Celtic cross tarot card reading - game 04.07
by: Kristen Pavle
Game04 post 07/10
I've been learning more about tarot cards - their history and lineage, the philosophy behind them, how to read them. It's been a slow process but I'm not forcing anything so it's fun to let it evolve.
I've been feeling like I wanted to do a reading for myself, so decided to break out the deck tonight. I'll map out my process a bit here, and share some remarks. The reading itself, the content - I won't share too much. It's a whole thing and it's actually hard to talk about it after the fact... more in the post itself.
This is the spread of cards I pulled. The order and pattern all mean something.
These are my notes, used a color coding system this time. See legend below.
Celctic Cross Spread
So the way it works is each card has a specific position, and it's very relational. There's a kind of vibe of all the cards taken as a whole, but also specific interactions between some subsets of the cards. Much of this is situational, so you won't know about these interactions until you pull the cards.
But other relationships between cards is sort of spelled out from the beginning - for example card 1 and 2. Card 1 symbolises the situation, what the "querent" (person for whom the cards are being read, who has asked a question) has inquired about. Card 2 is placed across card 1, and represents a challenge that directly impacts the situation. The overlay of card 2 over 1 is symbolic of this challenge.
The version of the Celctic cross spread I used for this reading. There are several versions, this one is explained on my go-to Tarot interpretation site, Biddy Tarot.
So here's a high-level snapshot of what each of the ten cards represent:
- Present situation, question at hand
- Challenge to the situation
- Past influences
- Future influences
- Best outcome
- Underlying feeling
- Advice (given all information surrounding the situation)
- External influences (people, energies, events)
- Hopes and fears (often two sides of the same coin)
- Final outcome, direction
My tarot reading notes and process
I take in information through writing, especially when learning, so taking notes is a must for me. I also like having the record of my readings, cards pulled. Often, I'll document the cards I pull and my sense of the meaning behind them in my Roam database, too. This makes it much easier to find patterns.
I noted each card in darker pink, and my first interpretations of the cards meaning in purple. The best way I can explain my interpretations is that it's a kind of channeling of information gleaned from the card itself. Before I get into this channeling, a quick note about pulling the cards.
Pulling Tarot cards
There's a billion ways to pull cards, shuffle cards, and it just depends on what feels right for the person holding the cards. The whole process and relationship with the deck is still relatively new for me.
I like to shuffle the cards in both an overhand and riffle shuffle. overhand shuffle
Tarot cards are a bit bigger than playing cards so it's not quite as fluid as this. And also, it takes time to become a fancy shuffler. So believe me when I say, I don't look as polished as these gifs.
I like to let the cards fall or jump out of the deck, I don't actually pull the cards. By holding the cards loosely, it's a way of urging or coaxing the cards out into the world. IDK why I do it this way, but it feels right. I've seen other Tarot card readers do this. (Tarot is very much an art, it's kind of anything goes for styles of reading...)
While the cards reveal themselves to me, I'm repeatedly meditating on the question at hand. I usually write this question down. So I can reference it, to stay focused.
My Tarot Notes
Okay, back to my purple notes, my channeling of the cards. So I pull the cards, all 10 at one time, and then I look at each card, one by one, and take in the meaning. I'm still new so this takes some time, I am "first-principling" what's going on in the cards. It's taken me... a long time to get to this place. Only recently has this felt remotely accurate or useful.
Essentially, I just describe what I'm seeing using a specific kind of vocabulary. I'm not really sure how to explain what the vocab is, or where it comes from. It may be specific to Tarot itself or perhaps more broadly to magic and spirituality. I also think it varies by reader, background, etc.
So yeah, I just let it all flow out, pen to paper. Little snippets of thought that I am privvy to as my mind takes in the card.
After this first phase, I went through with the light blue pen to focus on colors. Tarot cards have a lot of color in them, and I like to apply the meaning of the 7 chakras to the color spread. It's an interesting way to glean more information. This is whole topic unto itself, for another time, another post.
Lastly, because I'm still learning, I go and read more practiced Tarot reader's takes on the meanings of each individual card. This is in the hot pink color. I cross-check my own understanding with theirs, and add extra notes for things I may have missed.
The Meta of Tarot
All the while I'm taking notes, there's a meta process running, I'm compiling all of this information - what the cards mean, how they reflect on the question I've asked, how the different cards relate to one another.
THIS is the real reading - the notes are just documenting the process, but the meaning emerges from the space between, the relationships among the cards put through the lens of my question. It's pretty great, and fun. IDK if this makes sense to an outsider but it resonates with me.
I once described Tarot reading for myself like a kind of meditation. And I've stuck to that. I feel like I'm better understanding what is happening in my own life through this interesting deck of cards. They reflect me and what is happening in my life, through the question. It's this weird dialectic thing, both of these things happening at once - the cards through the lens of the question, the question through the lens of the cards. And with that, some kind of emergent understanding occurs. 💥
So that's a little insight into my Tarot reading process. I think I'll start writing more posts about Tarot, this felt useful in my learning process, so explain myself in writing. Getting meta on the meta. Meta vortex. (It's late, I'm tired.)
Only other thing I'll add is that some readers will pull an additional card to cross reference the 9th Celctic cross card. I decided to do this for my reading tonight, and was very surprised to see a card I had just pulled a couple days previously: 8 of cups. I didn't know how to interpret the card when I pulled it the couple days prior, but now it made sense in new light, in relation to the other cards in the pull.
I will say, Tarot decks tend towards these strange coincidences. There are 78 cards in a deck. I'm shuffling them like crazy when I pull, repeatedly moving the cards. And I happen to pull the very same card I pulled a couple days prior? On an extra card pull? It just feels very... meaningful, purposeful, intriguing. Which is why I continue this strange dance with Tarot.
Buenos noches! 🌖