Lesson 5 – The Four Aces & Twos

*Remember to Protect and Cleanse your Personal Energy Field and Space. Cleanse your Cards before and between Readings.

After Readings or any psychic work, remember to clean-up before you lock-up

Welcome back to The Class


When it comes to shuffling the Tarot cards it will take a bit of getting used to. Most Tarot cards are quite large and for little hands, especially women’s (and I am talking from experience) you may end up dropping them more times than not. Smaller decks are available, but I believe to get the full impact of the imagery and detail, the larger cards are best. However, this again is a personal choice.

When you pick up the deck try to shuffle them as best as possible and encourage anyone you are reading for to do the same. Some Tarot readers will shuffle the cards for the querant but I feel that for the purpose of getting the querant’s energy into the cards it is best if they do the shuffling themselves whilst thinking of their question.  Again this will be a personal choice for each reader.  However, there will be times when the querant is not present during the reading as in distant or phone readings.  Then you have no choice but to shuffle the cards on their behalf.

If you are reading reversed cards ask the querant to randomly reverse a few every now and then as they shuffle.  It does not matter if some cards are already reversed when you hand the deck to the querant but they should be all upright before you start a reading.  Remember, it is the subconscious of the querant that will guide him or her to return to upright any reversed cards and to reverse any upright cards that are deemed necessary to the reading.  This will happen involuntarily and automatically. Therefore, whatever cards end up upright and whatever cards end up reversed are meant to be and just right for the querant in relation to the issue they are seeking insight on at that point of time. However, some querants are prone to reversing the majority of the deck so remind them to take it easy.  A good shuffle is important to get the cards moving and their energies stirring.

Once the cards are shuffled the querant places the deck down on the table in front of them. The cards are now in the correct orientation for the querant. Whether you lift the deck, move it or go and sit beside the querant to do the reading, remember to keep this orientation. Whoever, the querant is, remember that they have shuffled the cards and the cards are now in their correct order, particular cards upright and particular cards reversed. If you alter the orientation of the cards after this then you will effectively alter the potential for the reading. Therefore what is upright must remain upright and what is reversed must remain reversed until the cards are shuffled again.

Drawing or Selecting the Cards

Before the cards are handed to the querant for shuffling the reader must determine which drawing or selection method they are going to use for the reading. Are you going to fan the whole deck and ask the querant to select each card individually or will you draw the cards one after another from the top of the deck?  Make your decision, which may also be based on the type of spread you are going to read from.  Inform the querant of what you will expect from them. Let them know that you will be either fanning the cards before selection or that once they have finished shuffling and piling, the cards will be drawn one after another from the top. I believe that this sends a signal to the subconscious which inevitably arranges the fall of the cards in an appropriate manner for the particular reading.

Unless you have decided which method to use in advance the reading may end up muddled and cards out of context. Here are some guidelines when it comes to shuffling and drawing cards:

  • The querant takes the whole deck and deals out the cards one after another into three piles (this ensures that the querant touches every card). The querant then re-stacks the piles into one. The querant then shuffles the deck reversing some at random. The shuffled deck is then spread fan-like across the table. Using their non-writing hand the querant scans across the cards selecting the number of cards one after another which are required for the reading.  (This method takes time)
  • The querant cuts the shuffled deck into three piles. The pile on the furthest right is placed on top of the pile to the furthest left, which is then placed on top of the pile in the middle. The number of cards required for the reading are drawn one after another from the top of the deck.
  • The querant shuffles the deck and splits them into three piles. One pile for past, one for present and one for future. The cards are then drawn from the top of each pile in relation to their allocations.
  • The querant shuffles the full deck and asks the cards or subconscious to let them know when they are shuffled enough. The cards are then drawn from the top
  • The card at the bottom of the deck, (known as The Base Card) after the querant is finished shuffling and piling etc is also taken into consideration and is either removed and left to the side of the reading or placed back in the deck. This bottom card often has strong significance and can refer to the heart of the matter which is often not disclosed by the querant.
  • If you are doing a General Reading it is best that the querant keeps their mind as clear as possible while shuffling, cutting and selecting. Concentration or meditation on their issue is only required if there is a specific question to be addressed. As the reader it is essential that you inform the querant which is appropriate. Concentrating on your question or keeping a clear mind is necessary in order to obtain as detailed a reading as possible.

