Lesson 2

Where Does all the Information Come from in a Reading?

The information in a card reading comes from many sources such as the Intuition, Psychic Input, the Collective Unconscious with its Archetypes and Symbols, the Subconscious, the Colours, Numerology, the Elements and Astrology.  Some Tarot readers also work with their Spirit Guides when conducting a reading.  The list is by no means complete.  We must look at each of these areas which are all correlated to get the full picture.  However, sometimes the information comes from just one source and this can vary from reading to reading depending on what is needed at the time and the energy surrounding the reading, the Querant and the reader.  We will be exploring all of these areas as we progress and indeed much will be covered in this Lesson.

How can the Picture on a Tarot Card Reveal so Much?

Why does the same card mean a certain thing for one person and have a completely different meaning for another? What do the pictures mean anyway?  Be it the Tarot cards, the Rune Stones or any other form of Oracle, they all have one thing in common.  Their individual images or markings are purported to have Universal Meaning for all.  The Archetypal Imagery and Symbolism found on such divination tools as the Tarot Cards contain an energy which resonates with all.  The concept of the Collective Unconscious, popularised by Carl Gustav Jung and also known as Universal Memory, provides an insight or possible explanation as to why the Tarot Cards or other forms of divination can be uncannily accurate!  We are now going to take a look at how we use the imagery of the Tarot Cards to tell the Querant’s story aside from learning their traditional meanings and associations.

***Please click on each of the links below or go to the individual Pages in Lesson 2 Menu.  When you are finished, return to this Page and read on.

The Collective Unconscious, Archetypes and Symbols

Dreams and Symbols

The Subconscious and the Tarot

Now that you have studied the above three, I do hope you are beginning to grasp the concept of how the cards work, especially from the esoteric point of view.   We will be looking at the importance and influence of Numerology, Colour Meaning, Symbolism and the Elements and Astrology  in Lesson 3.

For some of you there may be an urgency to get started with the cards but trust me on this one. This background information once assimilated will provide a solid foundation for the remaining Lessons. As a reader you will also become more knowledgeable and respectful of all the variables at play when you take out a deck of Tarot. It will also help you better understand and appreciate the personalities of the Court Cards in Part II and the concept of the Archetypal Journey taken by The Fool in the Major Arcana in Part III.

A Clean Deck of Cards, Charging Cards & Taking Ownership of Your Cards

Ready to embark upon this Course, many of you will have purchased your Deck of Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot Cards and are eager to get going.  Some of you will already have this Deck and may have been using it  for some time.  Others will have been given their Deck as a gift or from someone who no longer uses it.  Regardless of where they came from, either new or used, it is essential that your Deck of Cards be Cleansed and Charged with your Intention before use.  You also need to take ownership of your Deck.  By Cleansing, I do not mean washing down with cloths or detergents but rather an energy cleansing. Let me explain.

Everything and everybody absorbs energy from the environment it or we come into contact with.  There are certain things that attract more energy than others such as jewellery, crystals and oracle cards.  Unless, we totally remove ourself from contact with others, we are constantly moving within the energy of other’s emotions and thoughts. We may not be able to see them but they are there and will have an effect on our own emotions and thoughts.  Emotions and thoughts in the positive, can run from simple contentedness, to feeling happy, to feeling elated and overjoyed. On the negative, they can flow from feeling down or listless, to being irritated and upset, to feeling anger and despair. Whatever we touch or wherever we spend time in is charged with our emotions and thoughts along with the emotions and thoughts of those we share our space with.  This unseen energy is inter-mingling and communicating constantly as we go about our business.  You may think that what you can’t see can’t harm you but there you are mistaken.

How many times have you gone to meet a friend, sat on the bus or stood in a queue in a shop feeling okay and normal only to suddenly drop a notch or two into feeling troubled or low? How many times have you felt uncomfortable in a certain room, building or on a stretch of road? I don’t think that there is anyone out there who can say that it has never happened to them.  So, why does this happen to us? It is simple really.  Our positive happy energy of the day, suddenly gets tainted by the negative energy of someone or something nearby.  When I say negative, I do not necessarily mean evil or dangerous, but simply the downside of what we want to be or feel.  Being tainted by someone’s negative energy may simply mean picking up on the sadness of a friend after the end of her longterm relationship or death of her loved one.  It could be walking into a room where people have been arguing and feeling irritable or stressed.  However, it could also be tainted by the emotions and thoughts of a violent person or someone who is being or has been abused.  Your energy may get tainted by the emotions and thought processes of someone who is depressed or suicidal.  Negative influences of energy can make you feel down and depressed for no reason.  It can cause sleep and health problems and if exposed to it for too long can change your personality.

