21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card – Step ELEVEN


Step Eleven, posted Monday noontime.

This step explores the entire field of card meanings. Good, bad, tangential, activities, feelings, past-present-future meanings. As M.G. indicates, the card can take on various energy levels given the nature of the question and the type of meaning given to the card. We are asked to particularly explore the “range” of the card, “where” we are in that range, “where” we want to be in that range, “how” to move from one meaning to another within the range, and “how” to move freely within and learn from the whole spectrum of meanings within any given card.

It is only step eleven and already, as I read this from the book for the first time, I feel like I’m taking a “final” test of some sort. I wonder what the next steps will ask of us? Mary Greer, as is her nature, gives us lots of help to get us started – the first “basket of helpful goodies” is a list titled THE EXTREMES. This gives us a positive-negative, yin-yang list of words. We can use this list to help us look at our chosen card and to describe its range of meanings in various ways.

ACTIVITY 11-1: Name some of the possibilities for the 9-of-Pentacls, Page-of-Swords, Chariot. Mary suggests we use a benefit/liability meter as a visual aid. We can do that or use a 1-to-10 scale with “1” being a big liability and “10” being a huge benefit and all the other number being some greater or lesser degree.

ACTIVITY 11-2: This task is described in three parts which involve us using our arm as a “meter” and needle indicating the zone between benefit and liability. We are to “feel” where we are on the scale. Once we find a point that we can “feel” is right for us, we need to describe that place in the range we are and how the card relates to that point. We are asked some questions about this “place” and our card.

We have had over a week to work on previous steps. Introducing this step now is a prod for us to continue on our self-development course. Good luck. Dave.


Step 11


Name some benefits and liabilities for the 9 of Pents, Page of Swords, and The Chariot.

9 of Pents

class vs. stuffy
appropriate risk vs. reckless
fruitful vs. wasteful
patient vs. apathy
affluent vs. greedy
philanthropic vs. miserly

Page of Swords

adventurous vs. aimlessness
incisive vs. pugnacious
assertive vs. aggressive
chaotic vs. clearheaded
confident vs. fearful

The Chariot

commanding vs. control freak
charming vs. manipulative
conscious action vs. subconscious action
progressive vs. stagnant
inspired vs. confused
world traveler vs. stay at home mom
logic vs. emotions

For RWS 5 of Swords:

My range of benefits and liabilities using my arm.
Extreme left= maximum benefits
Extreme right= maximum liabilities

My maximum benefits for 5 of Swords is “reaching truce by embracing new possibilities”
My maximum liabilities for 5 of Swords is “active conflict and/or fighting”

Using my arm to gage where I “feel” I am within given possibilities (the arc) of RWS 5 of Swords…
My arm stops at a 45 degree angle nearing maximum benefits.

From book:
(2) Now imagine all the possible meanings of the card as spread across that arc from best (benefits) to worse (liabilities).
What card meaning would fall at the precise point that your hand now indicates? State what this meaning is.

This meaning would be “allowing time to pass taking no major action”
This, I feel, is a transitional stage of what I must decide stays and goes. A process of weeding out. Since this is all internal, there is no interaction with another involved in conflict. Selfish? Perhaps. Necessary? IMO-Yes.

(3) Move your arm until you get to the place you’d like to be.
What meaning fits this place on the spectrum of possibilities?

My arm moves to the extreme left of maximum benefits. This would be described as “reaching truce by embracing new possibilities”
This would be a change taking place, and an understanding of what they are by all parties. Discussion, and interaction are welcomed. A calm and patient behavior would/should be present.

What could move you from the current meaning (allowing time to pass without major action) to your preferred one (reaching truce by embracing new possibilities)?

More time needs to pass to do more soul-searching on my part. In the meantime the other party may have ideas of their own, but this is none of my business.

What aspect(s) of the card do you need to align yourself with?

Recognition of the part that I played within conflict/break. A need to acquire more confidence and understand how to outline proper boundaries.

Is there an image in the card that could help?

I don’t know if it helps or confirms where I am now, but the middle man is who I identify with at this time. He has his back to me, in yellow, staring out to the water, and the 3rd man.

How can you use that?

This figure seems reflective and I can use that for proper perspective in the mist of loss.


