Practice small Celtic Cross, Tarot Triumphs style

kalliope

I've been doing a little practice using only the majors of the TdM, as outlined in Tarot Triumphs. It's been easier than I thought to attach lowly mundane matters to the majors. I have to say it's fun to finally be using my TdM in readings that don't completely stress me out due to the minors! The minors can turn my mind blank or overwhelm it with the detailed yet vague prescriptions for how to read them. :p

I wanted to share one silly sample reading I did because most of the symbolism was so obvious it made me laugh! And because I could use some thoughts on how to read the final card. My meanings have been very influenced by Gilchrist's own take on the cards.

Question: How will things go with my neighbor's son's kitchen renovation project?

Significator: VIII The Hermit
1 (main feature of situation, environment): XX Judgment
2 (challenge or obstacle): XV The Devil
3 (goal, high point, aim): XI Strength
4 (basis, foundation, practical elements): XVI The Tower
5 (recent relevant past): XVIII The Moon
6 (near future, new influences): V The Pope

Significator - VIII The Hermit
They are living a bit of an ascetic lifestyle if you want to make a joke of it. They are living without a kitchen, using a hot plate and microwave in their living room. They've renounced a workable kitchen for the time being.

1) Predominant feature/environment of situation - XX Judgment
Like the people in the card, their kitchen space will be reborn and remade via the renovation!

2) Challenge or obstacle - XV The Devil
They are definitely feeling limited and constrained by this situation, feeling and taking on the burden of their decision to go forward with this project. Not having a kitchen stinks, as does having plastic taped to the walls, and dust all over everything!

3) Goal or highest aim - XI Strength
Gilchrist talks a lot about Strength meaning to apply only the amount of force needed to accomplish something. They are doing a modest remodel, nothing fancy, not a "dream kitchen." They might be selling the house soon, and the kitchen was very old and outdated. This is to make it nice enough to either enjoy living in it more than before, or to be appealing enough for buyers.

4) Basis/foundation/practical elements of situation - XVI The Tower
Their house has quite literally been destroyed to some extent, with the walls ripped back to studs in places. :laugh:

5) Recent past that influenced the situation: XVIII The Moon
They were "dreaming" up a new kitchen, and their "creative ideas" are what's driving the project.
**Any other thoughts for this one?

6) Near future, new influences: V The Pope
I'm less sure about this one, and how to read it about practical matters that don't related to a teacher or mentor.
Perhaps they'll need to seek guidance from someone about the project? Or they will need some sort of authority to sign off on it for the final inspection?
(Would Justice have been a better card for the latter, or would that have implied legal troubles instead?)


Anyhow, I was amused at how literal many of the cards were. Using the majors in this way seems to be working for me so far. In many of the practice four card spreads I've had similarly appropriate cards. A question about a fictional problematic boss situation turned up the Empress (boss), with a final card of The Sun which Gilchrist says could be the healing of a rift. A question about friends renewing their lease for their apartment with a new bad landlord turned up the aloof and unmovable Emperor along with The Tower as the apartment in crummy shape. Etc, etc. I really look forward to playing around with the full Fool's Mirror spread soon.

I've attached a bad photo of the spread. Pardon the lighting and couch cushions. This is Pablo's Marsella TdM, 1st edition, I think.
 

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Lee

I've been doing a little practice using only the majors of the TdM, as outlined in Tarot Triumphs. It's been easier than I thought to attach lowly mundane matters to the majors. I have to say it's fun to finally be using my TdM in readings that don't completely stress me out due to the minors! The minors can turn my mind blank or overwhelm it with the detailed yet vague prescriptions for how to read them. :p
I completely agree with this entire paragraph!

I really liked your interpretations. Just some random impressions:

1) Predominant feature/environment of situation - XX Judgment
Like the people in the card, their kitchen space will be reborn and remade via the renovation!
Perfect! Also, after they moved in, they may have been surprised at the extent of renovation needed, more than they initially realized (Gilchrist includes "surprise").
2) Challenge or obstacle - XV The Devil
They are definitely feeling limited and constrained by this situation, feeling and taking on the burden of their decision to go forward with this project. Not having a kitchen stinks, as does having plastic taped to the walls, and dust all over everything!
One of the things from the book that's stuck with me most is her interpretation of the Devil as something unpleasant that must be gone through. So, unpleasant as it currently is, the kitchen is the "price they must pay" after which they can enjoy the rewards that the renovation will bring.

3) Goal or highest aim - XI Strength
Gilchrist talks a lot about Strength meaning to apply only the amount of force needed to accomplish something. They are doing a modest remodel, nothing fancy, not a "dream kitchen." They might be selling the house soon, and the kitchen was very old and outdated. This is to make it nice enough to either enjoy living in it more than before, or to be appealing enough for buyers.
I really like that aspect of "only what's needed," I hadn't actually written that down in my notes of the book's meanings, so thank you for mentioning that!
5) Recent past that influenced the situation: XVIII The Moon
They were "dreaming" up a new kitchen, and their "creative ideas" are what's driving the project.
**Any other thoughts for this one?
Gilchrist mentions uneasiness, disturbed balance, compromised sense of safety, so perhaps their uneasiness with the dilapidated and possibly unsafe state of the kitchen led them to decide to renovate.
6) Near future, new influences: V The Pope
I'm less sure about this one, and how to read it about practical matters that don't related to a teacher or mentor.
Perhaps they'll need to seek guidance from someone about the project? Or they will need some sort of authority to sign off on it for the final inspection?
(Would Justice have been a better card for the latter, or would that have implied legal troubles instead?)
I like your idea about an inspector. Gilchrist does say teacher as support or obstacle, so perhaps a mentor/contractor/inspector whose input may be positive or negative?

