Esoteric Tarot Course

Lesson 2

As we continue our journey here are the supplies you will need:

  • 78 Card Deck of your choice (required)
  •  Your Tarot Journal (required)
  •  “The Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail,” by Margaret Starbird (buy if you can afford it)
  •  “Tarot Journeys,” by Yasmine Galenorn (buy if you can afford it)
  •  “Tarot in Ten Minutes” by RT Kaser (buy if you can afford it)

1 – Magician

This card is marked with the number “1” and is named the Magician. This card is also known as the Adept, the initiated, the knower of secrets. In “The Tarot Trumps and the Holy Grail”, Margaret Starbird writes: “The true adept in the spiritual realm is one who is enlightened by the Holy Spirit because of his dedication to the “Way” of the heart. He serves willingly, seeks the wisdom of God and understands the hermetic secret of synchronicity that provides a flash of inspiration in the tradition of Hermes, the god of the crossroads.”

In some early decks, the Magician was also known as the Juggler. Referring to the Juggler, Starbird writes, “Touring troupes of jugglers, jokers and jongleurs (troubadours) are reliably credited with having disseminated the suppressed secrets of the hidden alternative Christianity throughout Europe, traveling from court to court and town to town with the subversive message of their secret Gospel.” She also says, “Joker watermarks often include the number four, symbolic of the “crossroad” principle of synchronicity, the uncanny coincidence of mind and matter that do often brings instant enlightenment.” If you have this book read the section titled “The Joker”.

Go to your journal now and start a new page with the word MAGICIAN at the top. Write beside the word MAGICIAN the number 1. Now make a list of every single thing on your Magician card. What is he wearing? What things are around him?

Then do the same quick exercise we did in the last lesson.

Quick Exercise: Get your deck and take out the Magician card. Really look at the Magician from your deck. Close your eyes now for a minute and picture your Magician card. What do you see immediately with your mind’s eye? What three things / objects / symbols from the Magician card pop into your head? Write them in your journal now with a 1. 2. and 3.


Above the Magician’s head is the Sign of Infinity, a horizontal number 8. The table in front of him contains symbols of the four suits: Swords, Wands, Pentacles, and Cups. These also signify the natural elements of life: air, fire, water, and earth. The secrets of the universe are contained within man himself. He is able to tap all the resources and use them for his own benefit. This mastery over the elements, self, and others is required through occult knowledge, psychic power, and full use of the mind. We all have free will and can carve out of the rock of life our own Fate through study, work, and application. His right hand holds a wand pointing upwards (heaven). His left hand is pointing downwards (earth). He is drawing power from above and directing it into manifestation. He stands in a garden of roses and lilies, symbolizing cultivation of desire. A serpent devouring its own tail, a well-known symbol of eternity, encircles the Magician’s waist. The Magician is reminding us to speak our truths, and walk the path we believe in. Avoid hypocrisy.

Now write in your journal what the symbols represent to you. Again don’t worry if nothing is popping into your head and crying out to be written down in your journal. Just leave a blank page and you can come back to it later as the symbols on the Magician card “speak” to you more. It is perfectly fine (and expected!) to write down PERSONAL interpretations of these symbols. YOU are the card reader; it is YOUR subconscious that the cards are trying to talk to. Even when you do a reading for someone else the cards are trying to communicate with you and thru YOU.

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GUIDED MEDITATION: If you have the book, “Tarot Journeys” by Yasmine Galenorn read the Meditation for the Magician starting on page 33. This is an excellent book and brimming over with insights.

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Reading The Tarot

When you read the cards for yourself or someone else, you not only use the traditional definition for each card, you also use intuition. What does that card say to you? In this lesson we are going to define the Major Arcana Cards. These are definitions that you will need to memorize. In your deck you should have a pamphlet that tells you the meaning on each card. Go ahead and take the pamphlet and your Major Arcana cards out. Put the rest of you cards away. Now in your journal list each of the 22 Major Arcana and under each one write reverse meaning. Take each card one at a time; look at it. What is it speaking to you? Now look at the meaning for that card on your pamphlet. Were you close? Write down the definition for that card, plus the reversed meaning. Only use a few words. You need to memorize these words. Make sure these are words you would normally use. You would not want it to sound like you are using someone else’s words while doing a reading.

Side note: Anytime you are doing a reading, if the card is saying one thing to you but you know the meaning is different, go with the meaning you are feeling. That’s the intuitive part.