Dave's Step ELEVEN

I use the Fey Tarot so I will briefly describe each card as needed.

STEP 11-1; Name benefits and liabilities for three cards.
* Nine of Pentacles. A Fey sits on a wooden throne, dressed in a purple/rose gown, golden rings about her arms and wrists, a large parrot sits on her head. Behind her a large pentacle hangs from gold chains, its face holding nine grapes or purple jewels in a simple design. A large curtain in pulled back and held with golden cords. One has the impression that this Fey is waiting for some type of event to occur in which she will be the focus or will be honored in some way.

Honors vs responsibilities
Waiting vs experiencing
Applause vs quietude
Planning vs achieving

* Page (Knave) of Swords. A Fey stands erect, his hands positioned in front of his body, a large sword is in the air as if controlled in some way by the position of the Fey's hands. His body his white on the right, purple on the left as if painted. A purple cloth covers his hips and gold loops dangle from a rope about his waist. The air glows red, sprinkled with small specks of light.

Control vs limits
Mastery vs practice
Contradiction vs connectedness

* Chariot. A Fey rides upon the top of a pumpkin-coach, driven by a small Fey wearing a top hat and holding a short whip. An autumn leaf serves as an umbrella or parasol to shade the Fey on top. A mouse and a lizard pull the pumpkin-coach over a small arched bridge. A tree-landscape is behind them.

Leaving vs seeking
Style vs practicality
Crossing vs decision

Step 11-2; Acting as a meter to indicate how we feel about our chosen card. My chosen card is the Fey FOOL; a Fey sits holding a glowing jack-o-lantern, astonished at its appearance and at finding it on his path. A crown with a key hole sits on his head, rings of keys hang about his body.

11-2; first task: describe the two extreme readings on the meter.
Bewilderment, panic, uncertainty for the negative end of the scale. Astonishment, excitement, tingles and discovery for the positive end of the scale.

11-2; second task: move your arm (the meter needle-indicator) between the two extremes of your emotions-meter and find where you "feel" you are right now. I am closer to the positive side right now. This relates to some research I'm doing for my astrology book. I'm awaiting a book that details spherical astronomy so that I can more accurately use declination of planets in the timing of events. So, I'm not back at the fully positive end of the meter while I pursue this tangent so I can better illustrate its use in the book. To describe my feelings at this interim point -- "I'm at the point where the Fool first sees something unusual ahead of him on his path and excitely pushes forward to see what it may be. There is a growing excitement, anticipation and great curiosity."

11-2; third task: find the place on the meter where you would like to be. I see the needle bent right off the scale at the positive end. I want to discover the glowing pumpkin and also to know how it got there, what it means and know how it can help me. I'm visualizing excesses of positive results. I feel like I'm almost at the most exciting of places, as if the curtain is about to come up on a Broadway musical.

Whew. What an exhilarating exercise. Dave.



Knight of Pentacles - Tarot of Prague

To help me find the extremes of the three cards, I pulled them from the Prague deck. Here are the extremes I saw:

9 of Pentacles - an orange-robed woman with a golden coin in one hand and a colorful bird on the back of the other stands before a blue, yellow, and orange hemisphere with decorations of stars and rays. A beehive is at the top.
** pleasant surprise <-> disturbing shock
** nature <-> artificiality
** pleasure <-> pain
** beauty <-> gaudiness

Page of Swords - a squire holds a long golden sword and stands atop a tall, slender tower, supporting himself by holding on to an elaborately carved stone brace that extends up on one side of the tower's top. The squire wears a tunic designed like peacock feathers.
** balance <-> imbalance
** safety <-> danger
** security <-> instability
** protection <-> exposure
** panorama <-> lack of detail

Chariot - a woman holding a glowing wand sits in a chariot that rises toward the sky, drawn by a black eagle and a white eagle.
** control <-> lack of control
** confidence <-> arrogance
** bird's eye view <-> no longer grounded
** cooperation despite differences <-> conflict
** rising above the mundane <-> refusing to accept reality

I liked the physical aspect aspect of this activity. The extremes in the Knight of Pentacles are:
** patience <-> immobility
** waiting <-> reluctance
** ready for what's next <-> unwilling to act
** grounded <-> depressed
** using imagination <-> daydreaming
The knight is waiting for the right moment -- he is prepared to act but senses the time is not yet right. The point in the arc is on the positive side, although not all the way.

