Monday, July 31, 2017

Jodorowsky's Three Card Theosophic Sum Spread

I first came across this spread in 2009 on Mary Greer's blog. You can find her post about it HERE It is an interesting spread using only Majors and for those of you who have never seen it, I thought I would share it here. 

It's called a Three Card Sum because from the first three cards you lay you then expand the reading with another 4 cards. This gives you a total of 7 cards in the spread.  How you extend it is by adding the numbers of the first three cards and reduce any over the number 23 to a single digit.

I've never asked a question using this spread but I have found it to be particularly revealing about something in one's life.  You can if you like ask a question either is suitable.

How do you go about getting four more cards from adding up the previous three? It's easy really, you read the  first  three cards number values straight across. So add up 123 and if over 23 reduce to a single digit. Then place this card under card no. 2  in the first line. - That card is marked as card no. 1 in the spread. If you get a card that is already in the spread then you just read that card in both positions. Next add up the number value of 1 + 3 and place the resulting card no. 2 above 2 in the first line.  Leave a gap for two more cards beneath it. Add up 1 +2 and place this card 3 directly  above1 & 2 in the first line and lastly add up 2+3 and place this card no. 4 above 2 & 3 in the first line.

Your spread then should look something like this:

Apparently in the information that Mary gives in her original post, she informs us that from the two examples in Jodorowsky's book he doesn't read the first three cards but just the four that result from the sum of the first three.

When I have done this spread I do read the first three as they shed light either on the situation or a bit like the Celtic Cross's first card, they can show what is important to the seeker at that moment.

All the other four cards do have positional definitions and they are:

The sum of 123 shown as the lower positioned Card 1  - Underlying aspects, - what may contribute to the situation.

1+3 - Card 2  Exterior aspects - meaning outside influences.

1+2 -  Card 3 Receptive or maternal influences - Feminine, inner feelings maybe, or what you are open to with regards to the situation.

2+3 - Card 4 Active - paternal influence - I read this to mean masculine, action 

I tend to see 3 and 4 as the inner thoughts and the outer action.

Now to do a demo reading for you using Tarot Lo Scarabeo (by Mark McElroy - Artwork by Anna Lazzarini - Published by Lo Scarabeo)

First three cards: Justice - Hierophant - Hanged Man

As I look at these three cards I'm drawn to the Hierophant first. Ruling out any religious meanings, seems to me to be representing learning, gaining a knowledge. He seems to be suggesting that I am focused on solving a problem. Justice by his side indicates that I need to approach this problem in a rational way if I am to find a solution. The Hanged Man says take a step back from it and try seeing it from a different perspective. In order to solve my problem I need to be willing to adapt to something new.

Putting these together what they tell me is that in order to solve my current problem I need to approach it in a rational and balanced way. Perhaps looking at it from a different perspective will help me solve it.

I know what this reading is all about, it's about me trying to get to grips with GIMP graphics programme, and having never used one before I find it all overwhelming.  Lets see what the other cards have to say.

Now we add up each of these cards we have 11 + 5 + 12 = 28 - 2+8 = 10

My next card is the Wheel of Fortune  and that has the PD of Underlying aspects, - what may contribute to the situation.  Card 1

Well, we all know the wheel goes up and then down, but this has nothing to do with fortune in this particular position. However, it does refer to the ebb and flow of my emotions, from wanting to learn to saying ah forget it. While I continue to have these back and forth, or up and down feelings, they then contribute towards me getting no where. The best way for me to turn this around so that it can contribute to me finding a solution to my learning problem, is to try and stay balanced in the middle of the wheel rather that ride the outer edge.

Now for the next sum and card. 1 + 3  in first line  -  11 +12 = 23 - 2+3 + 5 Hierophant  Card 2 - This card is already in the first three so we now read it also in the new position. Just so you can see how the cards fit together I'm using the Hierophant from the Rider Waite Deck ( published by U.S.Games Systems Inc.) in this new position of Exterior aspects of the question.