Exposure and influence of positive emotions and thoughts will have the opposite effect by making you happier in yourself and the world you live in. Obviously, this is what we all want and should aim for but as I mentioned earlier, we do share our world with so many others and our energy connects us to all, both positive and negative.  Therefore we should guard our own emotions and  protect ourselves from the negative influence of others as best we can.  We shall be exploring this in greater depth when we cover Psychic Protection in the next Heading but for the moment I want to address the issue of Preparing your Cards for all the work they will be doing.

So, back to that Deck of Tarot Cards you have before you.  Just let your mind begin to trace back, right to the very start, where your Deck of Cards came from before they arrived into your hands.  Now, question how many people may have handled them before your hands have come to rest on them.  The very card they are made from originated from pulp before it was compacted into cardboard, then there was the printing process, the construction of the box, the packing of the cards into the box, the transportation of the cards to warehouses, then wholesalers and delivery trucks, before delivery to the shop or online store you purchased them from.  It didn’t stop there either for the delivery had to be unpacked, the shelf stocked, the Deck priced or given a bar code, then packed up again to be given or sent to you.  If you bought the Deck in a shop, then question how many customers may have picked up your box for a look or to read the back before putting it back down on the shelf again?  The potential for contamination and tainting is enormous.

So, I guess some of you are now staring at your Deck of Cards as if they have some contagious disease.  I want you to relax about this but I also want you to be very aware of the impact that a Tainted Deck of Cards can have on a Reading.  Very often I will have students who join my Tarot Class who complain that the cards they pull for themselves are always depressing and negative.  My first response is always to ask them if they have Cleansed their Cards before using them. Generally, they have failed to do this and once sorted, their Readings tend to be more balanced. The same can happen to any Reader, be they novice or experienced, if they are failing to clear their Deck of Cards between Readings.

Readings will also become muddled and vague or make no sense to the Querant or yourself, if the previous Person’s or Reading Energy is not cleared from the Deck .  You will realise this has happened when you are doing a few Readings in a row and become sloppy about your Cleansing routine.  Typically, you notice that the Cards drawn for the Querant in front of you are very similar to the Querant who was with you earlier or the day before.  In fact they may be the very same cards but just in a different order.  You will also find that if you try to read them, they will make little sense to the Querant in front of you.  This is because the Energy in the Cards belongs to too many people and is all mixed up, both positive and negative. Each Reading whether for personal use or for another must begin with a Clear and Clean Deck of Cards.

Tarot Readers who do Readings at Holistic Fairs do have their work cut out for them when it comes to Cleansing their Deck between Readings.  Some Readers are very public and theatrical about showing their waiting queues how diligent and conscientious they are about their clients. . It can add a mystic air to proceedings  as they circle their table ringing bells or wafting plumes of smoky sage around their cards.   Other Readers are more discreet and Clear their Decks quietly whilst their next Querant is settling into the seat in front of them.  One way or another, it will quickly become a very stressful day if they forget or do not bother to Clear their Decks after each Reading.

There are many methods of Clearing and Cleansing your Tarot Cards.  There are both short and long methods which you undoubtedly will try before settling on the method which suits you most.  There will be times when you want to spend time on Cleansing your Deck and then times when you just don’t have the time for anything other than the shortest briefest method.  I suggest that at least once a week you do a thorough Cleansing and Clearing, giving it time and consideration and then use a shorter method in between.

First Cleansing, Charging and Taking Ownership

Take the Deck of Cards out of the box and lay both the cards and box (the little book will be within) on the table in front of you. You need to Cleanse the box and little book too if this is where you intend to store your Cards.  If you are using a bag or have arranged a special box of your own, then these too must be Cleansed.

Sit for a few moments and centre, taking nice even deep breaths.  Ask for connection with your Higher Self. Relax and concentrate on the Cards in front of you.  Set and hold the intention in your mind and heart that you are going to Cleanse and Clear the Cards in front of you from all previous energies that have come in contact with them.  State clearly in your mind or aloud, that you intend to make the Deck of Cards yours, if you are going to keep them for your sole use or that you make the Deck of Cards available to others where they will be under your care.

Visualise a strong bright orb or ball of golden white light above your head.  Let the light build in intensity for a few moments before inhaling deeply.  As you inhale visualise the ball of golden white light explode like a waterfall as it cascades over your entire being.  On the next breath, inhale this brilliant bright light down through the crown of your head and feel it light up within as it travels down into your heart before pouring down your arms and into your hands.  Feel your hands light up and tingle with this cool burning energy as it builds in the palms.