Where I'd like to be is just slightly beyond the point I found in 11.2.1 -- where patience is no longer an effort but simply right, and with even greater confidence that I will act at the proper time.

What can move me to this point? Cultivating patience and perseverance, consciously but not obsessively, and without denying the value of my passion and my ability to act quickly. Is there something in the image that can help me achieve that? Oddly, I think there is a lesson to be taken from animals (I bond with animals easily and connect with them readily). The horse and dog are both neutral (to me, apparently not to Mahony), just waiting. They are prepared to move, to act, but feel no other urgency, no need to begin. They are content in the moment.

Despite Karen Mahony's strangely downbeat comments (see Step Ten), I continue to see this image as a positive one, and one that holds a powerful message for me; a message that is virtually the opposite of the message Mahony found.


9 of Pentacles - A young woman is in her garden. She caresses a dove,while another lies above. The flowers are heavy with blooms,and a trellis gateway shuts out the outer world.
Peace -- apathy
Wealth ---- arrogant
self sufficient ------retreating into a shell

Page of Swords –On the picture, her elaborate headdress, and especially the white feathers, symbolize the airy qualities of her mind.

Curious – snoopy

Chariot -In the Tarot of Dreams, chariot, charioteer, and horses all
emerge from an ocean wave. White horses arising out of sea
foam are frequently used as a poetic image, and in fact “white
horses” is a meteorological term for white-capped waves. The
image is perfect for the Chariot card, because we actually see
the personality in the very act of coalescing out of a turbulent
sea (a common symbol for the subconscious).

oh as an aside dadsnook2000
reminds me of the chariot

Willpower- depression when willpower meets a impassable obstacle
Confident arrogant
Goal oriented- very bottom line oriented not caring who’s toes get stepped on
Optimism- insecurity

Star from Tarot of Dreams I will have this doen whe I catch up at work

11.2 I have added a picture of star she is so beautiful

As where I feel I am at with her I am very much on the positive side but i do not think it is possible to be a complete star

Extreme positive - hope, optimism, spirituality, compassion
Extreme negative - dispassionate, aloof, feeling superior, living on a pedestal, holier then though

I would like to always strive tot his cards positive meanings I believe then just progression not perfection with a dose of acceptance is right where I need to be

I have described where I used to be in life and no i a in a much better place I am also going to the tarot studio this weekend so there is a lot of star in my life now


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Manga Tarot Benefits and Liabilities

9 Coins--A long-haired man stands in a windy forest with a hooded hawk perched on one hand, offering a bunch of grapes with the other.

self-sufficiency -- self-satisfaction
generous -- bargaining
down-to-earth -- materialistic
nature-loving -- lost in the windy woods
physical needs met -- alone

Page of Swords--A young man holding a shining sword kneels in a ready position before a stormy sky.

intelligent child -- defiant know-it-all brat!
prepared -- dangerous
cool -- stormy
idealistic (ideas more important than things) -- idealistic (ideas more important than PEOPLE!)

Chariot--This card is a very negative take on the Chariot. A young woman wearing sphinx armor and seated on shield carried on the backs of two dejected men holds a sword horizontally above her head.

victory -- defeat
in control -- controlling
goal-oriented -- over your dead body
(eyes on the prize -- not on other people)

The Arm Meter

The greatest liability is to the left, the highest advantage to the right.
For 4 Wands, the greatest liability is just going through the motions of what's expected without any pleasure or emotion in it. The highest advantage is being present in the moment and realizing the harmony and beauty of it!

Here is the continuum:

1. Going through the motions
2. Conceited
3. In need of ritual
4. Self-acceptance
5. Aware of harmony and beauty
6. Living in the present moment often
7. Joyful awareness!

My arm was at about 5 out of 7. I am aware and receptive to beauty and harmony in the world. I'm not stressed out or worried. I am looking out the window at a beautiful spring day.

I would like to be further along in living in the present moment and doing so in harmony with other people. I can do that by opening up with people, maybe sharing my awareness of beauty with them.

The girl in the 4 Wands is is smiling right at the viewer, and there are people all around her. We can just see their hands. The girl and the people are connected by the petals they throw. Maybe I (as the girl) could reach out to the surrounding people and bring them into the dance with me so we can all enjoy the beauty, harmony, and joy together!


