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Why Read Tarot Tableau Style?

Reading Tarot efficiently is complicated and there’s no way around it. With so many cards, so many traditions, so many spreads, and a plethora of information readily available it can be a truly overwhelming experience!

At least, I know it was for me! Even after you’ve managed to learn your cards, work out the system and internalize a couple of spreads, it's easy to feel a lack of connection among the cards and a puzzling sensation of “What does this even mean?!”

I battled for years, trying to understand single cards in predetermined positions, not being able to work out what it meant. I had studied hard and long, learnt about traditional meanings, symbolism, and correspondences. I could easily write a page on what each card meant... But I couldn’t truly write about what it meant, it was mostly for the querent to work out. The whole thing sounded really deep, and they could tell I was knowledgeable about Tarot, its symbolism, and all the spiritual bells and whistles, but still, it was not truly useful!

I tried and tried to work with different spreads; I pulled a gazillion Celtic Crosses which interpretations left more questions than answers. Want a three-card spread? I have twenty! Freestyle card drawing, spiral spreads, customized to the querent’s needs... And I still felt I was missing something. And one day it hit me!

I entered a café where a friend of mine was sitting on a table, accompanied by his own friend. They invited me to join them and so I did! We were all Tarot readers, so we pulled our cards out of our pockets and she began to read. I was observing her spread and her technique; there were twelve cards on the table, four rows of three. As she finished her reading for my friend, before she took back the cards, I had to ask her “Wait! Where did all that come from?” It was then when she started to point out the way in which the cards interacted. It was a ten-minute thing, but it forever changed the way I read!

Single Words Become Paragraphs

That afternoon, I had only got a glimpse of what would later become my reading style, but I felt like I had unlocked a whole other level of reading. I hadn’t had the time to fully understand her technique or observe her method, but I decided to incorporate the two or three key points that I took with me that day into my readings.

I started to include those techniques in readings with positions, but I found it difficult to let go of the meaning that the position gave to the card and didn’t know how to interpret it. So while it made it easier for me, it didn’t really work.

After that, I spent a few months reading freestyle in a kind of wannabe narrative way, but the lack of structure drove me crazy. It was when Lenormand came into my life that I decided to try the 3x3 box Tarot edition et voilà! A whole new world of Tarot interpretation opened before me.

This was not a words-to-sentence transformation, it was a words-to-paragraphs kind of thing! Incorporating tableau techniques into my reading style gave me enough structure to know where to look at and how to follow a thread, while at the same time, there was enough room left for the cards to interact freely in a non-distracting way, without the limit of a single card assigned to a single, predetermined position.

Don’t get me wrong, there are ways to read a spread with predetermined positions in a comprehensive way, and I eventually learnt how to do that - even though after trying tableau style, that’s what I have stuck with! - but I don’t think I would have got that perspective if it hadn’t been for that afternoon when my little bulb was lit by chance!

Spiritual Gibberish Meets Practicality

The ability to see and interpret the reading as a whole wasn’t the only thing that changed when I incorporated tableau techniques into my readings. Now that I had learnt how to identify patterns and connect the cards that I had on the table, my readings were no longer oracular. I didn’t have to tell my clients that they were “going through an awakening that would make them ponder what structures in their lives needed to remain and what structures needed to be torn down, so that they could fully embrace their higher purpose on this Earth” when they asked if they would be getting a promotion or not.

At first, I doubted myself and wondered if my readings were taking a step back in quality, if I was somehow downgrading them. They became shorter, more concise, less decorated. The readings that used to take five pages would go down to two. However; after comparing, I would come up with the realization, that those two pages said more than five would say before, and without really noticing, I started to slip into a reading style that felt authentic to me.

The greatest thing about reading tableau style is that you can confirm what you’re about to say in several ways. That was a game-changer for me. There was no more second-guessing, no more “I’m not sure what this card means here”, and that allowed me to find my own voice as a reader.

Tarot Tableau Techniques

This story is the story of many talented readers out there who feel that something is missing from their readings even though they have read countless books and tried a million spreads. Not to speak about beginners who feel discouraged after not being able to make sense of a spread, even though they know the individual meanings of the cards!

That’s the reason why I put together Tarot Tableau Techniques Level 1. Because if I had learnt this when I got started, my life would have been so much easier, and because life is complicated enough already, particularly in the midst of these uncertain times, to spend time trying to make sense out of a Bible prophecy kind of reading!

Enroll in Tarot Tableau Techniques Level 1 and kiss fancy spreads goodbye! (It won’t look as cool as the heart-shaped spreads on Instagram, but I promise it will be useful!)

©2016 by World Divination Association

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