21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- step FOURTEEN


Step Fourteen! Imagine that, what progress we have made since the cold weather here in the northern hemisphere. Now, its pleasant to be outside. Its also pleasant to see the continuing flow of new participants in our study group.

Those of us who have reached this point really enjoy going back to the earlier steps, reading the posts, and helping those just starting out. I'm happy to see many of you helping out as this shows that we, as a group, are becoming quite comfortable with each other. This is part of the AT way.


Mary notes that this step will have us exploring how a card's meanings are affected by other cards in a spread. Similarities and differences. Patterns of symbol repetition. Looking at one card in relation to other cards is where the dynamics of reading lie, according to Mary. I would read her comments leading up to Activity 14:1 very carefully -- they strike me as being highly important.

"Dignities" are a term for how well cards support or hinder each other. We can look for cars of the same Suit or polarity (Wands and Swords, or Cups and Pentacles), same or different Elements, same numbers, sequences, location within a spread have linkage, astrological attributes (not covered by Mary) and included symbols.

We are to look at our chosen card relative to two other cards. You can use the cards from Step 12 or draw others. List the similarities and differences.

Now we are to look for similarities which will be found among our listings. Also, repeats and sequences. Comment on what you find relative to what they suggest to you as if in a reading.

Another great exercise. Good fun, Dave.


Step 14.1

Tarot of Dreams Deck

Star # 17
Death card # 13
9 of Cups

First I will compare Star(#17) and Death(#13)

• Odd numbers (17./13)- suggest deviation
• Major arcana- something major in my life not a “ everyday” type of reading
• Second half of the major arcana- approaching end of a major cycle
• Dark colors night time- dreams world, those unseen spiritual forces at work
• These cards give me the impression of mystery


• Star suggests movement towards hope, and/ or the feeling that we are connected to all things
• Death card suggests something will come to a dead stop( pun intended)

• Emotionally comparing these cards I get fear of the unknown from the death card and hope for a better life from the Star card

• The lady from the star card is in the air above the planet earth with a large body of water under her
Element air/water
• The death figure is coming from the earth with mist skulking on the bottom of the card with a tree out of leaves and the moon behind him
Element very earth
• suggesting stop and go fluid and standing still
• The main character in the Star is a woman the main character in the death card give the impression of a man


• Odd numbers – deviation

• The colors she is pouring from her 2 vessels in the Star are the same colors as the cornucopia of fruit and such from the 9 of cups
• Star and 9 of Cups It is almost like she is pouring hope and happiness into the 9 of cups

• Both have a heavy dose of water element suggestion flow


• The Star is dark not scary dark like the death but walk along the beach during the moonlight type of night all dark hues of blue except her rainbows she is pouring from her vassals

• Her emotion is very serene contemplative

• The 9 of cups is an explosion of bright colors cornucopia of happiness fruit and wine this card brings a party with it.
• His emotion is very , very happy

• The Star is major arcana the 9-cups if minor

• All these differences suggest the difference between deep spirituality in a meditate state compared to earthly pleasures


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14.2 pictures in the above post

14.2 Reading similarities and differences in a reading

1: Star – Known
2. Death - Unknown
3 .9 of Cups What I learn

Combining spread position and Dignities this Is what I get ( plus a little more about me)

Now that I have some sober time I am really getting into esoteric spirituality. and it is a very important part of my life now and the Tarot is my in road into spirituality.
Combining the first 2 cards I get the impression that there are deep spiritual forces at work in my life and that the star will help the death card tells me this is one Major change and once I embark on this path there is no turning back. I was raised catholic and my parents force fed this to me also most people I know in AA are Christian so this search has been mostly solo with a few exceptions of friends I made on retreats and such.

Combining the last 2 cards tells me if I continue on this path and deal with the consequences I will be happy for it.

Just looking at the odd numbers in these cards tells me I might be at odds with my self( I am Irish American and catholic is important to a lot of my identity)

Seeing as all the numbers are towards the end I am thinking that I am about tat the point in my life where I can openly embrace tarot , shamanism, and all those wonderful things tarot is showing me by just wanting to more about tarot. Also those higher numbers with the death card smack dab in the middle tell me this is going to be a doozey of a change and liable to be life changing.

the dark hues changing into some serious bright light colors tells me that all those spiritual forces at work underneath will make me real happy and joneses a cornucopia of good will in this reality. And the last picture tells me that the seeds of spirituality will bear fruit.


