I tried it today with my mother with my new deck the Transformational Tarot. I do not know if I ever dare to teach a class using this method, but this afternoon was amazing.
The story I chose is about King Salomon. Two mothers come to Salomon claiming to be the mother of the same baby. One mother stole the other mothers baby in the night because her own baby died. Salomon ordered to cut the baby in two halves. One of the mothers said “No, do not do it, give the baby to her”. Salomon gave the baby to this mother. She showed with her words that she was the real mother.
We had eight questions.
1.Who is Salomon? Six of Swords. Children are safe with Salomon, they cling to him and there is a rainbow of hope in the back.
2.Who is the person that tells the story? Five of Swords. The two learned man at the back tell the story. On the forefront are the two mothers. Everyone is looking to them in an excited and frightened way.
3.Who is the mother of whom the living child is stolen by the other mother? Ten of Swords. She is the little black woman that jumps into what we saw as a black void, telling Salomon not to kill the child but give it to the other mother.
4.Who is the mother of the dead child? Nine of Swords. This mother is the woman on the forefront. She does not care if the baby – the woman on the card who is about to be stabbed- is cut in two halves. She has no emotional bond with the baby, she is looking the other way.
5. Who is the living baby? King of Swords. He is the person on the card who is almost hit with the sword. He holds his hand up, his shield is useless, he is defenseless.
6.What is the sword? Ten of Swords again. Seen as an instrument of death the sword is represented by the evil image on the card: the hooded person of Kukuks clan for which the little black person (the mother of the living baby) is fleeing.
7.The decision (what it means). Ten of Swords again. The card puzzled us. Until now, we saw the right side of the card as a black void. We were staring and staring. And suddenly my mother saw that what we thought was a black void in fact was the face of a black woman, a real living human person. I cannot put in words really well, but that means something as: Salomon and the mother saw a living child, not a mere object.
8.What does this story mean to us? The card for this question must be drawn from the Major Arcane. Death was the card that came up. Caring (the red heart) and softness (the face of the woman). The mother (skeleton) gave herself up (her self rightness) for the life of her child.
This is it. My idea is that each one answers one question to interpret the story. With eight people we cover all the questions. As a second step each one must read the card that they had already pulled for their question as a relevant card for their own lives.
If I ever use it, I'll tweak the spread a little bit. There are pitfalls, staying too close to the story, reading too literal, but all in all it was startling.