You are now ready to begin putting your tarot knowledge to work. Lesson 5 describes the Daily Reading. In this reading, you select a single card that becomes your theme for the day. The purpose is to heighten your awareness of one approach to life for a single twenty-four-hour period. It also helps you learn the tarot without strain or tedium.
Let's say you have drawn the Two of Cups for a daily reading. As you go through the day, you will watch for signs of this card's special energy. The keywords for the Two of Cups card are connection, truce and attraction. In the morning, you notice that a colleague, who has been rather hostile, comes to your office to talk. You sense a truce, and you take advantage of it. In the afternoon, while working on a problem, you look for the connection between two approaches and find your solution. Later, at a party, you talk to someone who attracts you. On each occasion, you access the energy of the Two of Cups and allow it to guide your decisions.
At first, you may want to choose your daily card deliberately so you can avoid repeat selections and learn the deck more quickly. (See exercise 5.1.) If you prefer, you can choose your card without conscious intervention. (See exercise 5.2.) Here is the procedure:
Keep a journal of your selections. Later, you will find it interesting to trace the pattern of your choices. I started studying the tarot in earnest when I was spending my days caring for my two boys, then under five. One day I calculated the distribution of my daily cards to that point and found the following:
How clearly this describes my life at that time - heavy on the real world (Pentacles) and basic forces (major arcana) and not so heavy on individual creativity (Wands).
In your journal, jot down a few highlights of the day next to your entry. This will help you correlate the cards with your moods and activities; but keep it simple, or you will soon tire of the effort.
I wrote my journal entries using five pens of different colors - one for each category:
Color coding helps you see at a glance the shifting tarot patterns of your weeks and months.
You will probably be surprised to find that you draw certain cards over and over. Of the fifty-seven Pentacles I recorded early on, I drew the Ace and Queen eleven times each! At home with my children, so many of my days reflected the themes of these two cards. The Queen of Pentacles is the ultimate nurturing mother. The Ace of Pentacles offers opportunities to enjoy the material side of life, and it doesn't get more material than cleaning dirty diapers!
I picked these two cards so often that I became suspicious about them. I examined them closely one day to see if I had damaged them in such a way that I would be more likely to select them. They appeared no different from the others. I was simply drawn to them because they expressed my situation at that time. The cards you select frequently will also tell you about your concerns.
The most important step in learning the tarot is to take the cards out of the box regularly. The Daily Reading is the ideal solution. If you do one each day, you will absorb the character of each card quickly and easily.
Exercises for Lesson 5
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