21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step SEVENTEEN


Step 17; yes, we are really making progress here. In the last step we drew our impressions and interpretation of our chosen card -- all of them in sketch form. In this step we go into our card again, adopting its posture, placing our body into the card's place and feeling. We become the primary figure in our card.

Mary states that this is something, this enactment, she often does in every reading -- if only partially such as arranging her hands or having the querent do this (I suppose). She goes on to note that some decks may be better for this than others.

Step 17-1 uses the Four of Pentacles and gives specific instructions to follow. I see this as giving us a model to follow for the next portion of the exercise.

Step 17-2 uses our chosen card and also has specific comments for us to be aware of and to follow.

As with the other steps, this one promises to be exciting and insightful as we seldom get to act out our tarot figures. Truly, have fun with this. Dave



My Fey FOOL is kneeling, holding a jack-o-lantern (pumpkin with a carved face) that is glowing, touching his chest, eyes wide in bewilderment and surprise.

In my drawing (done in the last step) I had added key holes to his face and to the pumpkin as well as sprinkled more keys around him.

In assuming the position and role of the Fool I have become aware of more differences. In the visual exercise (16) I had drawn the Fool grasping the pumpkin top and bottom with both hands. I like to manage situations and any projects that I'm engaged in -- so two hands on the pumpkin. In this step (17) I'm holding or touching my chest with my right hand (as in the card), holding the pumpkin with my left hand. This immediately gave me a "drawn in feeling in the chest" as if I had the air sucked out of me by the discovery of this strange thing.

Despite the "lightness" of the glowing pumpkin it began to feel heavy and my left arm actually dropped slightly. Now this surprised me as I was just doing an exercise and didn't realize how into it I was.

From this I have gained an appreciation of much the Tarot really follows our own life. The Fool's surprise and astonishment, his experience of this new encounter, and the possible questions and reactions that can flow from those feelings can now be more appreciated. I almost expect him to move upon the card much like Harry Potter's photographs. At this point I'm not sure if I have gone within the Fool or if he has come into me. However, he may have moved to the status of a "friend" at this point. Dave


21 ways step 17

I am not sure if we are supposed to post out findings with the 4 of pentacles. But here goes.

First the major thing I received was paranoia!! I was holding on to the pentacle by my belly like it was my first borne. And paranoia is an unfounded fear!! also I was so concerned with holding onto the pent by my belly and stepping on the 2 by me feet( like when you do when you drop some change and you cover it up with your foot so no one else takes it). That the pentacle on my head was liable to fall off.

Trying to balance the one on my head was real hard all I had to do was put them both on my lap and it would have been easier. I also get the feeling that pentacles where so much a part of my base it was taking over my life. Where as the pentacle by my most spiritual charka was just left there wily nilly.

And last but not least when I relaxed my hands the pent on my stomach fell to my lap and the top pentacle did not fall off it almost was not there but as I could not see it I could not tell.

Now on to my star first I could not actually find a star to put my foot on but I did turn of my lights in my room and light a candle. I copied her crane stance for a bit, I tried to mimic her hand and arm angles while attempting to pour something. Her head is turned towards the front. This is almost the same stance we use in Tai Kwon Do when we are about to execute a side kick.

The biggest thing I felt was a sense of balance. And she was really connected to all things around her. After that was the way she was turning her head she was not looking down at people but more hoping her light would help people.

How this applies to me (for some reason this card is all about recovery to me) In AA we go on speaking commitments where one group sends a few speakers to another group and we share our experience strength and hope. This is how it felt when she was pouring the light and ht e way she looked down her eyes was closed like she was empathizing with the people she was trying to help.

I have a martial arts background in Tai kwon do and other Korean martial arts that I really want to get back to I am just trying to get back in shape after 3 years off because I broke my ankle and gained way to much weight to spar especially at 37. Balance is important in martial arts and also in life if I get to down on my self for simple things depression will set in and if I get to excited over good things I ride the “ pink cloud” and am not grounded.

only 4 more steps to go I think I am keeping the same deck but changing cards for the adept thing.


Step 17 - Fantastic Menagerie


17:1.1 - for this step I used the 4 of Pentacles from the Radiant RWS.

17:1.3 - What did I discover? Actually I discovered several things:

- I discovered that I moved with much more confidence when directing myself from my solar plexus there the central pentacle was absorbed. I used to dance (ballet, modern, jazz) and it was the exact same place where I danced from. My body immediately began dance moves it remembered from 20 years ago. Felt great!

- I discovered that I am holding on to indivuduality very tightly. Almost defensibly.

- I don't know anything of chackras, other than color & location, so I am not sure what to make of the location. As a dancer it is one of the points of alignment and stability between upper and lower body. So in that sense it would be a stabilizer. In this case my induviduality defines me - stabilizes and directs who I am.

OHHHH NOOOOOO .... this is all starting to connect with those darn fish in my star card in Step 15 ~rolls eyes~ ...

17:2.2. Following exercise 17:2.1. which was to assume the position of the Ibis-Woman in my Star card:

- What in my body wanted awareness? all of it, physical and senses.

