The Tarot Blog Hop, which posts a subject each High Day for participants to write about is focusing on traditions in Tarot. The question is, "What traditions are important to you in how you read Tarot?"
At first, I wasn't sure how to answer - I don't have a lot of strong traditions that I think about that much, but I suppose there are a few habits I have:
I shuffle at least seven times, cut the deck into thirds, then shuffle again until if feels right, cut into thirds again and read. Why? I don't know - Tradition! (shouted in a triumphant Tevye voice)
I read reversals if the back of the card is designed in a way that doesn't let me see that it's reversed. If the design has a clear upright position, I do not use reversals for that deck.
When I do use reversals, I tend to either treat them as 'don't' or 'not' whatever the card is about, or as an indicator that the card's meaning pertains more to internal attitudes or reactions than to external actions or events.
I handle the negative aspects of the cards in context to the reading and through intuition, rather than treating a reversal as a negative.
I do not think any card is strictly positive or strictly negative.
I believe it is impossible for me to own too many decks. (hah - we went to a friend's house for dinner this weekend, and I somehow left with $60 worth of decks I had no idea she was trying to sell)
I like working with spreads - a well conceived spread is like a musical composition, and they delight me. But most of the time, when I read, it is simply a conversation, where I will ask my first question, lay a card or two, which will lead to my next question, a couple more cards, and so on until I feel the discussion is finished.
And that leads to what I am seeing as a budding tradition for me. Because it begs the question of just who am I speaking with? And I've always been fine with answering that either by regarding the cards as a window into my own subconscious - the place without words that is able to express itself using symbols as a bridge to my conscious self. And often, I do think that's exactly what's happening, and that is a good and useful thing when reading for myself.
But when I'm reading for others, there is often a strong sense that what I am seeing is not coming from me - and I don't identify as psychic, so I haven't known what that is all about exactly. Many readers have answered that question for themselves, but I haven't.
Except that in working within ADF Druidry, I am learning about the role of Seer in ritual, and at least then - when we are approaching the Kindred - be they Shining Ones (gods and goddesses), or Ancestors, or Nature Spirits, we take Omens through any of a number of divinatory methods, and Tarot can be one of them.
When I read as a part of a ritual at home - and I do each Friday, and am going to start doing so every day, specifically to address the Kindred - there is an entirely different feel to my readings from those I do that are self-conversation, or reading for someone else without trying to figure out how or why it works.
They are both very clear, and also often very foreign to the way I'd think about something otherwise. And it truly has a much more sense of sacred communication for me. I am hoping that when I complete my Dedicant's work (and that is a long way off), I will be able to work deeper with ADF's Seer training program - this has opened up something really deep within me and put my old love (Tarot) into a new-to-me context, and I am awed and excited by that. I have so much yet to learn.