Ready for some tarot exercises? This is a form of solitaire with your tarot deck…although there’s no reason that you couldn’t do it with multiple players as well. This exercise moves beyond the single “day card” reading that you might’ve done while you were learning the tarot, and progresses onto your creative interpretation skills in regards to how multiple cards integrate with one another. We’re talking about card relationships here and how one reads multiple cards in a spread in relation to one another.
The added “game” factor of this exercise has to do with speed.
So after shuffling whatever deck you’d like to use for the game (maybe a newer deck you’re trying to get used to…) simply pull the first three cards from the top of the deck, lay them out in a sequential three-card spread, and read the spread. Seems simple, right? But here’s the kicker—you only have a time limit of one minute to produce your reading. If you want an even bigger challenge, give yourself a time limit of only 30 seconds… or fifteen seconds (it’s longer than you’d think).
The point is not only to hone your card-relationship skills, but to push your limits on intuition and creativity. You’ll find that your eyes are forced to find things you might not have seen in a more languidly-paced reading… It also forces one to draw one’s attention into the cards, excluding surrounding distractions.
If you have trouble keeping within this time limit, try using a kitchen timer or stopwatch alarm. however, the more you do it and practice it, you’ll find yourself interpreting with greater and greater speed. You might even find it helpful to keep a journal of your interpretations for future reference.
The best part about this game is that there is no pressure (other than the time limit) and there are no wrong answers. If you’re satisfied with the interpretation, then you’ve won! If you are playing with a partner, you can either take turns reading each spread drawn, …or alternatively each of you can quickly write down your own independent interpretations, and then compare notes! There is no critiquing game partners’ interpretations, however. Simply see what you can learn from someone else’s interpretation, and learn what tidbits your partner might have seen that you didn’t notice before… Discussion is always encouraged.
Here are some samples from a recent round of lightning tarot reading that I played on my own*…
Reading: Being blind to the advances of one suitor because the querent is infatuated with another (who appears to be unavailable or not interested). Shutting down the prospect of companionship isn’t going to solve the problem at all.
Reading: Being the champion of your own ideas might be an elixir for your emotional well-being.
Alternative Reading: The journey of the sick or ill-fated towards an opportunity of health is being “blocked” by the severity of the healthcare system or a doctor’s apathy (represented by the King of Swords).
Reading: Hoarding things (or ideas) to yourself in a coniving fashion because you think it’s important financially (or because you think it gives you power or an advantage) is not only illusory, but may be catastrophic.
Reading: The onus of your creative strength lies in your ability to analyze and critique the world and society (in your cynicism, in your skepticism, in your punditry).
Alternative reading: It takes courage to ignore (or survive) the mindless ignorance of the masses (or mass opinion)—just as those in the crowd condemned Jesus before Pilate despite Pilate’s protestations and call to reason). Jesus entered the Holy City to be scourged, insulted, and abused…to become an object of derision. But his sacrifice and submission to it all is his (and God’s) means to truth, and of the lessons to serve and to love despite persecution.
Reading: You are fortunate/wealthy in the selfless gifts of these patrons (the King and Queen of Pentacles)…they might represent parental figures… who appear to be completely generous without judgment. (The coins they each hold seem to be their independent perceptions of the object of their patronage.)
Reading: Defensiveness and combativeness will only end in moroseness and depression and solitude. Your champions—see previous spread—stand behind you regardless of your folly.
Reading: Personal success/fortune entails steadfastness to your ideas and/or your crusade/endeavors…but may take patience.
* Tarot deck used to illustrate this blog post is the Deck of the Bastard by Seven Stars.