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Tarot Tutorial: Lessons 5

Using Tarot Cards to Consult Your Spiritual Council

by Bernie O'Connor

Introducing a simple new method you can use to help you get in touch
with your spirit guides.

Did you ever wish that at a moments notice, you could call on a group of experts to guide you through life’s intangible moments? I don’t mean calling an accountant to do your taxes, or a lawyer to discuss legal matters. For that matter, even a plumber to help you with your leaky faucet. I’m referring to the magic realm that lies outside of these mundane everyday matters. I’m talking about the great creative unconscious of the universe, where all wisdom and creative energy abides awaiting your calling.

But how can you help not being overwhelmed by such infinite knowledge and hopelessly swamped in its immensity? You need to create and consult your own spiritual council and let them guide you along the correct path to the knowledge and actions you may need to take at a particular time in your life’s journey.

The worldwide Shamanic traditions call for practitioners to consult with powerful spirit beings during rituals of healing and divination. The Aboriginal Shamans enter the dreamtime and meet with such spirits to obtain help and guidance in almost every facet of life.

Several months ago I was speaking with a Native American Shaman seer and he told me that when he conducts a psychic reading for someone, he becomes surrounded by different beings of light. Each one with its own personality and talents and since every reading he does is for a different person, the spirit guides are always different and the reason for that is “because each person’s needs are different and those particular guides are there to help that person, not anyone else. They are there to help the individual” he said.

So it is with Tarot cards I thought. Why couldn’t each person who uses the Tarot have their own spiritual council? After several attempts of creating a “council” spread, I arrived at the one I present here. To keep it simple, I keep this example to 7 cards. As I point out, Council members can be added to both sides of the spread depending on the reading at hand. Your council members will “tell” you how many you need to consult with as you deal out the cards. You will need to practice it several times to understand how to call on your council and to fully appreciate the many ways they can help you.


Your Council members should be made up of only the 22 cards of the Major Arcana. These are the most powerful card in the Tarot deck and represent the cosmic forces or the universe that influence us. They are the ultimate manifestation of divine intelligence.**

Another element I introduced to the spread was the Left –Brain/Right Brain Theory***. As I dealt the cards out I noticed that the logical, real world cards tended to fall to the left of the spread and the emotional, creative cards fell right. This phenomenon occurred over and over again. So much so, I finally realized that it wasn’t just a coincidence, but it was my Council showing me the way. This approach places the final outcome card right in the middle-mind position, right where it should be.


How to Convene Your Council

Here are how the cards layout -

                                            #3                                                                              #5
#1              #7                #2

                                             #4                                                                              #6

1. Find a spot where you will not be disturbed. If you want to, light some incense or candles or play some new age music to help relax you and put you in a contemplative state.

2. Offer a prayer of thanks to the abundant creative powers in the universe and thank the Advisors you are about to call upon for their help and guidance. Visualize beings of light gathering around you waiting to take form in the cards.

3. Concentrate on your question while you separate the Major Arcana from the rest of the deck.

Continue thinking the question as you thoroughly shuffle these cards. Place them on the table face down and fan them out. In this reading for simplicity sake, choose only two and place them face up in the # 1 and # 2 Advisor’s positions as indicated above.

As you practice this spread more, you will eventually increase the number of Advisors in it.

Often you do not have an idea of how many you will call upon. A lot depends on the type of question you are seeking help with. The cards will take on a life of their own and your intuition will tell you when to stop.

4. Combine all the remaining Major Arcana cards together again with the Minor Arcana and thoroughly shuffle the entire deck. When you’re finished, fan them face down and pick 5 additional cards. Place 4 cards face up in the #3, 4, 5 and 6 positions and place the final card face down in the # 7 position.

5. Now sit back and study your cards. Begin with the first Advisor. What does that particular image say to you? How does it relate to the others cards near it?

What follows is an example of a reading. This will help guide you through the process.


The question I asked my Advisors involves a new business project and whether I should pursue it or not. It will involve a lot of my time and effort and like anything of this nature some expense and

of course stress. It could also open new doors opening and new opportunities. What should I do?


Left Brain – Logical/Verbal/Dominant

The Emperor

It’s not surprising that he should appear in this position. The Emperor is the supreme masculine, father figure. He is the symbol of earthly power; hence he has come to me to advise me on project. His thought processes are logical and realistic. He’s telling me to be assertive and to go for it, but I must give it my all to achieve success. The cards immediately adjacent to the Emperor are his further advice.



