Tarot cards are usually read in spreads. The interpretation of the cards depends both on the meaning of a card and its position in the spread. In this exercise, Dr. Hill shows you how create a set of cards from a dream and then read them, using a three-card spread.
In this exercise you will record a dream and then create a set of cards from your recording. You may create the cards using words or pictures.
Step 1. Write the Dream
Write down your dream or a portion of the dream, using phrases or complete sentences.
Step 2. Underline key words and phrases
Underline important nouns and verbs and any words associated with them. Here is an example:
I am in a living room. There is a lamp in the corner next to a big piano. I walk over to the piano and sit down. There is sheet music on the piano, but the notes look strange. I want to play, but I can't read them. I feel confused and frustrated.
Step 3. Make cards
Write each word or phrase on the blank side of an index card (one card for each word or phrase).
Card 1: living room
Card 2: lamp in the corner
Card 3: big piano
Card 4: walk to piano, sit down
Card 5: sheet music
Card 6: notes look strange
Card 7: want to play
Card 8: can't read
Card 9: confused and frustrated
Step 4: Shuffle and spread your cards
Shuffle the cards well and spread them out in an arch like a rainbow, face down.
Step 5: Map your body onto the arch
Pretend you are spread out over the arch of cards. See your body on the cards. It may help to see yourself on a diving board with your hands over your head. See where your head, your hands, your heart, your feet, etc., on the arch of cards.
Step 6. Draw a card
Close your eyes and go inside your own body. Ask yourself where you feel the greatest sense of self. Now draw a card from that position. Do not turn it over. Label it on the ruled side: Card #1—Dream Issue.
Step 7. Draw a second card
Close your eyes and go back inside your own body. Ask yourself where your primary thinking function is located right now. Are you thinking with your head? Your heart? Your gut? Now draw a card from that position. Do not turn it over. Label it on the ruled side: Card #2—Thoughts that Support or Impede.
Step 8. Draw a third card
Close your eyes and go back inside your own body. Ask yourself where you feel the most relaxed or the least tension. Now draw a card from that position. Do not turn it over. Label it on the ruled side: Card #3—How Way will Open.
Step 9. Interpret first card
Turn the first card over. Now re-enter the dream, and examine the word or phrase. If dream re-entry doesn't yield much information, use active imagination to gain more. For example, if the main issue card is the lamp in the corner, be the lamp:
What does it feel like to stand in the corner? Are you tall or short? Turned on or turned off? Dim or bright? What is your purpose? Are you fulfilling it? Are you plugged in? Do you have a shade? Is it old or new? Ugly or pretty? Decorative? Useful?
Use this work to identify a possible main issue in the dream. This issue may be a positive goal. For example:
I am a bright light. Even though I am standing in a corner, I am useful. My light makes it possible to make music even during times of darkness.
Or it may be a problem. For example:
I can't give out any light. I'm unplugged. And even if I could, I couldn't cast much from this corner. I need a more central position and connection to a source of energy.
Step 10. Interpret second card
Turn the second card over. Now re-enter the dream, and examine the word or phrase. If dream re-entry doesn't yield much information, use active imagination to gain more. Use this work to identify how your thoughts and attitudes might be supporting or impeding your progress towards your goal or problem solution.
Here is an example, assuming the second card drawn is confused and frustrated.
What does it feel like to be confused and frustrated? What kind of situations confuse you the most? Frustrate you the most? Is this an old feeling or a new one? What do you do when you are confused and frustrated?
Step 11. Interpret third card
Turn the third card over. Now re-enter the dream, and examine the word or phrase. If dream re-entry doesn't yield much information, use active imagination to gain more. Use this work to identify how the way will open for your goal to be achieved or your problem to be solved.
Step 12. Integrate your work
Your work with the second and third cards may affect your work with the first card. Make any changes in your interpretations of the three cards that may seem appropriate now that you have worked with all three of them.
Write a summary of your work:
- What is the problem?
- How do your thoughts and attitudes support or impede a solution?
- How will the problem be solved?
Step 13. Make a Plan
Working with dreams can be fascinating and energizing, but we sell ourselves short when we fail to act on the information they provide. Use of the dream work you have done here to establish a goal based on your work and a plan of action to implement that goal.
Write down your goal and your action plan. You may also wish to write an affirmation to support your work.