Nemia's Discoveries: Working With Permutations

Nemia is a poster on the Aeclectic Tarot Forum and she recently received her Deck of 1000 Spreads. But even before it arrived, she had grand ideas of what to use it for. Unless otherwise indicated, the following are Nemia's words and photos. In this exercise, she uses one Deck of 1000 Spreads card—You—and reads multiple cards in that position to get a better grasp on the position. 

Explanation: Permutations

The last exercise is based on the idea of permutations as put forward by Mary Greer. Bear with me while I explain this idea.

In her book "Tarot for Yourself" Mary Greer dedicates chapter 6 to a technique she calls permutations. The principle is that once you understood the cards at their positions, you can now start to re-arrange and move them around in order to reach a deeper understanding of their meaning.

"Each permutation gives a different perspective on the whole. The principle: maintain paradoxes, seek ambiguity." (page 117)

Greer gives examples. If you take the cross part of the Celtic Cross, you can move the cards in a circle. You rotate the arms of the cross in a circular motion, each time interpreting the same cards in their new positions. You get new insights on the seeds of action in the past or unconscious, new ideas about taking action in the future. The energies of the cards become much clearer.

"You can actually watch the wheel of events turn before you and see how the past becomes the present, and how the future is another way of seeing the past. You may wonder how you know whether you are reading what is past or to come. Try reading the cards both ways! Let your intuition tell you." (page 119).

This technique is much easier and more inspiringly done with the Deck of 1000 Spreads. You keep the spread cards in their same positions and move around your individual tarot cards to see this wheel of time move in front of you.

Greer gives more examples of how to use permutations in different spreads. She always encourages to open the mind, just like the Deck of 1000 Spreads, so they're a perfect fit.

So here we go.

Exercise: the Celtic Wheel with Permutations

The Celtic Wheel is a simplified version of the good old Celtic Cross, very useful for getting a quick overview over a situation.

I use the Golden Tarot by Kat Black, and on a little post-it note add the date and the basic facts of the reading. How wonderful! I used to write it all down in a little booklet but now I can transfer it easily to Evernote and keep there forever.  

(From Tierney: The Deck of 1000 Spreads makes it easy to just photograph a spread with all the positions labeled. So it simplifies email readings, online journaling and keeping records of all the spreads you create.)

I interpret the spread, in the well-known way and in light of my personal situation. And now, when I'm done and feel that I understood it perfectly, I rotate cards around the Heart of the Matter. (I could have changed that too and might do so if I continue to do permutations of this spread – at this stage, I find it challenging enough to get the maximum content out of the cards I pulled!)

And I interpret again. New and sometimes surprising insights emerge.

Yes, I can do this without the Do1000S cards and have done so many times. But it helps my concentration. And while I know the Celtic Wheel pretty much by heart – what about other spreads, spreads I create myself? I'd find myself in a muddle in no time.

The position names keep me on track and focused. They help me to get the maximum out of every single card.

In short, this deck is all I hoped it would be, and I see a long and fruitful cooperation in my future.