5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Tarot Circle: One Card Insight

By June 13, 2012Tarot Circle

blog-20120613-tarot-circle-one-card-insightThis month’s Tarot Circle is from Richard in the US.

As with all Tarot Circle posts, I’ll provide my initial thoughts and then I’ll hand it over to you, the reader, to use the comments section to write what you see.

Remember there’s no right or wrong and you don’t have to be an experienced Tarot reader to comment.

The Question

Richard asked, “What is the present atmosphere surrounding my life?”

Ah, so simple.

Richard’s Tarot Reading

And for a simple question, Richard kept the ‘spread’ simple with a one card reading.

Wonderful! I have always been a strong believer in keeping Tarot readings simple, so this is a great opportunity to show how deep we can go with just one card.

The Tarot card that Richard drew was the Ace of Cups.

My Interpretation of Richard’s Tarot Reading

ace_cupsTo interpret Richard’s one-card Tarot reading, I decided to use the Tarot meditation method that I outlined a few weeks ago. I’ll show you how we can turn a simple one-card reading into something more in-depth and personally relevant. And I’ll encourage you to do the same.

So here goes.

I relaxed, following the flow of my breath, and gazed down at the Ace of Cups. Bringing peace to my mind, I explored the different images in the card, noticing things I had never noticed before.

First, I noticed the disc that the dove holds in its beak which looks strangely like a button. I’m not really sure that Richard wants to know about buttons, but this seemed to grab my attention.

Next, I noticed the tears or the drops of water descending down into the wide open ocean. It made me think that we are merely drops in the ocean, and while we each have our life stories and individual emotions, we are just specks in this Universe. Our feelings make us feel special and important, but we need to also keep this in perspective as we are one of 7 billion people and countless more sentinel beings.

It also made me realise that our emotional states also have flow-on effects to other people, through the inter-connectedness of the Universe. When we bring happiness to our own lives, we bring happiness to others.

I saw the mountains in the background, but realised that they were so far away that there was nothing to worry about for now. Yes, there may be challenges ahead, but right now we need to focus on what’s in front of us.

I then held my hand out, just as it is shown on the card. It felt as if I was ready and willing to receive. And receive what exactly? Peace, opportunity, bliss, whatever the Universe has to offer. I opened myself up to what is out there to be received, and it felt good.

So what does this mean for Richard, who wants to understand more about the present atmosphere in his life?

He is open to receiving the blessings of the Universe. He is aware that his emotional well-being is important, but so too is the emotional well-being of others. He experiences happiness and joy and he allows this to flow on to others around him. He gives and he receives with an open heart.

Of course, we could have simply turned to our favourite Tarot card meanings book and looked up the meaning, but what we have done here is create something unique to the reading and unique to ourselves. We have also avoided the common associations with the Ace of Cups as a new relationship or an abundance of emotion, and have instead developed something more specific.

Having explored and experienced this card personally, I would now suggest that Richard (or the client) do the same. What’s more, I would even suggest that he physically recreate the card in some way. He could open his hand, as it is shown in the card, and place it under running water, to experience the sensation of the water and to explore the energy as the water runs down through the pipes and into the ocean.

What’s Your Read?

Try this meditation exercise yourself, and find out what you learn about this card. Leave your comments below. Use this as an opportunity to further develop your Tarot reading skills.

Want Your Tarot Reading Interpreted?

I’ll post a request for Tarot Circle submissions on my Facebook page at the end of the month. Or, I provide personal and private Tarot reading interpretations here.

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  • Bonnie says:

    What caught my attention were all the drops around the cup, and it made me think of being in a shower, either an inside shower or an outside rain shower, and of how water can act electrically to cleanse negativity from our auras — which is why, I think, being in a shower can make a person feel so much better when down or depressed. So I agree with you about Richard being open to good things right now — I think he’s washing away past bad experiences and negative feelings, letting them go in order to be ready for something new. Or just taking a shower to get ready for a fresh new day. Or, this may sound silly, but maybe he’s just moved to Seattle, or London? 🙂

    I love the technique you described — I never would have thought about putting my hand under running water to better understand the energy of the card. Now I want to go through all of my cards and see what else I might see or think of to go with each one! It’s like the technique described in Ruth Ann and Wald Amberstone’s The Voice in the Card (from the Tarot School) but your version has gone 3D. Awesome tip!

    • Brigit says:

      Bonnie, love it! I started thinking of those drops too… there’s drops and there are streams of water. Emotions flow both continually and spontaneously. And, as you say, it is a cleansing process.
      Ooo, there’s a whole new topic… 3D Tarot… ‘real life’ activities for all the Tarot cards (my mind is ticking over already!).

  • Aasheesh says:

    Ace Of Cups is an excellent card.Count your blessings.

