But the magic really happens when you can tell the story within the Tarot cards.
That's what makes the difference between an OK Tarot reading and an AMAZING Tarot reading.
But, it's also the thing many Tarot readers struggle with the most.
So in this Biddy Tarot Podcast episode, I'm going to share with you 3 of my favourite techniques to help you read the story in the Tarot cards.
- Why revealing the story in the Tarot cards will make you a better Tarot reader
- How a picture tells a thousand words
- The best way to practice your story-telling skills
- How to look for ‘flow' across the Tarot cards
Let's do it…[Tweet “The magic really happens when you can tell the story within the #Tarot cards @biddytarot”]
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Brigit: You’re listening to the Biddy Tarot Podcast, and this is Episode 13: 3 of My Favourite Techniques to tell the Story in the Cards.
Welcome to the Biddy Tarot podcast, where you will learn how to connect more deeply with your intuition and live an empowered and enlightened life with the Tarot cards as your guide.
Listen as Brigit and her guests share their very best tips and strategies to help you read Tarot with confidence.
And now, here is your host Brigit Esselmont.
Brigit: Hello and welcome!
You know, it's pretty easy to do a Tarot reading by recalling the meanings of each individual card, but the magic really happens when you can tell the story within the cards.
And that's really what makes the difference between an OKAY Tarot reading and an AMAZING Tarot reading.
But, it's also the thing that many Tarot readers struggle with the most.
So today I'm going to share with you three of my favourite techniques to help you read the story in the Tarot cards.
Reviews – Thank You!
But before we get into it, I want to say a big thank-you to everyone who has sent in a review via iTunes and who shared their feedback and comments. The response to the Biddy Tarot podcast so far has been amazing, and I am so grateful for your support. And of course, I am thrilled to bits that I can help you with your journey through Tarot.
And if you’re yet to leave a review, please do. I would so appreciate it. Just jump onto iTunes and, if you can, leave a five star review. I will be so very, very grateful.
Alright, fabulous – let’s get into today’s topic, which is all about telling the story in the Tarot cards.
So, have you ever had a Tarot reading with someone who just reeled off a generic description of every card that could apply to anybody?
It probably sounded more like they were reading straight from a book than reading from their heart. And it probably wasn’t the best Tarot reading that you’ve ever had, right?
In fact, it might have even felt like the Tarot reader didn’t even understand your personal situation, and couldn’t make a direct connection with you.
On the other hand, have you ever had a Tarot reading with someone who really connected with you from the very first moment; who almost told your life story through the Tarot cards, and opened up a world of possibility?
You see, great Tarot readers know how to weave the story between the Tarot cards to create highly engaging and meaningful Tarot readings for their clients. They can see patterns between the cards, and combine these intuitive messages into a beautiful story that’s unique to the client and their situation.
So if you want to be an amazing Tarot reader who has a real impact in your client’s lives, then it’s essential that you know one thing, which is how to tell the story in the cards.
So let's get into it. These are my favourite techniques for telling the story in your Tarot reading.
The Story in the Cards
Alright, so technique Number One is to be able to tell the story in the card.
So it’s pretty obvious, I know, but if you want to tell the story in your Tarot reading, you need to start by telling the story in the Tarot card.
Every Tarot card contains its own unique story, and that story will help us to understand the overall story of the reading and, ultimately, what’s going on in our lives.
So here’s how we can find the story in each Tarot card.
All I want you to do is simply draw a Tarot card, and tell the story.
So I’ve just drawn the Nine of Cups. What a gorgeous card to draw!
And all you need to do tell the story in the card is describe what you see:
- Are there people in the card?
- What are they doing?
- What objects are in the card?
- Why do you think those objects are there?
- Why is the person there?
- What’s in the background?
- What’s in the foreground?
- How do all of these different elements come together?
And really just take it in and tell that story.
So, I’ve got the Nine of Cups from the Rider-Waite deck in front of me. And I can see this man – he looks quite – he’s not ginormous, but he is well fed… let’s say.
He is sitting there on a little wooden bench, and he’s really happy. He’s smiling. His arms are crossed. And he’s got quite a grand hat on. So we could assume that he’s from a reasonably well-to-do background, but if I look at his shoes, they actually look quite plain – so he’s not really, really well off; but he’s, let’s say in our terms, “middle class.”
Right, so middle-class man sitting here and behind him nine cups all in sort of an arc. And there’s a beautiful blue background – almost like drapes. It kind of looks luxurious and beautiful.
So the story here is that you’re sitting here surrounded by everything that you need, feeling pretty content and happy and satisfied. There’s not exactly movement happening. There are not things happening. It’s actually quite a passive card the more that I’m looking at it, but for me the energy that I’m getting here is that sense of fulfilment, contentment, happiness, and joy.
So think about: What story do you see in your Tarot card that you’ve drawn?
And really start to tell that story. So forget about book meanings for now, okay – just think: What do I see in the card? What’s really happening here?
Alright, so we’ve learnt how to do one card. Now I would like to try two cards. And we can tell the story across the two cards, and how they change.
So, let’s see – I’m going to draw another card, and I’ve got the King of Swords.
