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Predicting With the Tarot, 15

June 12, 2014

It is time to check again how en rapport you and your tarot pack are. In chapter 8 of her book “Practical Occultism in Daily Life” (Divination: Its Uses and Limits), the occultist Dion Fortune describes a most valuable exercise intended to establish the degree of sympathy present between the tarot reader and her predictive medium – the cards themselves. D.F.’s method uses for the whole deck, all 78 cards. I have adapted it for use with the Major Arcana alone.


First, think of a question to ask the tarot. Without an actual question, the experiment will fail.

When you have formulated a question, shuffle together all the Trump cards and lay out seven in a row. Note what these cards are and the order in which they fall. Repeat the process and again make a note of the seven Trumps and their order. Repeat for a third time continuing to keep track of the cards that form the layout.

Now compare the three spreads to see if any cards turn up in all of them. If no card appears in all three layouts, then your rapport with the cards is, at this point in time, poor to non-existent. Mark the words “at this point in time.” As Dion Fortune wisely points out

one varies very much in one’s capacity for divination; upon one occasion one may be absolutely inspired, the cards recur and recur, and one reads with the most extraordinary insight, one thing leading to another in an endless train

At other times the flow is much reduced and may even, for a variety of reasons, dry up altogether.

Where no card shows up in all three readings, check whether any are to be found in two of them. The rapport can be judged as of medium quality if there are cards in common between two of the layouts.

Make the cards that repeat, and only those, the basis for your reading. Only those cards that come out three times, or failing that twice, are accepted as giving a true reflection of futurity.

First Example

Sarah is divorced. She has been in contact with a man on an internet dating site. They get on very well conversing through e-mails but the time has come for them to meet. Remembering Sarah’s predicament, I asked the cards, on her behalf, how the meeting would go. Here are the results.

Spread One

Emperor, Temperance, Chariot, Sun, Moon, Hermit, Magician

Spread Two

Chariot, High Priestess, Emperor, Hierophant, Temperance, Hanged Man

Spread Three

World, Sun, Wheel, Temperance, Justice, High Priestess, Chariot

Two cards appear in all three readings: my rapport is good. The repeating Trumps are the Chariot and Temperance, both fortunate cards. The Chariot tells us that the meeting will be a positive step forward for the relationship, as it signifies progress and moving ahead. Temperance promises a happy experience, full of lively talk, that leaves the participants feeling vital and energized. (One book of delineations says that Trump 14 signifies “fruitfulness, action, life and vitality.”) Traditionally, Temperance is a card of marriage, which bodes well for the future development of the relationship.

HTMFLtrump7       TDMFLtrump14

Note also that the tenor of the three spreads is the same. All are essentially upbeat and positive. This type of agreement between the layouts is something else Dion Fortune stresses as a sign that rapport is functioning well.

My next example doesn’t work out so fortuitously for the fictive consultant.

Second Example

I admit I invented this inquirer, which is a legitimate thing to do as part of a practice exercise. I imagined a young man about to go off to university, a long way from his home town. What could he expect of the experience, I wondered.

Spread One

Fool, Hanged Man, Death, Strength, Hermit, Moon, Emperor

Spread Two

Lovers, Tower, Emperor, Star, Judgment, Hanged Man, Hermit

Spread Three

Fool, High Priestess, Hermit, Hanged Man, Magician, World, Tower

r-w 12-The-Hanged-Man          9 hermit

The cards appearing in all three readings are the Hanged Man and the Hermit, neither of which are markedly fortunate. Tellingly, the Hermit can signify loneliness, so our imaginary inquirer will suffer from homesickness, the lack of the familiar, an isolating experience.

Although most tarot readers associate the keyword Sacrifice with Trump 12, the card has other meanings that might be more appropriate for this question. It can denote anxiety,suffering, trials and vicissitudes and so it looks as though this young man will have a thoroughly wretched time at this particular university. What a pity he didn’t consult the cards earlier, when he was selecting which college to sign up with– and thank goodness he is only a figment of my imagination!


Any readings you make using this procedure will of necessity be reduced to the bare bones as they will typically consist of one or two cards only. The purpose of following the procedure, however, isn’t to produce any detailed predictions but to test your affinity with the cards. Used in that way it is a valuable barometer of how in alignment you and your tarot cards are. If fact, I know of no other way of measuring this rapport.

  1. A. Kontos permalink

    Wonderful article! An eye opener to me.
    THANK YOU auntie!!!

  2. Kelly permalink

    Thank you so much for this post! I love it!

  3. mzhawk12 permalink

    Excellent instruction, Auntie! Thank you for bringing it to our attention.

  4. Yes a good method but wasn’t the fool card also in the reading ?

    • Hello Clive,

      I have concentrated on the cards that appeared three times in the readings. A card that turns up in all three spreads is considered a truth-teller.

      The Fool is in only two readings, as are the Emperor and the Tower. But they nowhere agree, as with, say, the Fool and the Emperor putting in appearances in the same two spreads. These two Trumps are only in one spread, the Emperor and the Tower are in another, and the Fool and the Tower are in the third. No firm conclusion can be drawn from this.


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