Step 14 - Fantastic Menagerie

CARD: The Star
DECK: Fantastic Menagerie
The entire deck can be seen here: http://www.fantasticmenagerie.com/Majors1.htm


Cards: The Star, 9 of Cups, 5 of Wands (cards used in Step 12)

Similarities between The Star & 9 of Cups: they are both odd numbers; characters are facing the same direction; both cards have quite a bit of green in them.

Differences between The Star & 9 of Cups: The Star card has more characters; The Star is in a natural environment whereas the 9 of cups is in a more urban setting; the ibis-woman in The Star card is naked, the elephant in the 9 of cups is dressed; the ibis-woman has her arms open (open body language) whereas the elephant has his hands in his pockets (closing himself off a bit).

Similarities between The Star & 5 of Wands: they are both odd numbers; both have multiple characters including one female; use of the colors green and blue.

Differences between The Star & 5 of Wands: The Star has a tranquil environment, the 5 of wands has an environment of conflict; nudity vs. clothes; open body posture vs. agression and defensiveness; The Star seems free and part of the world, the cocks in the 5 of wands are all in uniform bonded to some army or another.

Similarities between the 9 of Cups & 5 of Wands: both odd numbers; both in urban settings; both cards have a masculine feel to them (testosterone); use of greens and reds in clothing; the wearing of hats.

Differences beteen the 9 of Cups & 5 of Wands: 9 of cups figure is solo where the 5 of wands has multiple characters; style of dress - business vs. uniforms; mood - celebration vs. aggression; the 9 of cups seems older, more mature, where the figures in the 5 of wands seem young, passionate, and impetuous.

Looking at the similarities and differences, with the exception that all cards are odd numbers, what this suggests to me is that The Star is in a realm or class all of her own, far from the mundane activities one sees in the other two cards. They also suggest that we have options in how we choose to act or handle situations (9 of cups & 5 wands). The Star and 9 of cups are both looking away from the 5 of wands which suggests that bravado and aggression are not the way to go in this situation. In turn, The Star is looking away from the 9 of cups indicating that self-indulgence is not the way to go either. That all three cards are odd indicates that there is a lack of balance in handling the situation.

14.2 Are there any repeated suits, elements, numbers, or symbols in the 3 cards?

The Star is air, the 9 of cups is water, and the 5 of wands is fire. Although air and fire are friendly, air and water neutral, and water and fire unfriendly I find the most powerful of the elemental connections to be between the unfriendlies as these seem to be the behaviors manifested in the here and now relative to the issue presented in The Star. Again she just seems removed from the other two cards.

As noted above the cards all have odd numbers. This again supports the discord that is also seen in the elements. However, if we go back to Step 5 and reduce the Star to 8 then we have an even number that signifies strength. This in turn could be an influence on the other two odd cards in a positive manner allowing for growth which is where the color green comes in.

Green is also noticeable if not prevalent in all cards. Going back to Step 13 this symbol suggests healing, regeneartion, and growth and which give the stiuation hope of finding resolution. It will not be easy (going back to the odd cards) but it can be done with perseverance.

I found this Step very interesting because it does mirror my situation, down to the fact that I am just not sure what to do because nothing seems to work. But it also tells me that there is something that will work ... just not what that is.

This book is definetly not about tarot alone. Yes I am learning a lot about tarot, but it is also taking me on an internal journey. One I have needed to go on for some time and did not even know it.


Jewel said:
This book is definetly not about tarot alone. Yes I am learning a lot about tarot, but it is also taking me on an internal journey. One I have needed to go on for some time and did not even know it.

so mote it be

I am so in th same boat it seems learning the tarot is a lot about learning my self.

we both have this thing of picking the same cards ( well 2 out of 3)

this step is a lot of fun


coyoteblack said:
Star # 17
9 of Cups

• The colors she is pouring from her 2 vessels in the Star are the same colors as the cornucopia of fruit and such from the 9 of cups
• Star and 9 of Cups It is almost like she is pouring hope and happiness into the 9 of cups
• Both have a heavy dose of water element suggestion flow

• The 9 of cups is an explosion of bright colors cornucopia of happiness fruit and wine this card brings a party with it.
• His emotion is very , very happy
• The Star is major arcana the 9-cups if minor
• All these differences suggest the difference between deep spirituality in a meditate state compared to earthly pleasures
Coyoteblack ... what it is about you and I getting the same cards *ROFLMAO*.

It is so amazing how we actually arrive at a similar feeling for the meaning of the Star when our decks are so incredibly different.

