Aeclectic Tarot
Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive
Library Index

A beginner question: Significators

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 10 Jun 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

Houklani  10 Jun 2002 
Almost every book and web resource I've found talks about using a significator in certain spreads. Sometimes they tell you to let the querent pick out a significator, sometimes you, as the reader, are supposed to. Sometimes the significator can be any card, sometimes it has to be a court card. I'm guessing that you can do this any way you want, depending on what you feel comfortable with. However....

How do you read a significator?????

Does the definition of the card selected necessarily apply to the querent? or is it just there to make the querent feel comfortable?


Mermaid  10 Jun 2002 
Hi Houklani -

The only reason I use a significator is if I want to 'focus' my cards on someone else. For example, I don't use a significator when I'm doing a spread for myself because I'm already there and I'm used to reading for myself! But on the (rare!) occasion that I read for anyone else I'll use a significator, because the spread is focused on them.
Hope that makes some sense :)

PS - there are bunches of 'signifier' threads on the forum, so if you're interested in reading some old discussions on signifiers just do a search (at the bottom of the screen). (And try the spelling 'signifier' too - aeclecticans can't spell :)) Here's one to get you started:

(Edited for spelling ;)) 

Jenny-Li  11 Jun 2002 

I've mentioned this before, and I guess this isn't the "right" way to use significators, but I have this vision of letting the client/querent pick out one card from the deck that speaks to him or her in relation to the question, and then begin the reading by having the querent explain what he or she sees in that card, and what made him or her pick that one.

When I read the other cards, I can relate both to this, as a take on how the querent views himself/herself/the situation, and to what I see in that card. (Or perhaps this goes as the last part of the reading... I'm not sure, this is still a theoretical approach, still haven't had the nerves to start reading for others - live at least! Though I have a feeling I might be better at catching energies when they're in the same room, than if I have to plug in online... Besides this way might be a good way to get the querent's energies into the deck and the reading. (I've no problem (at least I don't think I have...!) with someone else touching the cards for a reading, I can always cleanse them afterwards!)

I hope this was a help and not just more confusion...!
light and love,
Jenny :) 

Houklani  11 Jun 2002 
Hmm.... Well I'm still confused, but maybe I need to clear up my question a bit. What I really want to know is: How do you include a significator in a reading? Is it necassery to tell the querent aobut the significator, or are they already supposed to know what it means so that they can choose it? And how does the significator relate to the other cards in the spread?

I hope all these questions make sense....


Mermaid  11 Jun 2002 
Well, this is just my 2 cents - I'm sure everyone else will have other ideas... :)

If you want to pick the significator yourself (just based on your first impressions of the querants personality, or their star sign or something) I don't think you have to say anything about it to the querant. If they ask what it is, you could just say something like 'this is the (insert name of card here) that I am using to represent you.'

But on the other hand if you want to get the querant to choose the significator themselves I guess you would have to explain what it was for - like maybe you could offer them all of the court cards and ask them to pick the one they feel represents them best, for the first card in the spread.

I guess it really all comes down to if you want to pick the card yourself, or have the querant pick it.

Hope that helps some. 

Jenny-Li  12 Jun 2002 
Originally posted by Houklani
Is it necassery to tell the querent aobut the significator, or are they already supposed to know what it means so that they can choose it? And how does the significator relate to the other cards in the spread?
I hope all these questions make sense....


I get a feeling this might be my crazy thinking that's got you all confused - sorry, that wasn't my intention! My little idea was that the querent gets a feel for the cards by simply looking through the cards and picking one out that feels to him or her like it relates to the issue. This is, as I said, not the traditional way of dealing a significator, but it might be useful in some cases. The querent does not have to what the cards "mean" it's the image as such that will click, on the querent's unconscious level, which means the card he or she picks will be a way of tapping into her unconcious feelings in the matter of the issue at hand. And you relate it to the other cards in the spread by relating what you see in this card to what you see in the others - this part should apply no matter how you've chosen the significator, whether you go with my not-in-the-book-idea or not...!

I really hope I haven't messed things up for you with my rant - I should probably not have since you probably want to know the traditional stuff first, and then you can figure out your own ways for yourself. I just couldn't stop myself! Sorry...

Jenny :) 

Jewel  12 Jun 2002 

The idea of browsing the forums for significator threads is a great one. There are various theories and ways to select a significator, one common one is by using the coloring of your querent to help select it, and based on age selecting which of the court cards within a suit (based on coloring of querent) to use.

Personally I do not use them anymore. I use the first card drawn in a Celtic cross to indicate or signify where the querent is in relation to the question, the second remains what crosses it. I am not a big fan of the Celtic Cross either ... but sometimes I use it. You might want to experiment with other spreads all together. 

The A beginner question: Significators thread was originally posted on 10 Jun 2002 in the Using Tarot Cards board, and is now archived in the Forum Library. Read the threads in Using Tarot Cards, or read more archived threads.

Tarot Cards & Reviews Free Tarot Readings Tarot Books Tarot Card Meanings Forum Archive

Aeclectic Tarot Forum Links
· Tarot
· Tarot Special Interest
· Beyond Tarot
· Forum Library

Aeclectic Tarot Categories
· Angel Decks
· Dark & Gothic Decks
· Goddess Decks
· Fairy Decks
· Doreen Virtue Decks
· Beginner Decks
· Cat Decks
· Pagan & Wiccan Decks
· Ancient Egyptian Decks
· Celtic Decks
· Lenormand Decks
· Rider-Waite Decks
· Marseilles Decks
· Thoth Decks
· Oracle Decks
· List All Decks
· Popular Tarot Decks
· Available Decks
· Tarot Books
· What's New

Copyright © 1996 - 2017 Aeclectic Tarot. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy. Contact us.