When in doubt, simply describe the card! I remember looking at cards in a reading and having no idea what to say. I would draw a blank, or there was nothing I could grasp in that moment that related to the question. This calls for “priming the pump”—an idea that has little understanding today, coming from the days of hand pumped water where you had to poor a little water in to get the water to come out: you put something into the system to get the system working. I find that simply saying the name of the card, a few keywords and a brief description is all that is needed to get your intuition flowing. For instance, “You have the Nine of Pentacles, called ‘Gain,’ showing a woman in a walled garden with a bird on her hand. Birds often represent intuition but this bird is hooded, and she is wearing a glove protecting her from this bird. Humm . . . What are you gaining by protecting yourself from your intuitions?” You might have found yourself relating more to the snail or to the lush harvest of grapes, or remembering that this is a Nine and that she is alone like the Hermit. At some point in your description, something will “catch,” and then you are off and running with how this card relates to the question and other cards in the spread. In an interactive reading, I take my moment of blankness as a sign that the querent knows something important about this card, so I ask the querent to “simply describe the card.” It has never failed to be exactly what was needed.

 Bio:   Mary K. Greer is an independent scholar, writer, teacher, and professional tarot consultant who is known for her innovative teaching techniques. With an M.A. in English Literature, she first taught tarot at a college in 1974. She is the author of eleven books on tarot and on magic, and was first to write about reading Tarot for oneself. In 2007, Mary received the International Tarot Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Tarot Studies and is a research partner in Le Tarot Associazione Culturale (Italy). She received the 2006 Mercury Award from the Mary Redman Foundation for “excellence in communication in the metaphysical field.” Mary has lived in Japan, Germany, England and Mexico and in six states within the U.S., and continues to travel around the world teaching. She currently writes “Mary K. Greer’s Tarot Blog” at http://marygreer.wordpress.com which focuses on cartomantic history and research, tarot in popular culture, and tips and techniques for reading both Tarot and Lenormand cards.