Clarifying Cards and How To Use Them

Sometimes, when you are doing a reading you will look at a card and think “Huh, I have absolutely no clue as to what you mean right now.” and this is probably when you would simply place the card back into the deck and try again. But, wait, what happens if this happens when you read for someone else? Oh no! But wait, what if I told you that there is a second option? Yes! There is another option meaning that you do not have to draw another vague card and now try to figure that on because another shuffle feels like ‘a lot’.

This would be using another card in order to further explain the message the first one is trying to convey. This extra card is called a clarifying card because it clarifies the meaning. The point of this card is to add insight to the card in question- not the question itself. Here are some common reasons some may use a clarifying card:

  • You do not know where to start interpreting a card (ex. You pull the 8 of cups and you see all of the meanings this card can have but are struggling to focus on one and build up from it, so you pull a clarifying card which is The Star which, to me, now means that you need to have faith and have hope for what is to come)
  • You want more of an explanation for the message the card is implying (ex. You pull the tower. You pull a clarifying card which is the Ace of Cups, so you can now relate this unstoppable force in your life to this new person/relationship that just occurred)
  • A card feels completely out there and you are struggling to put it to your situation (ex. You pull the 9 of swords, but you feel great mentally and things never looked better, so you pull a clarifying card and it is the 6 of cups- so you know that something from the past is going to be brought back up which will make you uncomfortable.)

There are probably so many more reasons as to why a clarifying card is used, but here is what I believe a clarifying card should not be used in, and why.

  • You don’t like it. So you get an answer you really did not want to hear. That really sucks, but you should not use a clarifying card for this. What I would suggest you do instead is draw a card to answer the question “how can I change this?” This is not a clarifying card since you are not clarifying what that card means.
  • You have a question which popped up due to your answer. This goes along with what I said above, since it is not clarifying any of the cards or the reading. Even though it is related, it is not considered a clarifying card- it is a new reading at this point and that is fine!

To use a clarifying card, first you have to choose a card you are going to clarify. It is possible to add clarity to the entire message, but if so make sure that you make that intent clear. After you draw a card, apply this card only to the card you chose, or, if you chose to clarify the reading, you will apply this to the message instead of the individual cards. The original card will still hold its meaning, but the clarifying card should just add more color. If the reading was a painting, then the card is the line art and clarifying cards are the colors- they don’t change what the image is, but adds something to it.

Clarifying cards can be extremely helpful to use, and they get easier with practice. Eventually it can become a tool to make your readings so incredibly detailed. This is also great for beginners to slowly learn how to work with more than one card at a time. So what about you? Do you use clarifying cards in your practice? Why or why not? If so, how do you use them? Let’s get chatting in the comments!

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