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Learning Guided Visualization Techniques & Positive Thinking Through Tarot Cards

Tarot Tutorial - Part 4

by Bernie O'Connor

Tarot Tutorial – Part Four

Learning Guided Visualization Techniques and Positive Thinking

Through Tarot Cards.

In this installment of “creative living through Tarot Cards” we learn how to activate the real spiritual power of the cards. The spread or the “reader’s spread” as it’s properly called, is the key to unlocking this universal wisdom and cosmic influences.

Remember, each Tarot card has a picture on it and these pictures represent everyone in your life, as well as the influences of fate, opportunity, coincidence, love, creation and change. Think of all the cards as actors on the sidelines anxiously awaiting a playwright to craft a new play for them to appear in. That essentially is what a Tarot spread is, a play with your life’s journey as the plot. Just as Shakespeare’s quote from his play; As You Like It so aptly illustrates-

All the world's a stage,
and all the men and women merely players;
they have their exits and their entrances,
and one man in his time plays many parts,
his acts being seven ages.

Each time a new Tarot spread is cast, an act in the play of your life’s story is written. Then depending on what question or problem is being contemplated, during this act, each actor in the Tarot repertory theater takes on a role. Although the cards may be familiar to you, the role and meaning each one plays from spread-to-spread, may be totally different. It’s how they relate to each other and how well you can read the story being told is what makes for a successful opening night, so to speak.

The Tarot Spreads
Tarot spreads can have almost any number of cards. There can be a one card spread, such as the Card of the Day. There is a variation of the Kabbalah spread which uses all 72 cards of the deck. Some Tarot Masters combines several decks and do readings of well over a hundred cards.

But the most common number of cards used in a spread is 7. Seven represents perfection and is the most sacred and mystical number of them all.* The ancient Egyptians believed 7 was a symbol of eternal life. They had 7original gods. The number 7 also represents the planet Uranus, one of the original seven planets and coincidentally the planet that rules the FOOL card in the Tarot deck. Uranus is the name of the ancient supreme Greek god of the heavens.** The 7th card in the Major Arcana, the Chariot, represents personal mastery over your actions and taking personal responsibility for your life.

Revisiting Shakespeare’s quote above we see that he refers to life span being seven acts or ages long. However there is a school of thought among Shakespearian scholars that the great Bard was a practicing occultist and Mason. It is their contention that his plays are generously filled with mystic symbolism, such as this reference to the number 7, and hidden messages
of sacred lost knowledge disguised as a play. The most obvious one being the play Anthony and Cleopatra which is of course set in Egypt, with Egypt being the source of all occult mysteries and reputed home to the original Masons during the ancient Khametic empire.**


How to write your play
Lets begin with my favorite, and with a tip of the hat to good William S., spread the Pyramid spread. Although there are variations on this as well, the most common number of Tarot cards used is seven cards. The Pyramid is used most often when you are trying to deal with current challenges and the possible outcome of such situations. The reason for this is that the cards are read from the bottom up to the pinnacle, which is the predicted possible out come. As you climb the steps you come closer to the heavens and the abode of the gods. Thus the outcome that is revealed is the result of you tapping into the universe’s unlimited creative energy.

Visualizing the First Act
Close your eyes and begin to meditate. Try to relax your busy mind and let pictures and symbols begin to take the place of words. Think only of positive and beautiful pictures. Give this process about 10 – 15 minutes to bring you down to a calm, open state of mind. Create a Pyramid in your mind and place yourself at the very top of it. Think of it as a real Pyramid, and you are towering high above the earth. Imagine a ray of energy made up of pure white healing light descending down from the heavens, encasing you in a warm glow. Imagine the light is alive with the energy of divine wisdom. Think that you’re not going to just read cardboard Tarot cards, but you are going to interact with the figures on the cards as if they were alive and you are appearing with them on stage in your private and personal play.

Visualizing the Second Act
Bring your mind slowly and carefully back to the situation or question you are seeking to resolve with this spread. Open your mind to only positive thoughts. Take your Tarot cards****, shuffle them well. Spread the deck out, face down and pick seven cards at random. Begin to build your card Pyramid by placing the first card on the left, then three additional cards to the right of it. This is your base row of four cards. Draw out two more cards and place these, again left to right, above the two center cards that are in the base. Take the final card and place that in the pinnacle position, centered above the two cards in the second level. Remember each position in the spread as well as the placed card has a definitive meaning. Your spread should look like this:

6 5
1 2 3 4

In the example spread I just cast, I have before me:
1. In the personal challenge position:
The 9 of Pentacles, (Earth). This card is also referred to as the wish card.
2. The relationship challenge position:
The 10 of Swords (Air)
3. What’s holding me back? The Hermit
4. What motivates me? The Chariot
5. Where will I get my support?
The 3 of Wands (Fire)
6. What decision do I need to make?
The 8 of Swords (Air)
7. The possible outcome:
The 7 of Pentacles (Earth)

Visualizing the Third Act

First look over all the cards in your spread. Don’t see them as static pictures, see them as living breathing beings, talking to each other and most importantly, willing and able to talk to you. The only rule to follow here is the direction in which this spread should be interpreted. Begin at the first card that was laid down and read left to right. Don’t forget to concentrate on your question.
In this case, I am looking for guidance and career advice. What positive steps do I need to take to get things back on the right path and get over this transition time?

