Welcome to Dread Spread #3, the Redemption Song Spread! This spread is dedicated to my favorite singer, Bob Marley! Today is his birthday and I wanted to make a spread that reminded me of him. Redemption song reminds us to stand up for ourselves, make changes and be an impact in the world. So this spread is all about us using helping ourselves or helping others to figure out how to be the person we want to be.
The first thing your going to do is split your deck into the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The cards do not have to be in order, just separated. Now, we are going to channel out inner Carl Jung and for the first card for "Where you are/current situation" you can either shuffle the major arcana cards and pick a card that way, or you can pick a significator from the major arcana cards. Which ever you want, it's up to you. This card is telling you where you are you now. Once you've done that, you are going to once again look through you major arcana cards and pick the card that represents where you want to go. You looking to get to a place where things are hopeful and light? You may pick the Star. Looking for a complete change? You may pick Death and so on. Once you pick, put that card at the bottom of the spread.
Now shuffle the minor arcana cards and take out 9 cards and lay them down 3 by 3 as depicted. The 9 minor arcana cards in the middle are cards that are going to guide you on your "path to redemption" (got it?). So the first line of issues or challenges are things that you may be going through now or things that are about to come up for you. The second line is the issues that are coming up next. This line is critical, and represents the hardest part of your journey to redemption. You may notice that these cards might be a little more negative than the others. This is because after recognizing you have a problem, facing it and pushing through are the rough parts. Lastly, is third line, is the healing work you need to do. Really examine this part and ask what those specific cards mean to you now you are at the end of your journey.
This spread is completely meant for you or your client to take a hard look at what work needs to be done for you to get where you want to be.
Thank you for checking out my blog post! I hope you enjoyed it.
So you scheduled your reading and you are ready! Or... maybe not. You might be wondering how you should prepare for your reading? Well there are a couple key things for you to remember when getting your reading (and this goes for any type of reading, medium, tarot, astrology, whatever the case may be)...
1. Get some sleep.
You might be wondering why I say you should get some shut eye. Well, when you've had a good night's sleep, you are more alert and it is easier for you to pay attention. When you are getting a reading you will want to really be listening to what your reader is saying and be ready to ask more questions and get more detail.
2. Try to relax.
So most people come to readers when they have a problem, and that means they will be emotional, which is fine. We as professional are prepared for that (most readers are ready and armed with tissues in their reading spaces). But don't come to your reading looking to pick a fight because all that negative energy won't help you or I. Plus, why would you pay money to argue? No point in that.
3. Be on time.
Oh please be on time. Please. This is the beginning of respect. Respect your reader by being on time and they should respect you by being their for you. It sets the mood for your whole reading. Also, it leads to a feeling of being rushed and no one wants that.
4. Bring a pen and paper or a recorder.
You will probably want to bring a notepad and pen or pencil so you can write down what the reader say. That way you can reference it later. Most readers I know and well as I have something I have coined as "spiritual amnesia". If you call us or email us and ask us what we said about your reading we won't remember at all. Also, we see many clients and can't be expected to remember everyone's issues. If you have a recording device, such as your phone, most readers will let you record the session so you can listen to it later.
5. Be Opened. Like... literally.
Ok, I learned a long time ago from one of mentors that having an opened posture is important when having a reading. Crossing your arms and legs can stagnate the energy and give you a less detailed reading. Also, be opened- minded. Listen to your reader and be ready to receive what Spirit has to tell you.
Ok so you now have to tools to be ready for your reading! Enjoy it and receive what Spirit has to tell you! Do you have anymore tips! Let me know!
Being raised Catholic myself, I was very interested when I started reading the blog of Lauren Fein, the Catholic Cartomancer. She has found a unique way to incorporate her faith into her Tarot practice, something which I found very interesting. So I caught up with her and ask her about how she combines Tarot and her faith.
Me: So How did you start with Tarot?
Lauren: I started the systematic study of Tarot in 2010- so only about five years ago, in my mid-forties. Before that time, I had a few decks that I played around with- but without really knowing anything about "Tarot"-it's history, the cards meanings, etc. I became curious and decided to begin a more formal study of the subject.
Me: So did you do reading before that or you just started doing readings once you started really studying the background of tarot?
Lauren: I did readings for myself intuitively but not for anybody else. I only started reading for others after I began studying, and at first, only in a classroom "practice" setting.
Me: Ok interesting! So you when did you start feeling like you had a strong intuition?
Lauren: I have no idea! I think it just grew on me gradually. In high school, my friends would always call me "the great philosopher"! But I think that was because I was always questioning everything, always searching for the deeper meaning of things.
Me: Ahhh that's wonderful. So you call yourself the Catholic Cartomancer. How do you incorporate your faith into your spiritual practice?
