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Madpete 
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Join Date: 20 May 2005
Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Interaction of cards


Hi all,

I'd like to start my question with a story (bear with me please)
My grandmother's sister was what you'd call gifted in the occult. She didn't use tarot cards however, but a deck that is used to play a certain game called mariash. Her predictions were so acurate and uncanny that she would mostly refuse to ever do readings to family and close friends. Not to go into detail, she did a couple of readings for my mother, all of which came true including the time span mentioned by her (sometimes up to 30 years!)
Now her readings involved interpreting the cards in relationship to one an other. E.G. a certain card in position 1 and another certain card in position 5 would indicate death. Depending on card (again, e.g) 9 she could tell you who that would be. So my question is, whether tarot uses a simmilar interaction or relationship given the position if so, this would truly increase the divinatory possibilities and insights it could provide. Furthermore, since this system is in place for a deck of cards I believe is derived from tarot, it could be possible that this indeed is the fact. I can think of several examples in tarot but the celtic cross spread card 1 and 2, or past/future cards are the most obvious. If so, could anyone point me to litterature regarding this topic?
Another related question I have is that I tend to stick to individual explanations for each card for reasons described above. I must mention that I am an intermediate reader, but would like to get more out of it. So for me a celtic cross spread takes quite some time, because I explain each card without looking at other cards. Again, help or suggestions are appreciated.

Finally, anyone interested in helping me out with a reading I did for myself (celtic cross/rider waite) would be greatly appreciated, because there are some cards I'm having trouble with.
Thanks in advance!
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Nuncle 
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Join Date: 23 Oct 2005
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Hi Madpete and welcome to AT. I hope you enjoy your stay.

First, it sounds as though your Grandma was doing more than just reading cards. I had a friend who could do the same, and as she explained it the cards helped her focus or understand what she was seeing.

Anyway, yes, people do read cards in relationship to each other or in combination. It does increase insight and depth of understanding. Some spreads lend themselves to this sort of thing quite well. The Celtic Cross has several combinations built in that help understanding. I find that in almost any spread that is a grid the cards in diagonally opposite corners have relationships with each other. In a horshoe, the cards opposite each other onthe legs sometimes-not always--have clear relationships. Some of this is the wat a spread is designed, or the names of positions (as you say, past and future have a connection), but some is just being open and sensitive to the way a spread can work and seeing if it happens again.

In something of an answer to your second question as well, reading cards in combination can really help extend your understanding of each individual card, and also break down the isolated way of seeing the cards, which is what I think you are concerned about.

A great way to start doing this is to turn a 3 card spread into a 6 card spread, with two cards in each position. This is a good exercise, but it is also very useful for getting more information out of a simple spread. When I first started doing that I had to create prompts for myself to see the cards together--for example, "while card x says 'this' card y is doing 'that.'" Even tried to make up little 2 or 3 sentence narratives among two cards. Now it flows pretty easily and it's hard for me not to see combinations.

It's also helpfeul for understanding relationships among cards of the same suit in a spread, or conversely, cards of different suits but the same number.

Use the search tool to find some threads one this. Mary K Greer's book Tarot for Your Self has some fine information on combinations and permutations in spreads.

Hope that answers your question.

Nuncle
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tarotbear 
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What you are describing is known as 'Card Combinations.' There are many, but usually they are something that comes with experience, rather than merely reading them in a book - even my book!

A card combination gives you more information than the two cards can produce separately. However, these cards are usually but not always in tandem - meaning they follow each other in the reading regardless of where their particular position is. For example, in your ten card spread you may have a Magician in location #2 and the High Priestess in location #10. They would be read as however they fall or fit into the reading. However-

If the Magician were to come up reversed immediately preceeding the High Priestess - regardless of where the two cards fall as far as position in the spread - the 'Combination' of the Reversed Magician preceeding the Upright HP could indicate that someone is misusing their occult powers.

An example closer to what you said in your post:

The Magician and Devil opposite each other in the Fifth and Tenth positions of a Celtic Cross Spread can indicate a delay. It does not matter which card is where.

{this information is from page 178 of 'It's All in the Cards' ISBN 1-4027-0986-2}
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Madpete 
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Join Date: 20 May 2005
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Thanks for the advice! I greatly appreciate it!
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