21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step SIX


I've just opened the book to Step Six which addresses "Mode, Suit, Element." I'll peruse this chapter and write as I go, then I'll do the exercise and post. There is no need for anyone to wait for me to post the first response. I say this because I've waited until Saturnday to start the next step and I'm certain that some of you are "chomping at the bit."

Mode, Suit, Element.

MODE: Mary Greer distinguishes FOUR MODES of Tarot cards:
-- Court cards
-- Number cards (2 thru 10)
-- Major Arcana
-- Aces

SUIT: These are the familiar-to-all Wands, Cups, Swords, Pentacles.

ELEMENT: The suits are associated with four elements; Fire, Water, Air, Earth.

The keywords for modes, suits and elements are founc in Appendix C of the book. Mary notes in her book that a full discussion on Suits can be found in the Adept Section of chapter/step six -- pages 50 thru 55. She recommends that this should be read even though we are only covering the apprentice level of each step at this time.


Activity 6-1
** Select one, two or three keywords or phrases that express the qualities of EACH SUIT in your deck.
** Which SUIT/ELEMENT keywords best express the qualities of our chosen card? In this step we can combine, join or re-state the keyword for the suit and the keyword for the element so as to get a composite or synthesis single word or phrase that relates to a primary meaning for our card.

Activity 6-2
** Examine each of the four MODES and select one, two or three keywords that speak to you in a reading. (Note that Mary Greer is referring here to the use of the card relative to a reading, not for study, not for analysis, not for comparing). Again, use the examples in Appendix C if needed.
** Separate your deck into the four modes. From which does that come? What does that suggest about it's significance?

We have our work cut out for us. It is my sense that we should read this whole chapter, that we might want to pick out keywords for each mode, each suit and each element so as to give us a well rounded view of what we are doing with just our one chosen card. For those who have Tarot Journals, you might want to consider a parallel project -- reviewing your entries for each card and seeing if you want to modify or add to what you written for each card. This sort of a project would certainly help our tarot education but might have to be done over a period of a few weeks. Good luck, all. I look forward to seeing your responses. Dave


At this juncture, I find I need to order the book, lol!
Just placed an order with the lovely people at Barnes and Noble...will return with something soon...thanks Dave for this interesting study:)


Deeper insights already.

My card is the FEY WORLD card wherein a Fey is facing a dragon perched on a tower in the middle of a small land that rests upon the back of a giant snail gliding thru space.

6.1a: Keywords for Suits that I prefer:
** WANDS – Fire; initiation, perception. Air; intellect, confidence. Earth; creativity, progress. Water; empathy.
** CUPS – Fire; passion. Air; affection. Earth; love, appreciation. Water; emotions.
** SWORDS – Fire; passion, action. Air; analysis, decisions. Earth; practicality, struggle. Water; necessity, willful persistence.
** PENTACLES – Fire; prosperous attitude. Air; knowledge, policies. Earth; self-worth, skills. Water; desire, acquisition.

6.1b: Which suit/element keywords best express the qualities of the WORLD card? Swords—Air and the keywords of analysis and decisions is my choice. The Fey has to wondering how his/her world got so small, confined on the back of a giant snail, placed into a celestial journey, and being placed into a possible conflict with a dragon. Analysis may provide a start to understanding ones environment, decisions have to be made as to whether fight, flight or alternative choices need to be followed.

6.2a: Select keywords for a Mode that speak to you in a reading. Lessons learned, lessons to be applied. The WORLD card speaks of having a level of “mastery” of your experiences – if you realize it and accept it. It may not be so much as a “testing” but as an opportunity for “self-graduation.”

6.2b: Which mode does the chosen card come from? The WORLD card comes from the Major Arcana mode which asks “Why?” That fits so well with the Fey’s World card with its perceptually bewildering environment – all of which defy “logic.”

This is a really deep exercise, I feel, as it has caused me to really stop and think a little differently about this card and its meanings. Already I am recieving greater insights into my favorite deck. Now I am regretting my choice to not read each chapter until we reach that step as a group. Dave.


The SUN from the Hanson-Roberts.

