endings, extreme danger XIV Temperance Positive Kind, patient, sympathetic, helpful, spiritually evolved, protective Negative Too good to be true, a dreamer, unrealistic, opting out XV The Devil Positive A need to face up to phobias, fear, oppression or violence Negative Victim of crime, physical or mental abuse, bullying, black magic XVI The Lightning Struck Tower Positive Rebuilding after a serious blow, coming to terms with disaster Negative Sudden, utter disaster, financial ruin, physical or mental breakdown XVII The Star Positive Contentment, happy retirement, finding an ideal niche in life Negative Wasting time, failing to deliver, basking in self-glory XVIII The Moon Positive Dreamer, poet, person who is not what (s)he seems, ability to disguise Negative Deceit, betrayal of trust, infidelity, someone with a hidden agenda XIX The Sun Positive Open, honest, a good example to follow, encouraging, positive attitude Negative Someone who loses out by being too honest and open XX Judgement Positive The moment of truth, reward for good effort, promotion, recognition Negative The moment of truth, condemnation for past failure, relegation, redundancy

XXI The World Positive Success, getting what you want, prosperity, major financial gain, travel Negative Materialistic, greedy, hedonistic, corrupt Minor Arcana The following are suggestions only, based on the astrological system. Ace Unity, self awareness, self development, personal interests, clothing, fashion Two Duality, money, investment, security, comfort, luxury items Three Illicit love, talking, school, travel, letters, email, siblings, neighbours Four Home, family, mother, protection, self defence Five Luck, gambling, love affairs, children, hobbies, pleasures, art Six Health, healing, nutrition, work, training, service, duty, pets Seven Partnerships, marriage, divorce, compromise, cooperation Eight Legal matters, wills, sex, psychic activity, mysteries, transformation, death Nine New horizons, freedom, long journeys, wisdom, study, hands-on learning Ten Career, vocation, reputation, status, ambition, father Page (Jack) Friends, social life, meetings, politics, humanitarian actions, independence Cavalier (Prince) Compassion, charity, escapism, institutions, inner self, isolation Queen Beauty, feminine strengths, superior or influential female, wife King Authority, masculine strengths, superior or influential male, husband Swords (Fire) Assertion, drive, leadership, aggression, domination, quickness, power, stress, combat, yang. Pentacles (Earth) Steadiness, stability, support, practicality, materialism, money, inertia, common sense, yin. Wands (Air)

Intellect, thought, ideas, communication, procrastination, variety, opinions, change of mind, travel. Cups (Water) Emotion, love, hate, sensitivity, loyalty, dependence, intensity, artistic talent, change of heart. TAROT CARD INSTRUCTIONS If you have ever wanted to find some easy to follow tarot cards instructions then you have come to the right place. Many people want to learn more about the tarot and using tarot cards, but finding tarot cards instructions that are geared for beginners can be tricky, especially if you are unsure of what, exactly, tarot cards are for. First here is some basic tarot card information: tarot cards are not going to predict the future. They aren't going to give you answers from the cosmos. What tarot cards do is speak to your intuition. Tarot cards are not going to tell you anything that some part of you doesn't already know. The card can shed insight into a current situation or help you figure out answers to problems yourself. Keep that in mind as you read the following tarot card instructions. 1. Choose your tarot card deck carefully. This is not a normal deck of playing cards or a pack of trading cards that you are picking up. Each tarot card deck has its own energy and it is important to take your time in figuring out which deck you feel the most comfortable with. Look at the illustrations on the cards and pay attention to your senses. You will eventually find a deck that you feel a connection to and that is the deck you should purchase. 2. Even if you haven't started to learn what each of the cards means, take some time to become familiar with each of the cards in your tarot card decks. Really look at the illustrations and start figuring out how each one of the cards fits into the different categories of cards. 3. Begin studying what each of the cards means. Putting meaning to each card is easier if you can easily call to mind the card when you are reading about it. Sure it is easy enough to do a tarot card spread and then look up the meaning of each card, but a tarot reading is far more fulfilling if you already know what the cards mean. 4. The easiest tarot card spread is the three card spread. This card spread gives you insight into the past, the present and the future that surround the question you are concentrating on. We've already said that tarot cards cannot predict the future, but they can give you some insight into your feelings about the future. Once you've mastered the three card reading, you are ready to move on to other card spreads. These are just a few simple tarot cards instructions. Obviously there are more complicated card spreads and there are techniques to learning about the individual cards and what they mean. If you are just starting out, though, hopefully these tarot cards instructions will provide you with enough background information to start you on your journey to being a practiced reader of the tarot cards. Before you know it, you will be advanced enough to do readings for other people.

