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Tarot Reflections

 March 15, 2004

Six Degrees of Tarot
Tracy Hite, ATA Treasurer, Networks Manager

Tracy began her own Tarot journey while recovering from her first son's birth on New Year's Eve, 1996. She tried to study on her own for nearly a year, picking up what she could from books and websites, but she had a lot of trouble piecing everything together. Through membership in  the American Tarot Association, she met the contacts and gained the expertise needed to gain her certification as a Certified Tarot Master.

Tracy uses a variety of decks to gain a fresh perspective on problems, or to point out ideas or issues she might not have considered otherwise. She admits that she can't predict the future, but does believe that working with the cards can help "move life forward."

Tracy is honored to serve as Manager for both the Free Reading Network and the Free Tarot Network. She also volunteers as Treasurer of the ATA and webmaster of the Comparative Tarot site.


Perhaps you've played Six Degrees of Separation before, linking two random celebrities to each other through movies they share with other actors. Keanu Reeves and Oprah Winfrey, for example, are connected through Lawrence Fishburn (who was in The Matrix with Keanu and in The Color Purple with Oprah). A variation on this game, Six Degrees of Tarot, is a wonderful way to study a new deck or take a closer look at some old standbys.

To play the basic game, all you need is a tarot deck with fully illustrated Minor Arcana. Shuffle your tarot deck and draw two cards at random, then connect them through as many other cards as possible. Try to avoid making really obvious connections, like sharing the same suit or rank. Instead, focus on common details - colors, symbols, figures' postures or activities, or even backgrounds.

While playing Six Degrees with the Fey Tarot recently, I drew the World and the Queen of Swords and chained four cards between them:

The World shares a dragon with the Knight of Swords, which shares a saddle with the Knight of Wands, which shares clouds with the Sun, which has red hair like the King of Pentacles, which has buildings in the background similar to the Queen of Swords.

For a circular variation, try linking symbols from one card through others and back to your starting card. You might start by linking your base card to two others through the first connections you find, then work from these back and forth to meet in the middle.

More experienced readers might try connecting corresponding cards in two different decks through as many other decks as possible. No fair using two Waite clones, folks, the less alike your end cards are the better. Two of my favorite decks are Animal-Wise and Robin Wood, so I went through six other decks to connect their Earth Aces:

Ace of Four-Leggeds in Animal-Wise is the Bison. The Bison card in Tarot of the Animal Lords is the Nine of Swords. Bison stands on a cliff, as does the Fool in the Witches Tarot. Like the Fool, Pinocchio wears a yellow hat in the Whimsical Tarot's Devil card.
Pinocchio's red feather echoes the one on Connolly's Knight of Wands. Another Knight with a similar helmet (and also riding a horse facing right) is the Knight of Pumpkins from the Halloween deck. Rider-Waite's Magician wears a similar red cloak to the Knight of Pumpkins. And the lillies in front of the Magician remind me of Robin Wood's Ace of Pentacles.

Take your time, look carefully at your cards, and above all have fun!

Fey Tarot and Animal Lords published by Lo Scarabeo. Animal-Wise published by Dragonhawk. Witches and Robin Wood published by Llewellyn. Whimsical, Connolly, Halloween and Rider-Waite published by U.S. Games.


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