- Describe it: It is a feeling of motion, yet mental stillness to feel and absorb everything in the environment. To be one with the environment yet totally aware of it. To breathe it, feel it, touch it, see it, move within it, smell it, be it.

- How does it feel in the body? It feels relaxed, poetic, like a quiet dance.

- Sense its moods and emotions: There is no thinking it is all pure awareness, acute senses, serenity, completeness. It is quiet but fulfulling. It feels at peace, whole, healthy, fresh, rejuvenating.

17:2.3. Is an action suggested? Yes, walking forward slowly, elegantly with leading foot slightly turned out like a dancers. Hands touching and brushing all of the plants on the way into the water. As the Ibis-Woman moves forward she want to look down and slowly, but panoramically, look at the fish on either side, but moves cautiously to not disturb the fish or the dragonfly on her shoulder.

- What from your life realtes to this action? Spirituality and consciously working on self-awareness, honest assessment and awareness without judgement. Trying to see the real picture of self in my environment and how I act and interact in it.

- Is there anything I need to know? That I can only move forward. That there are others affected by what I say and do. That I need to be aware of them as part of my environment not a disruption to it. That I am part of a whole not an isolated character in a story. That ever action causes a reaction, and repeated actions cause deep-seeded reactions that become habits and or patterns; in both me and those in my environment, which lead to assumptions being adopted as realities.

17:2.4. How do you feel? I feel like a flower opening up. I feel relaxed, rejuvenated, confident. I feel good. I feel at peace.


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For Coyoteblack

I really like how we both find the hope and healing in these two very different Star cards. I find this card extremely spiritual, which quiets the mind and brings awareness. Although I think we define hope and healing differently in our two cards, it just goes to show how the different decks convey the message.

coyoteblack said:
I am not sure if we are supposed to post out findings with the 4 of pentacles. But here goes.
Like you I had strong reactions to this exercise. The reality of it. I think it is definetly worth posting.

coyoteblack said:
only 4 more steps to go I think I am keeping the same deck but changing cards for the adept thing.
I will also keep the same deck ... name the card and we can do this together again.


nice work jewel now I can picture your fish trying to salsa!! I also like how we find hope in our card makes it more fun.

this was definatly a cool step


Oh dear, now I'm two steps behind! I do NOT like busy weekends! Never fear, dear 21 step friends. I'll be right behind you!


Hi, all! I did this step about 2 weeks ago and am just posting it now, so I hope if makes some sense. (Also typing on my son's laptop, so bear with the typos!)

Step 17, Embodiment

4 Pentacles

It seems we all had very similar experiences with this one. I found the position of the man in 4 pentacles very uncomfortable. He is hunched over the middle one, so he has to do something uncomfortable with his head and neck to balance the top one. This made me aware of what I'm holding on to. In my mind it's anger, but in my bdy it's fear! I am self-conscious aobut not being balanced and graceful. (Some emotional abuse has emphasized that to me.) And when I was a child I even had physical illness and symptoms caused by "retentiveness" -- clenching, tightening, afraid to let go -- of something . . .

From the 4 pentacles pose, when I relaxed -- sat in the way taught in a meditation class, back and neck straight and chin/face slightly down -- I felt much better. I shrank the middle pentacle about half and balanced it on my lap instead of hunching over it. I also held my hands as in meditation.

So when I absorbed it into my body, it went to my diaphragm, the breathing and meditation place. This is also the place for courage. It will counteract fear if I use it for that. (Solar plexus, hara, etc.)

4 Wands

Even after all the studying of this card, it took me several tries to get the positioning correct. Then, since it is obviously showing movement (a snapshot), it took a while to figure out what the motion is. At first it seemed like a model turning at the end of a runway, ugh. But that right hand--its seems like a natural position, not a studied pose.

I ended up with the motion--a little girl twirling around to feel her fancy dress with full skirt, crinolines and new shoes. And then STOP to feel the skirt swirl around her.

It makes me think this is not a dance or runway--a show for someone else. It's an innocent indulgence in sensuality of self--I feel pretty! The smile is of true enjoyment of what she's doing, not part of a show.

That makes the crowd around her figurative. They are the loving family of a little girl, the security and love and support she feels so she can let go and enjoy herself in herself, safe and happy in her new clothes.

There's nothing to be afraid of.


Solar Plexus

An important body point. Many years ago when I was in my chess playing and engineering life I had a dream in which I was walking in the woods. A rabbit came down the path toward me then hopped over a stone wall. Next came a yod shape, light brown, three rounded sides but a definite yod shape. It came right at me and entered the Solar Plexus -- no pain, no panic. But my whole life changed after that. Intuitiveness developed, interests changed, astrology and tarot became my focus.

So, I can understand a bit about posture, how our feelings change, how our bodies react to stress and balance. Isn't it amazing the things we learn thru these exercises? Dave


For Rachelcat

Rachelcat what a wonderful experience!!! I love how it has shown you what is what in the card and that it freed you as well. Thank you so much for sharing.