TIPS FOR LEARNING TAROT CARDS Many times I have heard it said, that a picture paints a 1000 words, and this is so true of the tarot cards. When I do readings for people, the meanings just jump out at me. The deck I use is the Rider-Waite tarot deck, and I love these because of the pictures on each card. When I use tarot I answer all types of questions, but well over 90% of these have been on relationship issues. Many people come to me in a desperate state, and I use the cards to help them gain more insight into their situation, so that they can find a way forward. Now let’s have a look at some cards 5 of Cups This card shows a person looking down at 3 spilt cups on the ground, and behind them are still 2 cups standing. Looking at the person, they are clearly quite down, since that is the way they are looking, and they are also dressed all in black. The 3 cups spilt on the floor clearly show that they have had some kind of loss, perhaps in regard to a relationship, or some other event. The person is quite unaware of the 2 cups behind them, but if they only stopped concentrating on the 3 cups in front them, and looked behind, they would realise that they still have something to salvage. The card is really saying that not everything is bad in their life, because of this one situation, and that they still have a lot going for them. Ace of Swords This card shows a hand holding a sword, and if you look closely at the card, it shows that the sword is double edged. The expression "double edged sword", comes to mind, which means some situation that has both a favorable, as well as unfavorable consequences. An example of this would perhaps be in a relationship where a married woman is seeing another man, and the good side is where she is getting all the love and attention that she needs, but the other side is being full of guilt for cheating on her husband. The Devil The devil card shows a picture of the devil and in front of him are a couple who are chained to the devil. This card is all about being bound, and this could be something to do with the past, perhaps still thinking about a past relationship, and unable to move forward. The card is calling out to break the chains that are holding you back. 6 of Swords This card shows a boat, and inside the boat is a body covered by a sheet. Looking closely at the water it is quite choppy where it is, but ahead the water is much calmer. This can mean that at the moment a person is in troubled waters with a lot on their mind, and at present are unable to find a way forward (shown by being covered), but things will start to get better soon, since the water is much calmer ahead.

8 of Cups This card shows a person walking away from 8 cups, and not looking back. What is card shows is that it is time to move on, everything possible has been tried, and that they is no need to look back, since nothing more can be done. LEARNING THE CARDS THROUGH THE ART OF STORYTELLING There are a plethora of books and articles about how to read tarot cards and many of them contradict each other. When you are starting to learn to read tarot cards this can be very confusing. You can easily get caught up in wondering who to listen to and which interpretation is the "right one." The truth is, there is no right answer. The pictures on tarot cards tell a story and as such make them a terrific way to connect with your Higher Self or Intuition because pictures are the oldest form of learning and can make a direct connection with your unconscious mind. As this is personal to everyone, this is the reason why you get very different viewpoints on every card. Over time, certain cards will come to mean certain things to you. Despite that you can still find that you will suddenly get an intuitive flash as you look at a card and it may mean something that it has not meant before. This is why it is very important to build up a personal relationship with your cards and develop your own interpretations. Once you have chosen a deck of tarot cards that appeals to you personally, the best thing to do is put the booklet that came with it to one side and have a really good look at each of the cards. Take a card out of the deck. You may want to start with the Fool card, which is the first card of the Major Arcana or you may want to pick a card randomly. It does not really matter. Notice the colors, the symbols and what is actually going on in the card, as well as any immediate feelings that you get when you look at the card. Does it remind you of someone or do you find yourself thinking of particular situation? Do you relate to situation the picture? If you do that is brilliant. Next, take another card and have a really good look at it. Make a note of any observations. Then lay it next to the other card and see how the story has changed. One card may be light and bright and the other may add a more challenging aspect. As you look at the two cards, allow yourself to build up a story of what is going on. How have things changed from one card to another? Imagine you are telling a story to a child (or to another adult if you have picked very challenging cards). Use the pictures to stimulate your intuition. It may feel like imagination and that you are just making things up, however this is a very powerful way for your intuition to connect with you or your client and to learn to read tarot cards.