  • Elspeth says:

    Hello Richard, now is the time to dive head first into what life is offering you. Doing this fearlessly is akin to a coin (white circle in dove’s mouth) being slipped into a Jukebox and playing the song(s) you want to hear—music that can be shared with everyone, just as the blessings of your life spill over and touch the lives of others. There is something significant with music right now for you. The swirling shapes in the grey clouds around the extended hand are reminiscent of the curls in bass and treble clefs and the appearance of the top of a cello or violin. If you are in love, turn up the romantic amp. If music is the food of love, play on. If you are a musician, this could mean an opening, where you receive inspiration for composition of a very moving piece of music, possibly inspired by your love for someone—simply even love for yourself. If not a musician, this suggests to me that romantic music or music of the strings (cello, violin, etc) can enhance your current environment and state of being. (N.B. The “strings” flowing from the cup are emotive strings (water). There are five ‘strings’ in all … so this may even hint at guitar music, as guitars have five strings. The lines on the water of the lake are reminiscent of lines on a sheet of music. The heart-shaped lotus pads are the notes, mapping out the melody of the Divine Symphony now playing for you and through you. Floating and blooming, you are blessed with the opportunity to enjoy deep inner and outer peace, harmony and emotional fulfillment.

  • Louise says:

    It is interesting to do a single card reading, because there are no dynamics to address and sometimes this can make a reading harder. What it does do is force us to dig deep, to draw out every detail and nuance to build an adequate reading with only one card. Interesting that an Ace was pulled here; IMO the Aces harbor some of the deepest and most esoteric symbolism of the entire deck. So even though we only have one card to read from, we’ve certainly got a lot to work with.

    Every Ace in the deck has either an active and dynamic or a passive and receptive nature, and this is deciphered from the position of the hand in the Aces. Both Cups and Pentacles show us cupped hands, in the action of holding and containing, so they are passive and receptive and feminine in nature. A strong feminine energy may be surrounding the querent. The receptive Aces call on us to be open to receive and to allow. The energy in the Ace of Cups is all about flow, and specifically downward flow. Think about the nature of water, the element which rules the Suit of Cups, as it falls and it merges toward the greater body of water that is the ocean. To flow like water is to surrender to any obstacles in our way. It is to find a way around them, over them, under them, with the least resistance. Water flows, it doesn’t resist. It is not stable or structured, it cannot take form without containment. It surrenders and accepts, and keeps moving. If it is stilled it eventually stagnates. Water must flow to be healthy. It cannot withhold.

    Already we have a lot we can tell Richard about the current atmosphere that surrounds his life. It is a passive, flowing, receptive atmosphere.This indicates to me that this is not a time to set about achieving or striving, unless it is a natural outflow of things that are already well in place. This is not a time of uphill climbs, this is a time of downhill rolling. Look at the five streams of water falling from the cup, there is no effort involved; it is simply in their nature to fall. Whichever way life is taking the querent, he needs to relax and offer no resistance.

    There is a lot of downward movement in this card. Think about descriptive words for downward movement: falling, plunging, lowering, sinking, dropping, reducing, decreasing, releasing, descending. The atmosphere that surrounds Richard is not one of ascending or climbing uphill, it is not striving nor pushing forward, it is falling downward. It’s all about going with the flow, allowing yourself to be carried by the tide, to let go and ride the wave. This card encourages the querent to let go of all resistance and let life sweep him along. What will be will be, and hopefully he can relax enough to enjoy the ride, letting life take him where it needs to.

    The Cups indicate the atmosphere that surrounds Richard maybe emotional in nature, relationship oriented, and it could correspond to the stirring of new feelings about someone, the seed of a new relationship or friendship, or the outflow of new creative ideas or inspirations. The Cups rule relationships, emotional atmospheres, habits and unconscious patterns, and also the imagination and relevant creative pursuits, particularly those that express the emotional nature. There may be an atmosphere that involves music or artistic expression, anything creative or imaginative that expresses the emotional nature and is receptive in nature. It is about outflowing from inspiration: being open and receptive to inspiration and then letting self-expression flow out. There is nothing striving about it, and everything is about letting something flow outward along it’s natural course.

    The hand coming out from the cloud in all the Tarot Aces is like an offering from the invisible spiritual planes, saying: “Take this offering of elemental energy and use it in your life.” It is like a seed of pure potential, and it holds a promise, a gift of something as yet unmanifest. Seeds are full of potential, but their full manifestation is still unseen. They lie buried out of sight, waiting to be nurtured into growth. At the stage shown in the Aces, the energy being offered is relatively invisible. This is why the hand comes out of a cloud: the energy is still in the invisible realm of intention. Nothing is manifest yet. It is up to the querent to make the intention, nurture the seed, and watch it grow. The Aces always ask us: Can you grasp the opportunity being offered here? In the case of the Cups, it asks: can you allow whatever it is to flow naturally with as little resistance and interference as possible? Can you let yourself be carried along for the ride?

