Exercises - Lesson 12

Major and Minor Arcana Cards

(See Introduction to Exercises.)

Exercise 12.1 - Arcana Cards in the Celtic Cross

In the layouts below, you are given just the distribution of major and minor arcana cards. Write a sentence or two for each one describing what you sense about it based just on the positions and arcana factor. You can check my suggestions, if you wish.

This exercise is easier if you have something to look at. Take two decks of regular playing cards with different colored backs. One deck will be the major arcana, and one, the minor. (If you don't have playing cards, use squares of colored paper.) Create the layout you are working on by placing the appropriately colored cards face down in their assigned positions. In layout one, if blue cards are minor and red cards major, all the cards would be blue except for a red card in Position 10.

POSITION NUMBER
- 1 - - 2 - - 3 - - 4 - - 5 - - 6 - - 7 - - 8 - - 9 - - 10 -
Layout One Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Major
Layout Two Minor Minor Minor Major Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor
Layout Three Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Major Minor Minor
Layout Four Minor Minor Major Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor
Layout Five Major Major Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor Minor
Layout Six Minor Minor Minor Minor Major Minor Major Minor Minor Minor

Exercise 12.2 - Comparing the Arcanas Separately

Remove all the major arcana cards from the deck and place them in a pile. Choose a minor arcana card for each one that has a similar meaning. You can choose on your own, or you can check my suggestions, if you wish. Put the minor arcana cards you have chosen in a separate pile.

Shuffle and cut the cards in the major arcana pile, and lay out ten in the Celtic Cross. Find the matching minor arcana cards, and form a second Celtic Cross next to the first. Compare your impressions of these two layouts. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. What is the overall feeling conveyed by each layout?
  2. Is this feeling the same or different?
  3. Does one reading seem easier to understand?
  4. Does one reading seem more accessible?
  5. Does one reading seem more compelling?
You can repeat this exercise with a different set of cards, if you wish.

Exercise 12.3 - Readings Using Only Major Arcana Cards

In the next week or so, try doing a reading using just the major arcana cards. I recommend doing an Open Reading as major arcana cards offer the expansive guidance that suits this type of reading. You may find this technique works well for you. Some people prefer using only the major arcana at all times. Major arcana readings clarify the main, decisive themes at work in your life.

Lesson 12


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