21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step SEVENTEEN


RWS 4 of Pents

What do you need in order to maintain awareness of all 4 pentacles and to keep them in balance and secure?

A high amount of tension and effort. The pent on my head feels like it will topple, so I move my head back and forth to match its motion. The center of the tension is my right arm, if I allow it to give way, all will collapse. A delicate balance, but is it a real balance? So I felt a good amount of aggressive effort needed in maintaining this juggling act.

Now relax as fully without letting go. How can you maintain the greatest stability?
With trust.
I thought those pents were moving…from out beneath my feet, struggling with the center, and a cat and mouse game with the one above. Seems only after I relaxed enough and trusted did they stay in place. The more I struggled, the more they seem to move away.

Imagine taking the middle pentacle into your body while keeping that balance and security. Let your arms relax and fall away…feel the pentacles at your head and feet being absorbed…where in your body is that center pentacle?

In my upper chest, near the shoulders, it caused my back to straighten.

What did you discover?
Upon walking, I noticed I was more careful and mindful in my direction. It was very slow going, but not in a “weighed down” sort of way, just very comfortable. At one point I closed my eyes, stopped and felt the middle pent along with the one in my head turn upward, just slightly. Much like a sun salutation in yoga. My arms hanging freely back. Suddenly I became very emotional because I felt as if a part of me was recognizing that I was not alone. I didn’t feel the need to strive anymore, and awaited Guidance to lead me to those places where I could not “see”. I felt as if a part of me was surrendering and it felt good.

I’ve always felt the need to strive, that if I did not fight to get and keep something, it would surely be taken away. Never thought to look to or ask help from a Higher power, always felt I was alone in all of my struggles. Now that I think about it, I probably was, because I had blocked the Creative from my life with all my fears and doubts.

RWS 5 of Swords

I took the stance of the biggest man with all the swords. Again lots of tension, and anger. Why so angry? Am I not the winner?
I hold 2 swords in my left, I can hear the clinking noise as I shake. I hold another sword to earth in my right. This is the one I steady myself with. Like my stance just isn’t good enough. Left shoulder up, head looking back, no trust. Tense and defensive. Should have felt secure with all those swords, but by the way I stare at those 2, feels like I’m expecting to be ambushed. Adversity seems to have no productive means, can’t seem to think straight.

I don’t think I’ve ever trusted the natural flow of life or have given enough merit to the adversity that I have faced. Many times it was the tough times that helped me gain character and proper perspective. I do so appreciate those times more and more and I underestimated this exercise. I’m glad I did it.


21 ways to read a tarot card - Step 17

Step 17 ~ Embodiment

Step 17.1

The first thing I felt was discomfort, I was concentrating so much on balancing the pentacle on my head that the others were almost forgotten, it felt like if I let the pentacle of my head fall then everything would collapse. I sometimes feel like a juggler trying to keep so many things up in the air and if I drop something then I won’t be able to cope. I also just wanted to sit up straight because I felt that it would be much easier to balance.

The Pentacles under my feet helped me to feel quite grounded as if they were giving me a foundation on which to build, I didn’t really feel I had to do much to keep these in place.

The Pentacle by my stomach felt almost like a comfort blanket, something to hold onto and nurture, because I could actually hold it, it felt a lot more real than the others.

Once I had relaxed my arms and let them fall by my side I immediately straightened up and felt much more comfortable the middle pentacle seemed to lodge around my naval area.

Step 17.2 Take your chosen card and position yourself like the main figure.

As I stand tall and proud with my arms and hands stretched straight out in front of me, I feel solid and powerful. I know I am in control of the situation around me and that others look to me for guidance. Although I may seem dominant and commanding I am actually not, I feel people misjudge me because they can’t actually see my face, so therefore make up their minds about me without actually finding out about me. Sometimes you have to look beyond the appearance to see the actual person.



Step 17 - Embodiment - RWS deck

4 of Pentacles

Everyone mentions the hunched over position, and that is true, but the real tension is holding the Pentacle on the head up there and not letting it drop.

9 of Pentacles

The surprise was that she is posing. That isn't a natural stance. She is posing as if for a painting. And it is a stiff pose although her gown hides how stiff it actually is. Her head is up, her shoulders are back. It was a surprise that she was that stiff because she doesn't look stiff in the drawing. Also although it looks like she is turning towards the bird, she is not actually engaging with it because the bird is hooded, and if it could look anywhere it would be looking out at the reader.

It is also possible that both the woman and the bird have just heard someone come into the garden and that is part of the explanation of the direction of their bodies and their gazes. I've always thought the Lady in the Garden was alone, but maybe she, and her bird, are actually interacting with someone unseen.


For Starling

The Four of Pentacles card is, of course, about obsessive materialism. Rather than seeing the figure balancing a pentacle on his head I see him as having wealth and possessions on his mind, as a total focus for him. This is shown, also, by his clutching a pentacle and holding two more in his keeping by placing his feet upon them. A greedy, grabby metaphor indeed.

The Nine of Pentacles lady is leading the good life. If you look at someone like Paris Hilton, they are always "on stage" and conscious of their position in life. Posing their way through life -- my newly "teenaged" daughter poses her way through life also. The nine-lady holds a hunting bird, a very exclusive symbol of leading a special life. The hooded bird may represent a life which doesn't allow much freedom, and only within a framework of purpose. "Happiness tinged with a longing for a different form of happiness" is how I see this card. Or, not being happy with being just happy. There is so much we can take from these images isn't there.