    Imagination is considered one of the strongest gifts of the element of water, and is evident in the symbolism of the Tarot Cups. Water types are imaginative, sensitive, perceptive, psychic, and profound. They are rarely shallow and superficial. They are always shifting and changing but internally more than externally: on the outside they might appear quite inflexible and habit-bound; but on the inside their feelings shift and change according to what is around them: they are highly reflective and responsive to environments. Feeling is like water. It flows and shifts and takes a new shape depending on what it meets. This is how the querent needs to orient himself. To be flexible, shifting, changeable, out-flowing, non-resistant, receptive and allowing. If he can find this space, everything in his life will unfold exactly how it should.

    Warm regard, Louise

  • Richard Palmer says:

    I had slacked off on musical studies feeling that inspiration had abandoned me but through Bridgit’s perceptive insights as well as these other insightful comments I perceive the need to reestablish a musical practice and study schedule and stick to it. Thanks to Bridgit and all of you for your kind and perceptive comments.

  • Roger says:

    Hi Brigit,

    I just wanna thank you because these days I am practicing as a free tarot reader and your post helped me a lot.

    Thanks again.

  • chris says:

    For this reading for Richard, I meditated on the energy that I felt surrounded him, via the thoughts that arrived from the picture on the card.

    I saw the droplets of water as sadness in Richards life. I feel he has been through a sad emotional time lately,that has caused him to feel that things in general were a bit hopeless, that he was on a down hill slide, things didn’t seem to be going as planned, relationships have been involved, as well, a general feeling of being let down in other areas .

    The card speaks to us of spiritual energy. There is some one close at hand ( from a spiritual realm) to support Richard,

    Indeed, the spiritual connection of the card is of large importance. The lotus flowers in the water below, indicate a blossoming of growth for Richard in the spiritual nature. His past loss, will in part, be an opening to a higher connection to spirit and realization, that connection of life and spirit are closer than we can imagine. His innate personal growth will continue to blossom, ( the lotus flowers in the water below, are beginning to open, but many have yet to bloom) showing us, that his journey has started, but is going to become fuller and more enriched as time passes. This will also bring higher levels of creativity and ideal conceptualization into flow again for him.

    The hand holding the cup, tells us, that much of what surrounds him, is unseen for present, or at least, not yet understood fully.

    The water below, is still etched with movement, indicating changes are still happening maybe changes that he would rather were not occurring, but this is where most of his deep personal spiritual growth is coming from.

    The pale blue sky indicates a warm and gentle time of the year, more of a summer time, so much movement is coming through the summer months.

    Spiritual love surrounds him, the number 5 has significance.

  • Clare Bond says:

    Meditating on the card…..accept this offering from universe of deep peace, may it bless your life with emotional stability, generosity of spirit and true unconditional love for yourself.

  • Clare says:

    Thank you for your wonderful site Brigit. I have commenced reading again….at a market and privately at home. Your site has been my main inspiration for returning to the tarot again and for that I thank you.

  • Marianne Quintinio says:

    Dear Bridgit,

    It’s been a long time since I’ve post my comments on Tarot Circle for the past few months because

  • Marianne Quintinio says:

    of a very busy school/work life. When searching for solutions to my personal problems, one-card readings offer me insights that meet my understanding. The card offers advice, specific solutions, and hints that’ll help me determine the next best step to do. I imagine myself as the person in the Tarot card, or the situation happening to me to get a better connection with the nature of the card. Furthermore, it helps me to move away from the generic meanings of the Tarot cards. Thank you for this very beautiful meditation exercise Miss Bridgit. More power to you and to your blog.

    Warm regards,


  • Bilal says:

    Hi there Richard, My take on the Tarot is a little different than most of the posts here, I’m still a student of the Mysteries, of the Major & Minor Mysteries (Arcana ) First off I purchased my first set of cards about three years ago. My Interest was piqued by the Tarot’ close association with Astrological symbolism. The deck did not depict the Ace of cups with very much detail like the Waite and other popular decks. It shows just a single upright “Golden cup in the center of the card on a light blue background.
    Richard asked, “What is the present atmosphere surrounding my life?”
    And he drew the Ace of cups!