Now, pick up your Deck of Cards and hold them between your two hands.  Set the intention that you are now ready to release the Cleansing Golden White Light into the Cards. When you are ready, let the building pressure in your hands explode its light into the cards. Feel the energy coursing through your hands and visualise it hissing and spitting as it burns away all previous energies attached to the Cards.  For the first Cleanse, sit for a few minutes, allowing the energy to flow through you.  When you begin to feel it ease off of slow down, release the Cards by putting them back onto the table. Now Cleanse the box and little book in the same manner.

Once the Cleansing has been completed, sit for a moment and set the intention that you are now going to Charge your Cards with Divine White Light and Positive Energy.  Let the waterfall of light begin to build again until you can feel its energy in the palm of your hands. Take the Cards back into you hands and hold them between the palms as before.  Now make a statement similar to the following or one that has Special Meaning for you:

“I connect with my Higher-Self, my Spiritual Guides, Spirits of the Light and The Healing Angels of Holy Light and Love to bless me as a Reader, bless my Cards and bless all Readings I use them for. May their Spiritual Messages come through clearly and positively for the Highest and Greatest Good of  all who seek Guidance from them.  I here forth vow to only use my Cards in Perfect Peace and Trust and with Harm to None. I ask this in Love and Light, Love and Light, Love and Light ”  .

Allow the light to flow once again from your palms and into the Cards.  Sit for a few minutes or until the flow of energy slows down or stops.  Your Cards are now Cleansed, Cleared and Charged with Positive White Light and as a Tarot Reader or Consultant, you are off to a healthy and balanced start.

Now, you can put your Cards back in the box until they are needed or, a nice idea is to leave them on an inner windowsill for a couple of hours if it is sunny or overnight under the glow of a full moon. If you are familiar with Crystals then you can leave a Clear or Smoky Quartz sitting on top of the Deck.  However, you must ensure that the Crystals are Cleansed too, otherwise they will contaminate the energy of the Cards.  Only use Crystals if you know what you are doing with them as their Cleansing methods can vary depending on type of Crystal used.  I have written a manual on Working With Crystals that will be published at a later stage.  If you are storing your Cards in a bag or just wrapping them in fabric make sure that any material used is of natural fibre.  Organic Cottons, muslins and silks are lovely.  If you are handy with a needle or sewing machine, then you might like to personalise the cloth or bag with embroidery or your name. Remember, that your Cards will pick up on energy wherever they are so do not leave them in an area that is frequented by too many people.

The above method is ideal for the first Cleansing, Clearing and Charging but you do not need to spend as much time and effort after that for your intentions have been sent out to the Universe and Sealed.  As discussed earlier, it is good practice to do a weekly or monthly thorough Clearing depending on how often you use your Cards and whether for personal or general use. Use your common sense here.  If you are going through a time of trauma or difficulty and consulting the Cards for guidance, then their energy is going to be loaded.  Make sure to do a thorough Cleansing once the situation has calmed down.  Likewise, if you are Reading for others then it is essential you do a Cleansing after each Reading. When using a Deck solely for one’s own use, then some Readers prefer to let their own energy build up in the Cards and develop a strong connection with them.  The choice is yours.  However, if you decide to Read for others longterm, then it is a good idea to have a separate Deck purely for personal use.

Below are some other Card Cleansing and Clearing Methods you may like to try out.  Remember to Charge the Cards with your Positive Intentions after the Initial Cleanse and ClearingRe-Charge them every week or month depending on frequency of use and personal choice.


Simply inhale brilliant White Light through your Crown Chakra and down into your Heart chakra. On the exhale, breathe this White Light over your Deck of Cards while visualising the light burning away any psychic debris or energy left over from a reading.


Reiki Healers can draw the Power Symbol over the cards and run Reiki for a few moments.

Sage (Smudging)

Pass the cards over the smoke from smouldering Sage while visualising the smoke burning away any psychic debris or energy left over from a Reading.

The Hands

Cross one hand over the other and rest them on top of the Deck of Cards. Set the intention that you are going to Cleanse the Cards of the previous Querant’s energy or question.  Now, very quickly and very determinedly pull your hands up and away from the Cards separating your hands in the process.

(You can also use the above method for Clearing the Cards of a particular question before moving on to the next question.  Just visualise white light/Reiki/Violet Flame flowing through your Cards clearing them of the energy of old questions.  Remember, you always want to be working with a Clean slate when conducting your Readings)

Psychic Protection

So we are now getting closer and closer to taking up our first Tarot Cards in this Course.  However, before we go any further let me introduce you to a very, very important part of any Tarot Reading.  In fact, it is very important in all aspects of psychic work.  Some of you may already be aware of what this important part is but for the rest of you let us now explore the whole area of Psychic Protection when we read any Oracle Cards be they Tarot or Angel.

