by Alejandro García Lemos
Inspired by the Tarot de Marseille, this deck is designed to be a source of personal understanding of oneself and/or the querent. My approach follows the philosophy of Alejandro Jodorowsky who has said that divination is not the final goal of Tarot, but that it is first and foremost a powerful instrument of self-knowledge and a representation of the structure of the soul.
Formulate questions, doubts, and dreams and put them in perspective through the “eyes” of the Tarot. You will be amazed how you already know the answers to questions by way of the Tarot, thus triggering the querent’s knowledge and insight.
This deck consists of the 22 Major Arcana and the aces of Clubs, Cups, Spades, and Coins.
THE MAJOR ARCANA
Le Mat = The Fool
I. Le Bateleur = The Magician
II. La Papesse = The High Priestess
III. L’Impératrice = The Empress
III. L’Empereur = The Emperor
V. Le Pape = The High Priest
VI. L’Amoureux = The Lovers
VII. Le Chariot = The Chariot
VIII. La Justice = Justice
VIIII. L’Ermite = The Hermit
X. La Roue de Fortune = The Wheel of Fortune
XI. La Force = Strength
XII. Le Pendu = The Hanged Man
XIII. (The Card with No Name)
XIIII. Tempérance = Temperance
XV. Le Diable = The Devil
XVI. La Maison Dieu = The Tower
XVII. L’Étoile = The Star
XVIII. La Lune = The Moon
XVIIII. Le Soleil = The Sun
XX. Le Jugement = Judgement
XXI. Le Monde = The World
How to use the Tarot García-Lemos
First of all, make sure that when you use this deck for the first time it is a memorable experience, whichever is your preference to connect to you inner self, either lighting a candle, staying in silence or reciting a mantra, be sure that you offer respects to this new deck.
Once you open the deck, be sure that you have familiarized yourself with each of the cards, look at the details, the colors, the interactions, the possible meanings and the connections with yourself.
Please note that card XIII is not labeled Death. Also, use the ace cards for the readings at your discretion.
This deck uses 26 cards, given that this deck has the particularity of using only the Major Arcana, (22 cards) and the four aces of suits. Therefore, my recommendation is to use small spreads; below are a few suggestions.
However, if you already know how to read Tarot simply follow your previous experience. Also, please consider the use of aces is at your discretion.
- Choose a private location. Reading the Tarot is a personal experience, sometimes very intimate and it is not really a game for a group—unless the querent prefers to be with someone else. Avoid vacuous readings.
- Ask the querent what exactly they expect the Tarot deck help them understand, assuring the person that you, the Tarot reader, is not there to tell fortunes or envision futures, you are there only to guide the querent to answer their own questions.
- Once the querent (or yourself) verbalizes the question, shuffle the cards. Most cartomancers suggest shuffling from left to right. If the querent feels comfortable with shuffling, let the querent do it. Always shuffle with the pictures facing down. Shuffle until the querent asks you to stop, or after the querent stops on their own.
- Once you stop shuffling, place the deck on the table.
- Ask the querent to cut the deck into three stacks and place them side by side; the use of either hand is fine.
6. Take the card on the top in the middle stack and turn it face up, facing the querent. If the card is upside down, correct the position facing the querent.
7. Look at the card for a moment and think about the connections or disconnections to the querent’s question, stay in silence for a moment and ask them what they see in the card. Depending on the person, they might remain quiet or not. If the querent stays silent try to prompt them to describe the card. If they do, listen carefully to their words; if they don’t, simply start describing the card.
8. Keep in mind that the images of people in the deck are a reference to a person but not to a gender, i.e. the image of Justice, might reference either a man, a woman, or even an entity.
9. Please understand that each suit has a different meaning. In general Tarot readers give the following meanings to each of the suits, but those meanings are not written in stone. This is just an example of what each suit might exemplify or represent:Coins: (Pentacles): Money, Well-Being, Wealth, Material Body, Possessions, etc…
Cups:(Goblets): Love, Pleasure, Heart, Excess, Emotions, Social, Spiritual, etc…
Clubs: (Wands): Will, Challenges, Sex, Pain, Connection to the Earth, Desire, etc…
Spades: (Swords): Power, Direction, Reason, Nobility, Decisiveness, Focus, etc…
10. If the reading starts with a suit, it’s better to turn over a second card and place it right under the suit, just to clarify its meaning. Proceed exactly as you did with the first card, looking at the connections between the two cards and the querent’s question. Elaborate on the issue, allowing the querent to illuminate the reading with their life experience.
11. If the querent wants more clarification or to go more in depth, ask them to turn over one of the two face-down cards, place it to the side of the face-up cards and proceed with the reading.
THREE CARD SPREAD
12. If the querent prefers a longer reading, skip step number eleven, explain to the querent that you are going to turn over the two cards, one at a time, where the card on the querent’s left symbolizes the past and the card on the right signifies the future.
13. Read the card in the past first and let the querent elaborate on the meaning. They usually know better the correct answer or meaning of the cards than the reader.
14. Then, turn over the card on the querent’s right and proceed with the reading. Always let the querent talk before you do it, they will bring much-needed information to their quest for answers. If they don’t feel like talking, try to see the connections between the three cards on the table.
15. Always read the spread as if you are reading a painting or a comic strip. Reading the Tarot this way will provide you with the narrative need it to see the links or connections to perform a meaningful reading, a reading that connects with their question and empowers their capacity to see inside themselves.
16. If the querent wants to clarify something in any particular area, pick up the deck, shuffle it until the querent tells you to stop and then turn over a card next to the doubt in question and proceed with the reading.
17. Finish the reading by thanking the querent for sharing their questions and trusting you to help them.
Do not forget to always enjoy the process of reading!
Tarot readers have the ethical responsibility to be truthful, private and understanding, if for any reason you see something in the reading that you feel you should not share, do not do it.
NEVER tell people about deaths, separations, diseases, bankruptcy and such. Quite often the querent is going through a personal moment and your words, if misunderstood, might trigger negative results in the querent.
ALWAYS be respectful. If you feel that the reading is not going well, or that you are not helping, simply excuse yourself and stop the reading.
Special thanks to Santiago Echeverry for his inspiration and guidance, to Britt Hunt for all the ideas, editions and support. Also, I want to thank Eliana Pérez for all her aesthetic insights and finally, thanks to Marc Démont for the French translation.