Exercise: Once a day for the next week type out your meanings for each of the Major arcana, theses are the one or two word definitions you have given the cards, plus the reversed meaning and e-mail them to EMysterySchool@northernway.org. In the subject line put Daily Major Arcana

3-Card “Tune-In” Reading

In this reading we will use three cards to tune into the person we are reading. This will help you get a feel for this person. We will use the 22 trumps for this reading. Shuffle these cards. You also want to do some riffling. That is when you split the deck and you hold both halves, end to end, and use your thumbs to let the two become one. This is the same way you shuffle in any card game you play. If you don’t understand this write to us and we will try to explain it better. Be sure to riffle some, otherwise you won’t have any reversed cards. As you are shuffling and riffling say the name of the person you are reading over and over. Really concentrate on their name. How do you know when the cards have been shuffled enough? When either: a) one of the cards leaps from the deck. It jumps out. This is called a leaper. Or, b) the cards start to grate against each other; they feel like they don’t want to go together anymore. Or they simply “feel” done. Lie out the first three cards, face down, left to right. Turn over the first card you laid down. This card represents the past. This could be recent past or distant past, even as far back as childhood. It is what got them into the current situation. Turn over the second card, the middle card. This is the situation they are in. This is what is going on right now, what is being dealt with right now. This is the point they are in right now in their life. Sometimes it can be the obstacle in their path. But usually it represents their life right now. Turn over the third card. This is a glimpse of what is coming. Remember this is what will happen if things continue the way they are right now. If any of the cards are upside down you give the reverse meaning. Also be sure when you are turning the cards over that you turn them sideways, so the card will be laying in the same direction as when it was dealt. Always be truthful in your readings. There is never a bad reading. I like the old saying you can see the glass half full or half empty. It all depends on how you look at things.

Tarot In Ten Minutes

Now it’s time to get out your “Tarot in Ten Minutes”. We are going to do Reading #5 What Should I Be (When I Grow Up)?

We will only be using the Wands for the exercise. Go ahead and take the Ace through Ten of Wands out of your deck. We are using the wands because they tell us about things we do for a living.

We want to answer the question “What kind of work would I be good at?”

Add the letters of your first initial plus your last name.

A 1 J 10 S 19 B 2 K 11 T 20 C 3 L 12 U 21 D 4 M 13 V 22 E 5 N 14 W 23 F 6 O 15 X 24 G 7 P 16 Y 25 H 8 Q 17 Z 26 I 9 R 18

Continue to add the numbers until you have a number between 1 and 10. This is the same principle we used in Readings 1 and 2. The only difference is we are using our first initial and last name.

Now find your number on the answer page. For those of you who do not have the book at this time, I will reprint it.

The Answers

Ace of Wands: For a living, consider the line of work your parents do, this is a card that involves a legacy of some kind – something that is handed over to you to manage or carry on, like a torch passed on in a relay race. Look at your card. You will be happier doing something entrepreneurial, experimental, or even speculative in nature, though it might take an investment of time and money for your bright ideas to become commercial successes. When in doubt, choose an occupation that involves the use of your hands – which are known for their ability to work wonders – or dabble in the written word. For best results, remember, everything that happens around you should be viewed as an opportunity. Keep your eyes (and mind) open to new ideas. Making the most of the things that come along will be the key to your success. When you draw the Ace of Wands, you can expect and important break to come your way. If your Key Card in Reading #1 was the Wheel of Fortune, you will be especially lucky in your upcoming professional pursuits.

Two of Wands: You will either want a job that gives you the opportunity to get on in the world, or you will want to do something that takes you to far shores and distant lands, for this is the card of those who are smitten with wanderlust; and when it comes, they must heed the call of the horizon. Look at your card. You may be inclined to change jobs, positions, or your mind as frequently as the wind changes directions, at least until you discover what you really want to do with your life. But it will come to you eventually, and – for you – looking for it is half the fun anyway. You will especially enjoy anything that involves long-range planning or dealing with associates at a distance. Getting away from it all to mull things over is the key to your success. When you draw the Two of Wands, you will want to watch for some important news from abroad. If your Key Card in Reading #1 was The Hermit, you should consider going on a retreat, taking a continuing education or self-improvement course, or going to a seminar.

Three of Wands: You ought to be in wholesale or anything involving the movement of goods and commodities across state lines or international borders. Look at your card. An importing or exporting business would suit you to a T, for this is a card about maintaining a balance of trade. Shipping and expediting are good fields for you. Most certainly, your chosen line of work will involve keeping inventories, taking orders, juggling cash flows, or writing up a balance sheet. Taking the time on a routine basic to study the general economic situation and review market needs is the secret to your financial success. Also, be sure to routinely review the progress you are making towards your goals. When you draw the Three of Wands, watch changes in the word climate. If you Key Card in Reading #1 was Justice, you should take time ASAP to review you assets and liabilities.

Four of Wands: You would prefer to work in a service industry or in a white-collar government job, but you aren’t really interested in pushing paper or punching numbers into a computer. Look at your card. It’s the people contact that you carve. In fact, you get your energy by going out and being with others. You would be happiest in a position that puts you in constant contact with the public and involves at least an occasional party or social event, especially if it’s a gala, for this is a card that has something to do with celebrations. Personality, poise, tact, character, and clothes are the main factors that enter into your success. When you draw the Four of Wands, you can expect successful performance at work. If the Chariot was your Key Card in Reading #1, you will be a guest of honor at an upcoming event.

