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Less than 3 Cards?


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I used to think one card readings were cheap, how can you get info from one card !

 

I like to do a one card, to 3 cards now and then.. but for me while I read with what I get from the flow of energy, after it ends  I dont' try to stretch it out.

so it is more then a glance,,but also not as deep as a 6 card reading.

that said..

 

I find one card readings experience has help me to both deepen a reading when I need in a 5 plus card spread.. and also to be more quicker when doing them so I don't throew the phonebook sort to speak at a reading when I used to..

 

I also find I describe the card images more.. then I used to..

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ImaginaryFriend

Absolutely can you get a in depth, insightful reading from one card!  Each card has myriad shades of meaning - if you look at how each meaning applies to your question, you'll get an extremely comprehensive look at every aspect of the situation at hand.

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I do two "Card of the Day" (1 card) draws every morning, one for Twitter and one for myself.   But most of my readings are 3-7 cards.  I don't think 3 card spreads are as helpful as larger ones but I think after about 7-8 cards, a spread starts to get cumbersome for me both physically and mentally.  

A one card reading helps me figure out a topic to focus on from there, a three card reading is sort of an icebreaker with someone, it gets the conversation going.  Good when me/querent want to invest 10-15 minutes at a time for voiced or typed chat (so perfect for phone/online/email).  

 A 5-7 card reading is a good 30 minute chat with someone (or typing notes to myself) and about the right amount of time for me and most people sitting face-to-face with me doing tarot.   I don't think longer readings than that are necessarily more insightful.  

Edited by TheLoracular
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Outside of cuts, one-card readings are not something that has proven incredibly insightful. For follow-up questions, two cards are acceptable if it’s yes/no. Otherwise, three cards are a minimum for me. 
 

Generally speaking, more cards equals more additional detail;  however, that can be superfluous. If someone wants to know if reconciliation is possible, three cards are more than enough. If they wanted to know what when wrong and what can be done, five to nine cards would suffice. 

 

One of my favourite spreads (la grande roue) uses 27-cards in nine trios. For an opening reading, the astrological wheel (12 trumps) is excellent as it can be read rapidly and direct future reading. Most of the spreads I use are 3 —13 cards.

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I let my intuition tell me how many to pull at times.  If I am short on time in the morning but still feel drawn to pull cards, I'll pull 1 and ask what do I need to know today?  If I have more time, I pull 3-5 cards.  I agree with @ImaginaryFriend that a single card has so much depth you can gain a lot of insight from one card.  Sometimes it is as simple and obvious as the image  - three of swords and a love triangle ended. Do what feels right to you! 

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I'm not a fan of single cards. They really do have myriad shades of meaning, as mentioned, but therein lies the problem. It can be impossible to narrow it down and pinpoint exactly what the card is referring to, especially in a broad, general context like a daily. Is Judgement talking about someone or something returning, an announcement, or something else? You can't be sure until after the fact, and while that may be OK for someone who is just learning the cards, in an actual reading situation you need something more specific. 

Context is everything. A specific question and some interplay between cards can provide an unmistakably clear answer. 

 

There was a game show in the 80's called Name That Tune. Contestants would bid on how few notes they needed to identify a popular song played by an orchestra.  As the bidding heated up, one of them would almost inevitably say "I can name that tune in one note!" Bad move, lol. That's what one card draws remind me of: trying to name a tune from one note. Worse, really, since the people on the show were also given a clue.
 

And I wonder how many people who draw single cards are pulling clarification cards? Better to lay at least three cards to begin with, IMHO.

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28 minutes ago, katrinka said:

I'm not a fan of single cards. They really do have myriad shades of meaning, as mentioned, but therein lies the problem. It can be impossible to narrow it down and pinpoint exactly what the card is referring to, especially in a broad, general context like a daily. Is Judgement talking about someone or something returning, an announcement, or something else? You can't be sure until after the fact, and while that may be OK for someone who is just learning the cards, in an actual reading situation you need something more specific. 

Context is everything. A specific question and some interplay between cards can provide an unmistakably clear answer. 

 

There was a game show in the 80's called Name That Tune. Contestants would bid on how few notes they needed to identify a popular song played by an orchestra.  As the bidding heated up, one of them would almost inevitably say "I can name that tune in one note!" Bad move, lol. That's what one card draws remind me of: trying to name a tune from one note. Worse, really, since the people on the show were also given a clue.
 

And I wonder how many people who draw single cards are pulling clarification cards? Better to lay at least three cards to begin with, IMHO.


I have to confess that you nailed the reason I do not favour one-cards. 
 

Over time the biggest issue I get asked about has never been court cards or reversals. It has always been combing the cards so that there is a cohesive narrative. Even when I was a TA tutor. One card readings will never help you learn to build a story. 
 

But we all have different views. 

Edited by timtoldrum
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6 minutes ago, timtoldrum said:

Over time the biggest issue I get asked about has never been court cards or reversals. It has always been combing the cards so that there is a cohesive narrative. Even when I was a TA tutor. One card readings will never help you learn to build a story. 

 

They really won't. And they often make people waffle: "Well, it looks like it will happen, but another meaning for this card is..."
No story. No clear, decisive information.
 

6 minutes ago, timtoldrum said:

But we all have different views. 


