Some readers use a bare minimum of cards. In fact some professional readers charge by the card! The techniques that I will discuss in this post are probably not well suited for those who prefer an economy of cards in a reading.
For those who tend to let the cards flow, clarifying cards can offer further information and greater detail in a reading. They can also spark other questions, and can help you understand cards that just aren’t making sense.
Some readers use clarifying cards as a matter of course. Others use them only to narrow down a prediction, or to gain more information when they are confused by a particular card and how it might apply to the specific situation.
Because each card has so many possible meanings, clarifying cards can help the reader figure out which meaning(s) is/are most appropriate.
Here are some techniques that I use. None are techniques I learned from a book or teacher; they all developed organically over more than twenty years of reading tarot cards.
See how they work for you, and what other techniques you can develop!
1. Use a clarifying card to help you interpret a particularly confusing card. When you see a card that doesn’t make sense, silently speak to the card and say “What are you trying to tell me?” or “What are you in reference to?” and pull another card from your deck. Place the clarifying card next to card that has confused you. See if the clarifying card answers your question. What happens if you blend the meanings of the clarifying card and the original card?
2. Use a clarifying card to digger deeper into the question. If the card already pulled answers the question but you want more detail, ask a more specific question and pull another card.
3. Use a second, smaller spread with a different deck, not disturbing your original spread, to gain definition, nuance and key points. Pay special attention if you see the same card twice!
4. Ask specific questions about the reading, such as “What is the best way to accomplish this?” or “What should my attitude be about this?” or “Where can I find assistance with this?” or “What is the spiritual purpose of this?” Draw one card, or a small group of cards, for each question.
5. Draw a final card to sum up the reading.
Clarifying cards are not for every reading, or every reader. But if these techniques feel right for you, give them a try and see what happens. You might be surprised at the detail and clarity you are able to derive!