ADEPT LEVEL; 21 Ways . . . Step FOUR


Step four of the ADEPT level of Mary Greer's "21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card" is about telling a story. At the Apprentice level we used are chosen card/deck to do several story-telling exercises. Likewise, the Adept level involves story telling: here we are given insights into the power that fairy tales have to evoke feeling, images and values---and how that relates to tarot cards.

With the tarot, Mary tells us, we shift the focus from the person to the cards. This objectification permits us to see things that we block ourselves from seeing in ourselves. How we use the power of the tarot is up to the sensitivity of the reader for the querent's situation and best interests and the skills one has with the cards in relating them to life and storytelling.

The singular activity for this step is to do a reading for another, addressing the question of "What do I most need to look at in my life right now?" This is to be a single-card reading!

** You will describe the card for the querent.
** You will describe its emotions.
** You will launch into a short and vivid fairy tale based on the card.
** You will then turn this short tale into a series of personal statements for the querent.
** Finally, you will ask the querent to tell you what is right and not right about your fairy tale.

Following this, ask the querent to draw a second card. You are to guide the querent through the same steps of describing the card, its emotions and the nature of a fairy tale that can be taken or launched form the card's image. Ask the querent what is relevant or not about their life in what they just said.

At the end of this exercise discuss with the querent which story was most relevant and helpful and why.

As always, pour as much of yourself into this seemingly simple exercise as you can so that you will take as much out of it as possible. NEXT WEEK I THINK WE CAN PLAY WITH WHAT WE HAVE LEARNED AND STEP INTO AN INTERIM EXPERIENCE WHERE WE CAN MIX STEPS 3 & 4 (EMOTIONS AND STORY) WITH A "MOVEMENT" OR "FLOW" OF EMOTIONS AND ACTIONS. We didn't do this in the Apprentice Level, but we can do it here. Dave.


Daves Step Four

I had the querent, my daughter who is age 14 (almost) and interested in tarot, draw my first card.

The Fey Queen of Pentacles: This young lady, smiling and well dressed, is holding a giant pentacle with a yin-yang division on its surface, the Sun and Moon each occupying a half of its surface. Her clothes and background all have tones of orange and warm light.

The emotions are of coyness (her expression), happiness, contentment and comfort in nature, a sort of quiet radiance that projects outwardly.

This Queen, as a younger person, learned to appreciate comforts of life because she had none herself. What she was given, she appreciated and reciprocated with her gratefulness and happiness. Her spirit inspired those who supported her and soon all around her benefited from happiness, productiveness and comfort. Upon maturing, she magnified her giving nature by inspiring others and soon brought grace and joy to the whole kingdom.

You are a happy person who is attractive to others. You enjoy your comforts but you also provide comfort for others. You can bring balance into the lives of others by your actions.

Since I knew Kaitlin, I knew that this card really portrayed her nature and her life's actions. She is intelligent, very attractive, likes her comforts, has many friends and gives a lot of help to her community --- helps feed the homeless at a food kitchen every few weeks, volunteers at the local library, helps with an extended day-care after school program for younger students. So, this card is very descriptive for her.

Kaitlin drew another card for the Fey tarot deck, the Magician. This card shows a young Fey with a wand creating a small mouse-like creature within a ball of white light. Another mouse watches the creation process. Piles of books are evident and support the four symbols of the tarot.

Kaitlin saw "curiosity" and intensity in this card. She had a difficult time seeing a story here until I asked her about one mouse watching another being created. She was holding our dog, a small cock-a-poo. She said that she had helped create his happy attitude by being gentle and playing with him, making him curious and playful in nature. She liked the idea of being creative and thought that was a great gift to have in life. Kaitlin thought both of these cards and discussions-stories were appropriate.

It is different to work with young people. They deal more with elementary thoughts and concepts and don't elaborate as much even though they can utilize a lot of detail in their writings and creative work. The link from the Magician to her little dog was interesting, she had such a big smile on her face.



Real nice work Dave sounds like you have a great daughter. And a wonderful since of story telling tarot. I hope your daughter enjoys tarot they way you do.

This will take me awhile to find some one to work with. some of these steps are a royal PITA for those of us that dont have some one to physically work with.


