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A “Reading Significator”

April 26, 2010

I just got back yesterday from the 2010 Readers Studio in New York – a three-day event filled with Tarot workshops, Tarot friends (new and old), and Tarot fun and frivolity.  This is the first of several posts inspired by events there.

Some Tarot readers use a “significator” (a card pulled specifically to indicate the querent) in their readings.  Others, like me, don’t.  (I figure that the reading itself will comment on him/her without pulling out an extra card just for that.)  However, during Mary Greer’s workshop presentation at the Readers Studio event (RS10) I got an idea for a different kind of significator that seemed like a good idea.

Mary covered a wide variety of ways to find a quick intuitive interpretation of a card. One of those was to blurt out the first thing that comes to your mind about what the card means without having the querent verbalize his/her question beforehand.  That set me to thinking about the times when people ask for a reading but don’t have a specific question.  (“Just do a general reading and tell me what the cards have to say about my life.”)  This happens often when I read at parties, but it happens often enough at other times too.  And so my idea was that when this happens, perhaps I can pull one card to suggest a topic or question for the reading, and then set that card on the table above the reading that results.

At RS10 I was scheduled to do a lot of readings in the evenings, so I used this idea during a couple of readings after Mary’s workshop, and it worked out very well.  A couple of people who wanted a reading did not have a specific question in mind, so I pulled a card and said, “This card says XXXXX.  Does that suggest a question to you, or does it recommend a topic you would like to have this reading cover?”  In both cases, the person immediately saw the relevance of the card’s statement, and came up with a question based on that.  As a result, the reading progressed very nicely from there.

From → Events, Readings, Spreads

  1. Thanks for sharing this, James! I have used a similar technique when the Seeker is trying to decide what area of life to ask about. I was thinking of it as “asking the cards what issue or area should be explored” — but I never thought to call the card I drew a Significator. I really like that idea.

  2. That is a great idea!

  3. Zanna and Ellen-Mary — Thanks to both of you!
    Let me know how it works out using this.

  4. David permalink

    Great approach. It “forces” the issue to be exposed. Will use this method in a class tonight. Thanks.

  5. Hi James,

    I use a similar technique even when the querent does ask a question but sometimes that question is not really clear, then I pull a card asking what really is this question about, and so far this technique has never let me down.

  6. Leonardo Dias permalink

    Wow, that’s an awesome idea! Some people come to me without any definite question too, and I always try to help them to find out what they really want to know – but it never occurred to me I could do that using the cards, lol. Thanks for sharing that 🙂

  7. Hey, great idea!!! Mary always has that sort of inspiration effect on people-specially on talented people like you, James 😉

  8. Marieke permalink

    I like that! Great idea.
    I had such a good time this weekend and found Mary’s class both fun and very informative.

  9. That is a super way of opening things up! I love it!

  10. Thanks James for alerting me to your blog. I look foreward to seeing what other reflections the RS10 experience inspires.
    Last year at BATS Mary Greer suggested I get your books as your approach to reading tarot in response to literary stories was a direction I was taking my own tarot explorations. I found them delightful and realized I was doing something that is actually quite another thing.
    The rich possibilities of tarot applications and practice are one of the great features of tarot reading.
    Sometime I will share the simularities and differences when opportunity allows.
    It was great saying hello and RS10.

  11. Marike, Therese, and Paul —
    Thanks for your nice comments

    Paul: Great meeting you at RS10. I hope to get to talk to you more about your approach sometime. And yes, the possibilities are endless, aren’t they!


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