Welcome! My name is Professor Swithun, and I am your new professor of Divination here at Hogwarts is Here. Professor Cattercorn formerly led this course; therefore, you will find references to her in Years Two through Five. You may notice some minor edits here and there, but rest assured that you will not be held responsible for any of these small changes on your assignments and exams. I will strive to keep this transition as cohesive as possible. I have exciting plans for Years Six and Seven! I’m working hard to have Year Six prepared and published as soon as possible.
My lovely group of PAs and I are happy to answer any questions or concerns about the course. If you have a question about grading, please send an owl that includes the grade ID for that assignment and why you are appealing. Please be respectful (and remember that we are all volunteers!)
If you have any areas of interest related to Divination that you’d like to learn more about in the upcoming curriculum, now is your chance to voice your ideas! I love to hear from students, and questions, constructive comments, and suggestions are all welcome. My office door is always open to accept owls.
See you in class!
Lesson 9) Putting it All Together
The divination lounge is brightly lit as the students arrive for their last lesson of class. Professor Cattercorn can be seen at the front of the room with a projector of sorts. There are images of her and another person in what appears to be a reading scenario. Turning as she hears the students, Professor Cattercorn turns off the projector for the moment to address her students.
Welcome to Lesson Nine! Today our topic will be putting together everything that we’ve covered to learn how to conduct a complete tarot reading from start to finish. We will also be including some information that didn’t fit into the other lessons. I hope you’re ready!
Setting Up For a Reading
The first thing to do when beginning a tarot reading is to set everything up. Set up your altar -- or lack of one -- to your preference for the situation and to allow for the highest concentration and the fewest distractions. Setting up your own altar by hand is a calming, mind-clearing type action that helps you get in the right headspace to complete a reading, as well as puts the querent at ease by seeing your familiarity with your set-up.
As I said, you also need to make sure to put your querent at ease when they arrive. Talk to them, be friendly and kind. If they seem nervous, it’s okay to ask them why they feel nervous and talk to them about that. Try your best to alleviate their nerves so that they can focus on the reading instead of the things that may be bothering or distracting them. Be attentive when they talk, pay attention to the things that they say. Show them that you are on their side.
Next, find out a little bit about your querent. Why are they here? What kind of information are they seeking? Do they want to hear about the past, present, or future? Do they want a combination of things? Make sure that you point out that whatever the cards show is not set in stone, and that they should not ask a question that they do not want to hear the answer to. If the information that they seek is something you are not comfortable doing a reading on, make sure to tell them that. Sometimes it helps to explain your reasoning so that they understand why you don’t want to do the reading. Get as much back information as you feel that you need to be able to understand the situation and perform an accurate reading. While back information is not necessary, it allows for more detailed readings as you can pick out the card meaning that may be specific to the situation.
Then, comes preparing the cards themselves. As we discussed last week, there are different ways to do this. Some readers prefer that other people don’t touch those cards. The way to put intention into the cards without having the querent handle them is to shuffle them yourself, thinking about the spread of your choice and the issue that the querent wants addressed. You can also give the querent the option of telling you when to stop shuffling. Some people don’t mind having their cards touched but do not want it done a lot, in which case they will shuffle the cards but ask the querent to cut the deck. Those that don’t mind having their cards touched at all will allow the querent to shuffle the deck. There are many ways and combinations of which people choose to prepare their cards. Do what feels right to you, as is the mantra here.
Though I can walk you through the process all day long, nothing can really substitute experience. I hope you have been reading for each other over the last weeks in order to get some small amount of experience. For now, I will do what I can to show you an example to which you can compare your own, and potentially learn from.
A Sample Reading
Reader: Welcome! Come in and sit down. How are you today?
Querent: Very well, I hope things have been okay with you?
Reader: They have, thank you! What kind of reading were you hoping for today? We can focus in the past, present, or future, or we can do a mix.
Querent: I would like to focus on the future today. Nothing more fun than trying to figure out what the future has in store!
Reader: Future it is then. Did you have a specific situation you wanted to do a reading on, or something more general?
Querent: Hmmmm. Maybe something in the romance area?
Reader: Are you in a relationship or seeking? I ask because this affects the type of spreads we could do.
Querent: I am seeking.
Reader: There is the romance spread which answers the questions: "Is there hope of finding romance in the future?", "Will the lover be similar to past lovers?", "Will the relationship feel safe and secure?", "Will there be commitment in the relationship?", "Is marriage a possibility in the relationship?", "Will the relationship be lasting and fruitful?", and "What can be done to find true and lasting love?" Does that sound alright?
Querent: Yes, that sounds perfect!
Reader: Okay. Pick up the cards and shuffle them until you feel they don't need to be shuffled anymore.