Keeping Cards in their Correct Orientation

NB. The Cards are always drawn Blind i.e. face down.  The exception to this rule is when you deliberately ask the querant to select a card that most resembles them or their circumstances. This is known as The Significator (we will be looking at signifcators in later lessons). The querant normally views the pictures and imagery eventually settling on one that he or she identifies with when selecting The Significator.

Generally the querant sits opposite you while shuffling and when they hand the cards back to you they are in the correct orientation   (upright or reversed) on the basis of the direction the querant is facing.  They have shuffled and reversed some cards at random at this stage and then placed the deck down on the table in front of them. You now have to decide how you will maintain their orientation.

  • Reach across and without turning the cards around to face you, fan the cards across the table (keeping their current orientation) for the querant to select.  When they hand each card to you reverse the card as you place it down in the spread.  This will keep any upright cards the querant selects upright and any reversed cards selected, reversed.  Remember that they are sitting opposite you. If not, all the querant’s upright cards will now appear reversed and reversed cards will be upright from the position you the reader are sitting in. This obviously does not apply if the querant is sitting beside you.
  • After the querant has shuffled and placed the deck down in front of them, you, the reader can reach out, take the deck and before you place the deck back down in front of you just reverse the whole deck in one go. All the cards are now exactly in the same orientation as they were in front of the querant  who is sitting across from you.
  • You may instead prefer to wait until the querant has made their selection and the cards laid out in their spread. At this stage if you, the reader are sitting opposite the querant you would have to go around to the querants side to read their cards as they had drawn them.  To save all this hassle just turn the cards down from top to bottom instead of the normal method of turning them over sideways. They have now been returned to the same orientation as they were drawn by the querant.

*Most students find this very confusing but it is really very simple. When put into practice it makes perfect sense. Think of it in this way. You are sitting across the table from your friend who has a magazine open in front of them which they are busy reading. You would also like to read it but from where you are sitting across the table all the text and pictures are upside down. Your friend reads out a snippet of interest to you and wants you to see a certain picture connected with it, so he/she slides the magazine across the table to you. It is still upside down at this stage. Do you attempt to or want to look at an upside down picture? I don’t thinks so. You want to view it exactly as your friend has viewed it otherwise it won’t look the same and you may not get what your friend is talking about. Therefore without thinking about it or giving it any consideration you automatically reverse or turn the magazine around until it is in the same orientation your friend viewed it.    

Maintaining the Correct Order of Cards

In addition to maintaining the correct orientation, you must also maintain the order in which the cards are drawn. Therefore, if you are doing a Three Card Spread with positions No. 1 for Past, No. 2 for Present and No. 3 for Future, make sure that the first card drawn is placed in position 1, the second drawn in position 2 and the third card drawn in position 3.  I have seen students get this part wrong again and again. One of the reasons for this is that they ask the querant to draw three cards without explanation of what is happening. The querant draws three cards, puts them down on the table beside them and when all cards are drawn just bundles them up in any old order and hands them over to the reader. To protect against this, inform the querant of the type of reading you are doing and what you expect from them. As they draw each card take it from them and place it in the correct position.

You must keep the correct orientation and position of each card drawn. You must also stay in control of the reading and guide the querant each step of the way. The querant will in fact be looking to you for direction. They will hardly realise that giving cards out of order or you not keeping their correct orientation is going to affect their reading in any shape or form. They may however, be dissatisfied with the results of their reading and you probably will not hear from them again!

 *If you find this hard to understand, try it out. For this experiment you will need to leave the cards face up. Sit a friend across the table in front of you and ask them to pretend they are having a reading done. Get them to shuffle and whatever method you have decided to use for drawing the cards,  ask them to select x amount of cards for their reading. Make sure there are both upright and reversed cards in their selection. Ask them to make a note of which cards they selected, which were upright, which were reversed and in which order they were selected.  Now take the cards from your friend using whichever method you prefer. Now lay their cards down in their spread in the manner you believe will maintain your friend’s orientation and order of selection. Now check with your friend. Are all the uprights they selected still upright and all their reversed still reversed? Are they in the correct order, as in card no. 1 in no. 1 position and so on? If they are not what does this mean? Do you think that the reading you give will be accurate? Probably not.