You're making great progress, I'm sure we'll see you at the adept posts soon. Enjoy the holidays. Dave.


dadsnook2000 said:
The Nine of Pentacles lady is leading the good life. If you look at someone like Paris Hilton, they are always "on stage" and conscious of their position in life. Posing their way through life

Yes, I can actually SEE Paris Hilton doing exactly that. I saw a short vidio of her recently doing exactly that on one of those red carpet affairs. And there she was moving her upper body back and forth, but her feet mostly just stayed put. <GRIN>


21 ways Step 17

17.1. Four of Pentacles

I postioned myself correctly , balancing the pentacles. Nothing happened until i started rezining the pnetacle i was holding. Making it smaller i felt a rushing innwards, a phasing out of that around me, a sort of collapsing inwards into a tunnel. I had a similar experiance before when i relived my birth through hypnosis. By opning my arms again i came back. The rest went well with the reabsorbing into my chest, calm and balance afterwards.
Not too sure what to make of this right now.

17.2 The Hermit DruidCraft.
I stood as in the card. Holding my stve in left hand and latern in right. I ask for awarnes and i got a knyttet stomach and the thoughts of abandoment hit me. I had a hard stone wall in my innerself. why me? I feeling of loss and fighting. Tears and energi loss. A feeling of survival as well.

My childhood obviously revisits me. Very interesting experiance. It shows how connected we are with our bodies. I will do this with othercards i think, cards that are difficult for me.

Thanks to everyone, I'm getting so much from the wisdom you all post. This is truely a good self transformation journey. Thanks for the positive feedback as well
Verdi :)


17:1 I did the 4 of Pentacles exercise. It was uncomfortable to be all hunched over like that and holding onto such a big pentacle. I didn't like having to balance that one on my head, either. When I tried to get a sense of what I'm holding onto in my life, what I kept thinking about was some recent memories that I would like to let go of but I'm having some trouble with that. Now that I think about it maybe what I really need to let go of is the desire to let it go!

I felt better when I shrunk the size of the big pentacle, and when I absorbed all of them into my body I felt more stable and strong. The big pentacle seemed to go into my stomach, which is where I often notice strong emotions like fear. I'm not sure what this means but one possibility is if I do more exercises like this, my body will feel more integrated with itself and I'll feel more stable.

17:2 My chosen card is The World from the Tarot of Prague. It was impossible to stand like she is standing because she is balanced the toes of one foot. But since she is obviously dancing, I did that too, but it was a little awkward. For one thing, I have a sprained little toe so it isn't the best time to be doing this. Also, I didn't have music on so I didn't really feel like dancing. I see now that I should have tried music. But even with the limitations, I did get a sense of freedom from it. Also, it was significant to me that she has turned her body around to see who is following her. It indicates to me that she is not at all concerned with herself, but with those who are coming behind her. That is a big deal to me at this time. I feel I'm way too self-conscious and self-involved, and it was interesting to feel, if only momentarily, the freedom of letting that go.

I think I will try this with other cards. I can see where it can be a powerful tool.


21 Ways...Step Seventeen RWS The Emperor


It was difficult to balance the one on my head and manage the one in my center. I realized that to balance the one on my head I would have to sit a certain way, which was not very comfortable. I became aware of pressing on the pentacles under my feet. It was a very awkward position for me to sit in. I had to focus on the pentacles. It was no a happy place.

As I began to imagine absorbing the one in the center, it went into my solar plexus, where it provided warmth and support. Then I absorbed the others. Now I was free to play. No worries. My wealth isn’t external it is now internal as it should be.

What was I was holding on to? The first thing that came to mind was my perceived victim hood.

Action? Get over it!

My placement: That I can provide myself with the warmth and support I need and still have enough to share.


I sat like the Emperor and realized how difficult and uncomfortable it is to sit in that position for any length of time. He sits on a concrete stone, imagine that. My back got tired I became tense in the shoulders. No wonder he looked so stern. He must be quite impatience as well, yet he sits day in and day out the picture of authority and power. Without complaint. He must control his feelings as much as he rules his environment.

The Emperor: “I didn’t ask to be the Emperor yet I am the Emperor and I must perform my duties, as I see them, for the good of all.”

The action suggested by the card: You must carry the ankh proudly and with grace.

What in my life, can I relate to this action? Take responsibility for my life, we don’t get to choose which life we have but we get to choose how we respond to what life presents us.


just a comment...

SistaSpirit said:
I sat like the Emperor and realized how difficult and uncomfortable it is to sit in that position for any length of time. He sits on a concrete stone, imagine that. My back got tired I became tense in the shoulders. No wonder he looked so stern.
This description made me realize that the RWS Emperor is actually wearing a suit of armor. Perhaps this helps prop him up, like a body brace, and the added concrete throne on top of that...he really can put up with A LOT of discomfort. Like having a high tolerance for pain, and oppressive situations. But even with his discomforts, his eyes veer to the left of the card. He still has focus, IMHO, on what is around him. Real discipline. Makes me think that you have really worked with the past to make you stronger. Hence...
What in my life, can I relate to this action? Take responsibility for my life, we don’t get to choose which life we have but we get to choose how we respond to what life presents us.
Very good job, SistaSpirit!



Thanks for the encouragement Squeakmo.

You are right, I have been trying clear all the emotional garbage from my gunny sack. Stuff that's been burdening me and blocking my spiritual growth.

I have been reading your's and other's post in this study group very insightful and very helpful to me as well.