If you are just beginning to get to know the Tarot, you may want to avoid the 10-card Celtic Cross spread and start off with simple yet effective one card readings.
Yes, pulling just one card from your deck can already tell you a hell of a lot about what is going on around you.
It can even tell you a bit about your personality, habits, strengths and weaknesses.
Here are five ways to read one Tarot card and get instant, meaningful messages:
1. Calculate your year card. It offers you some insight on the energies and overall theme that will be influencing you during the course of the year. Do the same for family and friends to get to know the cards and discover what might be in store for them over the year.
2. Calculate your personality card. This card will give you some ideas on your life lessons and purpose in this life; another great one-card reading to try on your family and friends.
3. Discover your persona card. Find out which court card is linked to your sun sign and explore your court card personality. This is a good way to acquaint yourself with the often tricky court cards, so make sure you also practice the persona card reading with plenty of people you know.
4. Do a daily one-card draw. You can either pull a card in the morning to see what may come up for you during the day, or you can pull one in the evening for the following day. Record them on a chart like this, and after a week analyse the cards drawn for more insight: Which suit has come up most? How many Major Arcana cards? How many court cards and which ones? How accurate have your interpretations been?
5. Do a weekly one-card draw. If you are too busy for a card-a-day, you can draw just one card for the week ahead to offer you some insight on the energies you can expect over the forthcoming days. Use this journaling sheet to record your interpretation and predictions you come up with.
For your daily and weekly draw you can also use my ebook The Cosmic Faery Tarot Guidebook to help you with your readings until you are more confident with your interpretations.
The more you practice, the more messages and insight you will receive from just one card.
Take your time when you look at the image, and let its symbolism speak to you: what kind of landscape do you see? What colours? Any people? Are they happy, sad, angry, alone?
In my previous post you can find all the details of the Planetary Spread and more information about the beautiful Rosetta Tarot.
Please note that for this sample reading I have used the astrological correspondences given in the companion book of this deck.
The cards drawn for this general reading are as follows:
1. Earth: Princess of Disks – Earth of Earth (together with the Ace of Disks ruler of Aries, Taurus, Gemini)
In the Self position, the Princess of Disks suggests a person, who is full of creative potential and keen to manifest possibilities into something tangible and fruitful. Her creative energy is symbolised by her pregnancy and her crest of the Ram/Oxen head. The Princess of Disks represents creative endeavours in their early stages, and she needs to demonstrate ambition (Aries), patience and perseverance (Taurus) and mental focus (Libra) to turn her ideas into reality.
Her personality is down-to-earth and realistic, sprinkled with a touch of hedonism (good food and drink) and indulgent sensuality. The Princess of Disks has a strong affinity with nature and all things natural/organic/handmade.
The key message of this card is to focus on aspirations with patience and clarity in order to achieve goals and enduring productivity.
2. Sun: Two of Swords – Moon in Libra
The current power source is that of calm, stillness and balance. A peaceful mind alleviates insecurities. Taking time to relax and meditate is important right now to sustain well-being. Creative projects need patience; nothing should be rushed. There is a sense of being at peace by avoiding confrontations or delay making some tough decisions.
The key message of this card is to practice emotional detachment in order to create inner balance to make the right decision and move forward.
3. Mars: Four of Disks – Sun in Capricorn
The Four of Disks in the Action position suggests being over-protective of security, possessions and what is known. The need for control can be overpowering at times, stifling others and limiting own potential for expansion. Letting go of power and control may seem risky, but it can have a liberating effect, whilst at the same time avoiding becoming reckless or irresponsible.
The key message of the Four of Disks is to loosen the grip on power and control by developing more trust in others and even the unknown.
4. Venus: Ace of Cups – Root of Water (together with the Princess of Cups ruler of Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius)
The Ace of Cups in the love position suggests new emotional beginnings and being receptive to opportunities in love and deepening relationships. Here we see a person, who is open-hearted, ready to give love and nurture others. If this card comes up at a time of emotional upheaval, it can suggest positive developments, that not all is as bleak as it seems, and happy times will return.
Any relationship issues can be resolved by applying qualities of the three ruling zodiac signs: communicative (Libra), passionate (Scorpio) and generous (Sagittarius).
Aces symbolise potential, so the key message of the Ace of Cups is to start sowing the seeds of love in the present by joyfully giving and sharing without expecting anything in return.
In a relationship reading, the Mars and Venus position could indicate one person, who is ready to embark on a new relationship and willing to commit (Ace of Cups), whereas the other person is reluctant to do so, perhaps wanting to protect their feelings (Four of Disks).
5. Jupiter: Prince of Disks – Air of Earth – Aries/Taurus (ruler of 4 of Wands, 5 of Disks, 6 of Disks)
The Prince of Disks in the opportunities position suggests progress through discipline and tenacity. In the image he is driving an ox-pulled chariot scattering dandelion flowers, which symbolise fruitfulness. He is hard-working, patient and energetic. These qualities will be beneficial when pursuing goals at work or at home.
The three pip cards he is ruling indicate initial success (4 of Wands) and the need to manage money more efficiently (5 and 6 of Disks).
