One of the first things a tarot reader discovers is that each card has many meanings. This presents a challenge for novice and seasoned readers alike. To determine when a card means this or that, and to figure out which of the many interpretations apply, most readers and teachers will advise, "Intuition. Use your intuition." But what if I don't have intuition? Don't be silly, we all have intuition, we just need to tap into it. Ok, so how do I do that? Listen to your gut. My gut says it wants a cookie but I don't think that's what the card is saying. Sometimes the predominant meaning shines forth in glorious clarity while all the other meanings fade into the background. Most of the time, though, it takes some consideration.
What has helped me is to recognize that one card may be addressing several aspects of a person's life and be giving advice on more than just one area. For example, a court card that can be representative of another person or aspects of the querant's personality, or a more literal thing such as a message or travel. Consider that it may be addressing all of those potential areas. You don't always have to choose between them. Even when the reading is primarily focusing on a person's career, for instance, the card in question may be speaking about their romantic partner. We don't live our lives in separate designated vacuums, our jobs affect our personal lives and vice versa. The court card could be advising a certain approach for that situation at work but it may also be showing that the person you went on that date with last week is going to call. Not having to choose between those meanings is wonderfully freeing. If you see several meanings in one card, then say so. You're not being a wishy-washy reader, you are seeing the multiple layers and dimensions of the card and the intersections of those meanings in your querant's life. If the reading is specific to a topic, you don't want to stray too far afield from it, of course. By all means keep the positional subject in mind, too. It has to make logical sense to the spread positions and original question. However, if the reading is a general one with few topical boundaries, one should be open to many layers and possibilities.
I'm not recommending listing all the possible meanings of the Sun card for your querant and letting them choose which one applies to their situation. They could open a book and get that for themselves. I'm saying tell them the Chariot shows they are determined to get this thing accomplished in the most efficient way possible, but also mention there may be some travel coming up not necessarily directly related to that issue. For all you know this person may experience a family emergency and will need to take a quick unexpected trip which, naturally, affects both their home and work life. The cards may not show the emergency but only the travel. Say what you see, even if you think it doesn't make sense. That's where intuition comes into play. Your intuition is still picking and choosing among the available meanings, but you are not limiting yourself to just one choice.
Posted by Ginny Hunt at Saturday, April 30, 2011