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Fixed vs. Adaptable meanings when reading cards?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
Seems to me it's divination/psychic ability not tarot if we're not basing the meanings on the tarot system, which is fine too I guess.
Seems to me it's not the Tarot system if it's not based on the Tarot images.
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Originally Posted by Skysteel View Post
Seems to me it's not the Tarot system if it's not based on the Tarot images.
Where does the base for your tarot images stem from?
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Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
Well you'd do well well to report the mod in the first instance!
He was here - so why bother - when very soon this forum won't be here anyway.

But you haven't answered the basic question - if you only use rote meanings, why do we need readers, when anyone can look them up in the book ?
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
He was here - so why bother - when very soon this forum won't be here anyway.

But you haven't answered the basic question - if you only use rote meanings, why do we need readers, when anyone can look them up in the book ?
Anyone can look up rote meanings in book but they won't be able to read the spread because they don't understand the universal flow ie the dynamics between cards, it takes years of practice and that's where the reader comes in imho.

If you're unable to read a spread based on tarot card meanings it doesn't necessarily conclude that there must be other meanings that we need to add ourselves, it might simply mean we need to practice more. Your question is based on an assumption.
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Originally Posted by headincloud View Post
What is the point in reading varying decks then? I'm not trying to say there isn't one but I do struggle to see the reasons. I'm not saying that anything that strays from the traditional system is invalid, far from it but to master any one system in my eyes does not require us to study an alternative one.



I've tried other decks but of course it slowed progress. I never look down on anyone unless it's to help them up. If we wish to create our own system with our own meanings then fine I guess I just have my doubts as to whether it would be accurate.
Sorry but I just feel like a lot of this concept is somewhat fallacious, if only because it's putting a confusing burden of authority on a deck that was created ages ago and to assume that any other interpretations outside of that singular person's would create inaccurate results is... Well. That's kind of putting RWS on a God level and that's not something that I think I'd be able to wrap my head around.

Tarot is a tool. It serves no function whatsoever outside of people using it to interpret whatever messages they're able to pull from the cards. I've given and received readings using a multitude of different decks and have yet to come across an issue of flat out inaccuracy just because the imagery or messages pulled strayed from what would be perceived as "Canon" interpretations of the cards.

But to each their own, eh
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What Obey said. I couldn't agree more. As to "accuracy" - there are loads of threads on "what does accuracy mean" ? To me it means that the sitter finds that the reading resonates. YMMV.
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Originally Posted by gregory View Post
What Obey said. I couldn't agree more. As to "accuracy" - there are loads of threads on "what does accuracy mean" ? To me it means that the sitter finds that the reading resonates. YMMV.
Sitters aren't always the most objective though. Can't count the amount of people who used to get readings, that were highlt detailed, confirmed to br accurate.. in one venue and then 15 minutes later would be in another venue, with slightly reworded question seeking another answer. It's made me somewhat cynical of some aspects of doing readings (especially online). There is a lot of self-deception in this field.

Tbh, there are a lot of cases where you will really never know how hard something will land. It's not an exact science. I kinda figure with interpretting cards, much like when you receive a reading from someone else, the best thing you can do is let it sit and meditate on it. Some people expect an instantaneous exhilaration... it's ideal but not all clarity come easily I guess.

I can understand to that extent why headinclouds would want to stick to a more rigid system... there are a lot of "wandering" that happens sometimes with readings... but I think objectivity is a constant battle no matter which method is used.
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Originally Posted by Maru View Post
Sitters aren't always the most objective though. Can't count the amount of people who used to get readings, that were highlt detailed, confirmed to br accurate.. in one venue and then 15 minutes later would be in another venue, with slightly reworded question seeking another answer. It's made me somewhat cynical of some aspects of doing readings (especially online). There is a lot of self-deception in this field.

Tbh, there are a lot of cases where you will really never know how hard something will land. It's not an exact science. I kinda figure with interpretting cards, much like when you receive a reading from someone else, the best thing you can do is let it sit and meditate on it. Some people expect an instantaneous exhilaration... it's ideal but not all clarity come easily I guess.

I can understand to that extent why headinclouds would want to stick to a more rigid system... there are a lot of "wandering" that happens sometimes with readings... but I think objectivity is a constant battle no matter which method is used.
If we throw out a sitters receptivity to a reading then whether or not we use by the book meanings is irrelevant as the issue isn't how we interpret but rather how the sitter receives the message.

It's our job as a reader to give people the clearest message that we can. It's not, however, our job to convince them that the reading is the end all, be all of everything. Personally when I do professional readings, I rather actively insist that my sitters take my message with a grain of salt and openly ask them to question things because readings should only be seen as a tool for guidance and advice and not a definitive absolute.

When we sit and say that there's a right and wrong way to read the cards, we're in many ways putting ourselves in a position of authority which I think is both dangerous and irresponsible. It's cool if some people are okay with it but I'm not comfortable standing and saying that I know the definitive answer of every question and every reading that I provide will stand in absolute truth. I'm still a human being and while I'd like to think both my intuitive skills and my deduction skills are flawless, that's not the case.