Practice with this until you get it right. It may seem awkward at first but after a while you will automatically keep an eye on maintaining the correct orientation and positions. If you feel you have messed up, instead of blundering ahead with the reading, just ask the querant to shuffle and re-select the cards again.

Now Down To The Cards!!     

Aces and Twos Training Exercise

Before moving on to the descriptions and meanings of the first eight cards of The Minor Arcana , it is now time to lay out the Four Aces and Four Twos in front of you  Use the worksheets provided in the previous lessons if you can.  Using your knowledge of Numerology, Colour Meaning, Elements and General Symbolism try to work out the possible meanings of these cards in advance of learning them. Use your own personal life experiences to relate to the cards.

You do not have to spend long on this exercise. Re-Read the previous lessons if in doubt as how to proceed. What I am trying to get you used to doing is to not just briefly look or glance at the pictures and take them at face value.  I want you to stop and look, I mean really look, and then look again and again.  Each time you look you will discover something in the imagery that you didn’t notice the first time round. By doing this you will also begin to memorise each card. You will need to eventually remember the imagery of not just the cards that are in a spread before you, but also the preceding cards and the following cards. This knowledge will give you information on where the querant is originally coming from and possibly going to. Often the advice given when a reversed card presents in a reading is to return to the meaning of the uprightpreceding card for guidance. That card may still be in the remainder of the deck. Therefore you will need to remember what that card looks like without having it in front of you.

By using your eyes to visually imprint as well as your mind to absorb the written meanings, you will double your chances of remembering and recalling each card. It will also speed up the process of learning them too.

So when it comes to looking at the Four Aces and Four Twos laid out in front of you take the following into account:

  • How are your Feelings or Emotions immediately affected by the picture?
  • What Words, Thoughts, Impressions come to mind as soon as you look at the picture?
  • Does the Imagery Remind you of Anyone or Anything?
  • What Number Card is it and what Energy does the Number carry?
  • What Colours are presenting and which is the Dominant Colour? What does this tell you?
  • What is going on in the Card? Are there People there, Animals, Buildings etc.?
  • If there are People, Animals or Buildings there, do any of them look Similar throughout the other Cards?
  • If they look Similar, in what way? Do they Improve or Dis-improve from Card to Card?
  • What Element Governs the Card? What Energy does the Element bring with it?
  • Are there Clusters of a Certain Element/Suit throughout the Cards? What might the effect of their Concentrated Energy be?
  • What is the Symbolism in the Card telling you?
  • Do you See the same Symbol or Similar ones in other Cards?
  • What are the People Wearing? Do they appear wealthy, poor, comfortable, uncomfortable, happy, sad, angry, stressed, young, old, depressed?
  • Do they Wear Similar Clothes in other Cards? Do their Clothes Improve or Dis-improve from Card to Card?
  • What is their Body Language telling you? Do they stand tall and proud or stooped and strained? Do they looking domineering or submissive, assertive or grovelling? Is there Similar Body Language in other Cards?
  • Do They People in the Cards look Friendly or Unfriendly towards each other?
  • Is there a Particular Character who Stands out as being in Charge or in Control in the Cards?
  • Are they Behaving Admirably and Honourably, or Underhanded and Sneaky?
  • What is the Weather like? Does it Change throughout the Cards?

You can see from the above that the cards are literally bursting with self-explanation. All you need to do is learn to decipher the code of the vast treasury of symbolism that has been painstakingly provided by their creator and artist for exactly such purpose. Record your impressions in your journal or notebook.

We are now ready to safely proceed with the first of our Tarot Cards.  You may at first be daunted by the variety of meanings attached to each card.  However, these are only options of possible meanings.  You will learn to decipher which meaning is applicable and which is not.  Your gut instinct will tell you most times but also and most importantly, you should always look to the rest of the cards in the spread in order to open up the full story. Remember to take into account the Element you are dealing with, the Numerical value of the card, the predominant Colour and any Symbolism contained within.  You must also remember to Address The Question. Once you apply this process with each card, like pieces in a jigsaw, it will all fall neatly and nicely in to place.  No one will expect you to memorise all the meanings for each card.

