Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Tarot and Divination: Why Use a Signifier?

Most people using tarot and divination today do not use signifiers. We find using signifiers useful however in doing tarot and divination and teach this method to our students. A signifier is a card that represents a person or situation that you are doing a tarot reading on. Using a signifier helps define a specific situation, issue, or question that the reading is about. We also key the signifier which ties it personally and more specifically to the reading. Signifiers for people generally are chosen according to their chronological age and their sun sign. In the Waite-Rider tarot deck, which is the one we have our students' use the following guidelines help determine the signifier to use.

Tarot and divination guideline for the chronological part of card selection is:
  • Age conception to teenage years – Page
  • Teenager – Knight
  • Adult Female – Queen
  • Adult Male – King

Tarot and divination guideline for sun sign part of card selection is:
  • Wands – Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
  • Cups - Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
  • Swords - Aries, Leo, Saggitarius
  • Discs - Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn

So for example, if doing a tarot and divination reading on a 40 year old Libra man, you would use the King of Wands for the signifier. Likewise, for a reading on a 32 year old Aries woman, the signifier would be the Queen of Swords.
Other Signifier Considerations
You'll notice I said earlier that this is generally how the signifier is selected for a person for their tarot and divination reading and that these are merely guidelines. You also want to consider the individual person, their behaviors, characters and actions and take this into consideration when picking a signifier. For example, you may be doing a reading on a child who is much more mature or responsible than usual or you may be doing a reading on an adult who is particularly immature. This could affect the card that you pick for a signifier. Also the deck you are using can have other options. For example, in the Crowley deck there is a female and male card for the Page presented as Prince and Princess. The Knight in this deck represents the adult male because of Crowley's belief that there is no such thing as an adult male since in his view males never reach maturity.

Situational Signifiers
Situational signifiers are chosen from the meaning of the card or cards. You will need to be very familiar with the meanings of the card in order to choose a card or more than one card to represent an issue, situation or specific question that you are doing a tarot and divination reading on. Here are a few examples of cards you might pick for specific situations or questions:
  • Travel by Air – 8 of Wands
  • Career Plans – 3 of Discs
  • Hidden Enemies – 10 of Swords
  • Legal Matters – Justice

If you cannot find a tarot card to represent specifically what you are doing a reading on, you can make your own signifier using pictures, logos, business cards and similar items. Place these items in the same place to the left of the reading that you would if using a tarot card. Whichever type of signifier you use, placing it upright will instruct the reading to how conditions that favor it and reversing the signifier or placing it upside down will instruct the reading to show you conditions that will prevent a favorable outcome or problems that you may encounter.

Tarot and divination are a very interesting part of magical study, but as you can probably tell there is much to learn in order to become proficient at it. If this is an area of magic that you are interested in pursuing, take a look at our Tarot Homestudy course. This course will help you with the meanings of the cards, how to throw and interpret readings and pick signifiers. Tarot and divination are a great way to access information and see what may lie ahead in the future for any given person or situation. Having this type of information can allow you to make a change in the present that will affect that future if you don't like what you see. Using signifiers in your readings lets you get very specific as to what your reading is about so that you get the best information you can to make choices and decide outcomes for your life. 

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Or, visit our website for more great resources.

Image courtesy of audfriday13  / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have a comment, complaint, compliment, rant or rave? Tell us!