We continue our exploration of Mary K. Greer’s “21 Ways to Read a Tarot Card” with Step 16: Drawing.
In this chapter, Mary discusses the practice of sketching a Tarot card, allowing you to discover details that you have not seen previously. I came across this practice several years ago at a Tarot workshop, in the context of creating a Tarot journal I believe, and found it to be quite eye-opening. By actually drawing out your card on paper, you tend to look at and think about elements of the image and symbolism in a different way. True to what Mary states in the book, you are apt to notice things that you did not notice previously. This is not a practice that you would use when working with clients, but rather a manner to increase your own personal understanding of the cards.
As illustrated, doing a drawing is quite different from just thinking about & looking at a card. But what if you cannot draw very well? No matter. Mary states that neither your expertise in Tarot nor your artistic ability have any bearing on the process so start with stick figures if you like. In fact, she used the Stick-Figures Tarots (unfortunately, now out of print) as an example of how much a simple stick-figure can portray. But of course, you are not limited to stick drawings – unless you are one of us ho possesses NO artistic ability. If you have the skill however, then by all means draw, paint or sketch as your skills allow.
For the exercise, we are asked to do a basic sketch of our chosen card (my card is The Seeker from the Gaian Tarot) – or another card if you prefer – and then ask yourself: what did you discover that you hadn’t noticed before?
I did this exercise and noticed several things about my card that I hadn’t initially. For instance, the woman’s hair appears to be braided seven times and the initial curving of the river forms the number seven as well. I also never noticed how gnarly and rough the bark of the tree was. Several other things came to light for me during this exercise as well. I will spare you the horror of actually viewing my drawing (in high school, my art teacher told me not to quit my day job) but know that it was an eye-opening exercise. Give it a try yourself, even if nobody sees it but you. This would be an excellent exercise to include in a Tarot journal.
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