My mom helped me out with this exercise.
She shuffled from the Victorian Romantic and picked the Lovers.

My description:
There are two characters, one is a fisherman and the other a mermaid. She is standing thigh high in water, looking as if she is in the middle of a transformation. He is on high land looking somewhat shocked, or sleepy, or both. She embraces him in a kiss.

Emotions of the VR Lovers:
The colors are calming, and still feel a bit of a surprise on his part. A peaceful scenerio in blues and green. From her I sense gratitude, affection, warmth, and vulnerability.

Short story…

Once upon a time there was a little fish. She wondered about the world above her. Having heard stories told by the great one, even though no one knew just who the great one was, she believed.
The story goes that if a fish allows herself to be caught, she will become a human and live on land.
Her parents heard the same stories but thought them whooey.
“fish and chips is what you’ll become little one”
This was their cry over and over, but she was defiant, and utterly curious. So away she went, to find out for sure. Besides, she thought, if death awaited her, it would be best to end it all at the end of a fisherman’s pole.
So she took the risk and with any luck, the bait.
Traveling what seemed forever underwater, under earth, she finally found the sky again. In a matter of a few minutes, she found her bait.
Indeed, it was attached to a hook, which was attached to a pole, which was attached to a human. Yes, this was it, she thought, my chance at freedom!
With one swish forward, she placed the hook in her mouth, and gave a sure tug.
In an instance, she was pulled from the water and into the sky.
Oh, the sheer agony of being pulled, OMG, no water, can’t breathe!
A slow death for sure.
Fish and chips!!!
Then like magic she felt a warmth surround her. A strong surge pulled at her fishy face, then sides, and bottom.
Their stretching me, she cried, before they eat me, their stretching me, those barbarians!
Suddenly her fins turned into freaky fleshy things. Her new nose pulled forward as her new hair growth strained back.
The hook was gone, at least now she could breath again, air. Air?
Eye to eye with her fisherman, her happiness palpable, she quickly grabbed at his shoulders as she slipped. The feet were on their way as her tail slipped away.
Naturally her lips pursed, and what better to do than to give a kiss, in gratitude, of course.
Fresh from sleep, the fisherman was sure he was still dreaming, and here a parting thought…what a fine catch, certainly a better one then that trout from yesterday!

Personal statements:
My mother has always been a risk taker, adventurous, a dreamer, unusual, misunderstood, and always changing/transforming herself.

She shuffled again for a 2nd card from the VR and pulled Knight of Wands.
I took her through the steps. When it came to the fairy tale portion, she spoke to me in spanish. I guess she felt more comfortable and everything seemed to flow better for her. Let me just note, we really enjoyed this exercise in total. When it came time for her story, we were sort of surprised at how sad it came out to be. As she was telling it, she stopped herself a couple of times, but I kept urging her on. My mother appears to be a very happy-go-lucky person, but it was during this session that I remembered just how complex and dark her life has been, and yet how resilient she is as a person.

Her description of VR Knight of Wands:
A very beautiful setting where a man and woman meet. He is in armor and it looks as if he is feeding his horse. The girl is looking at the man. It looks like she was picking flowers. He wears pointed boots, and only his hands and face are uncovered. He is holding some kind of pole.

Emotions as she looks at the card:

He has a regular soldiers face, a stone face. Stiff looking. This woman really looks like a lady, very sweet-looking, and she admires and respects him. I think she wants to look at him but doesn’t want him to know she is looking at him, lol.
The horse seems to like her a lot. It appears as if this soldier and horse are one in the same. The soldier is touching the horse, not her, like it is his security blanket. Yes, without it, he’s lost.