If you are doing a reading for someone else and you simply describe to them what you can see going on in the pictures, you will be amazed at how accurate your reading is. It may not make much sense to you, however your client's subconscious mind takes your words along with the visual image of the picture and creates the exact right message for them. This also happens when reading for yourself. You can then add another card and continue the story. A reading based on 3 cards is one of the simplest spreads. It is often used as a Past-Present-Future situation, although it does not need to be. When you learn to read tarot cards and you are offering an interpretation of the cards in front of you, whether for yourself or for others, it is very like a recounting a story and the more you can let that ability flow, the easier you will find it to learn to read tarot cards. TAROT CARDS CAN ENHANCE YOUR INTUITION Tarot cards can be a wonderful tool for enhancing one's own intuition. Many professional tarot card readers will tell you that, while each card has its historical meaning, each tarot card also means something a little bit different for each individual reader, depending on their own intuitive insights. If you are just beginning to become interested in tarot cards yourself, all these different interpretations may be overwhelming and confusing. Take heart, it takes years to develop a really good foundation by which to accurately read tarot cards. But with a few tips on symbol and number meanings, anyone can learn to read tarot cards. By and large, the historical meanings are always taken into account, but intuitive reading is really about what each card means to you, the reader. Each time you use your tarot cards, you will learn something new. In fact, good professional tarot readers will admit that the learning process never ends. And each time you do a reading for yourself, depending on the layout, the same tarot card may have a different perspective for you. To become more comfortable with the idea of trusting a deck of cards to help you navigate life, handle your tarot cards often. Pull a single card every day, or try a three-card spread. If you are a newbie to tarot reading, by far the easiest, best choice is a simple three-card spread. A little past, present, and future. You can worry about more elaborate spreads later, when you are more comfortable with the process. Don't just read the meaning in a book. First, look at each card individually. Notice any intuitive perceptions you may have about the card, then write that in a journal. If you do a three-card spread, once you have assessed each tarot card individually, look at the overall picture. Trust what your intuition is telling you about the cards. And don't forget to note the symbolism in the artwork. Over time, this practice will help you develop your intuitive skills. In fact, tarot cards are a wonderful way to learn how to trust your intuition. And we all need to trust our intuition. If you are just beginning to read for yourself, enjoy the process, have fun with it, and trust your gut instincts. They never lead you astray.

PICKING A SIGNIFICATOR When giving a tarot reading, the tarot reader will use a spread of cards from the tarot deck. There are many spreads a reader can choose from, some are specific for different purposes, whilst others are for general readings. Spreads can involve drawing as many cards as the whole deck of 78, whilst a spread can also be just two, or even just one card. The most common spread is probably the 10 card Celtic Cross Spread. Together with the general and usually random selection of cards from the deck, a card might also be chosen prior to the reading as a representation of the person receiving the reading. This card is called the Significator. The Significator card has its own position in some spreads, and in others it has no position at all and can simply be drawn or chosen from the deck before the reading. The purpose of the Significator card is to help the reader focus on the person receiving the reading. The chosen card can be an indication to the reader of the person's character, or aspects of character and personality that are hidden. Such a card can also be chosen as a representation of the particular or specific issue relevant to the subject of the reading at this time. As the Significator is normally used by a tarot reader to signify the character of the person receiving the tarot reading, it is not normally a randomly drawn card, although it can be. The court cards lend themselves well as representations of the human character and personality, because they are pictorially and symbolically human. An example is the Queen of Cups. This Queen embodies feminine mystery, and exemplifies fragility and a keen intuition. Such a person will have a strange watery seductive power, and one not necessarily associated with great beauty. She will like the attention of others, while not attracting it overtly. The Queen of Cups is easily hurt, and will be inclined to seek solitude for protection. However, it is not essential that a court card be used, as any card in the deck can represent a person. As is true with many aspects of the tarot, there are no hard and fast rules concerning the use or otherwise of Significators in a tarot reading, and the tarot reader can decide whether to incorporate it. If a tarot reader uses a spread that has a position for a Significator, the reader can choose to ignore this position, if they do not want to incorporate this element in the reading. If they do want to incorporate the Significator, they must select the card. There are many ways to select the significant card, including matching a court card's physical characteristics to the subject of the reading, to selecting a card randomly from the deck. How a Significator is chosen, or whether one is used at all, is up to the tarot reader.

