The cards are one of the true, ancient, mystic sciences. As such they pose a highly accurate depiction of the cycles of life, and the cycles of the lives of individuals. The world that we live in is depicted here, in the Life and Yearly Spreads. Somehow, they reflect the subjective experience that we call life, at least until such a time that we transcend the egoic way of living that the greater majority of humans living today live from. Any individual can transcend the cards and from that transcended place, nothing in the cards is either good or bad, desirable or undesirable. However, these individuals are extremely rare in today’s world. So, for the rest of us, the cards depict the ups and downs of our lives very accurately, and especially once we get more adept at interpreting them. The cards are like looking at the source code behind the Matrix. But we must remember that the Matrix is ultimately an illusion and that we are reading about the experiences one has in the dream state, not true reality.
I have gotten pretty good at doing readings over my 30 years of practice. I get many referral readings, which means my clients are feeling that I was really able to help them. I would like to share with you some of the things that I think are most important for becoming a master reader.
I have already given you a huge clue to better card interpretations here, that the cards reflect each of our subjective experiences. You need to understand that first and foremost or you will spend a lot of time and energy predicting things that will never happen. What does that mean, subjective? It means they tell you what you, the subject of the reading, will be experiencing, and not necessarily tell you what actually happened or will happen. A quick example will help clarify this most important point. Someone who is a member of a large family dies; let’s say the mother or father. Let’s say there are five children and a surviving spouse. In that situation, each person will probably have different cards. And it is very possible that in none of their spreads will be a death card. Even the person who passed away may have none of the traditional death cards. What gives? How would you interpret their cards?
It is a common mistake for beginners and intermediate card students to look at other’s spreads for object cards, instead of subject cards, to look for things happening, instead of looking for what is actually going on in a person’s heart or mind.
If you were, in this example, to examine each family member’s cards, you may not see the parent’s death at all. But what you will see is what is happening to each of them on a personal level, whether the parent’s death affected them all and how. One child may have a good money card, meaning the parent’s death meant, for them, some money coming in (from the estate). One might have a freedom card, indicating the parent’s death came as a big relief to them. Perhaps they were burdened by the parent’s ill health prior to their death. Perhaps the parent’s death meant the beginning of a new, more satisfying chapter of life for them. Whatever cards you do find in each surviving member’s spreads will tell you what, if anything, that death meant to them.
I have done many readings about famous persons involved in competition of one kind or another; sports, political or otherwise. You would be surprised how many time I found that the person who lost the race or whatever, actually wanted to lose. The cards showed the truth, the truth that is usually lost on the general public, the so called ‘hidden truth’, which is what the Ace of Spades represents. All you have to do as a reader is look beyond the objective what happened by asking yourself, ‘what actually was happening inside this person?’
The next component of being great at readings is understanding the nature of the 52 cards. Knowing their most positive and most negative (and all cards have both) expressions, and as many of the various levels of good and bad they might have, is the real trick. We always start by reading about the various cards and their interpretations. But we soon have to start checking the things we read out with real life experiences and examples. Every card has a multitude of ways of being expressed, some more on the positive side and some negative, and some neutral. The more you have experienced yourself or saw in others, the more prepared you are to make any sort of future determination. A lot of this requires you having some direct experience. That is why I promote beginners doing the weekly reading and why I suggest all students do as many readings for others as possible, free or otherwise. If you are lucky, you will continually be confronted with people who act out their cards in ways you never imagined, but that are consistent with the fundamental essences of those cards. This will serve to broaden your understanding so that you can process, or imagine a greater number of possible outcomes for the cards you see in any given reading.
I used to tell my students that if you are a diligent student, doing the weekly readings, etc. that you will be able to master card interpretation in a year. That still may be true, but much of it will depend on the level of your interest and devotion to its use. And getting some direct experience to compare to the cards you see is vital to your progress.
Perhaps it does not have to be mentioned here, but make sure you have good sources of information. In this age of Kali, it was predicted that there would be a proliferation of bad information being sent out across the world by people with less than stellar motives. Always question the source of any information offered to you until you have checked them out. Stop giving your beliefs over to anything in print. A good example is the book about Chiron by Barbara Hand Clow, still deceiving astrology students 30 years or more after its publication. Apparently, in her effort to be the first book on Chiron, she made up an entire book of inaccurate, misleading and useless information about Chiron while doing no empirical research beforehand. To this day, I run into at least a couple of people each year who come to me thinking Chiron is the ‘wounded healer’ in their chart. What does that even mean? I just mention this because now that the cards are more popular we are seeing a great deal of very not so-reputable people getting involved, proclaiming themselves are being authorities, offering certifications and courses, who themselves are way off the mark. There are other small things that could be mentioned here but if you master those first two I gave you and develop a more critical approach with new sources of card information, you are really on the fast track to having clients that not only come back for updates year after year but who also refer you to all their friends.