Tuesday, 13 January 2009


I recently came across this suggestion from AntoniaJH:

Choose a card to signify whatever you are asking about and then (in Antonia's own words):

"Take two decks, shuffle them, etc. Then you take both decks and turn the top cards of each deck over simultaneously, until you hit your signifier in one of these decks - ie, the Queen of Cups opposite another card, say for example, the 3 of Cups. Continue turning the two decks over simultaneously until you hit the 3 of Cups - opposite another card, ie The Sun. Then continue to turn over your cards in each deck simultaneously until you hit The Sun... opposite another card... and so on, until you reach the end of each deck."

The first time I tried this, the card opposite my chosen signifying card had already been passed in the earlier turning over of cards. I decided to return to this and see what it was opposite in the other deck, rather than finishing the reading with the signifier and its opposite only. This meant I had a reading of 4 cards, two of which were the same, but from different decks.

I found the reading very apt and the situation I was asking about developed in a way that made further sense of the cards - so, worked well for me! I have used this Signifier String since, with more cards involved working through the decks, and found it continues to give good results. Thank you, Antonia! :)

It is also very interesting to use two different decks and compare their styles in general as well as the cards that are designated the same.

I have been using the Pearls of Wisdom Tarot (see earlier posts) with the Thoth Tarot, two decks which have different 'feels' for me. The Thoth includes some key words on cards and I find it quite a 'cutting' deck, not in a negative manner, but in cutting through to the point and speaking plainly. Pearls tends to tell the same stories in a different manner, and can apply a little balm to help heal where the advice / suggestions are not always easy to accept.

This means that, if unsure about the essence of what a Pearls card is saying, looking at its Thoth counterpart can clarify the message. Equally, Pearls can advise in how to deal with the message of a Thoth card, moving beyond its bluntness.

Of course, both decks can be used in both ways - clarification and moving on - but these are the roles they each tend to take on when I use them conjunctively in this way, and I find it very useful.

Playing with combinations of decks could well be an interesting development of this Signifier String approach to readings.

I was also inspired by this idea with regard to my new (Christmas present) deck, the Transparent Tarot - more on that to come. :)