“Cheap Shots” #6

Now don’t get your back up here, but . . .

Who comes up with these crazy notions? First it’s “You should leave each and every  card in a spread face-down until you’re ready to read it,” apparently so you don’t contaminate your fragile intuitive apparatus with undigested premature details or derail your narrative train-of-thought with unruly tangents that could otherwise stray randomly across your field of vision. Next, of course, it’s “Oh, but now you can see all the card backs, which give away whether the cards are upright or reversed,” suggesting that the anxiety of knowing card orientation in advance will somehow be toxic to the reading. Hence the obsession with only buying cards that have “reversible” backs.

Me, I’m a pragmatist and this is all just too “precious” for words. I can’t believe that so many people are so easily distracted by such minutiae. I hardly ever notice the card backs while I’m reading since they’re not where the action is, and I turn all of the cards face-up right from the start, with the possible exception of the outcome card when reading in public since I’m not averse to leaving a hint of drama in the story arc – part of what I like to call “the theater of tarot.” I always perform a “gestalt” overview of the whole layout before getting down to the business of card-by-card analysis, looking for things like an abundance or absence of any particular feature such as card suit, number or rank. This high-level preliminary scan helps set the stage for how I will approach the reading and where I will place most of my emphasis. It’s especially valuable when “on the clock” with paying clients, where every time-saving advantage is worth adopting. Leaving all of the cards face-down and then agonizing over any intimation of upcoming reversal would be both a waste of time and a nonsensical encumbrance to my personal style of reading.

I’m filing this one in the “Gimme a break!” folder.

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