What you need or want.

The 3 of Pentacles

This is the card of craftsmanship. We see three people hard at work in building a castle or Cathedral. Both of which an Emperor would be very concerned with. It also means any venture I undertake has a firm foundation. It could also mean I need to begin working with others to reach my goals. Perhaps I need to find people who have the skills I lack to help me? I may need to get out and talk to some people.


Action to take or avoid

The Knight of Swords

Yet another card with a “Medieval” theme. The Emperor has dispatched his most determined Knight charging into battle. This card mirrors exactly the same advice as the Emperor’s. “Be assertive and to go for it, but again, I must give it my all to achieve success.” Before I do however, I must also be certain of my plan before I just jump into the breach off half-cocked.

Overall Advisor #1 review: The Emperor had some very logical and encouraging real world advice, but thinking about it, an Emperor tells Kings and Queens what to do.


Right Brain – Creative/Emotional/Passive

The Chariot

This is the card of change, one of changing directions and finding a new path to take. It is also the card of taking ownership of your life. Only you can make things happen for the better. The Charioteer is the embodiment of self-confidence and self-belief, surely all emotional matters. The cards immediately adjacent to the Chariot are his additional advice.


What you need or want.

The 4 of Wands

This card represents success and recognition, especially in the creative field. Who doesn’t want or need both of these graces?


Action to take or avoid

The 8 of Swords

Here a woman, or perhaps a muse, is blindfolded and surrounded by swords. This card may signify that you feel restricted by out-dated demands or bad feelings about past experiences. You may be falsely waiting for something to happen to you to change your life, therefore you are passive as opposed to being proactive. Avoid these self-defeating feelings and throw off your blindfold. Set yourself free now!

Advisor #2 acted more like a trusted coach by pointing out the emotional game plan that I need to help me succeed.



Here’s where both Council member’s advice comes together

Possible outcome or action

The Ace of Wands

All Aces, or alternately, 1’s are ruled by the morning sun, the source of all energy and renewal. And this particular Ace depicts the original magic wand. It symbolizes fire and action, new ideas

and growth. It represents a new ambition or a new channel of communication. It’s always exciting for this card to turn up in a spread, no matter what the question at hand is. Again though, it’s all up to you to grab hold of the torch and run with it and lead the way.


I feel my Counselors gave me some very favorable advice. They indicate success, but are realistic in pointing out possible pitfalls and self-defeating behavior. I think I’ll go for it!

Give this spread a try and please let me know how you make out.

All the best –



*The Tarot deck I refer to in this article is the Rider-Waite-Smith deck (RWS)

To find out more about this popular deck visit: http://www.usgamesinc.com/pages.php?page=riderwaite.html


**The Tarot Shows the Path
Rolla Nordic

ISBN 0-939708-25-6

The Tarot Bible

Sarah Bartlett

ISBN 13: 978-1-4027-3838-8

The Complete Guide to Tarot

Cassandra Eason

ISBN 1-58091-068-8

Reverend Dave Clark

Tarot Master, Teacher, Healer, Guru

Grand Kiva Ministries

Reading, PA.

Left-Brain, Right Brain Theory



About the author:

Bernie O’Connor has been reading and teaching Tarot professionally for several years and in 2007, founded the Pennsylvania Tarot Association.
Please visit: www.patarotassociation.com and add your name to our Email list.

Along with the Tarot, he has studied paranormal phenomenon for over 35 years, authored the book: How to Investigate UFOs and was the editor of Official UFO Magazine. Bernie is self-employed as a Marketing / Creative Consultant and conducts online surveys, eMarketing campaigns, and creative projects through his firm: www.armchairresearch.com


Presently Bernie is the Producer and Host of

WDIY 88.1 FM’s non-regularly scheduled new show: Lehigh Valley PAranormal™.


Listener Supported Community Radio, Bethlehem, PA

Plans are now in the works to make this show a monthly web cast at:

www.lehighvalleyparanormal.com. Please add your name to our Email list: lehighvalleyparanormal@wdiy.org

So we can send you our upcoming schedule and program highlights.

Copyright © 2008 Bernie O’Connor

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