My Pyramid Spread:
1. In the personal challenge position:
The 9 of Pentacles, (Earth). This card is also referred to as the wish card.
The lady stands in her opulent garden, surrounded with generous Pentacles indicating wealth
complete control. The card appeared in the perfect position. The Pentacles referrer to material things, and I wish life was as abundant as they are depicted on the card.

I visualize that I am in this card with her. I feel the sunlight and smell the sweet, ripe grape vines. I ask her what do I need to do to move beyond this crisis? She holds her hooded Falcon towards me and says “You need to take off your hood and see things and opportunities as they are. Then you will be able to fly above your everyday problems.” I thank her and take my leave along the beautiful garden path.

2. The relationship challenge position:
The 10 of Swords (Air)
I next come across a figure lying pieced by 10 swords, swords means air and represent ideas. It means one aspect of my life is ending and I shouldn’t cling to the past. I ask the figure if I can help him? He says, “No! It’s time to move on! Can’t you see the sun rising on the horizon? Think about it! A new day is dawning with new promises and new beginnings. MOVE ON! Don’t waste anymore time thinking about the past.” I offer condolences and take his advice to move on.

3. What’s holding me back?
The Hermit
I approach the Hermit and seek his guidance. He tells me “To step back and give time to yourself. Listen to your lone inner voice. It will guide you out of the darkness and show you the new path your heart is trying to take you.” Again like the first card I am told to look, but this time inwardly for help. I sit down to meditate and the Hermit solemnly moves on. Suddenly the next card arrives at my side…

4. What motivates me?
…The Chariot
Here is a perfect example of synchronicity, which is a meaningful coincidence. I referred to this card, The Chariot because of its value of the number seven earlier on in this article. “The message here is clear!” shouts the Charioteer. “Even forces beyond my control is trying to tell you something. You must take control of your life now to get things done!” I hurriedly jump out of his way so not to get trampled as he rushes by. I now find myself on a cliff in my next card.

5. Where will I get my support?
The 3 of Wands (Fire)
Looking out over three ships setting sail, a prosperous business person stands poised with three wands. Wands represent fire and action. This card holds portents of change and new ventures will be soon in coming. “Start planning for these.” My mentor confidently and kindly admonishes me. “The Charioteer told me you were coming. It’s all up to you, no one else.” I thank him for his sound business advice and begin my climb down from the dizzying heights.


6. What decision do I need to make?
The 8 of Swords (Air)
Down from the heights, I am now on a plain. I find a maiden, standing surrounded by swords. She is loosely bound and blindfolded. I ask her if I can assist her? She is quiet for a moment, lost deep in thought. “No.” She responds. “It is I who must make the break with the past. My thoughts and regrets are holding me prisoner here. I must throw off this blindfold and look to the future.”

I thank her and as I walk away, I think of the advice from my garden encounter. A hood and blindfold are the same thing.

7. The possible outcome:
The 7 of Pentacles (Earth)

SURPRISE! Another 7 in this 7 card spread and it’s in…the 7 position. Another coincidence?
Finally, I have reached the top of my Pyramid. And this card literally means I could be at the “top-of-the-world.” Here a man stands, leaning on a Wand, the symbol of fire and action, overlooking his toiled garden, the result of all his work, appreciating his harvest.

It’s full of Pentacles, but he looks weary from his hard work. I congratulate him on his success and fine achievement. He thanks me, and says he is happy, but very tired and “Wonders if his work will ever be done?” He feels he “must step back and refresh himself, and decide what to do next.” We stand in silence together. As we do, my inner voice reminds me that what he’s saying is exactly what is revealed in the spread.

Think about what you’re going to do next, give up the past, plan ahead wisely, see things for what they really are and success will come your way. I notice to that I have come full circle with this spread. I began in a garden and have ended up in one.

Softly, the man leans forward on his Wand and sighs “You know, is anybody’s work ever really finished in this life?”

Final Curtain

Look for next month’s Installment:

Introducing a New Spread -
Creating and Consulting Your Spiritual Council with Tarot Cards

The number 7


William Shakespeare - Freemason


Example of the Pyramid Spread from:
The Tarot Bible

Sarah Bartlett

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


Tarot card meanings:

The Complete Guide to Tarot

Cassandra Eason

ISBN 1-58091-068-8

Tarot Teacher
Rev. Dave Clark

Tarot Master, Healer, Guru

Grand Kiva Ministries

Reading, PA.

****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

About the author:

Bernie O’Connor has been reading and teaching Tarot professionally for several years and in 2007, founded the Pennsylvania Tarot Association. www.patarotassociation.com

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, consumer research and creative projects through his firm: www.armchairresearch.com


Presently Bernie is the Producer and Host of

WDIY 88.1 FM’s new show: Lehigh Valley PAranormal™.

Reach him at: lehighvalleyparanormal@wdiy.org


Listener Supported Community Radio, Bethlehem, PA

Copyright © 2008 Bernie O’Connor

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