Here we are again with the question of knowledge or lack of it. What this card suggests is that I need someone or something to help show me the way. What this  seems to be saying is that there are resources that I can tap into. The word Hierophant means "interpreter of sacred mysteries." ( Well, GIMP is certainly a mystery to me! The Hierophant tells me that there are ways to educate myself and to search for those resources that can help me.

Next Sum and Card. 1+2 in first line  gives you card 3  -11+5 = 16 The Tower Receptive or maternal influences. I like to think of this as meaning inner feelings.

I can understand what the Tower is doing here in my inner feelings position. why do I want to learn GIMP?  So that I can move forward with my card designing and maybe sell on line.  But the Tower shows that my inner feelings are, and it's true, that I don't like sudden changes or even creating a disruption to my normal routine.  But it also reminds me that  I need to examine this feeling to recognise that it is outdated, toss it out and rebuild my thoughts in a more positive way. 

Last sum and card: 2 +3 in first line results in Card No. 4  - 5 + 12 = 17 The Star - Active or paternal influences.  - here is my action card. 

The Star, what a hopeful card to have got. It shows that even though I have doubts, I also have faith in my ability. It suggests that I will overcome my doubts and fears about this new project of mine and attack it with a positive point of view. It's a card that represents renewal, and brings with it insight into the future from a positive point of view. It tells me that my actions will be one of believing in myself - go to it girl!

Well, I never expected this reading to pick up on my GIMP problem, although it has been on my mind lately. Part of me does what to develop my designing skills while the other half says why rock the boat?

In Summary this reading tells me that I have had this problem on my mind, and perhaps I should look at it with a new perspective. It reminds me that there are lots of resources out in the world that can help me gain the knowledge I seek.
It notes that I don't like change, especially when it comes quickly but it also says that I will have a renewed faith in my abilities to see this through. 

So now I fully understand what this reading is about, I think I will add up all the cards to find one last card with a bit of advice. 

11+5+12+5+10+16+17 = 76 - 7+6 =13 -  Death

Well, there's a great message of basically out with the old and in with the new. It tells me to recognise that in order to transform something you have to let the older version go. 

OK I've got the message loud and clear.

I hope you've enjoyed this demo of Jodorowsky's Three Card Theosophic Sum Spread.  If you have time, do read Mary's post, she gives some interesting background on the man himself.  If you do try the spread please come back and let me know how it went and what you thought of it.

Happy Tarot Reading! 

Credits For Cards:

Tarot Lo Scarabeo by Mark McElroy - Artwork by Anna Lazzarini - Published by Lo Scarabeo

Radiant Rider-Waite Tarot
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Short Ramble with Helen Through The Tower

The Tower is one of those cards that tends to make one go "Oh No!"  Why wouldn't it, it's very image is of lightning and people falling, would make you dread it turning up. But are we actually giving this card a bad rap?

There is no denying that the Tower represents in a reading a dramatic change, but I note that that bolt of lightning not only strikes the Tower but also illuminates it. Perhaps that is something we should consider.

Illumination throws light on a situation, something that could not be seen before is now visible. This bears asking the question is that which is changing good or bad?  Either way, the Tower now brings it to the fore.

When I look at the Tower Card I am reminded of a quote by Confucius:
"Our greatest glory is not in never falling
but in rising every time we fall."

What the Tower suggests to us in its message, from what I can see is, that existing forms need to be broken down. Of course this can take on many different situations, from losing a job, to a breakdown in a relationship, to something as simple as changing the way we think about something. When that bolt of lightening strikes, it can and very often is upsetting.

Lets take a scenario:  You lose a job you never expected to. It may be hard to see at that moment the illumination the lightning bolt provides. But in losing that job you have been liberated and now you find yourself in a position to venture in a different direction. That could never have happened if the Tower had stayed upright and the lightening never strikes.  Once one has recovered from the abrupt change in circumstance, you then realise you are better off out of that previous position whether it be a job or a relationship. The Tower has brought you a form of freedom.