Now, let’s tell the story in the King of Swords.
So, there’s a man. Obviously he is a King, and he’s sitting on a stone throne. Now he’s got a very stern look on his face, and he’s holding a sword up, slightly pointed to his right. So the sword isn’t completely upright, which shows a slight bit of flexibility in the way that he rules and the way that he judges things.
Let’s see now, on his throne he’s actually got a series of butterflies. Now I attribute butterflies to transformation, so perhaps there’s some level of transformation going on even as he’s ruling from his throne.
In the background, he’s sitting on quite sort of fertile land. The trees are there, but they’re not swaying in the wind. There’s not a lot of movement either in this card.
Okay, so those are our two cards. Now what we can do is put those side-by-side, and think about: How do these two stories play out?
Well, in the Nine of Cups we had that feeling of contentment and satisfaction; and if you actually look, the throne in the Nine of Cups is quite a plain wooden seat, but in the King of Swords it’s starting to turn into a much more grand throne. But his facial expression has changed to something that is less happy. And so perhaps this is a sign that sometimes with authority comes that extra responsibility, which may not be as fun as when you are just playing and enjoying yourself – if that makes sense.
So, the story that I see here is that transition from – I’m thinking of it in terms of a career –from being a team member where you can sort of chill out and have fun, to being the boss. And whilst we think that being the boss is going to be cool and great because we’re in charge, maybe it’s not quite as fun and exciting anymore because we see our King here is being a little bit more serious than our guy in the Nine of Cups.
So there you have it. That’s how you can combine two separate stories and bring them together. What I suggest for you to do is do this on quite a frequent basis. You take one card – tell the story in that card; take the second card – tell the story in that card; and then tell the combined story. You can keep doing this over and over to really develop your skills in combining those stories.
Alright, are you ready to step on Number 2? Now this relates to directionality….if that’s a word!?
So “directionality” – what do I mean by that?
Well many cards in the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, and many other decks, feature people in those cards. But did you know that the way in which they face and interact with each other can be very revealing for the story behind a Tarot reading?
So, let’s say you’re doing a relationship reading and you place a card on the left, representing you; and you place a card on the right, representing the other person – and then you can start to look at the people in those two cards and how they are interacting with each other.
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Now if both of those people were facing each other then you could assume that the relationship is quite balanced and equal; but if one person was turning away, either facing forward or, even worse, turning their back to the other person, then that might give you some clues about the balance of power in that relationship, or how they’re relating to each other.
So let’s see – I’m just going to be drawing two random cards. And I hope very much we’ve got people… we do!
Okay, so one is the Seven of Wands reversed; and then I’ve got the Sun.
So in the Seven of Wands reversed I’ve got the man standing on the hill, battling all of these wands that are coming up against him. Now this card is on the left, and he is looking out to the left – so he is looking away.
When I look at the Sun, we can see this gorgeous little kid on the horse, looking straight forward. The Sun itself is also looking straight forward, and even the horse is looking straight forward.
Yet the figure in the Seven of Wands is looking elsewhere.
If I was to base this reading purely on directionality, and a little bit of the theme that we can see in the cards, it’s as if the person in the Seven of Wands is so busy fighting fires and making all these battles – and looking almost for the battles in life – that they’re losing touch, and losing focus on what’s most important – which is this beautiful child in the Sun card.
It almost reminds me a bit of – I am guilty of this –when your kids are like, “C’mon Mummy. C’mon Daddy. Come and play with me. Come and do Lego,” and you are like, “Oh my goodness, I’m right in the middle of cooking dinner. I’m so busy. I’ve got so many things I have to do!”
I’m sure we’re all guilty of this as some stage or another.
And so that Seven of Wands reversed is really like the parent saying, “Oh, I’ve got so many fires to fight here. I don’t have time to play and have fun.”
And yet we know where the true energy is – and that would be in playing with our kids!
So that’s a really neat example of how you can look for directionality in your Tarot cards, which also helps to open up more of the story behind the cards.
So, why not give it a go?
Think of a relationship that’s important to you, and draw two cards. So one card for you, and one card for the other person. And simply have a look at the way in which the people are interacting with each other. And see what kind of story comes out of that as you’re looking at those interactions.
For practice sake, if you’re not getting cards with some people in them, draw a few until you do get some cards with people in them. That’s purely for practice. Now, if you were doing a real life Tarot reading, you might not do that, but this is more just to build up those skills.
It’s All About the Flow
Okay, let’s move into the third and final technique that I love using for telling the story in the cards.
Now this one has to do with flow.
Looking for flow across the Tarot cards is a beautiful and fun technique for telling the story in a Tarot reading.
What I do when I’m looking for flow, is that I typically look for what is common between the cards. So it might be:
- A common symbol
- The way in which they’re standing or positioned
…and so on.
Then I look for how those common elements change or evolve between the cards. And then I tap into what this tells me about the situation at hand.
Now, you might have noticed when we did our first example for the first technique, that there was actually a little bit of flow involved. And coming back to our Nine of Cups and the King of Swords, the way in which the flow was happening was, I was looking at the facial expressions of each character, and noticing it flowed from that happiness and contentment of the Nine of Cups, to the more serious and stern nature of the King of Swords.
