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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tarot Dynamics: Personal Enlightenment Reading

I love learning new methods of reading the cards, and Anna Burroughs Cook's Tarot Dynamics approach is one of my favorites. I'm still learning this method, but one way to learn is to put it into practice.

To increase my understanding of this system, I decided to do the three-card Personal Enlightenment spread that Anna provides in the back of her book, Tarot Dynamics (Kima Global Publishers). Anna graciously agreed to review and comment on my interpretation of my reading.

I used the Universal Waite deck (U.S. Games Systems, Inc.) Below are the positional definitions for the spread, the cards I pulled, my interpretation, and Anna's comments:

(1) State of Affairs / Hindsight: CARD 74 - SIX OF PENTACLES

Representing Ambition (or Ambitious Initiative) in Anna's system, Pentacles are usually associated with financial and professional advancement, material acquisition, material rewards and/or material crisis. This suit is commonly about "reaping harvest, breaking new ground, or planting new seeds."

The key word for the number Six in Anna's system is Commitment. Sixes deal with "your general health, your daily routine and your willingness to make whatever changes may be necessary to keep matters running more smoothly, efficiently and harmoniously."

Anna's key words for Card 74 (Six of Pentacles) are Ambitious/Commitment. In her Introduction to Tarot Dynamics, Anna recommends developing your own key words for each card, based on what you "feel" when you see that card. My key words for Card 74 (Six of Pentacles) are Generous Nature.

To me, this card in this position represents certain elements of my past that continue to influence the present. These elements that play a significant role in who I am and the path I am on today. Ambition, Commitment, and Generosity are interwoven into the fabric of my current life. Interestingly, the Golden Dawn astrological association for this card is Moon in Taurus, the location of the Moon in my birth chart.

(2) Self / Insight: CARD 10 - WHEEL OF FORTUNE

As a Major Arcana card, the Wheel of Fortune is a card of Personal Transformation in Anna's system. It tests, rewards, and replenishes my strength of character. A Major Arcana card here suggests that I am grappling with matters that are karmic in origin.

ANNA: Ah, but what IS Karma Zanna, if not cause and effect, - as simple as knowing when to leave well-enough alone, or finally stepping up to the plate to confront a matter we’ve been avoiding. 

Anna's key word for this card is Opportunity. My key words are Inevitability of Change. To my mind, "Opportunity" puts a more positive spin on the Wheel, whereas my key words could go either way. In any case, I feel this card in this position is about the internal ups and downs I experience, and reminds me that just because an opportunity escapes me today, it doesn't necessarily mean it's gone forever or that another opportunity won't arise.

The Wheel of Fortune is also one of my birth cards, the other being The Magician. Card 10 is associated with the planet Jupiter in the Golden Dawn system, and Jupiter rules my sun sign. So -- it just seems appropriate that this card would show up in the Self / Insight position.

(3) Challenges / Foresight: CARD 23 - KING OF WANDS

Anna defines the word challenge as "a matter of circumstance that requires our immediate attention."

Representing Change in Anna's system, Wands can promote changes that lead to personal renewal by helping me accept the necessity of making some changes and adapting to others.

In Anna's system, all Kings "trigger or enhance your personal initiative." Her key words for Card 23 - King of Wands are Changeable Initiative. My key words are Confident Leadership.

To me, the King of Wands suggests a formidable challenge, so I'm grateful to be given the foresight to know that such a challenge may arise. I get the sense that I may be challenged to demonstrate Changeable Initiative and/or Confident Leadership. I will need to avoid being too impulsive or impatient in this. Alternatively, a challenge might come from a person in authority who takes the initiative to create change that I do not desire. There is a feeling that I may have to act under pressure or "fight Fire with Fire." 

Based on Anna's Tarot Dynamics method, my Personal Enlightenment reading has an interesting mix of Ambition/Commitment, Opportunity, and Changeable Initiative. It feels like a natural progression from establishing a foundation, to being presented with an opportunity, to exercising the initiative to take advantage of that opportunity.

ANNA: Dear Zanna, I would like to add that (from Page 79 in your present copy of TD) like Fire, Wands are all about new growth and new opportunities to “blaze your own trail – which IS exactly what you’re doing now. Not to mention how many other ideas you are going to come up in this next year concerning your present writings..I’m certain that you’ll be ”blazing  your own trail” in more ways than one.


  1. Interesting reading and system Zanna, thanks for sharing.

  2. Hi Helen! I'm glad you found it interesting. I do enjoy discovering new or expanded ways of looking at the cards.

  3. Hmmm... I replied to your comment once already, Helen. My response even showed up in my email inbox. But now it's gone.

    Here's what I wrote:

    "Hi Helen! I'm glad you found it interesting. I do enjoy discovering new or expanded ways of looking at the cards."


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~ Zanna