    From just the image on the card we can perceive the #1 ( from 1 cup), some type of liquid
    is indicated since the suit is of cups, Astrologically the suit of cups is related to the Water Signs of the zodiac which are; Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. The Ace of Water indicates all “three”
    Whereas the number cards ( 2 cups thru 10 cups ) speaks distinctly to a specific Sign or planet from one of these water signs. The Ace of Cups therefore indicates the “Potential” to speak to all or any of the three energies specifically. The Energy most often associated with water is emotion. But this is a most limiting perception at best. Water is the dominant element on the earth, and also in our earthly bodies, it is commonly called the universal solvent, the composition of Water is the chemical substance with chemical formula H2O: one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms covalently bonded to a single oxygen atom.[13] Water is a tasteless, odorless liquid at ambient temperature and pressure, and appears colorless in small quantities, although it has its own intrinsic very light blue hue. Ice also appears colorless, and water vapor is essentially invisible as a gas.[2] WOW! Tasteless, odorless, and like many substances can take on numerous forms. Well, this presents a whole boatload of opportunity…, But the Number one is indicated by the Ace so here’s what 1s are associated with; New beginnings, initiative, renewal, individuality, rebirth, creativity adventure assertiveness and will. It can also indicate determination, and Pride. as a Negative expression Selfishness, Insensitivity, impulsiveness, having an overbearing personality. Only the qurent could know or unlock the underlying energies being highlighted by this card . Ace’s indicate the need for action. They are not a passive expression of their element (Water, Fire, Air, & Earth) Inlight of all of the wisdom that has been shared before me Richard I would only add; This Ace speaks to Your playing an Active part in all current undertakings, and maybe keep an eye out for people in or coming into your life whose sun sign is one of the three water signs of the zodiac

    Thanks Brigit for this forum

    All the Best to you all!

  • rosy chhabra says:

    hi Richards,
    in my opinon this card is love ,joy&happiness.It gives u a signal of new way of lifein which there is love&celebrations everywhere.In the card there are dove,five streams coming out of beautiful cup which is hold by ahand arising from heaven,beautiful lotous flowers in clear water instead of swamps,clear sky&few drops of richards there is awake up call for u to listen to your inner consicious,control your five senses which is coming out in the form of five streamsfrom the cup and the air affiliated bird of heaven dove who speaks about your dreaming mind and inner thoughts reminds u to communicate them.The strong blessings from universe in the form of hand is with you.You will achieve victory as siemens are present in the card & happinessbecause of flowers.
    So in a nutshell this card reminds that this is very good time for you in love career health spirtualism.You need to listen to your inner thinking ,ideas,&intutions. with god grace u will be successful.Moreover this card also show your deep inclination towards spirtualism.

  • hotwayld says:

    hey richard
    i tink you ll get some goal in heart.
    is your question been emotional?
    your wish come true!!

  • Andy says:

    The hand and dove are symbolic of heaven and their help in showing that we have support. The water is clear indicating that it is a go forward on any emotional or romantic endeavour as also with the rose petals. Whether that is loving our selves or someone else we can be sure that the Ace is saying you will be victorious.

  • Andy says:

    also the water in the cup has water coming out and over the cup indicating that love is overflowing and abundant.

  • jenny mulder says:

    I see in this meditation the dove bring forth gifts of love which we then have to decide how to bring into this world. The W I see on the cup is like a draw bridge opening. This indicates to me we can open to this diving inspiration at any time, with the love overflowing in the cup says to me that we have an opportunity to express our love but how we choose to express this love depends on us.
    The river below with the lotus flowers floating says this is a personal experience, and there is plenty to draw from the cup overflowing could be an opportunity for you to express your love into the world either through some one or something creative and meaningful to you. You are the caretaker of this energy and there is enough to share , it is up to you how you receive this and bring it through somehow. It is exciting and divine.
    I am only learning to trust what I see and feel in the cards, but thankyou for letting me have a go. Jenny

  • Tnb1981 says:

    This card to me represents new beginnings in the emotional realm, perhaps a new relationship about to blossom. It needs tending to though, because you don’t want to pour so much into it that you drown the other person out with your emotions. Start slow and soon you will see that things will work out, as you have the courage to master your emotions. 🙂 Thanks for this

  • Emma says:

    I’m new to tarot, and still just learning the meanings, so it is nice to be able to offer an intuitive reading.
    It feels like a business venture to me. An investment has been placed into the cup, and now it seems that although there is progress (some of it is flowing steadily), some of the investment (the droplets) seems to be aimlessly flowing out also. The clouds on the right are ‘winds of change’ and the ‘key’ to me seems to be the fingertips, they appear to be beckoning, and I’m sensing that you need to ‘invite’ more business. Maybe it is a matter of doing more marketing (as an aside, there are plenty of ways to market yourself for free, especially if you are creative about it). I see the lilies as the foundations, not yet solid, but they are floating, not sinking, and I see the droplets as turning to petals, so by following the key you will turn the wayward funds into something more substantial.
    All the best!

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