Please click on the link below which is also in the Menu section of Lesson 2.  When you are finished studying this section, please return to this page to continue the Lesson.

Psychic Protection & Chakras

So now that we have all that out of the way, let us get down to some practical work.

A little Exercise to get us started

Armed with our new-found knowledge of the Collective Unconscious, Archetypes, Archetypal Situations and Symbols we are now ready to make our first attempt at putting this knowledge to the test.  Before we go any further I would like you to try the following exercise.  In fact, we shall be doing this exercise in each lesson.  The idea behind this exercise is to involve your intuition from the very start.  I would like to see, how the cards are speaking to you on an individual basis prior to you learning their traditional meanings and associations.  By doing this exercise, you will be accessing the Collective Unconscious and relating to Archetypes and Symbols.

Please take out the Four Aces in your Tarot Deck – Ace of Wands, Ace of Cups, Ace of Swords and Ace of Pentacles.  You are going to work through these four cards one by one.

 You will find a Tarot Worksheet Supplement  (click on link or go to Lesson 2 Menu) provided with your lesson. Copy and Paste it onto a Word Document and rearrange to suit your individual preferences. Print off several copies of this Worksheet as you will be using these for every card we study.

When you are ready, lay the Ace of Wands down on the space provided on the Worksheet and use the surrounding prompters to kick-start your creative flow.   You can copy and reprint these worksheets as necessary or design your own.  You will need these or similar worksheets for each card and they should be stored in a folder for future reference.  You will also need a notebook or journal for this exercise.

Don’t dwell on any card too long.  Just sit with them for a while and try to tune out all external distractions, so that you are in a better position to tune into the Archetypes, Archetypal Situations and Symbols contained within each card.  You may think that there is enough detail in the Aces to come up with anything but be patient and let your mind wander.  Name out loud, everything you see in each card.  Write it down and repeat the words over and over again.  Eventually, associations and ideas will form.

For example:  The Ace of Wands – I see a hand.  The hand is holding a stick of some sort.  There are leaves on the stick.  There seems to be a cloud around the hand.  The cloud does not belong to the sky.  Go back over the card and see what you are missing – There are some trees close by and some hills in the background. One hill has a peak.  The hand holding the stick seems to have a firm grasp of it.  The thumb is sticking up. The sky is clear.

In your journal you will record your impressions and ideas for each card. For Examples of Tarot Worksheets please click here.

Ace of Wands Ace of Cups Ace of SwordsAce of Pentacles

As you look at each card, what is it that you feel immediately, what words pop into your head, maybe a person’s name or a distant memory from childhood? Maybe a smell comes to your senses or even a sound or sensation? Can you think of a saying that might go with the card?  Does the image upset you, comfort you, worry you or disturb you?  Does it have a special meaning for you at this time in your life?  Can you identify with the images portrayed or do you find them alien to your natural conscious processes.

When you have finished your free association with the Ace of Wands, move onto the next card and do the same until you have the Four Aces completed.  You will be surprised how tired you will feel after working your brain and memory in this way.  Tarot reading can be very tiring, especially if you are doing one reading after another.  Bear this in mind.

By engaging in this exercise as you proceed through your study of the Tarot, you will learn a lot about yourself. This is a very useful lesson, so please do not be tempted to skip it as the basis of your future card readings, once you have completed this course, will come first and foremost from your intuition and will only secondly be backed up by your learned meanings.  Later on as we examine the traditional meanings of each of the following cards you may be surprised to discover that your own interpretations are quite similar.

If you have enjoyed this exploration, why not try reversing the cards and record your impressions?

Now Try the Homework (Menu Lesson 2) before moving on to Lesson 3.

 Best of Luck


The Collective Unconscious    Dreams & Symbols   The Subconscious & Tarot    Psychic Protection & Chakras    Worksheets   Sample Worksheets

Homework Lesson 1 & 2

Lesson 1   Lesson 2   Lesson 3   Lesson 4  Lesson 5   Lesson 6    Lesson 7    Lesson 8   Lesson 9 Lesson 10

Aces Intro    Twos Intro   Threes Intro   Fours Intro  Fives Intro  Sixes Intro  Sevens Intro  Eights Intro  Nines Intro  Tens Intro

The 78 Cards – Detailed Study Version (Card Description, Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

The 78 Cards – Shortened Version (Keywords, Upright & Reversed Meanings)

Part I   Part II  Part III


Copyright © 2006-2013 Vivien Ní Dhuinn



  1. Excellent write-up. I certainly love this site. Continue the good


  2. Dear author,
    I wish to express my deepest gratitude for this resource on the subject of Tarot. It is very resourceful. It has the optimal amount of theoretical information and practical advice, one needs- all in one place! The rest is up to us, of course.


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