ABOUT LOVE TAROT READINGS In matters of Love, there is nothing like a good Tarot reading. The Tarot offers a unique perspective, shedding light on the nature of our relationships. They are there to guide you on your journey, both personally and romantically. Questions of love are, by far, the most common inquiries made during a Tarot reading. However, many people find themselves disappointed or unsatisfied. The cause of this is often due to the questions that are asked. The most important aspect to a successful Tarot reading, is asking the right questions. The most common error that is made during a tarot reading is the withholding of information. People tend to do this when they question or test a Tarot reader's ability. Its quite normal to feel apprehensive when working with a new Tarot reader, particularly if it is your first time getting a reading. Under these circumstances, the biggest issue that arises is a lack of open-mindedness. Unfortunately, this doesn't serve you or the Tarot reader. Withholding information can, ultimately, impede that Tarot reader's ability. When you get a Tarot reading, the best approach is to remain open and have your questions about love prepared before you start the reading. A professional tarot reader understands the cards and has learned how to interpret their meanings. The more specific you get with the tarot reader, the better the they will be able to assist you in your reading. Take the time to clear yourself of any doubt and let the cards guide you. You will be surprised at how much information you can receive when you remain receptive. The best questions to ask during your first Love Tarot reading, should not be black and white. In other words, asking if someone likes you or if your relationship is going to work out may give the Tarot reader very little to work with. The more open ended you are with your questions, the more information the Tarot reader will be able to receive. Here are some examples of open ended questions that could be useful during a relationship Tarot reading. 1. What is currently influencing my relationship? 2. What is currently influencing my love interest? 3. How might I make this relationship grow? 4. What do I need to understand about myself? 5. What do I need to understand about my love interest? 6. What is the potential outcome of this relationship? 7. What do I need to work on in order to bring a loving relationship into my life? The list can go on and you can get creative as you want. Asking carefully planned questions can lead to a very fulfilling Tarot reading. It’s also wise to let a Tarot reader know the background of your situation. This is particularly true for Love Tarot readings. By allowing the Tarot reader to fully understand the nature of your situation, the more they will be able to guide you. The history of a situation often enhances the Tarot Reading. It gives the reader a wider perspective and allows them to comprehend the issues that you are facing. It also helps them to discover what has been influencing your relationship.

Finally, it's important to remember that a good Tarot reader will never tell you what to do. They are, in essence, messengers. You are your own master and have your own free will. You have the power to choose your own directions and behaviors. In love matters, you are always your own best guide. While tarot readings can often disclose important influences, you always have the power to make your own decisions and choose your own course of action. The Five Card Spread This spread is used to determine the correct course of action. The layout is five cards in the shape of a plus sign. Card 1 - (center) Present, general theme Card 2 - (west) Past influences Card 3 - (east) The future Card 4 - (south) Reason for asking the question Card 5 - (north) Potential for gain or loss The Celtic Cross Spread Also the most common and most revealing spread available, it is the most complicated to lay out and to interpret. It is used for a variety of questions and problems, but is most commonly used to answer complex questions with many outcomes. The layout starts off as the five card spread, with one extra card laid on top of the center card. There is also a line of four cards lined end to end off to the east side of the cross. 1 - (center) The present 2 - (center, on top) Immediate challenge, usually a very difficult obstacle 3 - (east) Foundation, distant past 4 - (south) Recent past 5 - (north) Best possible outcome 6 - (west) Immediate Future 7 - (bottom of line) Inner feelings and factors affecting the situation 8 - (one up from bottom of line) External influences 9 - (one down from top of line) Fears and hopes revolving around the situation 10 - (top of line) Final outcome. If ambiguous, draw three more cards to clarify The Ellipse Spread The ellipse spread is another variation that can be used to answer direct questions. This one would be about middle of the road as far as complex questions go. Lined up in the shape of a V, with the fourth card being in the middle, it will travel southeast before it travels back up in a northeast direction in a sequential order (1-7). 1 - Past influences that are now part of the situation 2 - Present influences acting on you at the time of the reading 3 - Future influences that will have bearing 4 - Direction, telling you your course of action 5 - External influences that can affect the situation

