10 December 2013

Help With Combinations in Tarot Readings

Help With Combinations in Tarot ReadingsI frequently receive messages asking for help with combinations in tarot readings.  Any reading or spread needs to be read as a whole as well as looking at each card individually.  So I will share some of the questions I receive as this may help others who are struggling with the same aspects in their own readings.

I received a message from a man called Danny, who wanted help with a daily reading he was doing.  Every day he pulls two cards for guidance; he felt that two cards gave him a deeper meaning than just one card.  His problem was that the day before he had pulled the Empress and the Chariot and then the next day he had pulled the Empress and the King of Pentacles and no matter how much he had researched the meanings, he just could not see how they related to each other.

My response to him was:

“Most people only draw one card for daily guidance (hence there is Card of the Day and most Tarot sites have something similar), so well done for drawing two, as like you said, you do get a deeper meaning.  The thing with combinations is that they relate to the context of the spread in which the cards are read (Past Present Future, Celtic Cross Spread – examples of these can be found on my site) and the placing helps.  So perhaps it would help you to give the two cards a meaning.  For example the first card could indicate the major energy of the day and the second an important influence or factor to consider.  Or one could indicate your goal for the day, while the other an obstacle. 

The Empress and the Chariot yesterday are two opposing cards in my view.  The Empress oozes femininity and satisfaction.  She symbolises domestic bliss and the appreciation of all that is around her, but sometimes there are other things that she should be doing.  She can also represent a mother or wife.  The Chariot is about speed and momentum; balancing the head and heart, male and female, light and dark, yin and yang side of our personalities allows us to move ahead much faster and achieve many things.  The speed can be frightening at times.  So together it suggests that a balance needs to be brought back, especially in regard to your domestic situation that may be throwing you off balance. 

Then the next day you got the Empress and the King of Pentacles; so you have the feminine, domesticity of the former and the very practical, sensible, hardworking, masculine aspect of the King.  Once again the two cards appear to be at odds with his other.  The thing is, whether the cards are in harmony or seem to be at odds with each other, that too is a message.  It speaks to the energy of the day as well.  These two cards make me wonder if you are being pulled in two different directions; the practical and work and your family or domestic situation. 

But these are very quick interpretations and only one possible idea.  The reason there is so little written about combinations is because that is what Tarot reading is and so much depends on the spread and the context in which the cards come up.  A card (or even two card) reading for the day is a very personal thing, so you are being shown a message for yourself.  The Empress is telling you to look at your family and domestic situation, but she could also be referring to a project that is currently ‘gestating’.  The Chariot and the King of Pentacles are both telling you to kick it up a notch and to get working.”

I could have gone more in depth here, but I chose not to, as I wanted him to feel out the meanings for himself.  He seemed very happy with my explanation saying “You seem to be right on the mark with everything you suggested. You are right in that the past two days have been ‘at odds’… just know that you are VERY right and your explanations make much more sense than the books I have been reading on these two cards.”

It can be very easy to get bogged down by card meanings, especially when you are reading for yourself.  In instances where you are trying to understand the combined meaning of two cards or more, look at the broader picture of that card; what is its energy and how do the two energies combine. 

If you have any questions relating to reading the tarot, feel free to ask.  Just use this Contact form and I’ll see if I can help.