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T-L Info CardIn 1935 the British magazine and book publisher Tomson-Leng produced a set of “Tarot Fortune Cards” that were given away to the readers of “My Weekly”—a women’s magazine. This unusual set of 79 cards (including this verse) is partly based on the Rider-Waite-Smith deck but with some significant differences, especially in the suit of Rods [Wands], which owe some of their symbolism to designs published by Eudes Picard in Manuel Synthétique & Pratique du Tarot (1909). The suits are Rods, Cups, Swords and Pence, which, according to Picard, correspond to Fire, Air, Water and Earth‚ respectively, which is why so many Swords cards have water and Cups cards have a butterfly as an air symbol. The Fool is numbered 21 and comes before The World.

This deck is also notable for being chaste and family-friendly with no nudity. The The LWB [little white booklet] is one of the most interesting and original works from this period, having spreads that I’ve never seen elsewhere. None of the spreads list individual position meanings. There are card interpretations for both upright and reversed orientations and often special meanings when the card appears near one or two other cards.

Here is a “reclaimed spread” from the 1935 booklet: Read the rest of this entry »

What I’m after isn’t flexible bodies, but flexible brains. What I’m after is to restore each person to their human dignity.”

Moshe Feldenkrais wrote a book called The Potent Self: A Study of Spontaneity and Compulsion. In his “Awareness through Movement” classes (the Feldenkrais Method) you can discover where you body has become inhibited and thus lacks a full range of movement. Using Feldenkrais’ techniques you can eventually regain most or all of that potential. For instance, if you ever broke a leg, your body compensated for the injury. After healing, your body may have become unconsciously habituated to some of that compensation, limiting your range of motion. In his book, Feldenkrais draws parallels with how the same thing occurs in our minds and attitudes. If you were told to always be polite, then you no longer have a full range of possible responses, so it may be difficult to say no. If you feel inhibited asking for what you really want, then your potency is compromised.

Use this spread, which is based on recommendations in The Potent Self, to explore inhibitions and impotencies of which you may not be fully aware. Be playful when interpreting the cards, looking for literal clues as well as puns and metaphors in the cards you draw. This is a wonderful spread to use with the Osho Zen Tarot, though any deck will work. Read all cards as if they were upright but explore a full range of the card’s possibilities. For instance, the Sun ranges from joy to burn out.

Shuffle the deck making sure you will obtain reversed cards. Cut and restack in a new order. Turn over cards from the top until you get to the first reversed card. Put this in Position 1.

Card 1: Where am I feeling impotent or inhibited? This describes the situation or issue where your full potential is restricted.

Briefly shuffle all cards except that in Position 1. Spread them face down in a fan on the table. Use your intuition to select cards for the remaining positions from anywhere in the fan.

Card 2: What is inhibiting the proper function and thus causing the impotency? Note: this may have been an appropriate response in the past but is now merely a compensatory habit.

Card 3: What will come from becoming more potent? Brainstorm as many possibilities as you can, including difficult ones.

Card 4: What will come from not becoming more potent, that is, staying the same or getting worse? Include the absolutely worst case scenario suggested by this card.

Card 5: What action is needed? What kinds of things does this card suggest that you do? Pick one and do it.

Is there any “true” way to lay the cards? Probably not. But here is the first tarot spread to appear in print. It is in an article by le Comte de M*** (Mellet) in Court de Gébelin’s Le Monde Primitif (1781). The spread instructions were followed by a sample interpretation—the dream of Joseph in the Bible. I decided that such a simple but powerful layout deserves to be brought back “into play.” Try it out for yourself.

The layout is best accomplished by two people working together, who have divided the deck into two stacks so that each has one of them:

Person 1 — the 56 Minor Arcana
Person 2 — the 22 Trumps (Major Arcana).

Each person takes their stack, shuffles it, and then simultaneously goes through the stacks card-by-card as follows:

Person 1: Turns the cards of the Minor Arcana over one-by-one while counting Ace, 2, 3, 4, … Page, Knight, Queen, King (use the court card names from your own deck), and continue counting with the Ace. Any card which has the same number or rank as that named is to be set aside. That is, if when counting 5, you turn over a 5 of any suit, that card is selected and put to the side.

Person 2: Goes through the Trumps at the same time, putting down a card each time Person 1 does so, but without turning it over. When Person 1 puts a card aside (because the number and the card matched), Person 2 takes the card he/she put down at the same time and turns it face up next to Person 1’s card to form a pair. When Person 2 has gone through all the Trumps, he/she picks up the reject stack and continues to put them down in the now-reversed order.

The process ends when Person 1 runs out of Minor Arcana cards.

Interpret the resulting cards as pairs.

oldestspread025.jpgFor example, in the first reading I did with this spread, the result of the count was:

Ace of Pentacles — Lovers
Ace of Cups — Sun
Three of Cups — Death
Knight of Wands — Star

These cards had an incredible feeling of power about them. My partner in the reading immediately said, “It’s all about the deaths!” and I realized he was right. We had just found out about the deaths of three people we knew (Three of Cups plus Death). Three incredible people—each making the transition (Knight of Wands) to another world in their own way. They were being shown to us as Beings of Light (the Sun) starting a new phase of existence (the two Aces). I was awed by the beauty of their souls that radiated out from these cards as if reborn in the spirit (the Sun). It was good to feel that they were with loved ones (Three of Cups and Lovers), and it seemed to me that they were riding (Knight of Wands) towards their highest destiny (Star). I took it as a message to us from the other side, saying that they were all right and just where they should be. (Deck: The Albano-Waite Miniature Tarot Cards.)


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Mary K. Greer has made tarot her life work. Check here for reports of goings-on in the world of tarot and cartomancy, articles on the history and practice of tarot, and materials on other cartomancy decks. Sorry, I no longer write reviews. Contact me HERE.

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