This week, I am staying with the spread we saw last week, because I wish to explore some thoughts about reading in general, Vs exploring a new spread.--------------------------------------------------------------------
Covers .......... Princess of Wands
Your Energy ..... Princess of Swords
Shortly after I did this reading, I would drew 2 more readings in fairly quick succession in which once again the Princess of Wands showed up covering a Q who was contemplating leaving home. In both those spreads the fading/past card was the 6 of cups. So it seemed clear to me that Innana had settled on this pair to communicate a young woman striking out in the world.
For me, there are two Idea's I feel I bring to the Tarot that are fairly original. One is the numerology system that I use in some of the readings. The other is more general.
A Contract with your Tarot: Over time I feel a reader works out a contract with their guides, in terms of given themes being represented symbolically in a given way. The Princess of Wands is a small example, but it serves our purpose today. The King of Pents is another in that in several previous readings Innana had chosen to represent a rather grasping character as the King of Pents Rx. Yet in this reading, we see him representing a man overly concerned with Status Symbols and his presentation to the world. A man who is more about his "Bling" than his Bank. So I don't want you to see this contract as a static thing fixed in stone. It is however a consistent thing. One observes ones contract evolving slowly of a period of 10' even scores of readings.
Another example was a in person reading I did recently, a cross spread, the King of Cups Fading, the King of Pents (Foundation), The King of Swords (Q's Best Energy), 2 of Cups Q's house. Now normally I would just look at that and say, ok she is in transition between relationships. The thought "you naughty girl" flitted through my head, but I did not speak it aloud. Yet the woman across the table was 20 years my senior, and this did not feel right. Its pretty rare for a woman that age to change partners, we generally have our relationship issues settled by that point in our lives. So I read the Q, what I could see, and she listened politely, and pointed out where I was right and wrong.
The key thing here for me was the 2 men in her life where her sons. At her age they would be two old to be Knights they where Kings. So we see the 2 of Cups speaking to her affection for them. It seems clear to me now, I should have honored my intuition. The intuition that said "I'm not quite getting this 'nanna" and drew some cards for clarification.
At the same time I do intend to reflect on the actual spread some more, see if given some time something about the energy makes sense to me, and speaks to what I now know. I do believe in taking time and mediating on a given image. Just clearing your space, getting still, and seeing what comes to you of the cards.
Another aspect of ones contract with the Tarot, speaks to who shuffles the deck. I have a friend who is an energy reader. She has her Q shuffle the deck, because what she primarily is doing is reading the energy they leave on the deck. While of course with 2/3 to 3/4 of my practice coming from online readings, the Q by and large just cant shuffle their cards. Not too long ago now, I did ask fellow readers to shuffle their cards and send me a spread to interp. Overtime I dropped that requirement. As my faith in myself/Innana grew, as I learned to accept she would present me with what I needed to know, if I asked correctly, having the Q touch the cards was no longer an issue for me. The change allowed me to take my readings to a new level by letting Innana chose the deck through which she would express herself. As you have seen already, my lady is often very specific about the art she chooses to speak through. :)
My experience with this question comes down to this: Pure readers prefer to shuffle the cards for themselves. Partially because of their relationship between themselves and their deck/guide, and partially because we are just not as good being Seers, as Witches at purging negative energy that attaches too our decks. Its taken me a fair while to get comfortable with cleaning my decks, and I would still chuck one that got really "nasty". After all for me its not the deck, the deck is just a phone to call Innana, if it gets dropped in a puddle of astral goo, sometimes its easier just to get another phone. ;)
Witches on the other hand being more general energy workers prefer to have the Q touch the deck where possible, and thus connect more directly to the Q's energy. The route you take is really up to you. I see pluses and minuses to both.
Now some books, Mr Waite's for one, will tell you, "The Querant must shuffle the Cards", and others will tell you, "No one else must handle your decks." I hope you see now a little past those admonitions in either case the author is really just describing her/his contract with the Tarot. Just as I am describing for you mine. Your relationship with the Tarot is however your own. Will you view it as a Quasi-Mechanical thing, a vehicle for accessing your higher self, or a phone to your guide. I've known good readers who hold to all three opinions. Of course you know mine. I do know of other readers who view each deck they own as a channel each to a specific guide.
Another aspect is card Pairings. Anne Moria has an excellent section on this subject in her Tarot for the Green Witch. They are definitely worth going over and giving a moments pause to lodge them in the back of your mind. I would not recommend going over them, time and again until you learn them by rote however. Rote chokes ones intuition, and you want to leave the door open for your guides to use a given card or pair in a new way. Every reading is unique, just as every Q is a unique person on a unique journey. Filling a phonebook with Formulae is not the way to mastering the art of reading.
I believe by comparing contracts, we can expand our own. May your journey be a pleasant one. :) Ama tu ANKI, BB.