Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The below is a slightly revised version of an article of mine that appeared on my now defunct web site.

We can ask all the questions of The Tarot that we want, and even get elegant, impressive answers. But if we're not asking the questions that are most important, that will help us make the best decisions, and connect us to Spirit and each other, then the results may be like cotton candy ... pleasing but with little substance. Then there are times when we don't really know what to ask or maybe how to phrase it but feel the need to go to The Tarot.

Therefore, I have developed a layout to find out what are the SIX QUESTIONS one most needs to be asking The Tarot - or ourselves, or each other - at a given time in our lives. This layout can be used for yourself or to help another person determine the best questions.

I chose the number six because it can be associated to the sixth sephirah of The Tree of Life, Tiphareth, the spiritual heart of the Tree. (In Tarot lore all of the Tarot cards can be corresponded to various positions on the Tree of Life in the Qabala - a collection of beautiful and wise ancient Hebraic texts.)

The word "question," in this context, covers a lot of territory. In my thinking it includes issues and problems. In other words, the six cards are meant to point us to looking at and thinking about what we might not otherwise investigate nor even know we needed to, and to do so in a heart-centered way.

To illustrate how this layout works, I am sharing an actual reading I did for myself. My focus tends to be on the psychological (and rather intensely), so that was the sort of questions that The Tarot offered me. But your results can be entirely different, maybe all six of your questions will be very pragmatic and career oriented, for example. Or maybe each question will relate to six different relationships in your life. Just let the cards and your responses to them speak to you.

It is best to find a quiet space to read in, where you won't be interrupted. Relax a bit, and do some deep, slow breathing in preparation. Then shuffle. As I shuffled I concentrated on the question "What do I most need to be asking?" Then I turned each card over, off the top of the deck and laid them out, starting with the first card and moving upward as in the below diagram:

Once laid out the cards should form a rough question mark. The position designations on the diagram above are simply meant to help you get a grip on the questions, like strings on helium balloons, by anchoring the question in something about your life.

In looking at the cards and their position designations as I laid them out, I did not think of each as representing a particular question that I had to ferret out. Rather, I simply took notes on what surfaced in me and then distilled a question from the notes. If a great deal comes up on a card/position, write notes on it all. You can narrow it down later to what seems most important.

The cards I laid out, the six questions I got from them, and a bit of how I got to those questions were as follows:

Question/Card One [Spirit/High Self; Ten of Wands]:
Why do I hide from my deepest nature?
The character on the card can be seen as hiding behind his burdens.

Question/Card Two [Fire; Ace of Cups]:
Why is love still so painful for me?
The Ace of Cups is often read to represent love. And this is a water card in a fire position. In The Tarot fire and water, and air and earth, can be seen to conflict.

Question/Card Three [Water; Five of Wands]:
Why has it become difficult for me to trust my intuition?
I see the element Water as often representing the function of intuition. And again, here’s a mix of fire and water. Also, the figures on the card are embattled.

Question/Card Four [Air; King of Wands]:
How can I best become loving mistress of my own thinking processes?
Air is associated with mind/thoughts and the King of Wands with a loving strong parent.

Question/Card Five [Earth; Justice]:
How can I best learn the tough lessons my body is trying to teach about balance?
Earth is associated with the body, and balance is associated with Justice - which is corresponded to Libra, also about balance. This is an air card in an earth position, more difficulty.

Question/Card Six [Heart; Page of Swords]:
How can I best champion my heart's urge to mature beyond defensiveness?
The Page of Swords can be seen as the embattled child of a difficult history, who deeply wants to and does eventually "win out", i.e., mature.

In my very brief and by no means complete description of some of the clues that produced each question I have not mentioned the most important ingredient: intuition. The questions grew out of allowing feelings and thoughts to surface, with no judgment or analysis, and holding them in an open space of inquiry. In my experience, being open to intuition is just as simple - and as difficult - as that.

Oddly enough, I chose not to do Tarot readings on these six questions. Instead, for six consecutive nights as part of my nightly quiet time before my altar, I meditated on one of these questions. The resulting insights were instructive and very supportive, and generated some very helpful dreams as well.

* * * *

Resource: Intuition Blog of James Wanless, the designer of the gorgeous and beautifully produced Voyager Tarot.

Please see the top of the sidebar for my background with the Tarot and a recommendation to beginners.

‘til next time, keep enjoying The Tarot,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)**** SEE ALSO: Roswila’s Dream & Poetry Realm for some articles about Tarot.****


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