Things to Consider in a Tarot Reading (Other Than Card Meanings)
It’s important to look at the meanings of tarot cards, but it’s very possible to pull even more out of a reading that individual card meanings. Here’s some other stuff you might consider bringing into your interpretation when it feels right:
🍄The position of the cards. This is why spread design can be so important! I’ve had instances where all the cards, in their positions, had the subjects looking or pointing towards one specific card. It was wild. What did it mean? Maybe nothing, but maybe something very significant, depending on the question!
🍄The visual element of the cards. Sometimes what’s depicted on the card can give more specific insight than the actual book meanings. The pictures were done that way for a reason, so don’t be afraid to give them their own weight! Also, sometimes the spread as a whole will have a flow of design (like when one half is much brighter than the other) or a specific card is WAY more colorful than the other cards on the table. Any of these could potentially carry meaning.
🍄Jumper cards. This is when a card pops out while you’re shuffling! I usually just put them back… UNLESS the question has already been presented, and I’m shuffling with that question in mind. Then, I keep them as extra advice, bonus cards.
🍄Reoccurring numbers. Maybe you do a four card spread for a friend, and you get the four of cups, four of swords, four of wands, and the Emperor! (IV.) What does that mean? What does the number four symbolize? Well, a lot of things, potentially, depending on what you study. Some tarot designs incorporate the Kabbalah’s numbered paths in the tree of life, others go with numerology. Maybe, the number four just means something special to you or the querent in particular.
🍄A bunch of cards in order. I’m not talking about when you forget to shuffle. I’m talking about when you give it a really good shuffle and you still get the ace, two, and three of Pentacles all in a row. This can be seen as a sign of progression, or that the events are all much more closely connected than anticipated. It can also mean it happens over a shorter period of time than normal. It’s up to you, your cards, and the contexts.
🍄Proportions of different features. Maybe you’re doing an obstacle spread, and your obstacle is something like the nine of swords. That’s pretty nasty, but if all the other cards in the spread are Major Arcana, then it’s probably not going to be that difficult to surmount. The reverse can also be true. Additionally, a high number of reversed cards in a spread typically signifies a lot of confusion, conflict, and turmoil.
🍄Reoccurring symbols. Beyond just the four suits, because that’s a given! But maybe your spread shows a lot of cards with images of fire, people dancing, or birds. Do these mean anything to you or the querent? What do they typically symbolize?
🍄Any hiccups or unusual events during the reading. Once I had a querent pick up a card to examine it, drop it, then pick it up and put it back reversed. Since it was the overall outcome card, I interpreted that as a heightened ability to change her own fate in this given situation, since she had turned the card from quite a bad omen to a good one. Sometimes little accidents like dropping cards, accidentally shifting them, or laying out the spread wrong are meant to be there and add to the meaning!
I hope this gives you some ideas! Feel free to add more. What do you interpret alongside the cards in a reading?