The key message of the Prince of Disks is that hard work and perseverance will pay off, but at the same time finances need to be managed carefully.
6. Mercury: Five of Wands – Saturn in Leo
The Five of Wands in the communications position suggests misunderstandings, arguments and power struggles. The Saturn in Leo constellation linked to this card indicates the need to tame the ego and focus more on collaboration rather than competition. Before getting drawn into an argument, it’s worth remembering that clear, simple and calm discussions will be more effective to encourage co-operation.
Whether it is relevant to you in relationships, at work or in family situations, the key message of the Five of Wands is to avoid fighting for power or position to get results. Instead, focus on your goal and what you want to achieve by promoting a more constructive team effort.
7. Saturn: The Hierophant – Taurus
The Hierophant in the opposition/teacher position suggests that conventional structures and an organised hierarchy are beneficial to personal and professional development, even though they can sometimes limit creativity. This is supported by the other Disks cards in this spread. Set tasks, routines, daily schedules and to-do lists are proven tools of productivity, which can at times stifle flexibility and spontaneity.
The key message of the Hierophant is to embrace all the advantages of order, discipline and traditional values, but also be more aware of their limitations. Learning new skills, meet new people or try something different will be invigorating and broaden the horizon.
8. Moon: Queen of Swords – Water of Air – Libra
The Queen of Swords in the feeling position suggests the need to be emotionally strong and resilient. Perhaps feelings are being controlled rather than light-heartedly displayed. Nothing wrong with that, especially when feelings are negative and could easily be expressed with cutting, spiteful remarks. Some issues still need to be resolved, and this Queen may either keep a stiff upper lip or voice her emotions in a matter-of-fact, clear and honest way.
The key message of the Queen of Swords is not to keep emotions suppressed. Whatever needs to be resolved, do it with diplomacy, wit, fairness and understanding.
The Queen of Swords in the Moon position complements the Two of Swords in its opposing Sun position. Here, the message of keeping a cool head and practising emotional detachment (without being cold-hearted) is emphasised to create and maintain harmony.
Some images are very similar to those in the Thoth deck, but others vary a lot, and some images have even been given a modern, 21st century overhaul.
This isn’t a lengthy review of the Rosetta Tarot. Overall, I love this deck, and it has inspired me to create an 8-card planetary spread, which can be used as a condensed overview, ideal for general readings.
If you are interested in buying this deck, you will need to be quick, because only 777 copies have been printed, and I received number 520.
I would also recommend buying the companion book, the Book of Seshet, as it offers a wealth of information on the artwork and symbolism of the deck, astrological correspondences, an introduction to Qabalah and explores the Golden Dawn based tarot structure.
In ancient Greco-Roman astronomy five planets and two illuminaries (sun and moon also referred to as planets) were identified, which could all be seen with the naked eye:
Moon – Mercury – Venus – Sun – Mars – Jupiter – Saturn
It was also believed that the Earth was at the centre of the solar system, circled by the seven planets.
The planetary spread is based on this ancient model.
Each planet is associated with characteristics and psychological energies, which we all express in various forms and at different times.
In Tarot, the planets are linked to Major Arcana cards, which can already offer you an insight, what the individual planet is all about, and what the position in the spread refers to.
This spread doesn’t contain a future/outcome position. Instead, each card may reveal new information or confirm what you already know. It may also offer guidance on what action to take, perhaps even suggest future possibilities:
The self; present situation; your current role; how you express yourself; where you are right now; your reality; identity
2. Sun (The Sun)
Power source; what motivates you; energy levels, creative endeavours; level of contentment
3. Mars (The Tower)
Action; the male principle; what actions need to be taken; what needs to be confronted; power and control issues; leadership; what existing structures need to be broken up and rebuilt; in a relationship reading, this position can relate to the male (or male-orientated) partner
4. Venus (The Empress)
Love; the female principle; relationships; family; home life; what needs to be nurtured; sensual pleasures; health; in a relationship reading, this position can relate to the female (or female-orientated) partner
5. Jupiter (Wheel of Fortune)
Opportunities to look out for; things in your favour; changing circumstances; new experiences; growth, expansion; what helps you to reach a long-term goal or is necessary for survival
6. Mercury (The Magician)
Messages that clarify a situation; potential; communication; resources available; what needs changing; intention and goals; generating ideas
7. Saturn (The World)
Opposition or teacher; obstacles, limitations and boundaries; what has been achieved and completed; lessons learned; what adversity have you overcome that has made you stronger; likewise, which apparent positive situations/people in your life can turn out to be a problem in the future
8. Moon (The High Priestess)
Feelings and emotions; how you have been feeling recently; moods; fears, insecurities; doubts; perceptions, what is hidden; intuition
How to read the Cards in this Spread
Shuffle the deck and arrange the cards face-down. Although the cards are placed in the numerical sequence of the spread, they can be read in any order.
If you do the reading for someone else, you could ask the querent to choose, which card to start with (whilst the cards are still lying face-down). This can give you an indication, what the querent’s subconscious priorities are or what concerns them most.
See this spread in action with the Rosetta Tarot in the follow-up post.