I as well am continually surprised at how well mundane readings turn out with just the 22 majors. Folks who have been doing it that way all along are probably laughing at us! :D
 

kalliope

Thanks for commenting! :)

Judgment as Main Situation
Perfect! Also, after they moved in, they may have been surprised at the extent of renovation needed, more than they initially realized (Gilchrist includes "surprise").
Good point! "Surprise" was a note of her interpretation that I'd completely overlooked. Thank you! It could also simply be the "realization" that they had to do this project.

Devil as challenge
One of the things from the book that's stuck with me most is her interpretation of the Devil as something unpleasant that must be gone through. So, unpleasant as it currently is, the kitchen is the "price they must pay" after which they can enjoy the rewards that the renovation will bring.
Ah yes, I really like that take of hers, too! I should have mentioned it here, since as you pointed out, it's very relevant. Thanks.

Strength as goal or aim
I really like that aspect of "only what's needed," I hadn't actually written that down in my notes of the book's meanings, so thank you for mentioning that!
It's interesting what sticks in our minds, right? I guess this is why some community practice can help both the OP and the commenters. :)

Moon as recent past
Gilchrist mentions uneasiness, disturbed balance, compromised sense of safety, so perhaps their uneasiness with the dilapidated and possibly unsafe state of the kitchen led them to decide to renovate.
Oh, very interesting. Even though I have some of those things in my notes, I fixated so much on the imaginative qualities of the Moon that I didn't make the connection. Appropriate meanings, and useful to keep in mind going forward as a very practical application of the card.

Pope as near future

I like your idea about an inspector. Gilchrist does say teacher as support or obstacle, so perhaps a mentor/contractor/inspector whose input may be positive or negative?
I'll have to check with them to see if they have a person who features significantly in this role as the project progresses!

I as well am continually surprised at how well mundane readings turn out with just the 22 majors. Folks who have been doing it that way all along are probably laughing at us! :D

Ha! I think you're right that we're "discovering" something that's probably been completely obvious to certain readers for probably a hundred years! :laugh:

I'm glad you're getting along with this method, too. I know you've tried the full Fool's Mirror at least once. Have you used it again? Is that the spread you're using primarily, or have you tried others?
 

Lee

I know you've tried the full Fool's Mirror at least once. Have you used it again? Is that the spread you're using primarily, or have you tried others?
I've done about five or six Fool's Mirror readings since I read the book. I was doing the small celtic cross as well. Life has been a bit of a roller coaster lately so for the last few weeks, I've just been doing the small celtic cross. The Fool's Mirror is really not as huge a project as it seems. It's basically a matter of laying down the cards and then giving yourself time to go through them one by one, taking note of the relationships between the cards.

The real core of the spread is the three 4-card crosses at the center for past, present, and future. 2+3, for example, is the past. 8 is how those cards express themselves in the external world, 9 is how they're experienced internally. Once you've examined the past, present, and future crosses, the majority of the work is done.

The transitional cards tell us how we got from past to present and from present to future (external and internal). Gilchrist gives good advice to not try to delve too deeply into the transitional cards (I forget what she calls them -- cards 14, 15, 16, and 17). They can be given less attention, and usually relate to more superficial aspects.

Then the top and bottom cards (18 and 19) give an overview and can be used as indicating the general direction of the cards and serve to confirm the other cards' viewpoints.

The three final cards, 20, 21, and 22, are labeled by Gilchrist as "why the question was asked." I didn't find that phrasing particularly helpful. I preferred her other way of referring to them, as showing things that are missing from the present situation. So, for example, if you're reading for yourself, those three cards would indicate things that are missing from your consideration or options you're not recognizing or not taking advantage of. I generally see them in a positive light, as potentially helpful factors that are available to use in the situation.

This is all of course my personal interpretation of what's in the book and may not be precisely what she had in mind.

Give it a try, I bet you'll like it!
 

kalliope

Right after I finished the book I laid out a Fool's Mirror before doing any of the practice she recommended with the individual parts or smaller spreads. I didn't even really have a question, just laid it out as a general life picture, and barely that. I just wanted to see how I felt about looking at it. Because of all the mini-sections built into it, you're right that it isn't as complex as it might seem when you first hear of it. I also really like the external/internal comparison aspect.

The other night I wrote out my own cheat sheet for the spread, and went through the chapter carefully as I made my notes. A couple of things that jumped out at me on my second read that I thought were helpful:

--If you get stuck reading one of the "dynamic duos" in the center line (2-7), try reading the left card as internal and the right card as external.

--The last three cards (20-22) were described as sometimes being those that make the querent really feel understood, which made me get the "why the question was asked" designation a bit more. It's almost like the secret heart of the querent, the reason they were moved to ask for the reading. She said it can be "what the querent really wants." So the "what's missing" can be what the querent is longing for. This turned out quite true for me even with my "fake" layout, as it reflected the things that have been on my mind lately, things that I want.

Lee, your take on the transitional cards (14-17) seems right to me. She says they are why things did or how things will change, or unexpected factors. Maybe they only need to be examined if you really want to look at which factors will instigate movement from present to future, for instance?

I'm going to have the opportunity to try out either the small Celtic cross or the Fool's Mirror in the next couple of weeks, for other people! I sometimes go to a casual social get together thing that spun off of a larger Meetup group, and last week I spied a tarot deck and astrology book on our host's bookshelf. It inspired lots of talk of those things that night, and now we have tentative plans for a tarot night. I've also promised to try my hand at doing a little astrology for them, which is a good kick in the rear about my studies and skills in that area, too. It's been a while since I've met someone genuinely enthusiastic about anything esoteric in my own social groups, so I'm looking forward to it!