Signifier cards – are they worth it?

This question pops up every once in a while for tarot readers. Should I or should I not be using signifier cards? There are many ways of how to decide what signifier cards to use,  I prefer to pick one of the court cards that I think suits best with the client’s personality, but I will not go into detail of this method here.

Most of the time when I am doing tarot readings I use a spread called the Opening of the Key. It is standard for that spread to use a signifier, but even when I use some of the more popular tarot spreads I prefer to have one. Probably I use it in 9 out of 10 readings.

A lot of people are concerned that when they use a signifier card they will take a card out of the deck and therefore potentially miss out on information. I reject that idea. By choosing a signifier card I get a focal point for my reading and all the cards that I draw will somehow be related to the signifier card. Sometimes I can even get clues depending on where the other cards are located compared to the signifier card. Perhaps it is looking backwards towards the past or maybe forwards towards the future or maybe you see a father looking over his son like a guardian? There are many possibilities when using them.

I think it gives the reading an extra depth that would not have been possible if I had not been using a signifier card. The benefits of it outweigh the cons by a great deal. In my experience it can be the difference between a hit or a miss when doing a reading. If you have not tried it, I encourage you to try it out. It is not complicated and I think it helps to give a reading more structure.

 

-Thus spake the Night Spirit

court-cards.jpg

Court cards of fire and air from the Tarot of Stars Eternal

 

5 thoughts on “Signifier cards – are they worth it?

    • Are you familiar with the first operation and the four worlds? If not, maybe it would be something you would be interested in. 🙂 The signifier card plays the key role in it.

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      • It’s described in the appendix to the Book of Thoth, but it is not very detailed there. It is also described in the two other books I recommended in my previous post. So they are probably better alternatives. Benebell Wen has also created a good online course for the Opening of the Key which also covers that part. According to her book it was popularized by Paul Foster Case, but I have not had the chance to read any of his books yet. They are probably next on my list if I decide to get more books on tarot. I find it very fascinating, and for me it is a key to my tarot practice 🙂

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