Sometimes the very best thing a Tarot reading can do is confirm what you already deep-in-your-bones know.
Hi and welcome to TaoCraft Tarot blog and podcast. I’m glad you are here.
Yesterday we talked about Zombie Cat’s Summer Shamble. Zombies in general and Zombie Cats in particular are kind of a Halloween thing. Here in the Pittsburgh area where they filmed the classic Romero movie Night of the Living Dead and its sequels, we have a soft spot for the zombie genre any time of the year. I also have a soft spot for Halloween any time of the year, both of which fuel my fondness for the whole Zombie Cat mascot slash alter ego slash persona thing.
Yes or no Tarot readings have been around for as long as fortune telling whatever oracle they use. I like Tarot because it lends a TON of subtlety and nuance and layers to a reading. I’m kind of hardwired to like that. It is part of what makes me good at this.
Nuance isn’t always the best thing. Sometimes you just need a quick check-in with a topic that has already had a full reading. Doing full readings over and over and over again on the same issue is worse than just not helpful. It can be counterproductive and make things worse through the confusion. A one card meditation or a simplified yes or no layout like this one.
The more I think about it, the more I like this layout. No wonder Zombie Cat Shambles through every summer with some iteration of a special offer. It gives a smack-down of in-your-face clarity with a reassuring hint of nuance in the card by card part.
Yesterday we talked about the spin I put on the ubiquitous, timeless, been-around-forever yes or no layout. I took out maybe and put in “changing lines” …a changeable yes or no. It’s an I Ching concept that we can talk about some other time. When I do the three card “Zombie Cat” readings, I also add an intuitive card by card comment to give you ideas how to either keep or change the yes or no that you got – whichever you prefer.
This isn’t the only yes/no layout in existence, either. There are probably as many iterations of it as there are Tarot readers. Over time positive and negative, a yes or no quality has been given to each card, so you can take that into account as well if you have a mind too.
Nuance, I like. Gestalt, I like a lot. Pedantic detail – not so much. I’ve never really done the academic research into the yes or no connotations of each individual card. I’d rather have the flexibility that an intuitive read at my disposal. I like having the hard yes or no come from the layout and let the individual cards do their thing with empowering you and your choices.
The traditional version of a yes or no layout is really simple. I learned the basic format from intuition coach Joy Star who learned it from a rural spiritualist minister in South Carolina who had no idea what its origins were. You could easily do this at a party with playing cards. At that point, it is about the level of one of those magic pool ball toys and absolutely just as much fun. I encourage you go give it a try, and see what your intuition brings to the experience. If you use playing cards, my ebook Peace Tarot teaches you how to get those nuanced Tarot meanings with the playing cards, so that might be helpful to you too.
It goes without saying that it should be a question that can be answered with a blunt, one word yes or no. If you really really REALLY can’t put your question that simply, then see me. It may be time for a full reading or an intuition driven one card meditation. Some things are hard to do for yourself and we professionals are here to help.
The process is the same for both Tarot cards and playing cards. If you use playing cards, it doesn’t matter if the jokers are left in the deck or not.
The first step is to decide what pattern of cards means what. In the classic style, no aces is a firm no
One ace means maybe but leaning no
Two aces means maybe but leaning yes
Three aces is a firm yes.
Shuffle the cards while you say your question. You can say it out loud if you want, but if you don’t try to keep the question as clear in your mind as you can while you shuffle. I think it helps to repeat the question a few times while you shuffle for extra clarity and connection to your intuition.
Then start dealing the deck face up into three piles. Stop dealing to a stack whenever it gets an ace or gets 13 cards, whichever comes first.
If you feel weird about the number 13, pick another number. Something between 10 and 15 would probably work best.
When you are done, look at the aces that are showing on your three stacks of cards. That gives you your answer.
As you can guess, most of the readings are going to fall in the “maybe, but….” category. “Maybe” isn’t a super helpful answer when you are looking for specific guidance and clarity. That’s part of my reasoning for blending the yes/no with I Ching fortune telling.
The I Ching or Book of Changes is advice and insight divided into 64 chapters with each chapter corresponding to a hexigram. A hexigram is a pattern of six lines made up of a combination of broken or yin lines, and unbroken or yang lines. One way of finding the hexigram to guide you involves tossing three coins six times to get the line pattern. When you throw the three coins, two heads means a yang line, two tails mean a yin line. Three tails means a yin changing line and three heads means a yang changing line. When a line is “changing” that means it is SO yin or SO yang that it is read to tip over into its opposite. Reading the hexigram that includes those lines as their opposite might give additional relative insight.
I’ve applied that same principle here. One ace is a simple no. Two aces is a simple yes. A three ace yes is SO yes it could be easily nudged into a no. Absent aces is SO no it could be tipped over into a yes.
In this case we have a very common but fictional question “Am I doing the right thing?” The answer is yes. To keep it yes, a focus on creativity and creation is helpful. The Empress is often shown as an expectant mother. Ace of wands has to do creation and creativity. Ace of Pentacles hints at success, a pay-off, something coming to fruition. Intuitively I hear “bring something new into the world” and see a fancy maitre d’ making a little bow and that sweeping arm “after you” gesture. Two aces are a solid yes. A little affirmation and validation from a Tarot reading can go a long way. Maybe even long enough to encourage someone to persist, to proceed and ultimately succeed.
Thank you so much for reading and listening. Please check back tomorrow when I’ll be re-posting the original Meet Zombie Cat post that started this whole yes/no thing.
Hello and welcome to all new followers. Thank you. I appreciate you and I appreciate any likes, subs, shares, questions and comments any of you can spare.
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Thank you again for reading and listening! See you at the next sip.
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