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Those Clarification Cards

Thread originally posted on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum on 28 Aug 2002, and now archived in the Forum Library.

midnightmerry  28 Aug 2002 
I'd like more information using 'clarification cards'- you know, the extra cards you draw to shed light on a reading. I've never used them, mainly because I'm not sure how. Do you just draw extra cards from the deck you did the reading from (and if so, do you re-shuffle first?) Do you shuffle and use a completely different deck? How many cards do you draw for the clarification? 

Jewel  28 Aug 2002 
Hi Midnightmerry! I use clarification cards some times. Basically I just use cards from the top of the deck used for the spread. I will draw clarification cards in clarification of a particular card in the spread and see if helps me understand that card and its meaning better. I only pull as many clarification cards as I need (the fewer the better for me). 

Rhiannon  28 Aug 2002 
Sometimes after completing a reading I will reshuffle the remaining cards and pull a clarification card. Usually, while shuffling, I'll ask "How can I achieve this goal?" or "What can help me most at this time?" something like that. And then I just take the advice given from that one card (as it applies to the rest of the reading).

Did that make any sense at all.... *wandering away dazed*

R :) 

lunalafey  28 Aug 2002 
I draw an extra card at times. The fewer the better. Sometimes it's for the whole reading, sometimes to expand on one card/position because it was not fitting in to the reading. This card does shed light on the first card, it is like it gives it direction or a subject. Usually I draw from an unshuffled deck, but if the spirit moves me I may cut and then draw or pull from the's a gut thing..... 

HudsonGray  28 Aug 2002 
I've drawn from the top of the deck, just the next one in sequence. Sometimes 2 cards, but no more than 3 at most I'd say.

I was there when a friend tried it for the first time on a reading, pulled the Knight of Pentacles, said "oops, I should shuffle first" put it back in, shuffled them up pretty good for 3 minutes or so & pulled the top card---the Knight of Pentacles. The deck sure told us! 

Keslynn  28 Aug 2002 
I rarely use clarification cards, but when I do, it generally pull them off the top of the unshuffled remainder of the deck. I've never used them to clarify just one card out of the reading, but I think it's a great idea. I'll probably use that in future. :) Thanks! I usually use clarifiers for the whole reading. 1-3 cards though as few as necessary to get the point across.

:) Kes 

midnightmerry  28 Aug 2002 
Thanks everybody, this is a lot clearer now. I was never sure how many 'clarifiers' were used or where to draw them from. I do already use an 'advice' card for the whole reading, but sometimes I need just a bit more. I think I'll limit it to one or two extra cards at the most. 

Thirteen  28 Aug 2002 
I use clarificaton cards all the time--often with amusing results. I don't reshuffle, but, like Keslynn, pull them off the top of the remainder of the deck that I've been using to lay out the spread.

Here's what I do. I lay out the spread. Go over it with the querent. Then I say, "do you want clarification on any of these cards?" They point to one, I pull a card off the top of the deck and lay that clarification card down beside and a little atop the card they want clarified. I do this so that I can look at the two together--it helps, well, bring it into clarification. If it's still not clear, a 2nd card goes down to form a trio of cards.

2 draws per card needing to be clarified is my limit.

The amusing part is when the querent wants a clarification on something that's already pretty clear. The deck has a tendency to come up with cards that say pretty much the same thing over and over and over again. 

renard  29 Aug 2002 
Hi, 'merry!

I say, pull when you feel like it, from the top of the deck. I base this on my first encounter with Tarot, a reading from an incredible psychic reader (and a great woman) and the beginning of my interest in the whole subject.

She used a completely idiosyncratic spread, looking back on it, with a two-card cross to begin with, four cards around it with more or less the usual CC meanings, and then cards going out here and there as she explored various areas. At one point, she was lecturing me about how I approach life and why it gets me in so much trouble and she just whipped two cards off the top of the deck and put them down above and to the left of the cross. they were the six of coins and the 5 of cups (RW). She said, "See, that's how you treat other people and how you treat yourself! Can you see the difference?" Even knowing nothing about Tarot, I certainly could. Of course, she was right.

So this is the procedure used by a very gifted pro, but it's stayed with me, and sometimes when I feel I need more information at a certain point I'll just plunk down a card. I only do it when I strongly feel the impulse, and it usually works.

The cards give us what we need, I'm convinced. Procedure doesn't matter as long as you're comfortable and satisfied with what you're getting. While huge amounts of information (lots of cards) can be overwhelming, especially at first, my experience is very much, "Ask and ye shall receive."

Namaste, Renard 

Sorceress_Jade  29 Aug 2002 
I do clarification 'spreads' by reshuffling the remaining cards and deciding on what additional points need to be addressed, then throwing those in a way I feel fits.

Sometimes I'll take up all the cards to do this if I feel the clarification needed is a large issue and I've gotten what I can from the previous throw. Since I write them all down it's less of an issue if I need to return to it and review.

I wouldn't, myself, just take the top card and continue dealing out, but that's mostly because I wish to have the energy of the question and everything surrounding it, the placements, in mind as I shuffle. So if those came afterward, they would feel rather ambiguous to me, and less pointed to a particular placing. 

midnightmerry  29 Aug 2002 
I'm getting that everyone has personal ways of doing this, which is good. I think for myself, I don't think I'll take up the whole deck and reshuffle; I'll probably just draw off the top a card or two, but I think any more than that would feel funny to me- like I was getting away from cards that had to do with the reading. Or maybe one card from the bottom, but that would be it. 

The Those Clarification Cards thread was originally posted on 28 Aug 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.

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