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Author Topic: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought  (Read 4465 times)

sunflower47

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Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« on: August 26, 2012, 04:16:50 pm »
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

Nachtigall

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2012, 04:46:30 pm »
Quote from: sunflower47;70789
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

 
If I have a strong feel (that is, a definite feeling of certainty - when images or keywords just come into my head and refuse to go away) that a card means something different from traditional interpretation, I will most probably go with it.

But: this is only if a reading isn't emotionally loaded for me (so, most of the readings for myself are excluded). Then, it is too easy to skew the image either to what I want to see, or what I am afraid to see, which makes it very difficult to get an objective truth. In this case, I prefer using a strict system, with fixed meanings that don't leave much space to personal interpretation.

wadjet

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2012, 05:10:32 pm »
Quote from: sunflower47;70789
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

 
I use a standard Rider-Waite deck, and have a number of cards that I think the traditional meaning is a load of bologna a misinterpretation. I use my own version. I think personal insight is more important in a reading than tradition - it's YOUR reading, after all.

From a more magic-theory POV, one could argue that the way the image on the card affects your mind's energy is important to the web of connections being interpreted by your spread. Maybe. In which case your personal views would be an important aspect.

I find the interpretations on LearnTarot.com pretty close to mine most of the time, and I use that site to cross-reference if I'm unsure or forgetful. But yeah, if there's a conflict, I go with my own version 99% of the time. (But I should also note that my interpretations of an individual card are the same every time, if you know what I mean...so that my personal wants don't skew the reading, as Nachtigall says. I's "strict" in my interpretations, but it's to my own structure, rather than a guidebook's.)

(Personally I don't think level of psychic-ness matters with tarot use, btw.)

Also, what deck do you use? You may want to trade it for one that "feels" better to you. Another type of oracle deck, for example.

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2012, 07:42:06 pm »
Quote from: sunflower47;70789
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

 
Thing is, you can just apply your intuition to a problem without going through the whole thing of selecting a deck, framing your question, laying out a spread, and reading that spread.  It's the reading bit I want to talk about here.  You can't read a book or a report and just apply your own meanings to the words you see.  (at least, you can't unless you're Humpty Dumpty)

Part of the problem you might be encountering is simply not knowing the cards in enough depth.  A tarot deck has 78 cards, which means 156 general meanings and at least 24366 shaded meanings.  In spite of what many books say, it is not a system that can be picked up in a few months, if you actually want it to be useful.  (even more shaded meanings if you consider the position meanings in the spreads you use as effecting the interpretation of the cards)

Over time you can build your own associations and meanings into certain cards or patterns of cards.  That is where intuition and instinct really lie - not finding meaning in the air or in ideas that randomly occur to you, but having it coalesce from use and practice.  Card reading is not a psychic art.  It is a studied art and a result of study and practice.  If you want to apply your own intuition and interpretive skills to a question, go ahead.  That is (often) a psychic art.  To do it, though, you only need something for a jumping off point, say a die or a dictionary or a single card.  You don't need an advanced system of communication you are just going to ignore anyway.

Even though I do have associations and odd twists in meaning built up over time, I try not to apply them to my own readings.  In fact, I try not to read for myself at all.  There is a certain amount of objectivity lost in reading for oneself.  Well, except for the simplest of questions, or questions that depend solely on matters beyond your personal control - even then it is easy to get a wishful answer rather than a useful one.  So, I read for myself very very rarely.

I think you need to decide whether you want to do a psychic reading or a card reading.  If the latter, the meanings of the cards, modified by their positions in the spreads, modified by aspect (upright or reversed) are very important.  If the former, you need to find ways to hone your instinct, and things which spark  that instinct.  Remember, M-O-O-N spells moon, not report or spy.

I don't mean to sound harsh, but using a tool as versatile and useful as the tarot, then ignoring what it says for your own perceptions, is wasting the time you spent doing the reading and wasting the time you could spend exercising your psychic abilities properly.

Absent
I smile when I\'m angry.  I cheat and I lie
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Morphidae

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2012, 08:02:03 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;70813
Even though I do have associations and odd twists in meaning built up over time, I try not to apply them to my own readings.

 
I was taught the complete opposite way. My teacher had us put the book aside and study each card. What the card say to us? What did we see? What did the symbols mean to us? I was a successful tarot reader for many years and hardly ever picked up a book. Just as there are many paths of Paganism, there are several paths to reading Tarot. Go with what works for you.

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2012, 08:42:35 pm »
Quote from: Morphidae;70814
I was taught the complete opposite way. My teacher had us put the book aside and study each card. What the card say to us? What did we see? What did the symbols mean to us? I was a successful tarot reader for many years and hardly ever picked up a book. Just as there are many paths of Paganism, there are several paths to reading Tarot. Go with what works for you.

