Tuesday, April 03, 2007



by Tiffany Jansen

Some time ago, I received an email from Tiffany Jansen, sharing an idea for a Tarot layout that she’d developed. She had no idea she’d hit on one of my favorite Tarot pursuits: using new layouts. The LetterQuest Layout uses Tarot cards to determine numerology/letter correspondences to obtain an answer in words. Since numbers are a central aspect of the Tarot cards and the cards pulled for their number value can still be interpreted in light of the answer the words give, it certainly qualifies as a Tarot layout.

Here are The LetterQuest Layout parameters, copied from her email:

"....[T]his prompted me to figure out a system of using the roman alphabet, numerology and the tarot in a way that I could understand. I went to sleep thinking about it and I don't know if I dreamt the answer, but this morning I just knew exactly how to make it work.

Every card in the tarot will be looked at in it's reduced numerological form. So 15 the Devil will be 6, etc. Aces, pages and the fool have no numerological value for me (although some may place the fool at 22) so they're like blank tiles in scrabble. Knights are 11/2, Queens 12/3 so Kings would reduce to 4 respectively.** Each number carries the energy of 3 letters, except for 9 which has only 2 - I and R.

1- A, J, S
2- B, K, T
3- C, L, U
4- D, M, V
5- E, N, W
6- F, O, X
7- G, P, Y
8- H, Q, Z
9- I, R

One card is pulled for every word in the question, in rows of three across (or less possibly for the last line). The position of the card will determine which of the three letters (or two) for a number will be used. If a card that reduces to 9 happens to fall into the third position of that row, it can be considered a blank..."

Tiffany also shared a reading she’d done for herself, and I could readily see how she came to her conclusions. I then did a reading for myself and it, too, was quite something. I asked "How likely is it I will move to California?" As I shuffled a card popped right out. As a popping card is always significant in my readings, I thought "That will be the exclamation point to the words." Since an exclamation comes at the end of a word, and it was a 7 card, I chose the letter Y at the end of the line of the three 7 value letters. My reading letters and cards were:You’ll note I pulled only six cards, which had been the number of cards Tiffany chose for her reading. I’d somehow forgotten the instruction to pull one card per word in the question. However, though I should have pulled nine cards, it worked anyway.

As long as I kept reading the letters across I could not get anywhere, though I was quite sure that the seventh letter Y from the "popped" card meant literally "Why?" Then, just as when I’ve been pondering a dense Tarot card, it hit me "Read down, Patricia." So: EC = easy; MM = months (my abbreviation for "month" is "m"); and YT = yet. Add "Why?" at the end, and you get "[Take it] easy, [there are] months [to go] yet, why [worry]?" This answer made perfectly good sense as I did this reading in late December 2006 and was not even thinking of visiting California before April or even later in 2007.

Although the words I saw in the reading above were limited by the end of a row, this need not be the case. A word's letters can "wrap around," i.e. continue past a row's end. In fact, I have found it very helpful to write out all the letters in one string to see what words are suggested, especially if there are any blanks.

At the time I did not feel the need to relate to the Tarot cards pulled beyond their numerological values.*** However, it did strike me that the Knight of Wands is a card that can indicate a change of residence. Showing up beneath The Tower it seemed to indicate that a change of residence would follow tumultuous change. Thus, the "Why worry?" at the end of the answer became even clearer. I would have enough to worry about in the months before I could make my California visit, e.g., my roommate moving out (!) to get married (and many other issues).

I’d like to thank Tiffany for sharing this layout of hers with me and giving me permission to post it here. Please contact Tiffany or leave a comment for me here if you try it yourself. We’d love to hear how it works out for you.

P.S. Tiffany also indirectly influenced my idea for The Taiga Tarot. She had asked if I’d ever written tanka and I hadn’t. That set me off and "googling," where I stumbled across "taiga" (illustrated tanka) for the first time. The rest is slowly becoming history on Roswila’s Taiga Tarot.

* As she had not indicated a name for her layout, I suggested this one and Tiffany has approved it.

** My number values are a little different for the courts: Pages = 11; Knights = 12; Queens = 13; and Kings = 14. I give Aces a value of 1. And I would give The Fool whichever value (0 or 4) contributes to a comprehensible answer. Although I hasten to add I strongly believe it doesn’t matter which number values we prefer, just that we are consistent in using them.

*** I recently did a reading using this layout. After obtaining the words, I looked at the Tarot cards whose numbers/letters comprised each word, as amplifying that word, which worked extremely well.

* * * *

‘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 Tarot poetry and Roswila’s Taiga Tarot for taiga (illustrated tanka).****

Labels: ,