Querent: Alright... There. That feels right.
Reader: Now cut the deck please.
Querent: The querent cuts the deck.
Reader: Okay. So I’m going to lay these out face down so that we can focus on the cards one by one. Now, before I actually start the reading, it is important to know that the results are not set in stone. These simply point to what could happen if you stay on the exact same path you are on now.
Querent: Thank you, I will keep that in mind.
Reader: Are you 100% sure that you want to know the answer to the questions the spread asks?
Querent: Yes, I am.
Reader: Alright, let’s get started! Now the first card represents the question, "Is there hope of finding romance in the future?" The card was the nine of pentacles. This is a card of reward, and accepting what you have coming with grace. It seems as if romance is headed your way and you should be prepared to accept it!
Querent: Oh, that is good news!
Reader: The second card represents whether or not this lover will be similar to past lovers. The card in this position was the king of cups. Court cards typically represent people. This card is representative of a person who is very reserved. This person has the ability to control their emotions, to refrain from large emotional outbursts.
Querent: The querent nods.
Reader: The third card reveals whether or not you will feel safe and secure in the relationship. The card that appeared was the seven of cups. This card warns against clinging to illusions and holding onto things for fear that it is all that keeps you going. One question to ask with the seven of cups is how you can be objective and realistic about your situation.
Querent: That is definitely an interesting card.
Reader: It is indeed. The card may warn that you allow yourself to believe that the relationship is safe when it in fact is not. In the same aspect, it could be that you are under the belief that your relationship is not safe when it is. The next card represents whether or not there will be commitment in the relationship. This card is the ten of pentacles. This is a card of returning things to how they should be, of mending things that are broken. This could be both within yourself from past relationships, within your partner from past relationships, or within your own relationship with your partner. It could mean that there was commitment that now needs to be repaired or restored.
Querent: Another interesting card.
Reader: The fifth card addresses the question of whether or not marriage is a possibility in the relationship. The two of cups is a card of common ground and seeing eye to eye with someone. It could show someone knowing you better than you know yourself, in this case, your partner. Whatever the decision is, it is a decision you both agree on.
Querent: I like that card!
Reader: It is a very hopeful card in this situation. The sixth card brings into light whether or not the relationship will be long lasting. The eight of pentacles refers to worth, both in your self worth and how others perceive your worth. Make sure that your partner sees your worth if you want your relationship to last, and make sure that you understand their worth as well. You both have something to bring to the relationship.
Querent: That’s another nice card!
Reader: This next card is the final card in the reading. This card tells what can be done to ensure finding true and lasting love. The Magician, the second of the Major Arcana, is a card of power and deception, a card of illusions. The Major Arcana tend to represent actual people in your life. Be prepared to see through lies and deception that people may be trying to throw your way about any potential partner.
Querent: Wow, that card really speaks to me.
Reader: I'm glad that it makes sense with your situation. Do you have any questions about the reading?
Querent: I don’t have any questions!
Reader: Okay. There were some things I noticed about your spread overall. Do you mind telling me if you normally find yourself more grounded and down to earth or ruled by your emotions?
Querent: I am definitely ruled by my emotions.
Reader: I see. Your spread has an equal number of pentacles and cups, which make up all but one card in your spread. This shows me that you may currently be in an internal battle between letting yourself follow your emotions and staying grounded in the things around you.
Querent: Yes, I agree with that.
Reader: I also notice that you have no swords in your spread. You may not always use logic when making romantic decisions.
Querent: Yes, I do often find my mind clouded when it comes to romance.
Reader: This is not always a bad thing, but if there were answers you received in the spread that you wish you change, one way of doing that might be to use more logic and less emotion when making decisions about your partners.
Querent: Ah, I can see that.
Reader: I hope you found the reading helpful and please let me know if you have any questions in the future. I am happy to follow up with you.
Querent: Yes I did! Thank you very much for the reading.
Reader: You're very welcome. Thank you for choosing me to do your reading for you.
Querent: I hope you have a great rest of your day, thanks again!
Each reader will have a different style and way of going about a reading. It is important to develop your own way of going about things. Just remember to follow everything that you have learned this year when doing so. You don’t want to do anything that may be unethical or invalid in your readings. It is okay to have your own style, however, and in most places is encouraged. The more readings you do, the better you will get. As they say, “practice makes perfect!”
Now we come to the portion of the lesson that you are probably the least excited for: the final exam. Even if you don’t enjoy it, I have no doubts that you all will do absolutely wonderfully. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to educate the young magical minds of the future and look forward to seeing some of you in the future…
Original lesson written by Professor Jessica Marrow
Image credits to Professor Jesica Marrow