Allowing for flexibility relieves a lot of tension and pressure on both the reader AND the sitter, and I don't see why that's a bad thing.
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Originally Posted by obeygravity View Post
If we throw out a sitters receptivity to a reading then whether or not we use by the book meanings is irrelevant as the issue isn't how we interpret but rather how the sitter receives the message.

It's our job as a reader to give people the clearest message that we can. It's not, however, our job to convince them that the reading is the end all, be all of everything. Personally when I do professional readings, I rather actively insist that my sitters take my message with a grain of salt and openly ask them to question things because readings should only be seen as a tool for guidance and advice and not a definitive absolute.

When we sit and say that there's a right and wrong way to read the cards, we're in many ways putting ourselves in a position of authority which I think is both dangerous and irresponsible. It's cool if some people are okay with it but I'm not comfortable standing and saying that I know the definitive answer of every question and every reading that I provide will stand in absolute truth. I'm still a human being and while I'd like to think both my intuitive skills and my deduction skills are flawless, that's not the case.

Allowing for flexibility relieves a lot of tension and pressure on both the reader AND the sitter, and I don't see why that's a bad thing.

Totally agree.

That's part of the "snafu" with doing readings in general that I run into. With text, I'm not even trusting of my own text and it being written well or clear enough of the time to come across the way I intend.. because I see so much feedback in the cards, it's a lot of text... moreover, at least with body language and voice, I can tell if I'm coming off correctly. So that's part of the reason why I tend to prefer face-to-face or voice (I pick up a lot more from that anyway than the cards) for readings... I'm OK to advocate and help others to figure out how to do it on their own with their readings, but don't really like reading online.

I'm a believer we should try to listen to our own intuition, and while we can do still this for ourselves, I have seen it taken too far with reader<->querent relationships where these things are taken for granted and it can seriously mislead (and is sometimes dangerous) if we're not measured in how we deliver a message to the querent...

There are some querents though, you can put as many disclaimers as you'd like. They're going to still take what you tell them further than you intended... and that is frightening, how much some of these querents will give up control. At least with AT, the community is self-policing (kinda like this thread). Since technically, as members we're all "students" in a sense.

I'm a very skeptical person by nature, and having seen a lot of what goes on (on unethical side), it's a red flag for me when a reader doesn't have these considerations you mentioned ... I'm all for trying to find the "hard edges" to the energies of the cards, more closely trying to represent what a card is often about... as long as it is honest (not trying to "contort" a card's meaning)... AT is a "collaborative" encyclopedia in that sense, that that deep study into individual cards that has gone on, we can at least study the interpretive "outliers". So I think we have (or in this case, had) that platform to support an honest and earnest study.

Some people really latch onto black and white thinking as some sort of life-preserver. It obviously doesn't "protect" us from objectivity issues... but it's a false sense of security.

It also doesn't "validate", like a certificate of authenticity of sorts, readings to remain focused on staying fixed. You need some flexibility to see more "out of the box" meanings and even then, there's no one-size-fits-all because of the relative nature of perception. To be honest, all readings, even things channeled or considered "out of the ether" or whatever... it should ALL be treated with a huge grain of salt. Even when querents tell me I'm on point, I'm still skeptical... it can be true, but I still question. It's because again--I've seen so much self-deception. But again, because I think reading is about viewing things relatively... it is very hard to pin people in the absolutes with the cards, much less their actions and motives and how that will develop in the grand scheme... (Edit: And like you said, the truth is, it's about what more good can be done with that information... by the querent)

I think also it disorients future students when we try to fixate on "right" and "wrong". It's almost like... yeah, /don't/ trust that feeling in the pit of your stomach. Because it didn't come out of a book someone wrote many years ago.

Though I can understand why someone might want to master that method of reading first. That is a necessary foundation.. but as they tell us in design, learn all your fundamentals first, then you will learn when you can and can't break/bend those rules...

Edit: Sorry, edited some things
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First off, where are those textbook meanings to be found? I have many textbooks, and they by no means always agree with each other. Not so much that they were in outright contradiction to one another; often, it's more a matter of what aspect of a given card they highlight.

For every card is a symbol that covers a multitude of meanings. So I like to study different people's take on a card. To see what clicks. And to relate those insights to my own experiences with a card as a reader.

It's as though Tarot talks to me in a certain language. After about 30 years of study, I believe that I do have a fairly good command of that language. But that doesn't mean that every connotation of each card is always available to me.

In the beginning, I too was rather going with textbook meanings. I think, for many, this is the best way to go, initially. But at some stage, those meanings expanded in order to no longer give me a bunch of keywords, but to tell me coherent stories. So I continue to listen attentively to the cards' narratives, learning not only about the specific situations they talk about, but also their very language in all its complexity, while at the same time, my awareness and holistic thinking improve.
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