A: That also just happened for me over time and with contemplation of myself, my background, and my love of the cards. I had been away from the Catholic Church for a long time, for all the obvious reasons, but over time, returned again on my own terms. By the time I returned to Catholic forms of prayer, I had been practicing Tarot for a few years, so the two just naturally combined for me. I should also add that when I walk into a Church, it often feels like I'm stepping into a living Tarot card- and when I use the cards, it often feels like a "moving Church." I decided over time that my tradition-of-origin was a gift, and just because I disagreed with official Church policy didn't mean I couldn't use the forms of prayer I had grown up with and which had become a part of me.
Me: So do you read for a lot of Catholic or Christian clients? And how are you received in your community?
Lauren: I read for people who often come from the same kind of background- brought up Catholic or Christian but not necessarily practicing or orthodox anymore. I go to a very liberal-minded Catholic Church in manhattan, which is very close to the town where I live. I don't really discuss Tarot in Church- as I am there really for the group prayer called Mass. But if it came up, I certainly wouldn't shy away from a respectful discussion.
Me: Do you ever get any push back from the pagan/occult/esoteric community because you are a Catholic Cartomancer?
Lauren: I know how to avoid that- I just steer clear if the conversation gets too anti- Catholic, anti-Christian, etc. People have a perfect right to their opinions- and many people have been deeply hurt by their experiences with organized religion. They have a right to their feelings and conclusions. I just don't want to get "drawn in" necessarily. My decision was to incorporate my Catholic prayers and beliefs into my own unique practice, while others may decide differently.
Me: So what deck do you like to use?
Lauren: Oh, I'm a Waite-Smith girl all the way. That's the deck I first learned with and I still love it so much! I have a whole collection of decks though-like many Tarot enthusiasts! I wanted to add- if you grew up Catholic, you might recall having and collecting "Holy Cards"- not such a far cry from tarot cards when you think about it.
It is very different style and the different people that we have in the Tarot community is what helps the world go 'round. I want to thank Lauren Fein for letting me interview her and I hope you all enjoyed reading the interview!
If you want to read more about Lauren, check out her blog at the Catholic Cartomancer.
So I got interview by Greg of Planet 3 Radio! If you would like to learn a bit more about me and Tarot, take a listen!
One thing that is great about the world is diversity. There have been many a time when clients tell me, "That's not how the other reader did it!". Well, that is what makes the world go 'round! Many clients who have seen a tarot reader before may be used to the imagery, but what do you think when a reader takes out a smaller deck, or even a standard deck of playing cards? You may think, "Is this reader for real? Do they know what they are doing?". Yes they do!!!! This is just one of the examples of using cards! There are so many different ways to use cards for divination. I have here the 5 most popular. But what is the difference between the different kinds of decks? Lets talk about it:
First up- Tarot!
My favorite! Ok so the basic structure of Tarot is 22 Major Arcana cards (which usually represents big central themes in one's life), then the 56 Minor Arcana cards. Now the Minor Arcana cards have 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. Each suite has an Ace-10 card, then a page, a knight, a queen and a king. Each suit has a general theme (like Cups is usually love and relationships, Wands, work and life passion, etc) and each number represents different things too. Tarot can be read right side up or some readers read reversed, which means that they read cards that come up in the reading that are upside down. Not every tarot reader will do this, and that is ok. It doesn't mean you are getting any less of a reading or that that reader is not skilled. The most common deck is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck, which is what all other decks are modeled after. You may also run into the Thoth deck, basically Aleister Crowley's take on the RWS deck (if you don't who he is, look him up, he's a very interesting read). One great thing about Tarot decks is there is a deck for everyone! You will find all types of different themed decks, mermaids, baseball, homosexual, alien, steampunk, Celtic, Brazilian, and pretty much any other thing you can think of. If you want to see some examples head on over to aeclectic.net and you will see thousand of different decks.
Lemormand is a system of 36 cards that are wonderful for fortunetelling. Clover, sun, stars, etc. The cards are usually a simple one word noun. These cards are named after a famous 18th century French card reader, Marie Anne Lenormand, who is said to have read for Napoleon and Josephine. The spreads that are used with the Lenormand are very different than tarot. You would usually read them in a line, relating each card to the next. Also, you usually read them in pairs, not singularly. For example, in tarot you can read one card, but in Lenormand, it all about combinations. Lenormand is quickly becoming more and more popular! Don't be surprised if you start seeing more and more readers using them!
So oracle cards are cool because they are kind of whatever you want them to be. I have three oracle decks, two has 52 cards, and one has 44. Oracle cards mean whatever the author wants it to mean. Many people use them to read, but I like to pair them with my tarot cards because these cards usually have very general themes and it can be hard to get super in depth with them. None the less, you can still have a reading with it. There are many different oracle decks are the first person who comes to mind who makes a lot is Doreen Virtue. She has several oracle decks and they are all very beautiful. But there are tons of different oracle decks to choose from. All different types of themes can be found in oracle cards and they can be a great companion to Tarot or other cards
Last but not least...playing cards!
The playing cards I'm talking about is the deck commonly used to play games like poker, go fish and such. Now I have to say I know the least about these but everyone has probably used or seen a deck of playing cards in there lifetime so I don't think I have to explain this too much. Many people use playing cards to read. I have see this a lot in the Afro-Caribbean and Roma (more commonly known as Gypsy) community. The first people to use playing cards were the Roma people in Europe about 600 years ago and since then the system has gone all over the globe.