 
I maintain that that makes you a successful psychic reader, not a tarot reader.  You were not reading the cards, you were assigning your own meanings to them.  They are a language.  I find it hard to believe that making it up as you go can possibly produce the variety and subtlety of the number of actual meanings in a deck.  I speak seven languages and learned none of them by throwing away the books or the standard interpretations.  I see the cards as another language.

YMMV, of course.  There is no need for me to validate your methods, nor for you to validate mine.  We are not giving advice to one another but to the OP, who is free to choose between as many methods as get presented in the thread.  The more the better, especially by people with experience in the use of those methods.

Absent
I smile when I\'m angry.  I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do to get by
But I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
And I die for the truth in my secret life

   In My Secret Life, L. Cohen

monsnoleedra

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2012, 10:00:19 pm »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;70820
I maintain that that makes you a successful psychic reader, not a tarot reader.  You were not reading the cards, you were assigning your own meanings to them. ..

Absent

 
I often wonder if they are psychic reading or cold reading? Especially so when a person sits before you and you read them to know what the knowledge being sough is vice what the cards may actually say.

Even more so if its a personal reading about ones own self.

Abgeneth

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #7 on: August 27, 2012, 04:04:54 am »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;70820
I see the cards as another language.

 
Due to a complete lack of belief in divination of any sort I cannot agree to that statement - for myself. A language is a means of communication and if I fail to see anyone or anything communicating it won't work as such.

I do have tarot cards though and I use them occasionally, but more as initial nuclei for exploring my subconscious ideas and associations to a certain topic, so the traditional meanings of the cards don't mean anything to me, but may or may not be congruent to my associations. The devil very well might stand for something that is holding me back or for the necessity to release my own nonconformist side. Or anything else.

Just my five cents, pretty nonconformist at the moment ;)

BB
Abgeneth

Morphidae

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #8 on: August 27, 2012, 09:46:19 am »
Quote from: Marilyn/Absentminded;70820
I maintain that that makes you a successful psychic reader, not a tarot reader.

 
I think a tarot reader *is* a psychic reader, i.e. the tarot is a tool for psychism. I don't know how they can be separated. So that is probably the difference between our practices.

cigfran

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2012, 10:04:55 am »
Quote from: Morphidae;70900
I think a tarot reader *is* a psychic reader, i.e. the tarot is a tool for psychism. I don't know how they can be separated. So that is probably the difference between our practices.

 
And a difference with mine as well. I am the least psychic person I know. For me the Tarot is an established symbol system. It's important to study the deep subtleties of its correspondences, stories and mechanisms at play... there's plenty going on without needing to arbitrarily reinvent meanings to suit whim. I'm sorry, but the Death card is wholly unrelated to the four of Cups (for example), and it strikes me as lazy to assert that they could be so freely interpreted.

wadjet

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2012, 01:40:57 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;70901



 
I totally want to clarify some stuff, because I think some of us are disagreeing about things we actually agree on due to wording.

First is "psychic-ness". Of course there are many theories as to how the tarot works, but we should establish what we mean by "psychic". I believe that tarot works like a spell, that you put your energy behind the cards, and they read appropriately. That's magic, but not psychic. Psychic implies a level of intuition or divine connection, something more than simple energy work that everyone can do. I suppose a "cold" reading would be without either of these energies, simply using your intellectual power to compare cards to hopefully get a different perspective on things - in which case I'd kind of wonder what the point is of needing a tarot to do personal introspection. Are people using the word "psychic" for what others mean by basic "will/energy"?

Second is "interpretation". I don't think anybody here means they're interpreting the cards "freely". Everyone knows the Death card means major change, or whatever - the images on the cards aren't arbitrary and were designed with purpose in mind. I'm not saying people should just make up their own meanings for cards. However, some cards can "lean" in different ways, and even though you should keep all of a card's possibilities in mind, your personal feelings should take precedence.

NiDara

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2012, 03:26:36 pm »
Quote from: sunflower47;70789
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?

 
I'm sort of in the same boat as you, sunflower. I've been doing a daily tarot card study to learn the cards intuitively. I'll take the card out and study it, feeling for impressions from it. It could be an overall sensation or a small story coming from that single card's image. I write this down in my tarot journal, and I then look to the book that came with the deck and write down how my intuition and the book compare and contrast.

I think it's good to heed both sources. You may not always be able to get all the possible messages coming from a card, so it could help in "fleshing out" your perspective on the card.

Also by recording your thoughts, you can look back and see if you're getting the same results as you did before. And if they're just a little different, maybe that is because the situation you're doing the reading on might vary.

Again, I'm speaking from a novice's point of view, but that's just what feels appropriate to me.

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2012, 05:26:13 pm »
Quote from: cigfran;70901
And a difference with mine as well. I am the least psychic person I know. For me the Tarot is an established symbol system. It's important to study the deep subtleties of its correspondences, stories and mechanisms at play... there's plenty going on without needing to arbitrarily reinvent meanings to suit whim. I'm sorry, but the Death card is wholly unrelated to the four of Cups (for example), and it strikes me as lazy to assert that they could be so freely interpreted.