Five of Wands: You thrive (and survive!) in an environment where the competition is stiff and the stakes are high. Look at your card. Since you work (and play) will with others, you have a good sense of what it takes to master and direct your energies to the cause at hand. Discipline and endurance are your hallmarks. Since you want to see the big action, you will do best in a Fortune 500 company, or in any position where performance counts. Opt for a wage structure that includes a healthy commission, a bonus program, or an incentive plan based on results or quotes. If you draw the Five of Wands, make sure you understand the playing field and the basic rules of the game before you begin. If The Lovers was your Key Card in Reading #1, watch out for conflicts of interest, and always make sure you can deliver what you promise.

Six of Wands: To be happy in your chosen line of work, you will need a job that involves a just cause to crusade for, of a noble purpose. Look at your card. Jobs where you can do something to change the world, advance civilization, snuff out vices, or right wrongs have a particular appeal to you, especially if the job calls for fund-raising or canvassing door to door. You would enjoy being involved in public works projects, environmental programs, civil rights movements, or activism of any kind. When you draw the Six of Wands, consider devoting some of your free time to volunteer efforts of a worthwhile nature. If your Key Card from Reading #1 was The Hierophant, you are a peacemaker by nature.

Seven of Wands: You are the sort of person who gravitates toward positions of leadership or even political office. Look at your card. Your popular position on the issues gives you a good chance of succeeding if you do choose to throw your hat into the political arena. (If elected, just be sure to keep your promises and take the high ground in everything you do.) If you don’t opt for public service, look for a job that has a lot of office politics or requires you to adopt a position to get ahead. Image is the key to your success. When you draw the Seven of Wands, you will have the opportunity to prove what you can do. If in Reading #1 The Emperor was your Key Card, your work has come to the attention of someone in a position of power.

Eight of Wands: This card is about messages and communications of all kinds speeding toward destination. Look at your card. You will enjoy jobs in which lots of data change hands or in which computers talk to one another long distance. But more important, you will thrive on anything that needs to absolutely, positively get there overnight or in any job that requires you to work under a time pressure while maintaining high quality or professional standards. In looking for work, seek openings that require you to perform well on tight deadlines; to meet schedules, or to perform on cue, for meeting deadlines is your key to success. If you draw the 8 of Wands, review schedules. If your Key Card in Reading #1 was The Empress, the project you are working on in nearing completion.

Nine of Wands: You will find yourself in positions where you need to hold down the fort, for your claim to fame is that you are particularly good at keeping watch over things that need to be guarded. Consequently you are often entrusted with trade secrets. Look at your card. You will want to look for work that involves continual concentration and attentiveness to detail, which is the hallmark of your success. Wherever you work, you serve as a good example of dedication and commitment. When you draw the Nine of Wands, you will need to keep up your defenses in the weeks ahead. If The High Priestess was your Key Card in Reading #1, seek environments that reward corporate loyalty and continual diligence, consistency, and dependability.

Ten of Wands: Any job that requires you to carry your own weight will appeal to you. Be careful, thoughtful, about taking on more than you can do or taking on the work of others – both of which you are inclined to do – for this is the card of perfectionists bordering on workaholics. Look at your card. To the extent you are rewarded by it, you will like a job that requires you to take your work home with you, especially if the work involves something of a challenging nature. Consistent, tireless, outstanding performance is your key to success, along with the fact that you insist on living up to your own high standards for yourself. When you draw the Ten of Wands, you are taking your work too seriously. If in Reading #1 The Magician was you Key Card, you will master the challenges that face you.


  1. Tell some of the things that the Magician card “spoke” to you. (Be sure to put anything profound or not-so-profound into your Tarot Journal in the Magician’s section)
  2. What symbols will you find on the Magician card and what do they represent?
  3. What are your interpretations on the Major Arcana?
  4. What is a leaper?
  5. In a 3 Card Tune-In Reading, which card position tells us the present situation?
  6. What is your Reading #5 card?

Email your answers to: EMysterySchool@northernway.org with Tarot 2 Answers in the subject line.

The Magician Spread

Here is a fun spread. Do this spread on yourself. Be sure to write it in your journal.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

This spread can help you to make things happen.

Shuffle the deck, laying cards 1-3 face up and 4-7 face down, following the diagram above.

Card 1: This card represents inspiration, insight, gifts from above.

Card 2: This card represents the change the inspiration goes through, the transformation through you; process.

Card 3: This card is the manifestation, the final form it takes out in the material world.

When you have read the first 3, turn the other four over.

Cards 4-7 represent the gifts from the four elements. The gifts you can draw on to make things happen.

Card 4: Earth, or Pentacles, material gifts, gifts of the body.

Card 5: Air, or Swords, intellectual gifts, decisions and clarity and discernment.

Card 6: Water, or Cups, emotional gifts, intuitive knowledge, gut feelings.

Card 7: Fire, or Wands, gifts of passion and drive and life! That which you love and are driven to.

Tarot Study Hall |  Mystery School