6 - Fears and hopes about the question or outcome 7 - Final result, how it will end Remember to stay calm during a reading, and to fully explore yourself when experiencing a reading. With these basic Types of Tarot Spreads, a few basic and complex answers can be attained. There are many more Types of Tarot Spreads that can be learned in books, online, videos, or personal mentors. The Seven Card Relationship Spread 1 tells about you and your feelings in the relationship. 2 would tell you about the other person's character. 3 would give you an overall feeling about the situation. 4 would identify the obstacles in your path towards achieving the full love of the person you want to love you back. 5 would indicate what exactly the other person thinks or feels about you. 6 is about the expectations of the other person from you and the relationship 7 will tell you where exactly the relationship is at present. The Horseshoe Spread: The horseshoe is a common spread where 7 cards are arranged in a semi-circle. The cards read from left to right represent the past, present, influences, obstacles, expectations, best course of action, and likely outcomes. The Star Spread: The star spread starts in the lower left and follows the 5 points of the star. The cards represent what you see, what you can't, what you can change, what you cannot change, and what you can expect.

Tetractys: Ten cards are arranged in four rowed pyramids. Each pyramid represents the elements: earth, air, wind, and fire. Each card has a different meaning, and the card at the top of the pyramid is the significator. The Planetary Spread The Planetary Spread is an excellent layout to use when you want insight into a personality. You will lay out eleven cards in a circle, and read each card individually. Start with the first card in the center of the circle, then lay out the next eight in a circle starting with the NW position in a standard compass rose, and proceeding clockwise to N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, and W. Place the tenth card beside the first card, and the eleventh card crosswise on top of them both. ... 3 ... 2 4 ... 9 10 1 5 ... 8 /11 6 ... 7 1. The Sun. This is your ego card, showing how you view yourself. 2. Mercury. This card represents how you communicate. 3. Venus. This card represents what you love and value, and how you act toward what you love and value. 4. Earth. This card represents what you consider your possessions and treasures, and how you act toward your possessions and treasures. 5. Mars. This card represents what gives you your energy and drive. 6. Jupiter. This card represents your luck and skill. 7. Saturn. This card represents how you deal with traditions. 8. Uranus. This card represents how you rebel against those traditions. 9. Neptune. This card represents your unconscious self. 10. The Moon. This card represents your dreams, hopes and fears. 11. Pluto. This card represents how you transform yourself. 3-Card Spread: This is the most basic and straightforward spread of all times. For this spread, draw three cards from a well shuffled deck and lay them out in a straight line. This spread has many different applications. These 3 positions can either stand for 'Past, Present and Future' or 'Situation, Advice and Outcome' or 'Option one, Option two, Outcome' and so on. You can be totally creative with this spread. Also observe the flow of the reading and read in the direction which seems natural to you.

5-Card Spread: This is a step-up on the basic 3-Card Spread. For this draw 5 cards from a well shuffled deck and lay them out in a straight line. Like the previous spread, this too has several applications. For example, the five positions could be 'Past, Present, Hurdles, Advice, and Outcome'. Here is my favorite position definition for this spread: 'Fire, Water, Air, Earth and Spirit' where each element and its practical associations are explored with the card drawn in that position. 7-Card General Spread: Again a very good and simple spread. Draw 7 cards from a well shuffled deck and lay them in either a straight line or in a horse-shoe pattern. The positions would be: 'Past, Present, Situation, Hurdles, Advice, Outcome One and Outcome Two'.