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21 Ways - Step Eleven

Golden Tarot - Eight of Swords

1) 9 of Coins -
…..Benefits: Material security, Success, Luxury, Time for creative projects, Enjoyment of nature.
…..Liability: A lonely woman holding onto her wealth, Choosing material possessions over personal relationships.

2) Page of Swords-
…..Benefits: Interested in new pursuits, Youthful desire to learn, Finishing your education, Developing better communication skills.
…..Liability: Talking too much, Speaking out of turn, Gossip and idle chat, Childish chatter.

3)The Chariot-
…..Benefits: Travel, Self control, Balance, Using shadow gifts along with talents and skills.
…..Liability: Struggle and tension, Contradiction of feelings, Unable to maintain self control.

1) For my card Eight of Swords- RIGHT is Good/Helpful and LEFT is Bad/Problematic
…..Helpful: Seeing things clearly, Setting yourself free from other’s opinions/beliefs.
…..Problematic: Feeling bound and obligated to follow the beliefs of others.

2) At what point am I on the meter?
…..Finding my own truth, Finding courage to walk in it.
…..I want to be on the far right.


For tarot4fun

You are catching up fast. Be comfortable with your progress; there is no hard and fast timeline to follow. I've found, for me, that I shouldn't rush things since I can go back later and see where I might have found additional insights. But, then, we can always repost our after-thoughts.



Step 11 - Fantastic Menagerie

Card: The Star
Deck: Fantastic Menagerie - card can be seen at http://www.fantasticmenagerie.com/Majors2.htm

11:1.1 Benefits and liabilities:

Success .... Irresponsibility and lack of discipline
Enjoying the finer things in life .... Workaholism
Satisfaction .... Arrogance
Harvesting fruits of labor .... Freeloading

Observant .... Spy
Good listener .... Eavesdropper
Disciplined ..... Blind follower
Alert .... Defensive

Victory .... Show off
Control .... Bully
Strength of will .... One track mind
Self discipline .... Not knowing when to quit

11:2.1 Extreme benefits and liabilities of my chosen card:

Peace .... Conflict
Inner calm .... Despair
Emergence .... Delusion
Integration .... Disconnectedness
Strength of spirit .... Impotence and fear

11:2.2 Using arm as a range meeter: When using my right arm, the benefit side of the meter is to the left, and the liability side to the right. For purposes of this exercise I am going to use the "Strength of Spirit" .... "Impotence and Fear" range of The Star card as I feel this is the area that will require more honesty and work on my part.

Where am I? I am a little less than half way still on the liability side at the point I call "Partial Healing".

11:2.3 Where would I like to be? taking this as a goal setting opportunity, I would like to be 3/4 of the way on the benefit side, at a position I will call "Assertive Communication".

What can move me from where I am, "Partial Healing" to where I want to be "Assertive Communication" is continued acknowledgement of my progess and courage.

The aspects of the card that I need to align myself with are light in darkness, being relaxed, self confidence, self value, and letting the water flow.

The image in the card that can help me is the Ibis-woman herself, and her confidence as she communes with her environment.

I can use that image by metaphorically becoming her during confrontations, stepping back, taking in what is going on with all senses vs. shutting down, and communicate back using open but neutral body language, while standing my ground in a respectful, dignified and empathetic manner. No casting of stones.


coyoteblack said:
As where I feel I am at with her I am very much on the positive side but i do not think it is possible to be a complete star

I would like to always strive tot his cards positive meanings I believe then just progression not perfection with a dose of acceptance is right where I need to be
Working with the same card, though from a different deck, I have to say that I agree with you completly. For the most part I am on her positive side as well, I chose to focus on the one area where I was not so I could explore it further. Progression with a dose of acceptance is where I want to be once I can fully integrate this card within myself. And I think I am finally beginning to do this. YAY for these excercises.

In the next step I actually voice that The Star is an ideal one that for too long I have treated as a possible reality which has caused part of what I am currently experiencing. This has been a real break through for me that actually validates much of what frustrates my husband.

Your words really resonate with me. I so wish I could share my card with you so you could see my Star. Yours is very lovely and very very different from mine.