I really enjoyed reading your differences and similarities between the Star and 9 of Cups as they were so different from mine. My 9 of Cups is an elephant in buiness clothes with champagne bottles popping their corcks and spraying upwards. He is smoking a cigar with his trunk, has his hands in his pockets, and looks smug rather than happy. Definetly an indulgence attitute. Yours on the other hand seems much more connected to your Star card. Much more spiritual and symbolic.

Don't get me wrong I love the down to earth approach of the Fantastic Menagerie, actually I am quite amazed and impressed by the Fantastic Menagerie now, but it does not carry the spiritual aspects your decks does. It conveys the message, but is not as poetic in expressing it.

I really liked how you brought that all together in your reading. I obviously approached the Step in a different manner, and might just have to go back and fine tune mine back into my reading like you did. That was very powerful. The Star and Death .... hope, change and new beginnings. And in your deck the 9 of cups is definetly a celebration so I think that no matter how painful this transformation has been in your life that the outcome will be sooooooo worth it. A very inspirational and uplifting message if you ask me.



Knight of Pentacles - Tarot of Prague

For the Dignities study, I drew the 10 of Cups and the King of Wands to accompany my Knight of Pentacles. There are almost no similarities. My Knight has a single person, two animals (a dog and a horse), no plant life, no implied movement, is primarily blue and tan, and has a cathedral in the background. The 10 of Cups has a family of six, no animals, a park-like setting with blossoming branches above and a rose in the hand of the little girl, a strong sense of motion within the group (though not movement out of the image), heavily features orange and red, and has a smaller orange-roofed building in the background. The King of Wands features two individuals (the King and one of his knights), “decorative” animals (a lion or sphinx on the knight’s helmet, a number of horses decorating the building’s walls), a grapevine entwined around the wand beside the King, the King is dressed in yellow and pink while his attendant is in pale blue and bright red, and a red-roofed secular building in the background; the two men appear to be walking through the street, so there is movement which will take them out of the image if it were to be set in motion. One card is a Pentacle, one is Cups, and one is Wands.

After studying these cards, however, I have found a few similarities. A Knight appears in two of them, in both cases looking off to the right. I see this as the direction of “the future”, and if the knights indicate action, it may be a signal that I must take action in the future to develop the patience I seek. The Knight and the 10 both contain buildings having prominent arches with dark interiors – this may be an indication that some mysterious distractions may present themselves, distractions I should avoid if I’m to reach my goal. Tiled roofs are in all three (gray, orange, and red). Finally, something is being held in each – the Knight holds a gold coin, the girl in the 10 holds a red rose while the mother holds a baby, and the King holds a scepter and a scroll while his attendant holds his helm. Could this last indicate the holding of a tarot card for meditative purposes?

But in fact, with regard to 14.2, there are no suits, elements, numbers, or symbols repeated, nor is there a sequence, although there is an interesting similarity in the “gaps” – 10 (Page) Knight (Queen) King. Perhaps the latter suggests that I can make progress even by “skipping steps” toward the goal.

And could it be that the lack of similarities is itself a hint – that there are many ways to achieve my goal? I could do it alone (the Knight), work primarily with my partner (the King), or involve my family (the 10).


Using RWS
2 of Swords, 5 of Swords, 7 of Pents(rx)

Two sword cards and a pent, two yangs to a ying. The intensity builds in the first 2 cards and gives way in the last pent. The masculine seems in charge, but the fem, receptive gives perspective.

2 of swords and 5 of swords are air while the 7 of pents(rx) is earth element. You would think the air would overwhelm the earth, but I still see earth as more powerful, giving the troubled thinking process respite.

2 of swords…duality, conflict within, stop and go.
5 of swords…open enemies, conflict, change
7 of pents(rx)…rest, reflection, reconsolidating

The numbers are progressing, but not in sequence.

This 3 card spread from step 12 was Purpose (2 of Swords), Issue (5 of Swords), and Feeling (7 of Pents-rx).
The issue (5 of Swords) seems amplified by Purpose in the 2 of swords. There had to be a change in my way of thinking. Bad habits are hard to break as are a perpetual way of negativity. The Issue (5 of Swords) then appears as an outer manifestation of what was brewing in 2 of swords. The duality stems from not honoring one’s feelings early on, causing a snowball effect. The purpose in keeping silent, or looking away was to keep the peace, but it became an issue (5 of swords). The feeling (7 of Pents-rx) is of needing to meditate, and withdraw. Thinking of losses and gains. I think the cards speak clearly enough in their given positions.