Keywords for the suits from appendix C:

- Wands
fire: creativity, inspiration, action
water: joy, visualisation (from the cups words as my book gives no options for water words in wands. Anyway, I find these chosen words perfect suitable.)
air: ambition, power
earth: desire, progress, career

- Cups
fire: passion, music
water: loving, intuition, empathy
air: sentimentality
earth: nourishment, home (from the water words as there are no earth words)

- Swords
fire: will, enthusiasm, courage
water: invisible difficulties, disease, storm
air: analysis, decisions, tests of the mind
earth: patience, organization

- Pentacles
fire: changeableness, skills (from the earth words)
water: temporality
air: observation, sociability, mental alertness
earth: security, grounding, health

Which suit/element keywords best express de qualities of the Robert-Hanson sun card?

Great excercise is this! I found that this card is best expressed by the cups. It was really hard as wands were close. The cups however contain the best words that describe my feelings when looking at the sun [when choosing from appendix C]: passion (wands from cups) and nourishment (earth from cups).

Select keywords that speak to you in a reading:
Feeling the sun on the skin feeds our vitality, it gives life and love, we feel confident and fulfilled. So my keywords would be joy, loving and health.

From which mode does the Sun card come?
The major Arcana. The book says: It answers the question "why". It describes the lesson you need to learn in this situation and the archetypal energies being expressed.
What does this mode suggest about its significance?
Quite important card, imo even the best card of the deck. Well, often that is, one can get sunburned too of course... The sun card tells me that it is a time to feel alive, to be passionate, and as it is a major arcana card it is not so depending on our deeds and thoughts. It will just happen! Enjoy!


21 ways... step 6

Baroque Bohemian Cat's Tarot- The four of wands

6:1a- Keywords for the suits-
*water: flowing;receptive;feeling
*fire- movement;passion;daring
*air- initiation; enterprise; ideas and projects
*earth- creativity;progress;desire

*water- relationships;feelings; reflection
*fire- emotions; passion; creativity
*air- family; sentimentality; affections
*earth- grounded; realistic; stubborn

*water- obstacles to defeat; negative emotions; necessity
*fire- energy; passion; beliefs
*air- willpower; struggle; analytical
*earth- practicality; physical or environmental conditions; patience

*water- temporality; illusion; emotionality
*fire- family orientation; content; prosperous
*air- observations; intellegence; finances
*earth- security; fruits of labor; benevolent

6:1b- which suit/element keywords describes the quality of the four of wands-
*wands~fire- I feel a sense of determination, movement or action when I look at this card. A sense of inspiration and purpose and maybe a bit of daring to spice things up.
I had a bit of trouble grasping this part so I just looked at my card and let it "speak to me."

6:2a- keywords that speak to me in a reading-
*the situation; life events/actions; enthusiasm. How one might approach things or maybe need to develop the mindset of.

6:2b- from which mode does the four of wands come from-
*the four of wands comes from the numbered cards. The numbered cards tell the "what" of something. It describes what is going on or the situation, life events.


Differences in the choices of keywords.

At Step SIX, one of the explorations we are involved in is the personal selection of keywords for our different groupings of cards. Even though we are all working from a relatively short list of offered keywords in Appendix C, we each seem to have quite different views of the keywords we resonate with. I have compared three sets of keywords for Wands-Fire below.

fire- movement;passion;daring
fire: creativity, inspiration, action
Fire; initiation, perception

Although they all have obvious connections in an 'overall' sense, each list is different. I would characterize the first set as ENTHUSIASTIC FLOWING. The second set might be characterized as AS I THINK, SO DO I ACT. The last set of keywords strikes me as somewhat similar, DOING & THINKING COMBINED.

Anyways, just some thoughts. I'm going to print out and keep my chosen keywords on the cover of my book or tarot journal and just see how close my typical spread/card interpretations fit with these selected keywords -- as well as how these "elevated in my awareness" keywords affect my readings. Dave


We will be moving to step SEVEN

Almost a week has passed and we will be moving to step SEVEN soon. This current step, six, has proved to be very interesting and has led us develop a primary set of keywords for different suits. Although I haven't yet peeked at the next steps, although I am just dying too, I'm sure that we will all gain a lot from these exercises.

