Marseille Deck – Trumps Only
Shortened Celtic Cross Spread
from Tarot Triumphs
by Cherry Gilchrist (Weiser Books)
Cherry Gilchrist recommends a clear, succinct question and/or specific inquiry for this spread, as it is useful for “pinning things down.” Gilchrist has no use for “hypothetical” readings, where the reader invents a situation and querent. She also recommends against reading “for self-analysis or prediction for oneself” because a Tarot reader “needs a degree of initial detachment, which is almost impossible to have.”
However, she does realize that there are times when we are learning or “practicing” our Tarot reading skills, and at such times reading for ourselves may be the most appropriate choice. In that case, she recommends asking a simple question about something that is not very important.
Another option she offers is inquiring about an outside situation or even about another person who is not present. I have been somewhat conditioned NOT to do this (for various reasons), but it is good to know that an experienced reader sees it as a viable option.
For this reading, I am using only the Major Arcana (Triumphs/Trumps) of my adorable mini-Marseille Tarot (Lo Scarabeo)
All of that is simply to explain what I’m doing in this reading, and why. I have decided to ask about another person and a relationship she is in.
My question is simply, “What is the energy surrounding this relationship?”
(Just so you’ll know, this card flew out of the pack while I was mixing the cards. When that happens, I often just replace the card into the pack. However, this time, I decided it was the Significator, representing the person whose relationship I am reading about.)
Yes, this person does have strong will power and spirit, an ability and willingness to make use of any and all tools she has at her disposal to solve problems or create what she desires. She has a lot of control in this relationship, whether she realizes it or not.
(1) Predominant feature of the situation: THE HIEROPHANT
From an astrological sense, The Hierophant is linked with the zodiac sign Taurus, an Earth sign known for being practical, dependable, stable, and secure. This card also often carries the idea of established ways of looking at things, whether religious, political, or other. There is a sense of “The Establishment.” The relationship has this energy as a predominant feature, suggesting the couple is taking a traditional, well established approach.
(2) challenge or obstacle facing the person: JUDGEMENT
This card seems to suggest that our Magician needs to examine or question her judgment in this relationship, but finds it difficult to do so. She may not trust her judgment, or may not be willing to *see* everything about the relationship, a “total picture” that would help her make the best decisions or choices in this situation. Her judgement may be “clouded” or based on incomplete information. She may need to “wake up” to something she has not be willing or able to acknowledge.
(3) goal or high point of the situation: THE DEVIL
Well, that’s a fun card to see here! This card can represent sexual attraction, enchantment, or charm. But there is an undercurrent of possible deception, especially in the sense of deceiving oneself about something. Since this is supposed to be the “goal or high point” perhaps we are being told that the relationship is actually avoiding (or the two people are determined to avoid) traps and deceptions represented by The Devil.
(4) basis of the situation: THE WORLD
At its base, this relationship is surrounded by the energy of success, completion, and fulfillment. Trump 21 is certainly a positive sign to see as the “basis” of anything. It not only indicates the successful completion of a cycle or stage in life, but also a turning point, the start of a new cycle or stage, a firm foundation moving forward.
(5) recent past: THE EMPRESS
In the recent past, the relationship was surrounded by the energy of nurturing, understanding, receptiveness, and beneficial influence. The two people seem to want to take care of each other, to be supportive and to help each other and the relationship grow and flourish. This card’s association with the planet Venus gives a strong sense of mutual affection and appreciation.
(6) near future: THE LOVERS
Well! As we know, The Lovers can indicate that a choice has to be made. On the Marseille card, a man stands between two women, and it is often thought that he is trying to decide between them. It may be necessary for one or both of the people in this relationship to make a choice in the near future that impacts the relationship. However, we can also look at this as simply representing Love with a capital “L”, fostered by Cupid himself.
From what I know of this relationship (not much), these cards make quite a lot of sense. It will be interesting to see how things develop…