One of the most difficult things about Tarot reading, after you've learned the cards themselves, is picking a spread to use for your reading. There are a variety of spreads for Tarot readings and knowing which one is best is not always an intuitive thing, at least not at the start. This article is going to give you some basic guidelines for choosing a spread to use as well as go over what the most common spreads are. Hopefully, after reading this, you'll have a good starting point for the spread you decide to use for your subjects. There are many spreads, some of which are extremely complicated. However, I have found that there are three spreads in particular that fit just about any occasion and should be more than enough to get you started. We can dive into more advanced spreads in future articles. The most basic spread is the Celtic Cross. This is the most commonly used, and quite honestly, will probably be more than good enough for just about any reading that is asking a general question. What I mean by a general question is one such as, "Will I be getting a promotion at work?" This is a common question that people will ask and doesn't require too much in depth analysis. For questions of these types, a Celtic Cross spread, which consists of laying out ten cards in a certain order, should be more than good enough to answer the subject's question. You will probably use this spread about 95% of the time. The next most common spread is the Celtic Block. This spread is actually very similar to the Celtic Cross as the first ten cards are laid out the same way. However, with the Celtic Block spread, you deal out four more cards, 11 through 14, underneath the fist ten that were dealt out. This spread is usually used when a little more information is required. You will begin to build an intuition for when to use this spread. One thing you must understand is that you can't start with a Celtic Cross and decide to convert it into a Celtic Block. These are two different spreads and you must decide beforehand which one you are going to use. The third most common spread, and the most complicated of the three, is the Predictive Manteia. This spread allows you to go into the most depth of the three spreads. The foundation of this spread is the Past, Present and Future Triadic Solidifiers. All the other cards in this spread are placed around these three cards in a certain order. Each solidifier will have a block triad associated with it, totaling nine cards, three for each solidifier. The spread then concludes with cards ten through fifteen, which all have their own meanings. This spread, unlike the first two, cannot be continued. It is complete in and of itself. This spread should only be used for the

most complex of questions, such as, "I am dating 2 guys at the same time. The one wants to marry me and move to Atlanta. The other wants me to move in with him. If I marry the first guy, I will have to quit my job (another factor) and relocate, thus selling my home (another factor)...and so on. You get the idea. Questions of this nature are extremely complex because they affect so many areas of the subject's life. In this case, the Predictive Manteia will probably be the right spread to use for the reading. As you do more and more of these, you will begin to develop an intuitive sense for what spread to use. HOW TO DO THE CELTIC CROSS Tarot card spreads, also called layouts, can range from 1 card to more than a single deck. Each different type of spread carries it own special characteristics and divination powers. While there are many standardized Tarot card spreads, it is not uncommon for readers to develop special layouts for their own use. These are adjustments that readers make to better attune themselves to their readings. We can't possibly look at all Tarot card spreads, but we can use a common one to understand layouts better. To become familiar with Tarot card spreads, we will look at the Celtic Cross. One of the most popular Tarot card spreads, the Celtic Cross is most commonly described as having ten cards. Six form the cross, directly in front of the reader, while the remaining four are laid out vertically at the reader's right hand. Other versions use as many as thirteen, and the layout varies slightly from reader to reader. For our purposes, the most common layout will be do fine. The first card, usually called the significator, is laid long-ways in the center of the cross, and the others progressively follow, until the divination is complete. Next comes the crossing, which is laid horizontally atop the significator; this is the conflict indicator for the reading. The third one, called the basis, is placed vertically below the cross, and is closest to the reader. The fourth stands for the past, and is placed as the left "arm" of the cross. Centered above the cross is the fifth, which discloses the alternate possibilities of the question. Balancing the past, at the left of our cross, card number six represents the near future, and completes the right side of a plus (+) symbol, and demonstrating where this tarot card spread gets its name. The last four in this particular Tarot card spread are laid vertically on the right of the first six, starting nearest the reader, and moving away from them. The seventh is the barrier, or obstacle, and is followed by the indicator of influence on the situation. The ninth one stands for the fears regarding the situation, and the tenth and last reveals the final outcome of the question of the reading. The Celtic Cross is completed in this manner, which may explain why it is one of the most common Tarot card spreads. The cross, on the left, is balanced by the staff, on the right. This pattern is mainly used to answer questions. It represents the duality of life, with the staff's masculinity being balanced by the almost circular feminine aspect. A lot of power is found in this tarot card spread, and its popularity attests to its usefulness.

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