# Articles

#### Short Articles

001 A Good Mindset

002 How Do We Read The Tarot?

003 About Shuffling – Is There A Right Way?

004 Having A System – Or Not?

##### 001 – A Good Mindset

People talk about the importance of our **mindset**, at any particular time. It can open doors, or slam them in our face.

**Walter** **Pater**, in his book on *The Renaissance*, wrote of** Pico della Mirandola** that:

… he sought knowledge, and passed from system to system, and hazarded much, but less for the sake of positive knowledge than because he believed there was a spirit of **order** and **beauty** in **knowledge**, which would come down and unite what man’s ignorance had divided, and renew what time had made dim.

What if we follow in Pico’s footsteps?

##### 002 – How Do We Read The Tarot?

If you have access to a piano or a music keyboard, you can tap out a tune just by trying different keys. This is a **hit-and-miss** procedure, however, and it’s better if you know some **rules** of music.

Similarly with painting – you can push paint around and maybe produce something interesting. It’s better, though, if you have some idea about the rules of color.

You can pick a card and just talk, drawing ideas from your imagination and giving answers that may or may not be correct. It’s probably more sound to have a plan.

Start with the **Rider-Waite deck**. You can buy one, or refer to the illustrations at this site – just Google Tarot card cross reference , and you’ll find a digital version of each of the cards in the **Rider** deck.

You work with the illustrations on the card. You identify what is going on in the picture and relate it to the question asked in order to arrive at an answer.

##### 003 About Shuffling – Is There A Right Way?

Is there a right way to shuffle cards? Yes there is, but you don’t have to follow it. We have to assume that the right cards are going to come up, so maybe how they are chosen doesn’t matter.

On the other hand, you can look at shuffling as preparation for the reading. Some people meditate or burn a candle to create a particular atmosphere. The shuffle is all you need, but develop your own way.

Athletes will do a warm-up before competing; musicians and singers will do the same. Think of shuffling as getting into the groove for a reading. It can be like a meditation, but cards may fall out as if they want to draw your attention to something – so follow their lead. Or put them back unexamined if you’re not up to it at that moment.

It’s a good idea to do a thorough shuffle before a reading. You are sort of connecting more deliberately with the moment. It’s not that you’ll get false information if you just pick cards, but it’s like entering a room quietly instead of just barging in noisily. Shuffling also creates a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere – and this is appropriate for a Tarot reading.

When you’re ready, shuffle for a while. Then place the deck face-down on the table. Cut some cards from the top of the deck and place them to the left. Cut some more cards from the top of this second pile and place them to the left. Reverse one of the piles. Gather the piles – the left goes on top of the right and the now bigger pile goes on top of the remaining pile. Shuffle some more and **repeat** the process two more times.

Then you are ready to take the cards from the top of the deck and lay the spread. **Or** fan the deck out and pick the number of cards that you need for the spread.

When the reading is over, gather up the cards, do a **quick** shuffle, and put them away for the next time.

##### 004 Having A System – Or Not?

People often want to have a system for reading the Tarot.

Let’s say you can write a program using **Python** or some other language. Then if someone asks you to code **Java**, you can take a look at it and probably with a bit of work get it done because you know something about **programming**. It’s not like being in a foreign country, even though it’s not your native language.

This is a bit like applying some system to read Tarot cards. If you don’t really need the system, you can use it or come up with meanings. You already have a basic understanding and can fall back on your normal method, while **seeming** to apply the system.

It’s not the same for those who can’t already read.

They can’t have the same apparent ease in the beginning, even though the instructor makes it look easy. He or she can draw out meanings, or lead the beginning reader to say something and apply the system. It’s not the sort of thing you can do on your own, however.

What you do instead is work with the **picture** on the card. You look at what is going on, identify the **activity** and relate it to the **question**. This way, you **derive** an answer.

#### Longer Articles

001 An Overview Of The Tarot

##### 001 An Overview Of The Tarot

There are 78 cards in a Tarot deck

There are three sides in a triangle (father, mother, child?; physical, mental, spiritual?).

There are 4 in a square (father, mother, and child but who also begins a new triangle so that’s the fourth part?).

Four triangles joined together make a tetrahedron – the strongest shape because each of the four sides of the tetrahedron is a regular triangle. Since the rods forming these regular triangles are not subject to deformation when joined all together, these six rods (edges) of the tetrahedron create an extremely rigid structure. No other solid has such strong characteristics.

3 + 4 = 7.

3 x 4 = 12.

We know there are 52 cards in a regular deck of playing cards. This might have a connection with there being 52 weeks in a year. There are 13 cards in each Suit and multiply that by 4 and you get 52. We know there are 365 and a quarter days in a year, so we have a leap year every four years and this keeps things neat and orderly. It can be then that the **Joker** is important or necessary to keep the calendar working and in sync.

