ADEPT LEVEL; Step 18 . . . 21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card


This step is all about IMAGINATION and visualization. We will be going into our cards, into the character(s) therein. We will be "living" in their shoes, playing within their environments, facing their challenges and opportunities. But best of all, we don't have to stay within their scenes, we can imagine where we were and where we are going next. We can infuse a timeline into our chosen cards.

Mary Greer talks about how to visualize, how to calm the mind. I can tell you from first hand experience that this works. This past weekend I was working high up on a 12 foot step ladder cleaning some stubborn dirt on the side of my summer home. It was a tedious process. I let my mind go blank while my fingers continued their work. Instantly a problem I had been dealing with for months was solved, first a "headline" statement and then the details came flooding into me. Quieting the mind works wonders. Quieting the body also works.

We also have a self-test to take after doing activity 18:2 This chapter also includes interesting reading and quotes. Like all of the other exercises, this chapter should be both instructive and fun. Dave


Dave's Step 18

Since this step is all about imagination, specifically its free usage, I'm going to set up this step in the following way: My card is the FEY HERMIT, a card which I have used for several steps now. The Hermit is dressed in a tall hat and full length coat, carries the requisite lamp, and is placed within a tower full of criss crossing stairs, multiple doorways, and little creatures. Since I've discussed this card extensively prior to this step, I want to assure that I have access to a bit of "freshness" --- so, I've chosen two other cards at random.

** The six of Chalices will/may serve as a "prior" event/situation for the Hermit if I need or wish to include that card. An angle-winged Fey sit upon the rim of a large chalice holding a large egg (about half her size) over a surface covered with other eggs of various colors.

** The Nine of Swords will/may serve as a "following" event/situation for the Hermit if I need or wish in include that card. A winged Fey kneels close to the ground, a large hanging sword is poised above her back. Stairs and a doorway are before her. She is unrestrained.

I'm going to write what I see and feel right now so that this exercise will be as "live" and current as possible. I have no idea where this will take me.

I'm stepping down, the light is sufficient to show the stairs, the ladders, the doors and the little creatures. I can't see what difference it might make as to which way I go. I'll skip the doors until I see how far up or down this inside-of-a-tower goes. This isn't right, the down is twisting up, I'm not in a tower and I'm not right-side-up or up-side-down. I don't like this, I should not have come thru that door. I'll go out another door.

I should have answered that Fey with the egg. Her question of why she was given that egg instead of any of the hundreds of others on the floor was a good question. Fluffing her off with an excuse of not having time -- that wasn't good to do. Same question then as now, "Of all the choices, why this one?" Damn, why didn't I remember that avoidance of a lesson just brings it back in a different guise. There's no getting out of this place until I stop and figure out that question there.

Why one choice? Was I chosen by the egg --- I mean, was she chosen by the egg. Confusing here in this place. Think, how can an egg make a choice? Eggs are potential. Potential needs a way to happen. The egg puts itself in small hands on a high place. Now, that's potential. How to turn it loose? Will she drop it?

I didn't answer her, but that is the answer, make a choice that will or may change everything. I should have stayed to see what happended. Now, I have to see what will happen with my choice. That door! Open it, just open it and step out.

Another Fey in a quandry. "Hey, do you know you have a sword hanging over your back?" No answer, no response. I kneel in front of her to speak more quietly. Her eyes are closed and she makes no response to my query. What is she waiting for? She has something to work out. Does it require a passing of time during which the sword may fall? Is this a self-imposed trial or was she required to do this? What's the question? It has to be the same question as before, twice before. Make a choice! A choice of what? To move, to think, to choose, to give one's life up to chance? What?

Stop, deep breath. You've made your choice in the tower, you stopped long enough to consider the choice relative to the egg. This Fey and Sword situation isn't your choice, it's someone else's choice. Offer to help, and then move on through the arch and be on your way. It's not that easy. Stop. Think some more.

That Fey isn't moving on until something "right" happens. Everything is chance, subject to the sword unless the mind develops the answer needed. What did I learn in the tower? Nothing is as it seems, the tower wasn't a tower, it was a trap that could be walked away from. Why walk away? Because there was nothing to learn there. So, why doesn't the Fey walk away? She has no vision, no answer, no need to move!

"There is nothing to find here, under the sword. You need to find both the question and the answer. You need to live, to move, to experience that which you may find. The door, the stairs, the stars you see are what you need to seek. There are no answers and no questions here, bound to the chance of ending all that is."