Begin by memorising those meanings that have the closest association for you.  If you wish, use a highlighter pen to single them out.  As you progress through the cards you will be referring back to your notes constantly when doing readings.  Each time you go over the meanings of a particular card something new will stick in your mind.  In this manner you will slowly build upon your understanding of each card.  However, for each of you there will be certain meanings that just don’t work for you.  These meanings will either be discarded down the line or never taken on board at all.  These meanings will be different for each person as you will all respond to the cards in your own unique way.

Things to Look Out for When Reading Several Cards Together:

  • What Element/s are present? (Are they Helping or Harming)?
  • What Element/s are missing (they might be badly needed)?
  • Which Archetypes are present?
  • What Archetypal situation is depicted in the imagery?
  • Are there any Reversed Cards (Are they Helping or Harming)?
  • What Numbers are involved?
  • What significant Symbols are present?
  • Is there a Colour trend (are they all dark or bright and colourful)?
  • In general or they Light and happy cards or Dark and stressful?
  • Are there any Cards that Carry very Similar Colouring?
  • Are there any Astrological Associations among the Cards?
  • Are there Cards that carry a similar Theme or Message?
  • Are there Cards that Contradict each other?
  • Which Cards would you Group together as being Relevant?
  • Which Card/s has drawn your Attention the most?
  • Which Card/s do you seem to be Ignoring or Disinterested in?
  • Which Card do you Feel is the most Important or Key?

We now know what it is that drives each Suit.  We know their governing Element and how its influence may affect each journey. We understand that for every apparent positive there is also an apparent negative. With our understanding of each Suit type we can now attempt to pre-empt and hazard a guess as to how they may behave or react to any given situation they find themselves in.  Get to know the Four Suits as if they are four different neighbours on your road; neighbours that you have grown up with.  We may not know everything about them. When it comes to humans we can never safely and accurately predict what a person/s will do or say or how they will react under certain circumstances but from past experience and their very given nature (their dominant Elements) we should have a fairly good idea of what they are most likely to do.  We will be doing exactly the same when we are interpreting the Suits in a reading.

Let us now turn to our Cards and unravel the tales, mysteries, advice and spiritual counsel of The Four Aces and Four Twos of the Tarot. Remember to take into account the card description along with the detailed meanings.

Before we launch in to the Four Aces of The Minor Arcana, please lay them out in front of you and attempt your own interpretation.  Record your findings in your Tarot Journal.

So let us now visit each of The Four Suits as they Enter the Scenes in Card Ace. Just click on the following Links, The Ace of WandsThe Ace of CupsThe Ace of Swords  The Ace of Pentacles  or the Images below to go directly to The Individual Card Pages. However before that, take some time out to read the Aces Intro  first.

So here we go!!!!!  Click on Each Link Below Starting with Aces Intro or Go to The Lesson Sub-Menu for Individual Pages

Aces Intro   

    Ace of Wands Ace of Cups Ace of SwordsAce of Pentacles

Before we launch in to the Four Twos of The Minor Arcana, please lay them out in front of you and attempt your own interpretation.  Record your findings in your Tarot Journal.

So let us now visit each of The Four Suits as they Enter the Scenes in Card Two. Just click on the following Links, Two (II) of Wands   Two  (II) of Cups   Two (II) of Swords   Two (II) of Pentacles or the Images below to go directly to The Individual Card Pages. However before that, take some time out to read the  Twos Intro  first.

    Twos Intro

2 of Wands Upright  2 of Cups Upright  2 of Swords Upright  2 of Pentacles Upright


Next Lesson – Lesson 6:

The Ace of WandsThe Ace of CupsThe Ace of Swords  The Ace of Pentacles 

Two (II) of Wands   Two  (II) of Cups   Two (II) of Swords   Two (II) of Pentacles

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 © 2006-2014 Vivien Ní Dhuinn


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