The Tower then is not necessarily a bad card but a card that can be seen as liberating. It brings in its destruction transformation and allows you to build up from the bottom a better and more healthy future.

The Tower is a number 16 card which breaks down to 1+6=7. What 7's often represent in tarot, I have found, is wisdom, insight and personal growth. It's a number that urges us to look inwards and learn to accept our own limitations, and explore what we are capable of achieving. 7 also relates to the Major Arcana Card The Chariot, which symbolises for us gaining control, a show of will power and maintaining balance and direction. 

The Tower then could even be considered a cathartic experience. How? It appears to offer one the guidance to examine those existing beliefs, clear out what is not appropriate anymore and re-build making the foundation more secure, once you recognise that those constricting and rigid forms no longer need to hold you.  Think of the lightning as that "ah ha" moment when we realise we should change our belief and take our life in another direction.

There is no denying that the Tower may well shatter your ideas or a situation but at the same time it offers you the opportunity for change. So, as I ramble through the meanings of this card, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that it's not so bad after all.


The Tower card: 
Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
By Mary Hanson-Roberts

Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Poetry Inspired by Tarot - Death Meets Midnight

Tarot Cards are a wonderful inspiration for writing, their symbolism can kick start a story or a poem.  My inspiration for my poem Death Meets Midnight come from Patrick Valenza's wonderful deck Deviant Moon published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

I hope you enjoy reading it.

Death Meets Midnight

Death Meets Midnight 

Come sup a glass of wine with me,
Said Death in Midnight’s ear.
It’s rich and dark and red as blood,
And there is naught to fear.

Wary Midnight shook her head,
Your journey’s been a waste.
Tempting as that wine may be,
I don’t think I will taste.

Oh come now, just one little sip,
And two friends we will be.
A partnership so excellent,
I think you would agree.

I can’t go, I want to stay, 
Find yourself another.
The night is young, not over yet,
Drink with Dawn, my brother.

Sweet Midnight, said impatient Death,
I can’t leave you behind.
Your time is here my pretty dear,
It would be so unkind.

Midnight whispered I'm afraid,
For this is all I’ve known.
If I go, how do I know,
That I won’t be alone.

Take my hand, smiled Death,
We’ll be together, friend.
This for  you is just the start,
And certainly not the end.

©2014 Helen A. Howell

Friday, July 21, 2017

Opposite Point of View Spread

This is a spread I designed way back in 2011, but I never got around to showing it.  I've called it the opposite Point of View Spread because each position has two cards, one in the upright position and one in reversed. This gives you the opportunity to see the positive and the negative of a situation.

I'm using two different decks I've chosen the Rider Waite for the positive and the Deviant Moon for the negative. It's nice if you can use a darker deck for the negative but it is not necessary.

The Layout is:

The question asked for someone who wants to remain anonymous is "What can I do to increase sales in my hobby store.

The positional definitions are as follows:

1:     What do I need to know or understand about this situation?
1rx:   What is blocking, delaying or obstructing me in this situation?

The Magician/Page of Swords reversed: 

The Magician card tells you that you need to understand that you have the ability to create.  It indicates that you have all that you need to hand and you can use these in a creative way to produce a product that will be desirable to the customers. The Magician indicates that this is a time of high energy, but more to the point it is a time to be versatile and adaptable in order to bring the change you desire.

What is obstructing you in this situation comes from the Page of Swords rx and he suggests that your logical way of thinking, can get in the way of  your creative thoughts. The Page is a no. 11 card which breaks down to 1+1= 2. This is a number of balance, co-operation. Keep that balance between your thoughts and they won't get in the way of your progress. 

2:     How can I move on to resolve this situation?
2rx:  What energies work against me in this respect?

Strength/Knight of Wands rx.
Strength suggest that how you resolve this situation is to draw on your will power and channel your energy towards a positive creative end. Here you have a number 8 card that often represents movement, power and gaining control.  It's a number that suggests a new start to what may not have been working. It takes what has gone before and trys to apply it in a practical way.  So it can be a number that indicates a new way forward. Strength therefore indicates a need to understand the dual forces that exist within us, pulling us one way or the other and learn to master them.

