21 Ways To Read A Tarot Card -- Step SIXTEEN


Drawing Pictures! That's part of this fun step in learning about reading Tarot Cards. We all get to re-design our favorite card. Well, lets get back to reality here. Your artistic ability is not being tested.

Mary starts off step 16 in her book by showing us cards from the Stick Figure Tarot which is based upon Lar deSouza's design and the Waite-Smith tarot. We can use stick figures, fully shaped figures, color or black & white, regular size or blown up to a larger size. All of that sort of detail is up to us.

We are to "draw" our card so as to have it represent the essential elements as we see them. The point that Mary makes is that sometimes we just don't see details until we draw them -- then they pop out.

Step 16:1. Do a basic sketch of your chosen card (or any other card) using any medium, style, coloration or level of detail (or lack of detail) as you wish. Then state what you discovered that you hadn't noticed before?

Thats it. Like some of the other "simple" tasks, I suspect we get out of this what we put into it. So, consider not being superficial but instead being very observant. I think we might really discover something here. If you try but don't seem to be getting anywhere, you can consider using another card. I wouldn't jump to another card without trying to work with the first card in a diligent manner. Have fun. Dave


silly question: How are we supposed to show our work? I am sure I can find a scanner at work but I am thinking that might be a bad idea.

Shall we just discuss out feelings and experiences of the drawing?

or use some soft ware to make a drawing?


Whatever works

We all have deal with both our limitations and our resources. You can certainly just describe your picture, what you encountered in trying to construct it, how it impressed you as you reached a point of completion, and how you see it after you have lived with it for an hour or so.

I also have a problem. I can easily sketch the picture in colored pencil, or paint it and come very close to replicating it. This form of creativity and artistic flair is quite easy for me. If I did so, would I get all that I might from that process? I don't think so. So, I am trying to decide which approach to take, perhaps creating a mosaic so as to eliminate drawing lines? Dave


I cant even draw a stick figure!! we did this same step at the tarot studio with M K Greer and I was terrible. But it was all sorts of fun when we had to combine 3 cards.


Step 16

RWS 5 of Swords

To my surprise certain things did catch my eye. This exercise made me realize certain details that I had not caught before, and that did mean something to me.
It is simple in format because I cannot draw.

First the clouds caught me from the RWS card, as did the water, the dark mountains, the boundary line, swords, and figures.
When I finished, what astonished me was how burdened the biggest figure appeared in my drawing. All the swords are around him and one goes "through" him, by his feet. His hunched right shoulder was the most obvious thing I noticed doing this exercise. Same as the smallest figure. Like for both the loser and winner there were similar doubts. The most placid figure in my drawing is the middle man who, incidently, is looking at nothing. I could have tried to correct this, but it just said to me that he holds things in most perspective..."meeting halfway" as they say in the I-Ching.
So I gathered a need to take responsibility of one's (mine) thought processes as of my drawing of the biggest man(winner). Good to mourn loss as in the smallest figure, and good to find a neutral point as in the middle man.


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The Fey Fool enhanced

My card is the Fey Tarot Fool, he has just discovered a glowing pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern on his path. He has a crown with a key hole, and clothes that have many keys upon them.

I have created a sketch of the Fool just to keep the focus simple. My version of the Fool has a key hole in the crown, as before, plus another key hole between his eyes and in place of his nose. No mouth is shown. The jack-o-lantern or pumpkin also has a key hole. There are many keys tied to his clothing plus I have placed keys around his kneeling position.

I had taken the crown's key hole to signify that he had to find understanding relative to his standing or place in the world. This bothered me a bit as I was thinking about sketching this card. So, I added a key hole to his face since it was also necessary for him to unlock his self-awareness in addition to his place in the world. A third blackened keyhole has been placed on the jack-o-lantern since it represents those things that can be discovered no matter how improbable they are. The Fool has to find meaning in the world outside of him. To this end, I have increased the suggestion of numerous keys by also placing them on the ground around him. Keys are everywhere for us to find, not just within or upon ourselves. This goes along with my sense of "curiousity" being the key to the Fool's progress. So, the key holes, the keys and his eyes are all strongly black colored for emphasis.

Unlocking, discovery, curiosity are what I see when looking at the Fool.


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Ah, come on, now!

Hey, guys and gals. This step is really easy. Why are you all holding back on doing this? I want each of you to again look at what squeakmo9 and I have done in terms of a "sketch" of our cards. Here are some pointers . . .

** Follow Mary Greer's examples of using stick figures. Everyone can draw those.

** Lightly trace your card using light-weight paper, just putting in the outline of whatever is shown. Then, using heavier strokes, change, enlarge, add or leave out whatever you wish to.

** If you don't have a scanner, take a digital camera picture and send the file to me. I'll reduce it, compress it and post it for you.

** If you don't have a scanner or a digital camera, then PM me and I'll send you my postal address. You can send your sketch to me and I'll scan it and post it for you.

** If none of those approaches are feasible, then just do the exercise and then write about what you did, what you changed, why, and what your sketch suggests to you.

You can't back out at this late stage because you feel you are graphically challenged or resource challenged. I can't really convey the powerful insight this exercise provides in unlocking perceptions and feelings about a card. When you "criticize" a card, that is, you realize that it need to convey its message differently or better, then it lets you look at other cards in some kind of expanded way. It a new sense of freedom that takes away from acceptance of what we are handed and into a zone of being able to work with what we have to move to a deeper and more "capable" space.

PS: If you guys don't get with the program I'm going to PM each of you. Dave


I am overly critical of my self and I thin that is the biggest lesson I learned from this step. Sad to say I have no way of posting my image here but I can describe it best I can.

I did not realize it before but trying to draw her legs they make a perfect 4. her arms with her body between them almost form a 4 as well. She has 5 stars on her tiara and 5 stars behind her.

Most star cards pours or deal with water she pours light.

I think the lesson I learned from this step and this book in general is "letting go" I work with computers for a living and I analyze things a lot with tarot and just like AA I can not analyze to much or I will not move forward.

I hope this counts as a step I can assure you I did draw some thing and when I get a chance to I can maybe fax it to some one with a scanner as I do not have a scanner here at Schering plough that i can use with out this being obvious.

And I can not draw so no laughing


For coyoteblack

A description is fine. You have indeed accomplished a task that this step was aiming for -- you found things in your card that you had not realized before. The number four symbolizes a variety of things in various systems of thought:
** Astrology sees the four as "challenges, stress, dynamics of bringing change.
** Numerology sees the four as representing stability and organization.
** Tarot sees fours as bringin rest, foundation, structure, stubborness.

So, the fact that you have found "fourness" in your Star card gives you much to think about relative to how many see that card -- hope, basis for confidence, being part of the universe, etc. Let us know what you think of with this. Dave


Now this is fun !

This deck combines astrology, kabala, as symbols on the edge of the card plus numerology in general.

I will try and use all 3 .

** Astrology sees the four as "challenges, stress, dynamics of bringing change.
** Numerology sees the four as representing stability and organization.
** Tarot sees fours as bringin rest, foundation, structure, stubborness

I think the times when we need hope the most is when we are under stress and some times that light at then end of the tunnel is a place to take a breather relax the head and move on. from this platform of foundation we can take a leap of faith into hope.