You can use cards for fortune telling or to know the type of life someone will have based on their date of birth and the card and sequence that goes with it.

What are we to make of there being **78** cards in a Tarot deck?

There are **22 Major Trumps**. We might look at them as The Fool (0) and 21 others so The Fool is like the Joker in the pack and can take on the characteristics of the card in closest contact with it.

Does this mean that when **The Fool** appears in a spread, it shows a new beginning, but we have to be aware of the other cards in the spread if we are to judge correctly what sort of beginning it will be? If The Fool and The **Magician** appear together, is there enthusiasm for a fresh start, and big ideas, but not much experience? By contrast, if The Fool and Judgment appear, do you want to take the knowledge and expertise you have gathered (Judgment is number 20 of 21 so near an end point) and venture with justified confidence into new territory?

The other 21 cards then might be neatly arranged into three sets of 7, or like three corners of a triangle. The idea of three might make us think of differences between physical, mental and spiritual. What do we get if we begin with The Magician as giving information about the physical, and t hen follow through so the last seven cards relate to spiritual matters? Or do we go the other way round and The **World** is the first step in the physical realm – so the **Magician** is the spiritual end point of the process? Try **both** ways and see what you come up with.

Then there are the **16 Court cards** – showing four people for each of the four Suits. If 21 suggests a triangle, then 16 or 4 x 4 is a **square**. This shape is probably a more solid foundation on which to build, and we might look at Court cards when upright as producing qualities that **strengthen** whatever the matter at hand might be. Reversed Court card would therefore **weaken** in some way – through over-promising, or unrealistic expectations, perhaps, and not just simple lack of strength.

There are four **Suits**, and we can think of the kind of activity they might show. A **Cup** of tea can be relaxation, comfort, recovery. There is more, of course, but we can start from here, or from the items on your own list.

A **Coin** can be money and so purchases, acquisition, and by extension freedom.

A **Sword** can be attack, defense, or a sharp blade for pruning away what is the old or no longer viable.

A **Baton**, like a stick, can be a useful tool as an assistant while walking; a tree can be material for building and shelter; or support if you are floating on water.

The **Court** card people are separated into four **Ranks** – positions with their own **perks** and **responsibilities**; or **roles**, that we are born into or learn to play.

Then there are **40 Minor Trumps** (4 x 10 in each Suit). They are numbered between 1 and 10, and 10 can be 1 added to 0 to give us 1 again, so a 10 is the **end** as well as a new **beginning**, but the start is different this time from the original 1.

We might imagine what is contained in or summed up by numbers, and you should make your own list, and keep your eyes open for tidbits of information that you can use .

1 = a beginning, unity, wholeness; a dot; a vertical line.

2 = a couple, opposition, awareness, reflection; a line; a semi circle over a line. A circle can be divided into two equal parts of 180 degrees = 1 + 8 + 0 = 9.

3 = a perfect number, harmony, wisdom. Groups of three – past, present, future; or beginning, middle, end; a triangle. Two semi-circles. A circle can be divided into three equal portions of 120 degrees = 1 + 2 + 0 = 3, so it adds up to itself rather than going somewhere else.

4 = a square seems solid, touchable and real; might also be an equal-armed cross, sending out, as well as drawing in from everywhere. Two straight lines crossing in the middle, and another line connecting two end points. A circle can be divided into four equal portions of 90 degrees = 9 + 0 = 9.

5 = the number of our human senses, so how we connect with the world; the number of mankind; change and variety that may be enjoyable or not; two lines in a right-angle with a semi-circle below. A circle can be equally divided into 5 equal parts of 72 degrees = 7 + 2 = 9 (again).

6 = a six-pointed star is two interlaced triangles, so double perfection and harmony; connected with Venus, the goddess of love. A circle can be divided into six equal portions of 60 degrees = 6 + 0 = 6.

7 = the number of days in the week, so a complete cycle; a horizontal line with an angled line connecting with the right end. A circle can not be divided into seen equal parts. It is in some way different from the other numbers.

8 = two interlaced squares; the first step in a new cycle after the 7; two circles, one above the other; a circle can be divided into eight equal parts of 45 degree = 4 + 5 = 9 (again).

9 = 3 x 3; the perfection of perfection; this is also the last of the single digits, so in its own way, it is the end of a cycle; it may refer to growth that is spiritual, so dealing with eternal truths and wisdom.

A circle can be divined into 9 equal portions of 40 degrees = 4 + – = 4, taking us back to the square.

10 = being 1 + 0 = 1, it is a new beginning, but with an unknown element – the zero. We can go through the same experiences again, but there is something different or we are meant to become a new being.