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Let the image do the talking
What does it mean to be a tarot sceptic?

What could this mean?

Whether you are an aspiring tarot reader or a creative thinker using tarot cards for inspiration, it's a good idea to get to know the cards well. Let's play a game.

You don't have to know anything about tarot cards or their traditional meanings to play this game, but it works best if you use only the Twos to Tens of a deck that has illustrated pips. (Some decks show only suit symbols on the minor arcana. Here are examples of decks that trigger stories.)

[This post first appeared on SynTAROTis.]

Shuffle the cards and draw one at random.

Ask yourself, "What could this card mean?"

Done?

Then ask yourself the question nineteen more times. Yes, I know 20 answers to this question is a lot, but do your best. You will find if you stretch yourself, your imagination really comes into play, and you notice details that you have missed before.

A sample exercise

Suppose we draw the Six of Cups from the Rider-Waite-Smith deck.

Six of Cups, Rider-Waite-Smith TarotWhat could this card mean? Here are my suggestions:

  1. Giving is better than receiving.
  2. A secure relationship (see the guard at the back?)
  3. The lady is picky (she discarded five other bouquets).
  4. Sweet memories of first love.
  5. Spring has sprung!
  6. The pleasures of childhood.
  7. Making the best of the situation. (Children playing during a time of war, perhaps.)
  8. The sixth suitor (the previous five also tried flowers).
  9. The tentative beginning of a relationship.
  10. Taking good care of someone.
  11. Kindness.
  12. Poisonous plants (see her glove?)
  13. Children pretending to be grown-up.
  14. Giving flowers to the hostess.
  15. Dwarfism. (Doesn't she look fully grown, instead of a child?)
  16. A scene from a play set in the middle ages.
  17. Taking flowers to put on a grave.
  18. Wanting to stay young forever.
  19. Making the best of imprisonment (the guard again).
  20. A giant courting the most beautiful girl in town.
  21. A fan giving flowers to an actress.
  22. Two friends making up after a quarrel.
  23. A gardener receiving instructions.
  24. An informal trader's roadside stall selling metal objects

Do you think some of these items could be possible interpretations for the card in a spread?

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