So, for those who have taken a path of procrastination this last week, wake up and get with the program. This is well worth the small effort to get the big gains. Dave


dadsnook2000 said:

Activity 6-1
** Select one, two or three keywords or phrases that express the qualities of EACH SUIT in your deck.


(Fire)- Inspiration; enthusiasm; action
(Air)- Confidence; power; initiation
(Earth)- Progress; security; tyranny
(Water)- joy, change, upheaval

(Water)- Joy; receptivity; empathy
(Air)- Love; sentimentality; home
(Earth)- Idealization; confusion; growth
(Fire)- Creativity; emotions; music

(Air)- Decisions; wit; self-doubt
(Fire)- Force; will; spirit
(Earth)- Organization; hardship; struggle
(Water)- Invisible difficulties; negative emotions; fury

(Earth)- Self-worth; skill; results
(Air)- Intelligence; finances; thoughts
(Fire)- Content; family; attitude of gratitude
(Water)- Going with the flow; emotionality; illusion

** Which SUIT/ELEMENT keywords best express the qualities of our chosen card? In this step we can combine, join or re-state the keyword for the suit and the keyword for the element so as to get a composite or synthesis single word or phrase that relates to a primary meaning for our card.

5 of Swords
invisible difficulties; force directed by will; necessity
Events happening rather quickly, perhaps caught in the passion of the moment, a decision reached that not all can agree on or understand.

Activity 6-2
** Examine each of the four MODES and select one, two or three keywords that speak to you in a reading.


speak to me of abilities, initiatives, and intention.

Major Arcana
speak to me about ideals, the end result and/or process.

Number Cards
speak to me about experience, decision making, and movement.

Court Cards
speak to me about growth, gestation, connection.

** Separate your deck into the four modes. From which does that come? What does that suggest about it's significance?

5 of Swords is a numbered card which answers the question "what?"
In this card a current life event is unfolding where there is a need for balance between emotion and intellect.


Tarot Of Dreams Star

6.1 i might have taken this the wrong way but it appears we are to pick on element suit/combo not all 4 if it is wrong tell me where I misread it please

Any way
Part one
Fire-wands new idea energy, inspiration, spiritual growth
Cups-water emotion, relationships dreams, intuition, joy, compassion
Swords-air logic, strife from lack of emotion, communication, troubleshooting
Earth-coins end result bottom line money health craftsmanship

part 2

The star is air in the book but I think she is represented best by water. She offers hope, inspiration the light at then end of the tunnel compassion

Maybe fire because she can offer inspiration

Court Cards are kind of easy because they are usually shown as the whom
For my self when ever I see knight of wands it is usually me

Numbered cards- when ever the 5 of wands come up for me it is i am using to much energy and to many places i need to focus and have priorities

Major Arcane when things are going well the empress pops up and says I am living in abundance but also be careful because that to shall pass

Aces, I really , really like the aces. When one pops up in a reading I automatically know where the reading is going i think next to major arcana aces are the most powerful.

6.2 part 2 star

I think when things are not going well and I feel like I cant handle it and I ask the universe ' why" she says in a very calm voice ' don’t worry there is hope and I will be there for you"


21 Ways Step 6!

I'm almost caught up!!

4 Wands LS Manga Tarot

6:1.1 Suit Keywords for LS Manga Tarot

I looked through each suit and picked out these keywords from the list that seemed most to apply:

Wands--Fire: action, enthusiasm, movement, passion, energy

Cups--Water: relationships, moods, reflection, enjoyment

Swords--Air: will/determination, plans/strategy, wit/cunnning, trials

Coins--Earth: grounding (most of the people in Coins cards are sitting on the ground!), physical/material. Following are my keywords for these Coins cards--possession, nature, giving and receiving

6:1.2 Keywords for 4 Wands

Movement, enthusiasm, passion

6:2.1 Mode Keywords for LS Manga Tarot

Courts--Who: a person, an attitude, a way of reacting/acting

Numbers--What: effect to the majors' cause, activities, situations, experiences, perceptions, things!

Majors--Why: cause, spiritual truths, archetypes

Aces--Where: "The thing in itself", sphere of action

6:2.2 Mode keyword for 4 Wands

It's a number card = an activity (celebration, dance, self-expression)