Have you ever felt pulled in multiple directions when you first turn over the cards? You might find yourself debating what to process first: the Major Arcana cards vs the minors? Court card pairs? Numbers? Suits?
It's easy to get sucked into the details of a reading before you get a chance to articulate your first impression. Lately I've found myself creating a sentence from the cards before diving into the details. It's been such a wonderful breath of fresh air that I thought I'd share the practice with you.
It all started with the Weekly Forecasts. I love writing these, and whenever I turn the cards over I take a moment to digest the overall feeling of the reading. When I started to write, a lovely single sentence would emerge, stringing all three cards together. As I wrote more, I'd look back to this "tarot thesis statement" to guide my interpretations.
Reading tarot can be a wild and winding experience. It's heady stuff! Each card relates to the others and the web can get tangled quickly. I've found that making a sentence gives me something to look back on, guiding my reading and providing a point of reference as I work through the details.
It's as simple as it sounds, and I've found that going with my first impression is the quickest path towards something that sounds clear and true. Try to avoid any second guessing, hemming and hawing, or desire for perfection. Let your inspiration flow freely!
I tend to start with an action or description of each card, followed by the general meaning - the theme that ties all the cards together.
For example, let's look at the reading below:
First things first, let's look at each card and find a theme for each:
The Empress: Emotional stability and plenty
Eight of Cups: A journey for more
Ace of Wands: Receiving inspiration and new creative opportunities
Now, let's use the descriptions above to uncover a unifying theme. Think of this as the story you're telling with the cards:
Emotional stability inspring and allowing for a journey towards exuberant growth.
And that's it! As the reading progresses, we can dive into the details of each card more thoroughly, tackling, for example, the bravery inherent in the journey of the Eight of Cups or the power behind The Empress' motivations.
And whenever we feel lost, we can return to our sentence to guide us back to clarity.
How about you? How do you look at the cards as soon as you flip them over? What ways do you use to focus your readings? Please share in the comments below - I'd love to hear from you!