The other thing that also flowed from one card to the other was the nature of the seat – so that being a wooden seat in the Nine of Cups, turning into a throne. And what I did in that case was, I interpreted: What does that actually mean?
If we’re going from a wooden seat to a fancy throne, what is that representing in our own lives? What might that be signifying?
So let me do another example. Let’s just see what comes up.Okay, I’ve got the Chariot reversed, and I’ve got the Fool.
What I’m doing right now is I’m scanning the images to see what’s similar across these cards. Let’s just see where this goes.
So, one thing that I’m looking at is the figure. In the Chariot reversed, he is facing front on and pointing downwards; whereas with the Fool, he’s now facing upwards and actually looking upwards. So in some respects this could be related to the groundedness that comes through the Chariot, and being grounded in one’s own will power and strength; whereas the Fool–he’s looking up to the sky – it’s kind of like a connection to the Universe and trusting in the Universe.
In some ways, the flow between these two cards could be that balance between grounding down into the Earth, and connecting up with the spiritual energy and the Universal energy around you.
Now, of course, you could take that and then marry it up with the different themes of each card. And actually it’s quite a nice cross-over, because the Fool we know is that leap of faith into the unknown – and even more so it’s about trusting the Universe that you’re leap of faith will take you where you need to go. But at the same time, it’s also about grounding down through the Chariot reversed – and we know Chariot reversed is also about inner strength and will power, inner discipline, and so on. So it’s: How do you take that big leap, trust the Universe, but also ground it down and keep disciplined in your journey?
Let’s do another one, because I’m just curious to see what else we might have.
Hmmm… I’m having a look through to see if I can get some interesting ones.
Okay, so let’s go back to the Chariot and I’ve got the Four of Pentacles.
Now what I’m seeing that’s similar in these is that in the Chariot we’ve got castles in the background, and yet in the Four of Pentacles it turns more into what I would call a city. So, it’s kind of a bit more of a normalisation of things, you could say.
Even with the Chariot, he’s standing in his chariot – he’s well protected, well armoured – but, interestingly, the Four of Pentacles actually looks more vulnerable now, because he is not surrounded by armour as the Chariot is. And in his state of vulnerability – he’s now clasping onto these coins.
Now this is not something I would normally connect with the Four of Pentacles, but alongside the Chariot, and as I’m looking for that flow between these cards, I’m picking up more and more of this vulnerability that this Four of Pentacles might actually be feeling. And that’s why he’s so grippy, wanting to hold onto his money and his materialistic possessions.
So that’s really interesting because sometimes when we do these exercises it gives us new insight into the Tarot cards that we may not have seen before. And, you know, I’ve been working with the cards for nearly 18 years now and this is not something that I’ve picked up until now.
I think this can be a really interesting exercise for you: just simply split your deck into two piles – and just take the top two cards off the piles and put them side by side. So now you have these Tarot card pairings. And useone or all of the techniques that I’ve shared with you today.
You might be looking for simply the story in the card: tell the story in one card, then the other, then bring it together.
You might be looking for directionality: how do the people in the cards face and interact with one another?
Or you might be taking it that little step further and looking for flow: how do certain symbols begin to evolve, emerge, change over the course of two cards?
Now the more that you do these card pairings, the better you’re going to be at seeing connections with the cards. You might be thinking, ‘Well Brigit, why are we talking about just two cards when really I want to be able to tell the story in a whole reading?’
Trust me – the better you get at looking at just two cards and connecting two cards, the more confident you’re going to feel when you’re doing a full Tarot reading with many cards.
So it’s the perfect place to start practicing.
So, now that you’ve got these three simple yet powerful techniques that you can use to tell the story, I would love for you to go ahead and try them out, and let me know how you go by leaving a comment over on the blog.
You’ll find the blog for this podcast is at biddytarot.com/13 – that’s just the number one three.
And you’ll notice how easy it becomes to tell the story in the cards, and when you're telling the story your readings become more accurate and insightful, and you're able to get to the heart of the issue more quickly.
Now if you also are keen to practice your two card combinations, and you want to see how other people interpret two cards, then I would love for you to come over to our Facebook page which is facebook.com/biddytarot
Every week I post a two card combination, and I invite the whole of the Biddy Tarot community to post their interpretations of that same card combination. It is so inspiring to see the many different ways that people interpret it, and I think you’ll learn quite a lot – either by reading other people’s interpretations, or sharing your own. So make sure you come over into the Facebook group to do that.
Now if you loved this podcast episode, then you are going to love my free Tarot tutorial series: 5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence.
And it’s delivered directly to your Inbox – because learning Tarot doesn't have to be hard or complicated. In fact, it should be fun, engaging, and simple. And I want to make sure of that.
So you can sign up for free at biddytarot.com/5ss
Well I want to thank you again so much for your time and your energy today, and for being a part of this Biddy Tarot podcast series. I am so honoured to be a part of your Tarot journey, and I can’t wait to share with you even more Tarot goodness in the future.
Alright, thank you and good-bye.