This is an exam I handed out at the end of a six week intermediate Tarot course and the ideal answers I was seeking from the student.
What elements (ie. Fire/Water) in a spread are
compatible? What elements are oppositional each other? Please
explain why using examples.
Magician (air) and Strength (fire) Air would feed Fire and
increase it’s abilities. The presences of the Magician in
the same spread (in a positive position) as Strength would
give the Strength all that much more power of increased intuitive
and persuasive abilities.
Strength (fire) and the Chariot (water) the Chariot following
the Strength card would dampen the fire of Strength and would
lessen the abilities of intuition and the ability to control
the savage beast with persuasion and in fact endanger Strength
as her abilities help her tame the Lion and he would have
the power, making her timid.
The Hanged Man (water) combined with the Hermit (earth) they
would increase the importance of self-realization and inner
reflection. This person must need to do more solitary soul
searching to ease his mind to be able to continue with what
he wants to accomplish. A great deal of learning and taking
more than one way of looking at the situation needs to occur
to continue the journey.
The Hanged Man (water) with Death (fire) the Hanged Man would
dampen the fire of Death slowing the change that is occurring
because more time is needed for this change to occur. They
are not ready yet as they cannot see the real picture and
will have troubles due to this change occurring too fast if
no time is taken to review a different perspective.
What are the foundation/primary positions central in any spread?
Usually present self plays the central role, which is the
basis for all readings. What role the person is playing with
the surroundings and how this will unfold. The present tense
of the situations sit balanced in the middle awaiting the
mystery to unfold surrounding them and usually they are in
the middle of the balancing act we all play regarding our
past and future and granted this is a delicate balance, it
suits the essence of how we live and how we know what we are
is real and we are living in the present. All that surrounds
us is the journey we take. Just like the typical crossroads
in movies too(like we were discussing in class).
What are the key components great story telling?
1) A good plot- keeps our attention
2) An element which changes us- things we can relate to
3) Believable characters- ones we can imagine ourselves to
be or that we are
4) Change which unfolds over time- e.g.: maturity
5) A multitude of possibilities- not knowing the path the
characters will take keeps our suspense
6) Emotional engagement which leads to future action- ties
our emotions along with the story
7) A great story reveals the greatness of the Main character-
we see what can be accomplished
8) A beginning, middle and end- gives structure to stay in
a pattern that we can
9) The Moral of the story- there are always lessons learned
in a story.
What is the central purpose of a Tarot reading?
The central purpose of a Tarot reading is to find out something
you don’t know. It brings us an awareness of situations that
we may not see because we are too close to the subject (ourselves).
Divination and awareness bring the subconscious into play
with the events you don’t know about consciously to be carried
from the subconscious into the conscious to help guide the
individual on their path or journey.
What “type” of reader are you?
I believe I am closest to the Alchemist in that I don’t feel
drawn to any one of the other 4; the Alchemist suits my abilities
to blend, change and gather skills to suit my surroundings.
This feels the most comfortable and I am more drawn to this
How do you plan to mitigate reader burn‐out?
I plan to mitigate reader burnout by focusing my energy in
varied areas. I will make sure to take care of myself-mentally
by trying to not get too emotionally attached to my clients.
I like the idea of having reference numbers handy to give
to clients. I will be doing readings part-time and hope this
will also lessen the effects of burnout if I am careful to
not overdue my overall activities. I know I need to practice
more self-care to ensure I am healthy in order to be in peak
performance to give the best readings to my clients. I will
also try to meditate regularly and ask for the highest and
purest of thoughts as well as be appreciative for the guidance
I am given.
What will be your next deck to study and read? Why?
The Goddess Tarot is my next treat to enjoy. I am waiting
to get the more knowledgeable feeling with the Waite-Smith
deck right now then I will learn my Goddess Tarot. This deck
has grabbed me because of the feminine style and beautiful
artwork. I would like to focus my reading to enlighten women
and the Goddess Tarot shows solid memorable and strong women
that I can relate to as well as other women probably will.
Who is your “nightmare” client? How will you approach and
work with them?