 

This, very much.  'an established symbol system'  is a much better description than mine of a written language.  It is both more and less fluid, and more and less rigid, and still conveys the thought that these things mean something.  Intuitive reading, unless done very well, tends to miss the differences and give much broader, less useful, readings.

Absent
I smile when I\'m angry.  I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do to get by
But I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
And I die for the truth in my secret life

   In My Secret Life, L. Cohen

Marilyn/Absentminded

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #13 on: August 27, 2012, 05:36:15 pm »
Quote from: Amber Seal;70949
I'm sort of in the same boat as you, sunflower. I've been doing a daily tarot card study to learn the cards intuitively. I'll take the card out and study it, feeling for impressions from it. It could be an overall sensation or a small story coming from that single card's image. I write this down in my tarot journal, and I then look to the book that came with the deck and write down how my intuition and the book compare and contrast.


If you want a 'step two' for this practice, once you've been through the deck (and if you're trying to go through the deck in random order but still get through it, rather than pull the same card over and over again, you should set the cards you've already studied apart until you've moved the whole deck over) try moving up to two cards at a time, then three, etc.

You will need to assign position meanings at this point - the first card is firm, the second fluid; the first is past, the second present, the third future; etc.  Then read both cards as you have been doing, and again with their meanings shaded by the other cards drawn.  For example, in a three card draw you may have three distinctly separate cards but by the meanings you have learned they all three have some aspect in common.  Concentrate on that aspect, then break it up into time periods.  Without an actual question or querent you will get gibberish a lot of the time, but even gibberish is good for learning technique.

Before you know it you'll be doing full readings, complete with timing, hard and soft futures, and details.  At that point you might invite your friends and family to be your guinea pigs for the next stage - non-gibberish practice.  (there will always be some gibberish, tiredness, lack of concentration, false questions, will all happen.:)

Absent
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 05:37:39 pm by Marilyn/Absentminded »
I smile when I\'m angry.  I cheat and I lie
I do what I have to do to get by
But I know what is wrong, and I know what is right
And I die for the truth in my secret life

   In My Secret Life, L. Cohen

Faemon

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Re: Actual Meaning Vs. Intuitive thought
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2012, 09:38:48 pm »
Quote from: Morphidae;70814
I was taught the complete opposite way. My teacher had us put the book aside and study each card. What the card say to us? What did we see? What did the symbols mean to us? I was a successful tarot reader for many years and hardly ever picked up a book. Just as there are many paths of Paganism, there are several paths to reading Tarot. Go with what works for you.
I would favor that way of teaching/learning tarot, too. Thing is, I did start out with book meanings, and got fairly deep into that because I wasn't personally interrupted by the nagging sense of, "but this means something else" but, to answer the OP's question:
Quote from: sunflower47;70789
So, I'm pretty new to the tarot, and I'm not super psychic or anything, but nearly every time I do a reading with my deck what I feel like the cards should mean pretty much never match what they actually mean. I mean, they aren't polar opposites or anything, my feelings are usually related to the original meaning, but it's always slightly different. Does this happen often to anyone else? How often do you use your own inferences rather than a typical guidebook meaning?
Since I want to make predictions as specific as possible, and most book meanings are as varied and vague as possible, using my own inferences happens all the time. Not that I would go without the cards entirely, because we've bonded.

But since you class yourself as new to tarot and not super psychic, your feelings might just be run-of-the-mill bias. So, tarot might be very useful to you as a self-exploration tool, but maybe not so much for reading about stuff outside yourself or for other people?

Or, it might be that the tarot is simply the medium by which your intuition comes most alive. I would test that, by risking being told that some specific prediction I made was awfully inaccurate and wrong-- not, actually, by going to check the book meanings, because I... sort of have this idea that the cards don't innately know anything, until you bring it to life by pouring your energy and attention into it through study, however that study might go-- it adjusts to you, and then you adjust to it (or what it's reflecting back, or what it's channeling.)

On the other hand, with some decks I find cards that are just off to me. They're 78 cards with five suits: 22 trumps, four minors with four courts and ten pips each... but the art is just "off" enough to me, that I can't read it? Or it would take more mental effort to work with it, that I'm unwilling to put in. Basically, even though I read as intuitively as I can, there's still some structure, and significance to each part of that structure, that I expect a tarot deck to keep to. I very probably got that from being a by-the-book beginner. (I don't think that I can say "any well-designed deck would work the other way: the art and systemic design, speaking for themselves, will inform a similarity between intuitive connotation and bookish denotation" because-- "well-designed" according to who/what, right? So in that sense it, personally, goes back to the book. But, well, you say it is similar to you, so... maybe it can also work the other way, I don't know.)
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 09:48:18 pm by Faemon »
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