So, everything I found in the cards were questions that led one to step out, to move from doing or experiencing nothing, to seeking anything that one would come across. The cards, all of them, were saying that we should experience life and find both questions and answers. One is coupled to the other, neither can be found by staying in one place.

My imagination led me to questions and puzzles. I didn't so much leave a card for something else. I found the same question, the same answer by moving onward. The focus card, the Hermit, was experienced because I didn't help or didn't stop to find an answer. Once it experienced the need to face a question, I could step out. But, I had to again see the consequences of not stepping out in such a way that I "knew" that answers were found seemingly outside oursleves through experience, through action. This is not what I thought my imagination would lead me to before I started this.



Daves comments on his exercise

As I read my posting this morning, it is obvious that this exercise was just that, an "exercise" and not a reading as such. Even as an exercise, it was incomplete as a story line but that is what an imaginative inquiry is --- it takes one wherever one's mind goes and it is not concerned with story structure or linking up all of the steps.

What was impressive to me, having picked a "before" and an "after" helping card to suggest some context for how the Hermit came to be in the tower, was how those cards' images really tied together a story line that supported what came through. Another example of trusting the cards to do what is appropriate.

If we were to look at those cards in terms of the conventional meanings within the Fey Tarot, the Six/Cups would point towards looking back at memories, of becoming lost within nostalgia, of letting past memories influence ones thinking about the present. Perhaps a sense of being lost in a "prolonged pause" could be seen. The Nine/Swords suggests, in conventional terms, inner tensions over past and present actions and circumstances, being at a loss as to how to manage ones despondent feelings, how to just make the world go away. So, a total reading summary would suggest that one had been thinking of the past and had let those memories give pause to any necessary and current actions, that one was currently feeling lost and was not making a decision to move out of that space, and that this would lead to greater despair and extreme anxiety in the near term.

This "reading" was so different from the imaginative journey of the Hermit as he worked his way through the assessment-choice-action-reassessment-and- growth/movement process. Yet, I can say that the conventional reading sees the 3 cards as a spread in one way, and that the imaginative processes of working with the focus card saw the 3 cards in another and more positive-proactive way. Both would work, although one approach would be better than the other depending upon the reader and the querent and the actual situation that brought them together.

Comments by others are always welcome. Dave.


Using Victorian Romantic-The Chariot
What I noticed:
The movement of clouds through the air, while a soothing midnight blue is peeking through. Can still make out a far distant moon, even at this speed, and I do feel movement. Half draped in blue material is the first lady that I notice with an exposed left leg, reminding me of the VR HP. This cloth waves beautifully at some rush and falls to the side, lovely. She holds and stares at a long, fine wand. Looking somewhat distracted as the two other ladies, behind, look forward in a concentrated gaze. The last entity in the back, just a head really, is going with the flow, sans control panels. Is that stupidity or trust? Perhaps a bit of both.
Finally those purple creatures, a bat/dog combo…don’t know if they are angry or terrified of what approaches to the right.
Sinking into the card now…it definitely feels like fear emanating from these creatures. It was my entrance it was barking at, I see now. More roar than bite. Then I approach the distracted lady, half covered in blue cloth…beauty of the wands distracts. On closer inspection of the two drivers above, the wand (same as the first) does not distract the real drivers, at all. It’s has some definite use way beyond lookin’ purdy. In that, I sense what would be described as purpose, and determination, maybe to get to the next patch of sky. Closer still, heading toward the back of this rolling chariot, I see its last passenger has made this trip before. She leans on her wand like a crutch.
I missed that central hat that one of the navigators is wearing. She also wears a red cape that did not initially catch my eye. Someone is definitely in charge then. At this point of my meditation, I understand that the lady beside the one wearing a hat is some sort of trainer or teacher. A ‘been there, done that’ feel to her, and a willing nature to give another the controls. Maybe they are all her pupils, learning the path and how to maneuver on it with this seemingly powerful auto.
In taking some steps back to gain another perspective, I see a transition of gradual movement from fear at its lowest level, namely the purple creatures, to the simple, carefree attitude of the back seat passenger…different levels of being all in one moment in time.
Time to step out of the card and say thanks:
“Thank you ladies for letting me see through your eyes and feel what it is you are trying to tell me!”
I say this as I pat the purple creatures trying to bring some reassurance.
My gift to give is ‘milk bone’ biscuits for all the pups. Their gift to me handed by the ‘teacher’ is her wand with the understanding that I should practice my own chariot racing every day! Will do.
“Thank you again, and safe journey everyone.”
As I watch the card shrink back down to size, I hear “stay focused”.


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