So have I missed anything? And other card systems you guys read with? Let me know!
Thinking about learning Tarot? Yay! That's awesome! You bought a book and your reading everything you can get your hands on and/or your taking a class! Hooray! This is going to be so much fun! Ok, so you go on Amazon and your gonna buy a deck. You think "I mean, how many decks could there be? I guess I should get one based on the RWS deck (well they pretty much all are but you don't know that much about Tarot so it's ok to say that)". You type in "tarot cards" and...
What (panic ensues)?!?!?!
So you start asking around.
Everyone is gonna tell you to get the classic RWS deck.
It doesn't get more classic than this. Some people insist if you really want to learn about Tarot, this is the deck you NEED to have. When learning about the symbolism, history, the actual meanings of the cards, this is the deck that will help you when your learning. Now, I'm no Tarot Historian, but I know this deck is the best known tarot deck, ever. There are plenty of decks that are same pictures but slightly different artist or the coloring is different (try the radiant or universal, there are so many). Every tarot deck is in someway modeled after this deck and if you really can't pick a deck, I would go with this one.
But do you have to! NO WAY!!!!!!!! It wasn't my first deck, and if you aren't particularly attracted it, it doesn't have to be yours.
I'm going to give you my Top Ten recommendations for Tarot decks for beginners (that aren't RWS)!
1. Gilded Tarot
Hooray! My favorite! The Gilded Tarot by Ciro Marchetti was my first love. When I started learning Tarot, this was the deck I used to learn. The colors are vibrant and the art is beautiful. It stays very true to the classic symbolism and is a lot of fun to work with. If you love a bright deck that attracts the eye, try it out.
2. Steampunk Tarot
Victorian awesomeness. That's really all I can say about this deck. Just kidding. But the Steampunk Tarot by Aly Fell and Barbara Moore is truly an awesome decks to work with. The symbolism is all there, and the darker color tones in the graphics are beautiful. Even if you aren't into steampunk, it's still a beautiful and easy deck to learn with.
The Hanson-Roberts is a playful deck that is great for beginners. It comes in playing card size, which is nice for those who aren't used to the size of a standard Tarot deck and is very true to the RWS deck. The faces on some of the cards are a bit odd for my taste, but they give you the feeling of the classical fairy-tale look.
4. Legacy of the Divine Tarot
Another Ciro Marchetti deck (yes I love his work... a lot) which gives a fantasy sci-fi vibe. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, I'm pretty sure you would love the imagery on this deck. Also, the different graphics give you a new understanding of each card without being super confusing or complex.
5. Morgan-Greer Tarot
This deck which was produced in the 1970s by Bill Greer and Lloyd Morgan is great for beginners. This deck is very heavy in the coloring but the imagery is very simple and is easy for beginner to relate to when learning Tarot.
6. Llewellyn's Classic Tarot
The Llewellyn Classic Tarot by Barbara Moore and Eugene Smith is a beautifully simple take on the RWS deck by Llewellyn which is easy for a beginner to learn from. It is almost following to the letter the classic RWS and is a great alternative to the humdrum artistry of the original.
7. Deviant Moon Tarot
This deck by Patrick Valenza is very dark and uses surrealism to display Tarot, but I wouldn't look past it for it's learning abilities. Many people, novice up to a master, really connect with this deck on a deep level as it reaches the darkest places of our subconscious. But even with all that, the basic meanings of each card is not loss and it is still easy to work with. If you are a beginner but you enjoy the like heaviness and can appreciate the artwork, I would recommend this deck.
8. Fenestra Tarot
This decorative and romantic deck by Thai artist Chatriya Hemharnvibul has a beautiful and ethereal feel to it. Everything is flowing and you get the feel that each card could be a stained glass window. This deck has large borders, but they add to each card. If you are a beginner and love the softer and more lovey-dovey imagery (and their is nothing wrong with that), this is the deck for you.
9. Golden Tarot
This Medieval and Renaissance themed deck is by Kat Black is made in a collage style with glided edges. Because of the time period, their is some Catholic/Christian themes in the deck. Each Ace is an Angel and the Hierophant looks to be depicting the ever mysterious "Pope Joan". This deck is perfect for anyone, but especially for beginners who loves collage art, the Middle Ages or early European Renaissance art.
10. Sacred Isle Tarot
This is another very romantic deck, but more colorful than the Fenestra Tarot. This deck by David Higgins is a beautiful deck with a fantasy feel. Sunflowers, sunshine, flowing rivers, elves, castles and more are in this deck. This deck is also good for the beginner who enjoys fairy-tales and romantic fantasy.
Note: If you wondering where to buy these decks, try Amazon, US Game Systems, Tarot Garden, or Llewellyn Worldwide.
What are your favorite? Did I leave any out that you think are awesome for beginners?! Let me know!
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