I think my nightmare client would be the person that doesn’t
interact with me. I am very personable and I like to establish
rapport with people. I will probably try to talk to them a
bit and try to ask questions to get them to talk more. If
they feel they shouldn’t need to talk to me because I “should
just know” then I may start to explain that I will be able
to read more efficiently when I feel like we are ready to
start and comfortable. I may also be effected by people who
get upset when I read something for them that worries them,
but I will try to be positive to re-enforce the possibilities
our lives have and try to encourage optimism.
How will your spiritual beliefs engine your work as a reader?
Right now I am more spiritual than I have been in the past.
I am not a “religious” person but believe there is a life
force aiding and guiding us as we go through life. A Higher
being or presence is definitely at work and I know we are
all here for a reason. This is a good and beautiful guidance;
it is our humanity and being brought up in this sort-of crazy
world that makes us see the other sides of Life. I always
try to believe there are good things surrounding us and we
need to find that. So this is a positive and supportive way
that I would like to be and if this is considered my Spirituality,
then Yes I am bringing this with me as a reader whole heartedly.
In this layout you will explore aspects of your own dark side.
This process will assist you in corralling your projections
safely away from your future clients:
There are nine positions in this layout – simply lay them
out in a circle beginning on the left and circling DOWN towards
you and to the Right, then across the top to the left side
1. How am I not being faithful to my soul’s callings? 5 of
2. What do I fear the most? Wheel of Fortune
3. What are my pet peeves in people? Ace of Wands
4. How would I like to change the world if I could? Temperance
5. What am I tired of giving that people always seem to ask
of me? King of Wands
6. What is the most common criticism that people levy at
me? 9 of Wands
7. What embarrasses me? 7 of Cups
8. What do people say that always makes me feel defensive?
Ace of Cups
9. What am I trying to change the most in myself to no avail?
6 of Swords
Indicators that you’ve hit some rich shadow material in this
Bursts of laughter!
Butterflies in your stomach.
In 25‐35 words – write a snapshot of the shadow work ahead
for you. Give your shadow a name and define which card in
the Tarot describes your shadow most appropriately.
Wow what an eye opener!
I would have to say that the Wands are heavy for me in a lot
of ways. My Shadow tendencies are usually about being over-bearing,
controlling, demanding and most of the time I do not realize
I am doing it, until now…. Not only do I do this to others
I tend to do this to myself as well. I need to work on knowing
my own positive qualities and abilities because I tend to
place my own burdens upon myself with these types of qualities
I am seeing it works both ways. I also do not always see the
potential in myself as well as I see it in others or give
them credit for having their own abilities. I still think
I am the Queen of Wands but I really see the shadow now. A
shadow name may be demanding? At least that is probably the
best word to describe it.
Your Mission Statement
As you hold your deck, ask your guides, angels and the divine
to assist you in determining the answers that you seek in
this spread. Shuffle, breathe, and surround the cards with
light. Fan them out before you. Focus on each question as
you choose. Lay the cards in the positions indicated, face
down. Turn them over one at a time, and contemplate their
meaning. Out of this process you will have developed your
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
1. What is my greatest strength that helps me in my use of
the Tarot? 6 of Wands
2. Is there anything I especially should be mindful about
when doing a reading? The Sun
3. What image will guide me on my path with the Tarot? The
Ace of Wands
4. My Tarot Mission: What is MY INTENT in using my Tarot
deck? What do I hope to accomplish with the Tarot? The King
5. What is the UNIVERSE’S INTENT for me when I use the Tarot?
6 of Swords What does spirit want me to know about how best
to the use the Cards, my abilities and gifts? The Star
Formulate your Tarot Mission Statement from the information
you gleaned about yourself from this reading. Make it between
I accept this Gift, I appreciate this Gift and I will act
upon this Gift, as I believe it is delivered to me from the
purest and highest of sources.
I will share this information I receive with my clients as
it is given to me, as honestly and openly possible.
My goal is to use my Intuition as a tool for Guidance, Awareness
and Empowerment for seeing the Potential within us all and
I promise to share this Gift with each person I am lucky enough
to read the Tarot for.