We continue our exploration of Mary K. Greer’s “21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card” with Step 15: Dialog.
This is actually one of my favorite things to do with my cards – having a chit-chat with the figures in the images. This is what Mary has us do in this chapter: enter into our card and have a conversation with a character. While this practice is excellent for creativity work or fictional character generation, it can also be part of a reading, for yourself or for a client.
Mary explains that we have many different voices, needs and styles within us at any one time, many of which are conflicting. For instance, I know that in order to succeed, to bring in necessary income, I need to buckle down and work. Yet, I procrastinate and allow myself to become distracted from time to time. By putting image to voice, I can explore all these different parts of myself – and obtain realizations as a result.
In the chapter, Mary points out that a spread often represents the different parts of ourself: our past, our hopes and fears, and the voice of multiple choices we have to or want to make. Dialog gives us access to all of these inner voices and I find that this is an excellent exercise for a Tarot journal.
But you can also engage a client into dialog with the cards as well. For instance, Mary uses a dialog with The Hanged Man as an example, in which you can ask the client how she sees the situation from the reversed perspective, or what he is hiding behind his back. Leading a client through dialog can be quite illuminating for both the reader and the sitter. I have used this method over and over with clients over the years, this Gestalt type of method, and am almost always pleased by the results (of course, the client needs to be willing to dialog).
In the exercise, Mary asks us to dialog with the figures on our chosen card: ask what they are doing, what they want, what they have to teach us and any advice they may have to give us. We can also ask objects how they are used and how they can help us in our life.
Below is a sample dialog between me and the young woman in The Seeker card of the Gaian Tarot.
Me: “What are you doing?”
Woman: “I am getting ready to go on a long journey.”
Me: “A journey? Why? What do you want?”
Woman: “It is time for me to move on, to explore the world. I yearn for a fresh start, a new start.”
Me: “So this is sort of a ‘quest for self’ then? ”
Woman: “Exactly. It is a pilgrimage to find myself, to figure out my place in the world.”
Me: “But why do you hesitate? Why are you standing here?”
Woman: “Fear. It’s scary venturing off into the unknown. This is a huge risk I’m taking, you know. Leaving all that’s safe, that’s familiar, is terrifying.”
Me: “I imagine. So what’s in your sac? You don’t appear to be taking very much with you.”
Woman (shaking head): “Only the barest minimum. It’s amazing how little we really need. I don’t want to be encumbered by material possessions on my journey. I want to be free, spontaneous, without having to worry about stuff.”
Me: “Do you have any advice?”
Woman: “Don’t let the naysayers drag you down. Follow your heart and open yourself up to the endless possibilities that are out there.”
…and on and on. You get the idea. Give it a try yourself. It’s not only illuminating but fun!
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