Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card: Step 2 – Description

In step 2, we are asked to simply describe the card with no meanings or interpretations, completely objectively – in other words, we are to just literally describe the card. This is a lot easier said than done as it is tempting to project our own interpretations while describing.

Mary says in the book:

“Verbally describing the card’s picture in detail sets the stage so that both reader and querent can explore a richly furnished imaginal environment. When a card’s landscape is precisely described, it opens a doorway into a world suffused with sensory experiences”.

The Seeker Card from the Gaian Tarot Image

The Seeker Card from the Gaian Tarot

Below is my attempt at literally describing the card that I chose in Step 1 – The Seeker from the Gaian Tarot:

***

It is daytime with a blue sky overhead. A figure, who appears to be a woman, is standing on top of a small hill in a meadow, her back to us. The grass in the meadow is pale green, with patches of darker green bordering the water. The figure does not appear to be moving. Her long blond hair is braided and there is a white feather stuck in the braids.

She is looking over a valley that is split by a winding blue stream or river. Her right hand is grasping what appears to be a brown, wooden walking stick resting vertically on the ground. In her left hand, she is carrying a brown stick, which is resting on her left shoulder – a blue bag and a two white feathers hang from the end of the stick. She is wearing a dark blue sleeveless shirt – a yellow butterfly is embroidered on the back of the shirt. Her pants are also blue although they appear to contain thin, dull white stripes. Her feet are not visible.

On her left is a gnarly tree which appears as though it’s comprised entirely out of roots – a trail of the tree’s roots is visible, as it descends down the hill . The top of the tree is filled in by small green leaves. In the distance are snow-capped mountains – there are also darker mountains at the base of the snow-capped mountains. A red fox stands next to her and appears to be looking at the woman. Four blue swallows with orange breasts are flying nearby – two are over the woman and the other two are facing her. Two yellow butterflies (which may be swallowtails) are fluttering nearby.

***

I found this part to be challenging that I had thought it would be as I was continuously tempted to interpret the card or speculate as to what is going on (i.e. she is contemplating her journey, the fox is her companion, etc.). I had to stop myself a couple of times when I found myself projecting rather than stating. Okay, on to the next part of the activity.

After we have either written or spoken our literal description of the cards, we are to repeat what we just did, except using the first person, present tense. If there are people in the card, we are to imagine ourself as one of the figures – if there are no people, we are then to speak as one of the objects in the cards.

Below is my description now in first person:

***

It is daytime with a blue sky overhead. I am a woman and am standing on top of a small hill in a meadow, facing forward. The grass in the meadow is pale green, with patches of darker green bordering the water. I am not moving. My long blond hair is braided and there is a white feather stuck in my braids.

I am looking over a valley that is split by a winding blue stream or river. My right hand is grasping a brown, wooden walking stick that resting vertically on the ground. In my left hand, I am carrying a brown stick, which is resting on my left shoulder – a blue bag and a two white feathers hang from the end of the stick. I am wearing a dark blue sleeveless shirt – a yellow butterfly is embroidered on the back of my shirt. My pants are also blue although they contain thin, dull white stripes. My feet are not visible.

On my left is a gnarly tree which appears as though it’s comprised entirely out of roots – a trail of the tree’s roots is visible, as it descends down the hill . The top of the tree is filled in by small green leaves. In the distance are snow-capped mountains – there are also darker mountains at the base of the snow-capped mountains. A red fox stands next to me and is looking at me. Four blue swallows with orange breasts are flying nearby – two are above me and the other two are facing me. Two yellow butterflies (which may be swallowtails) are fluttering nearby.

***

I really liked this part of the exercise. Putting myself into the card helped me to experience it on an entirely new and deeper level – much more so then when simply glancing at the card or even when describing it objectively as above. Experiencing the card in such as “sensory” way does, as the books states, open a new doorway. I could feel the sun on my face, feel the stick in my hand and on my back. For a brief moment, I was there….

How did you do? Where you truly objective in your description?

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