I don’t see the differences as hindering, rather see it as supporting, complimenting among these three.
The shards of grey sky in the 5 of swords become a whole in the 7 of pents, where they were once blue in the 2 of swords. The calm before the storm, looking at 2 of swords going to the 5 of swords. The smoke clearing at the 7 of pents(rx). Deeper colors found as the cards progress from 2 of swords to 7 of pents…for as bleak as the environment might seem, a warmth grows within(7 of pents-rx). There seems to be negative thinking in the 2 of swords (black hair) and the 7 of Pents-rx, but seems more in perspective in the 7 of pents than the 2 of swords. The 5 of swords has a good balance between the two as changes actually happen, being no longer just in the mind(2 of swords). The shapes in the 2 of swords looks just as conflicted with the 2 huge swords facing out. Ready for a battle that has not been waged yet. Not an inviting card, more so, a “keep out” sentiment. The biggest man in the 5 of swords seems to balance things out among the 3 cards, it takes away the 2 huge swords from the 2 of swords, telling it to grow up! The 7 of pents has coins giving a feel of completion, understanding, more so than in the first card.

Step 14:2

List the similarities and differences among these 3 cards.
What do these suggest?
As if doing a read...

Using RWS
2 of Swords, 5 of Swords, 7 of Pents(rx) (from my Step 12)

Right off the bat I see a connection between the 2 of Swords and the 5 of Swords. Both are of the same suit(swords) and element(air). The 7 of Pents(rx) seems out in the cold. This could be a much needed break between the negative thinking of the 2 (duality) and the manifestation of that conflict in the 5 of swords. The 7 of pents(rx) seems to offer some reflection and rest while still thinking of the unknown.
The sky color begins (2 of swords) promising, rich in blue, with the moon hanging the distance, night falls. Everything seems to get more concentrated/intense here. As events play out, the blue dissipates in the 5 of swords, as does the darkness gives way to day. Here the clouds come in, whatever was conceived in the mind (2 of swords) seems to come true in the 5, but not as expected. It could fluctuate between a feeling of it being worse or better than one had anticipated. By the time you reach the 7 of pents, the sky is bleak and grey. I still see this 7 of pents(rx) as complimenting, supporting the two swords cards quietly, behind the scenes. Perhaps answering some questions, offering solace and much needed stability, even in a fogged up sky.
There is a stop and go feel…rest, action, rest among them and they do progress but not in sequence. It makes me think that for every action, a consequence. Whatever was started in the 2 of swords, manifested in the 5 of swords, needs close examination in the 7 of pents(rx). Making it up as you go along feel.
Clothing color deepens as you go, while the skies blanche out. I feel like whatever was outside is now taken in more seriously.
There is lots of water in the two air cards, by the looks of it, turbulent. I think I tried for many years to look over things, neglect issues that I should have spoken up. Just because you repress something doesn’t mean it’s gone, a wish to look away, no big deal sort of feel. Well, those things that needed addressing came to a head through issues that were not necessarily related. The water seems to be the most “yin” thing in these two (swords) “yang” cards. There is an ability to be receptive but an unwilling to express until forced. Then it is unsure if it will hit its mark.
So the water is the only things that seems to lead back to the yang of pent/earth (7-rx). I think there is a deep learning process as far as the emotions are concerned. A recognition of emotions and a wanting to express at appropriate times. The 7 of pents(rx) seems to understand the problem, but has yet to see any hard evidence of improvement.
Straight out boundaries in the 2 and 5 are outlined. In the 2, not recognized, in the 5 of swords…forced to recognize true importance of outlining. The 7 of pents(rx) seems to be taking into account these mistakes and making memories.
I think there is plenty of contemplation in the 2 of swords and the 7 of pents(rx), but different in nature in that the 2 of swords seems to be working itself into a lather in anticipation of a very bad outcome. Self-sabotage IMO. The 7 of pents(rx) isn’t all that interested in naming names, just going forward, even if slowly.

This step was difficult for me to organize, hope it is somewhat understandable, lol!


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For Whipsilk

I was thinking with 2 knights in 3 cards that is huge and thr 10 kind of goes with it as well also 3 suits are there and one is not.

all this combined can also mean you need to take action in some thing( knights)
and this will be a new beginning so it is a new action not a contunuation( 10)

but be real carefull and think it through dont go chargeing in( lack of air suit plus knights tend to charge in )


really nice work makeing everything blend together in the end squekmo9 . seems with 2 air and one earth maybe the air will not get into so much trouble.