Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Discussions of the arcane symbols of Tarot and other decks
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Symbols appear on each and every tarot card - visual signs that convey meaning. Some of them are highly individual and personal, others time-honored and traditional. Some are easy to understand, others difficult and multivalent. In this forum, we want to study symbols from different decks, traditions and cultures together using books, websites, lwbs and our own intuition.
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Barleywine
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Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by Barleywine » 12 Feb 2018, 11:37

The subject of facing (especially in the court cards) is a source of endless fascination. I use it in a couple of ways: as an indication of whether the person indicated is focused on the past, present or future, and whether or not two people shown by paired court cards are communicating with one another or are disaffected to varying degrees. I'm conducting a study of all 78 RWS cards to see how directionality shakes out. (I've already done a comparison of the TdM court.) Here is the first installment, for the court cards.

https://parsifalswheeldivination.com/20 ... urt-cards/

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bill.sweet.90
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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by bill.sweet.90 » 12 Feb 2018, 13:32

When I do a three card spread, and one of the outer cards is looking "offstage," I will pull another card to see what they are looking at.


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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by Barleywine » 12 Feb 2018, 15:27

bill.sweet.90 wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 13:32
When I do a three card spread, and one of the outer cards is looking "offstage," I will pull another card to see what they are looking at.
I've heard that before but have never done it since I have an aversion to clarifiers. It seems like a simpler, quicker version of Waite's idea of doing a whole new reading when you get a court card at the end, with that card as the new significator. Another idea, which comes from Paul Foster Case's description of the counting in the Opening of the Key, is to wrap the line around in a circle and link the end cards. But that would only seem to work if you aren't using past/present/future.

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kyan
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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by kyan » 12 Feb 2018, 16:10

interesting post and :icon_lol: at that sneaky king of cups— the next time he comes up in a reading i’m gonna have to suppress a chuckle!

looking at the clouds in the sword court cards, the page has a prominent “thought bubble” near his head as if he’s still thinking of the past, and the king’s clouds seem to illustrate that some of his thoughts are in the future.

the knight is definitely charging into prevailing winds, for the clouds and trees are bending to the future. “bucking the winds of change” perhaps?

it appears the queen is always thinking; look at all those clouds in the background. reversed, she’s no doubt scheming.

now i wonder who in the cards are looking specifically up or down. the fool comes to mind — he’s looking up when he might want to be looking down.

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Barleywine
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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by Barleywine » 12 Feb 2018, 18:29

kyan wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 16:10
interesting post and :icon_lol: at that sneaky king of cups— the next time he comes up in a reading i’m gonna have to suppress a chuckle!

looking at the clouds in the sword court cards, the page has a prominent “thought bubble” near his head as if he’s still thinking of the past, and the king’s clouds seem to illustrate that some of his thoughts are in the future.

the knight is definitely charging into prevailing winds, for the clouds and trees are bending to the future. “bucking the winds of change” perhaps?

it appears the queen is always thinking; look at all those clouds in the background. reversed, she’s no doubt scheming.

now i wonder who in the cards are looking specifically up or down. the fool comes to mind — he’s looking up when he might want to be looking down.
As I mentioned in another post, I use reversal and its effect on orientation to show opposite polarity for this purpose. Visually, there are a couple of court cards I can think of that look down: 4 of Cups, King of Pentacles, Queens of Cups and Pentacles; on the other hand, the Pages of Wands and Pentacles seem to be looking slightly upward.

Typically, gaze, posture and gesture are the only considerations I've ever seen used for directionality.

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bill.sweet.90
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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by bill.sweet.90 » 12 Feb 2018, 23:30

Barleywine wrote:
bill.sweet.90 wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 13:32
When I do a three card spread, and one of the outer cards is looking "offstage," I will pull another card to see what they are looking at.
I've heard that before but have never done it since I have an aversion to clarifiers.
I hear you. I don't use them as well. In this case I consider it just part of the spread.



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kyan
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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by kyan » 13 Feb 2018, 00:01

Barleywine wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 18:29
As I mentioned in another post, I use reversal and its effect on orientation to show opposite polarity for this purpose. Visually, there are a couple of court cards I can think of that look down: 4 of Cups, King of Pentacles, Queens of Cups and Pentacles; on the other hand, the Pages of Wands and Pentacles seem to be looking slightly upward.

Typically, gaze, posture and gesture are the only considerations I've ever seen used for directionality.

yes, downward, definitely the king and queen of pentacles, and also the 7 and 2 are casting their gaze toward the earth, which makes sense.

the hand gestures — the magician (above/below) especially, but the sword of the king, as you mentioned, and the beckoning hand of the queen too. the 2, like the king, is putting the swords to good use. i suppose the gesture isn’t as directional as it is halting.

the 10 of cups couple is gesturing at the rainbow, plus the hierophant, angel in the lovers card, and the devil are all waving too.

the praying knight in 4 swords can’t be ignored either, as his hand position has world wide appeal across many cultures.

namaste! 🙏

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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by Charlie Brown » 13 Feb 2018, 00:03

bill.sweet.90 wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 23:30
Barleywine wrote:
bill.sweet.90 wrote:
12 Feb 2018, 13:32
When I do a three card spread, and one of the outer cards is looking "offstage," I will pull another card to see what they are looking at.
I've heard that before but have never done it since I have an aversion to clarifiers.
I hear you. I don't use them as well. In this case I consider it just part of the spread.



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Yeah, it's a not uncommon Marseille reading technique. It isn't so much a clarifier as a real-time redefinition of the spread. I'd feel weird doing it with a modern deck though.
Charlie Brown
—“I’ve developed a new philosophy. I only dread one day at a time.”

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Re: Facing and Directionality in the Tarot

Post by kyan » 15 Feb 2018, 15:23

thinking about directionality and hand gestures in the tarot led me to come across this link rather serendipitously:

https://benebellwen.com/2016/01/29/mudr ... eview/amp/

it’s a card set featuring mudras. here’s a excerpt from the review:

In a nutshell, though, Eastern mystics believe that metaphysical energy can be transferred and transmuted through your hands in very potent ways, and hand mudras are formations of the hands and fingers that serve very specific metaphysical functions.

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