Of course. Single card draws have their fan base. I'm just not part of it.

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20 hours ago, katrinka said:

 

They really won't. And they often make people waffle: "Well, it looks like it will happen, but another meaning for this card is..."
No story. No clear, decisive information.
 


Of course. Single card draws have their fan base. I'm just not part of it.


Yep. And that is how you end up with the Celtic Cross as a 10 one-card readings, rather than a 10-card spread. 
 

No, I will never be in that fan base. If I was to do a daily draw, I would use only the pips and cut the deck in two and flip. That way, you get a pair. 

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the quote in the first post was "I see significant number of 1-3 card draws in the exchange forum. I'm actually wondering if you feel that three cards or less can be in depth, rather than just an "at a glance" sort of reading? And how often do you use 3 cards or less, vs 5 and up?"

 

in regards to the reading forums, one reason for small spreads or offers is because the feedback is often scant. I've seen large spreads offered that must take hours or a day to read, and the feedback has been 30 seconds worth. I know the mods try to keep this in check, but still.. as it relates to "in the exchange forum" this is part of the reason. Also it is where we can learn to read, and starting with smaller spreads, in my personal opinion, is very helpful.

I've only done two celtic crosses in my life, they were both amazing, but not something I want to do routinely, my life is way to mundane 🙂 to require that type of depth. 

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5 hours ago, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

the quote in the first post was "I see significant number of 1-3 card draws in the exchange forum. I'm actually wondering if you feel that three cards or less can be in depth, rather than just an "at a glance" sort of reading? And how often do you use 3 cards or less, vs 5 and up?"

 

in regards to the reading forums, one reason for small spreads or offers is because the feedback is often scant. I've seen large spreads offered that must take hours or a day to read, and the feedback has been 30 seconds worth. I know the mods try to keep this in check, but still.. as it relates to "in the exchange forum" this is part of the reason. Also it is where we can learn to read, and starting with smaller spreads, in my personal opinion, is very helpful.

 

It seems a shame to sacrifice learning card interaction only because some people leave scanty feedback. Why not do pairs or triplets? Those are still small spreads.

 

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5 hours ago, AJ-ish/Sharyn said:

in regards to the reading forums, one reason for small spreads or offers is because the feedback is often scant. I've seen large spreads offered that must take hours or a day to read, and the feedback has been 30 seconds worth. I know the mods try to keep this in check, but still.. as it relates to "in the exchange forum" this is part of the reason. Also it is where we can learn to read, and starting with smaller spreads, in my personal opinion, is very helpful.


If that is so it is regrettable. However neither reading nor feedback be verbose. Three card readings can be delineated in a sentence or two. 

 

That said I do believe in feedback. There are mentoring programmes, but also free reading services. In addition mutual exchanges are often more conducive for feedback.

 

[quote]I've only done two celtic crosses in my life, they were both amazing, but not something I want to do routinely, my life is way to mundane  to require that type of depth[/quote]


 

I must confess that I see it more as a mundane reading and short reading. However, my views are probably coloured by Juliet Sharman-Burke as she introduced me to the spread. 

Edited by timtoldrum
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On 10/31/2020 at 4:32 PM, timtoldrum said:

I must confess that I see it more as a mundane reading and short reading. However, my views are probably coloured by Juliet Sharman-Burke as she introduced me to the spread. 

 

I've never read her, but I agree. It's basically a "what's up and what's going on with it" spread.

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I agree with a lot of what has been said. 

Context being key, I see nothing wrong with a 3 card spread. It can be great for more focused questions, beginners, or when you just don't have the time and need a quick divination to tied you over. I think it can very much give adequate detail (even more when intuition plays a part). But if you are looking to unlock something more complex or don't want ANYTHING left out, that superfluous information that @timtoldrum mentioned would be best found in a larger spread... broad brushstrokes of course. 

I rarely use singles, for the reasons already outlined by @katrinka and others. They can work beautifully, and I have used singles before but it isn't a standard feature in my repertoire. It can also bring more ambiguity and questions than answers, which is why I keep if for personal meditative use. I wouldn't bother with a one card reading for a querent, it is as easy to pull 3 cards as it is 1. 

My spreads tend to lean on the larger side... 10 - 15 cards. And I enjoy the nuance that those extra cards can bring, especially for a biannual general reading - and I feel like my querents appreciate that extra detail. But it isn't absolutely necessary. Where the 3 card spread can be a beautiful black and white pencil sketch of the situation, 5 cards might start adding a little colour to the image, while 10 and up is closer to a HD photograph. But you don't need that kind of resolution every time, and the appropriateness of the chosen spread is very much context driven.

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8 hours ago, katrinka said:

 

I've never read her, but I agree. It's basically a "what's up and what's going on with it" spread.


Sharman-Burke had a correspondence course, which became her Complete Book of the Tarot in the 80s.

 

The Celtic Cross was taught with the pips as an overview of day-today life. She then did a reading with the trumps, and so on. It was not a bad book but there could be a disconnect between text and Pamela Colman Smith’s line work.

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WildWoman71

Personally, I believe there are a lot of messages that can come thru in a 3 card reading.  I use the Past/Present/Future spread often; and then if there is a need to explore a message in more detail I will develop an additional spread...or pull clarifying cards.

 

WW

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