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Find, Define, Solve: A tarot spread
Asking the question

Acting on tarot: Using active verbs to solve a problem

Active verbs describe actions such as running, jumping, sitting, reading, creating, walking, swimming, and throwing.

Active verbs also describe mental activities such as thinking, believing, dreaming, loving, and supposing.

How can we use active verbs to solve a problem with tarot cards?

In a recent post, I described the use of a set of active verbs in problem-solving. The SCAMPER technique is described in Two for one: A tarot technique.

It refers to the active verbs substitute, combine, adjust, modify, magnify, minify, put to other uses, eliminate, reverse, and rearrange.

We can create a tarot version of SCAMPER by extracting active verbs from tarot cards. The best cards for this technique are the pip cards (Twos to Tens) in each suit.

If you look at these cards, you will see the images show people (and other creatures) doing something active:

  • giving flowers (Six of Cups),
  • evaluating progress (Seven of Pentacles)
  • rowing a boat (Six of Swords)
  • crossing swords (Two of Swords)
  • fighting (Five of Wands)
  • celebrating (Six of Wands)
  • defending something (Nine of Wands)
  • juggling (Two of Pentacles)
  • bonding (Two of Cups)
  • examining (Three of Pentacles)

Even some of the major arcana cards are active:

  • hanging (Hanged Man)
  • stroking (Strength)
  • riding (Sun)
  • trampling (Death)

These are all active verbs.

When you’re solving a problem, an active verb might hold the key to the solution.

Let’s say your problem is your mother-in-law doesn’t like you, and shows it in various ways. This makes your interactions with her and any family gatherings awkward. How can you decrease the pain?

41Suppose you draw the Six of Cups.

You choose the verb give from this card. (It’s almost Xmas, anyway). The verb suggests that you:

  • give your mother-in-law something she wants,
  • give her more of your attention and time,
  • use something she gave you, then thank her again for such a useful item,
  • give her the opportunity to tell you why she doesn’t like you,
  • ask her what her favourite charity is, and give them a donation,
  • ask her to give you advice on something,
  • thank her for ‘giving’ you your husband (or wife),
  • give up your holiday to do something for her like painting a room, and
  • give her the benefit of the doubt if you feel she has insulted you.

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