Short story…

Once upon a time, in between night and day, dressed to fight, my master came passing. She, a fine lady as she stood before us, brave really.
I could feel his dreams, and his thoughts.
Yes, the lady came out. Thinking he so young, too young to die.
Maybe yes, maybe no, a voice whispered.
I will give you flowers she said. Her darker thoughts remained silent. My nose to the hem of her dress, a lovely scent emanating.
Where would they bury him, she worried, and how will I ever find his grave? Yet, just maybe, he will survive.
That’s when she gave to him the flowers so gently picked. Yes, she believed, I will give him these flowers now.
Maybe yes, maybe no, a voice whispered.
I may never find him again she felt, and I, his horse, agreed.
My master is all about duty. Stiff and still, believe this fight is the only way.
It is his deepest want, to defend this country and all that he loves.
He was certain.
So certain that if all was lost, never he to return, she would marry again.
Remember me, he wavered. Remember all of us who fought.
All will sing these songs of freedom, the generations to come!
Victory is ours!
So it was on a mid-day or was it a mid-night when the white flag was raised. A brave Knight found, half dead, half- alive, and passing in and out of consciousness.
Upon collecting his badly wounded body, knowing the battle took more than it should.
Will he live, asked one surgeon to the other, and what of his mutterings?
Who is this lady and horse, his horse?
His horse, that lay dead beside him.
Maybe yes, maybe no, said the surgeon.
Quick, let us get him out of the rain.

Her personal statements:
I’m a fighter, protected, I always felt Guided-maybe that’s my armor. He follows orders and I try to do my best as well. I’ve been blessed with knowing much love in my life, but have also just kept going forward.

I asked which story she could identify with at the moment, and it was the fish story. She said she understood it better and could see her life in it, and herself as a person.


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I decided to use the advice of my study partner Jewel and ask a person from my meditation group to help me with my tarot Homework her name is Dot and she is originally from Scotland. This reading took a life of its own.

After asking “where am I at right now" she pulled the Princess of coins.

I explained she is not sad or happy she just " is" and that she can be a messenger of money to come. The story I told was based on her messenger ability. We where in a pizza place so we could not spend a lot of time on this.

She drew the second card asked the same question and she drew the 7 of swords. I asked her how she felt about the card she said the person looked relaxed and calm. I explained to her a lot of times the swords are based on intellect and or communication. ( and this is where the reading took on its own life)

The 7 of swords was facing the princess of coins. I said are you thinking of a way to make money? She said yes (strap your selves in).

She went on to tell me that her husband died last year and that he left her 3
Antique cars: 34 auburn, 39, pa card, and a 47 Lincoln zephyr. And that she has decided to sell these cars but that she was getting low balled offers and was not told All of the proper information (she was basically telling me the story of the princess of coins and 7 of swords).

(Here is where the strapping in part comes in) I asked her to draw another card for advice. She drew the Moon she said she absolutely loves the moon, and the dog and wolf in the card were wonderful. I know this card is about emotions, and she said love like 3 times, so I asked her, " if she had any emotions attached to these cars?" She said her husband loved these cars and put a lot into them. After a while I figured out this was one of the last attachments she had to her husband.

She also said she had a dream of her husband driving the auburn up a hill and she was running after him because the car and hills are not best friends. In her dream her husband said "it does not matter" and she saw the car go off the cliff , She took this to mean she should sell the cars instead of the valuable antiques wasting away in the garage.

This went on for a long while but in the end I gave her the advise of the moon card in this reading to say if she can look at selling the cars as something her husband wants dearly so she can have a comfortable life then it will be easier to sell them and the law of attraction will work in her favor. If she still views those cars as her one of her husbands last passions then they will be difficult to sell.

She was beginning to get teary eyed and I stood with her awhile ,she paid for the pizza and said "I was a good reader and should consider doing this more often". This went a lot deeper then what I have written down and more conversation but I think this covers a lot.

She told a story while looking at the cards so I figured I did not have to and she was identifying with the card in the first person so I figured I did not have to make her say things in the first person.


For coyoteblack

Isn't it an amazing experience when we connect so deeply and appropriately with another, whether directly or indirectly over the Internet. Like you and others here, this has happened for me many times and the tingles that one gets never fails to make you feel like you have been given a special opportunity.

You are right, the story speaks for itself. Thanks for sharing. Dave


Thanks for the feedback Dave and yes the tingling was there. I also love it when I don't plan on a deep reading and it happens any way.

By the way here are the 3 cards that came up . it will make more since if you see how they looked.

the princess of coins was on the left the 7 of swords was on the right and the moon was between them 2.


Coyoteblack I am so glad you followed my advice and got one of your meditation group to do this with you. The experience made me tingle! Excellent work!

I have not yet had a chance to do this exercise yet, but after reading all of your posts I can't wait!