The Knight of Wands rx suggest that the energies that work against you in this respect is the possibility of sudden change in your routine. These unforeseen disruptions cause you delays. This is where you must use your determination to find time to pursue your creative tasks. The Knight of Wands is a no. 12 card which breaks down to 1+2 = 3. This is a number that represent one and two coming together to create a third - thought + action = realisation.

3:     What should be the first steps I take in moving forward in this situation?
3rx  What  do I need to avoid doing?

Lovers/Queen of Pentacles reversed.

The Lovers illustrates for us the importance of choice, because the choice you make could affect the rest of your life etc. So do you want to stay safe or are you prepared to take a risk that could give you greater rewards? So first step is you have to make a choice and then you must recognise, that when you choose one way, that you may have to give up something else.  Choices always mean this. Here you have a number 6 card and that can be a number of communication, realisation, balance and harmony. The Lovers can be a card of positive changes.

The Queen of Pentacles reversed, however indicates that you should avoid becoming too materialistic or throwing yourself completely into your work so that the other things that matter to you become neglected.  So there is a warning in the Queen's message for you to remain balanced and practical in order to maintain a happy lifestyle that includes work and home. The Queen is a no. 13 card which breaks down to 1+3= 4 this is a number of stability and structure. 4's can act like stepping stones into the next phase. It relates to reasoning and logic so, what you understand at this point can help you complete your goal.

You have the ability to be creative providing you don't let your logical mind get in the way of your creative thoughts. You can achieve this by drawing on your inner strength to help you channel your creative ability to a positive end. You have to not let life's little disruptions throw you off course . Your first step towards achieving your goal is to make a choice, perhaps try something new. However the key to being successful and increasing your sales is to maintain a balance between your creative pursuits and your family life.  

I hope you enjoyed seeing this spread in action and if you do try it out, I'd love to here how you go.


Deviant Moon Tarot By Patrick Valenza
Published by U.S. Games Systems Inc.

Original Rider Waite -By A E Waite & Pamela Colman-Smith
Published by  U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

It's All In The Question - Tarot Reading

How best to frame a question for a Tarot reading?  Just ask you may say. However, it's how you ask your question that will or will not get you the best results. It is true that the type of answer you'll receive, depends on how you've asked your question. 

Tarot is a tool to help empower you to take responsibility for your own life. The cards do not make the decisions for you, they just suggest the various possibilities. What do you aim to get from a Tarot reading?  What it can do for you is help you gain clarity of thought when facing a challenge or problem in your life.  It is a tool that can help you look where you had not thought to look before. It can open the door to you forming a better and more constructive decision about the situation you are facing.

This brings us back to how you ask your question will affect the type of answer you receive. Instead of a question that requires a yes/no answers, and in my humble opinion, Tarot does not always deal with yes/no very effectively. You'll get more helpful results if you keep your questions open ended.  By this I mean:
How can I....?
What do I need to know/ understand/do......?
How can I improve my chances of.........?
How might I....?

You get the idea? This enables Tarot to show you those alternatives you might not have thought of for yourself, in order to either solve your problem or meet your goal. But best of all it allows the Tarot to empower you to make the right decisions for yourself.

As an example of what I'm talking about I'll show you two questions and how they can be put in a way that you hold all the power.

Instead of asking:  Is my boss ignoring me?
Try:  What can I do to improve the situation with my boss?

When you ask a question of the Tarot it should really be focused on yourself.  It might not be considered ethical to ask about another person who is absent from the reading.  

Instead of asking: Does my mother-in-law hate me?
Try:  How can I improve my relationship with my mother-in-law?

The  trick to getting the best answers from the Tarot is to make your question specific. The result you get from a reading will entirely depend on how you ask your question.  So next time you are doing a reading for yourself, or getting a reading done by another, remember to think about how best to frame your question in order to get good insights into what you could do to solve your problem.

Card: Tarot Bella, unfinished deck by Helen