Step 4 Adept Level: Fantastic Menagerie

Deck: Fantastic Menagerie
Card: Moon

My friend “M” volunteered to do this exercise with me. M and I have known each other for about 20 years, but for the last 10 or so have lived far apart and are not as knowledgeable about our daily lives as we once were, so there are many things we don’t know about each other. M has never worked with tarot though I have done several readings for her over the years. She does not own a tarot deck, and has never studied tarot.

ACTIVITY 4:4.1.: I handed her the Fantastic Menagerie deck, she shuffled it, cut it, and picked the Magician. I named as I looked at her and shared with the card with her, saying “this is the Magician”. I then described the card objectively – then changed it into “you-statements”, and then described it from an emotional perspective – then changed it into “you-statements.” The shortened version of statements about the querent is something like this:

You are on a stage dramatically and passionately delivering your message to the common man. Word has spread and gotten the attention of persons with influence who have now come to listen and see what you are all about. You have great ideas, though they do have some controversial aspects for those in positions of power. When you have finished your performance they approach you and extend you an offer to join them for two main reasons (1) so they can implement some of your ideas; and (2) to keep your voice somewhat under control.

When asked what she found accurate about this story, she said it really reminded her of when she was a corporate training manager and she taught and influenced many people while staying within certain corporate guidelines, which at times seemed like barriers to her. She said it also reminded her of being on a board of directors or a home owners association. The part about being comfortable on stage reminded her of when she used to sing and did theatre, and how music and literature can influence people. She also commented that she missed being on stage.

She found nothing inaccurate, but saw the Magician more as how she was in the past, and a part of herself she would like to recapture – specially in relation to getting involved again in music.

ACTIVITY 4.4.2.: M pulled a second card from the deck, the 10 of Cups, and followed the same steps of naming, objective description – then using “I-statements”, and emotional description – then using “I-statements.”

M was concentrating very hard on what she was doing and was focused and detailed. Due to her concentration levels I could not really detect any real emotional peaks or valleys, just her concentration. I could tell she was struggling trying to make sure she was doing the exercises “right” despite reassurances that whatever she said was right, and that there is no wrong way. A short summary of her descriptions:

“I see a motherly figure that wants to spread and share the good harvest with her village, children, and family. It is a beautiful spring day, and the ivy and flowers that hang over the honeycomb archway look beautiful. There are three children eagerly waiting to receive honey. One bee works diligently proudly preparing the bread for the honey to be spread upon. The mother bee is real excited about the wonderful harvest and giving honey to the children. Some of the bees wear varied types of hats in celebration of the spring season. The is a flower on the floor behind the children. The flower is happy to have contributed its nectar to the making of the honey. Through the archway the garden flowers can be seen on display, showing the bounty from which to make more honey.”

When turned into I statements, M took on the role of the “mother bee.”

When she was done and asked “Where are these things going on in your life?” she responded that she naturally feels motherly and loves sharing with friends. family, and her community. She went on to tell me about a college girl she and her husband have “adopted” through the church, to share her home and family with on weekends. She said the girl is just like the eager little bee children, and that she is so glad she (M) can be a part of her life. It fulfills her desire to be motherly (she does not have any children at this time). She also feels like she is spreading goodwill within her community, and that makes her happy.

M found the card very relevant to her life right now, and found nothing irrelevant about the card.

4:4.3.: When we discussed both readings, M said she preferred the process where I did the exercises because she likes the “shock-value” of me telling her things about herself that she knows I know nothing about. The makes the reading more “alluring and magical” (her words) to her.

M said she found reading her 10 of Cups more personal because it was dealing with something near and dear to her heart, but she felt like she was prone to seeing what she wanted to see and felt like she was cheating. She also said that in a way it was less interesting to her to do this on her own, because she already knows about herself.

Personally I really liked it when she went through the process with her 10 of Cups, she read the card beautifully, and we were done I told her so. She laughed.

Obviously, I will not be turning this friend into a tarot reader *LOL*


I love those moments when the cards are hitting on all cylinders! the fact that she liked it best when you told her things she thought you could not know sort of validates tarot and your reading skill.

I love how we can help friends and such.

all in all a wonderful reading.