by John Gilbert, Ph.D.

Choose a day of the week to start your seven-day tarot spread. My personal preference is Sunday, but you may choose any day of the week. My reason for choosing Sunday is my workweek runs from Monday through Friday. Sunday evening is the time for me to plan the next five days. This is my time for setting goals and determining objectives and getting ready for the week to follow.

Choose a time of the day to start your seven-day tarot spread. My personal preference is in the evening after things have settled down. This is a good time for me to become calm and centered. I relax, let the cares of the world go away, and enter into a reflective and receptive state of mind. That's a good time for me to start my seven-day tarot spread.

Select a card that sets the tone for your spiritual purpose for the following week. This card may be selected in any manner you choose. My preference is to fan the deck and ask the question: What's the most important lesson for me to learn this week? By holding my hand over the fanned deck, I'm able to sense which card is to be chosen as an answer for my question. You may use any method of selection you desire and ask any question you want to ask. The idea is to choose a time and place to start your seven-day tarot spread. Choose a question for the week, one you'll ask daily for seven more times. Your question for each day will ask the question for that day only. The same question will be used for the week and for each day of the week. A little rephrasing may be required.

Study the card you've selected for the coming week. Write down your question, the name of this card, the meaning of this card and the answer to your question. That's the way I like to do it. By writing it all down I have less of a tendency to bend things around later to suit my mood. The point is to determine what is the true answer to your question. This answer tells you what you need to know for the whole week.

My suggestion is to leave this card out in a prominent place where you'll see it every day for the next seven days. I have it sitting out on my desk at home with a small piece of cloth covering it when I'm gone. It's right there in the middle of my desk where I can't help but see it. The temptation to look at it is overwhelming. So, I look whenever the opportunity arises. Even when it's covered I can see the card in my mind's eye.

Later that evening you can use a visualization of that card to help you fall asleep. This gives you the opportunity to review the possibilities for learning experiences every day for the next week.

The following morning, visit your deck, look at the card and ask your question again but rephrase it not for the week but for today. My usual question is: What's the most important thing for me to learn today? I go through my usual procedures and select my card for the day. This card I place not beside, but below the first card. This will be the first card in a row of seven cards which I'll place side-by-side below my card for the week.

My procedure is to write down my daily question, the name of the card drawn, the meaning of this card, and my reading for the day. Keep in mind, this reading is a part of the reading for the whole week, it's not separate from the reading you started the day before. It's a part of the whole reading you're going to create day-by-day this week.

Continue this process for the next six days which will take you back to the day you started this reading. The seven-day tarot spread starts and ends on the same day of the week. On that day you'll have one card above a row of seven cards. The card above is the answer to your question for the week. The seven cards in the row below answer your seven daily questions for the same week. A total of eight cards are used in the spread.

As you read the card for each day, you might take a few moments to reflect on how this card fits into the big picture for the week. You can do this by looking at all the cards already in the spread. Write it all down. Keep a running record and check it often.

A variation of the seven-day tarot spread that has a lot of merit is to consciously choose the card for the week. Say you want to learn about imagination this week. Choose the card you feel most closely defines what you want to learn. Place this card at the top of the spread. In my case this would be the Empress who in my system is the Fruitful Queen of Imagination. In your system, you choose the card you want to choose.

Another variation I like to use is to work through the Major Arcana one card a week asking what that card is teaching you now about itself. For example, if this were the week for the Empress, my question might be: How can I use my imagination to my advantage this week? Each day I'll be asking: How can I use my imagination to my advantage today?

One Sunday evening I asked the question: What's the most important thing for me to learn this week? I drew the Judgement card. In my system, this card means rebirth. This is a process of becoming reborn, or born again. My reading of this card was: The most important thing for me to learn this week is how to rebirth myself into the person I'd like to become.

Monday morning my card was the Ten of Wands. In my system this is the Fire expression of Key Ten which means: What goes round, comes round as it relates to my intentions (Fire). Good! I will learn what I intend to learn. I will learn what I intend for others to learn. I will learn what I intend to teach others. My reading: The most important thing for me to learn today is what I intend to teach to others. This will help me become the person I want to become.

Tuesday morning my card was the Hierophant which means Intuition in my system. My reading: The most important thing for me to learn today is to use my intuition. I will use my intuition to help me rebirth myself and to help me identify what I want to teach others. Notice how this card relates to both the card for yesterday and the card for the week. This is how the seven-day tarot reading works.

Wednesday morning my card was the Ace of Wands which is the Fire expression of the Magician (All aces relate to the Magician by number). The Magician means: Pay Attention. Wands are intentions. The Ace means to pay attention to my intentions. In the system I'm using, Fire is intentions, Water is relationships, Air is thoughts and Earth is the body. Reversed, Fire is career, Water is emotions, Air is attitudes and Earth is money. The number of the pip card relates to the card in the Major Arcana with the same number. Pages are eleven, Knights twelve, Queens thirteen and Kings fourteen. The Major Arcana depicts a spiritual journey. Reversed cards of the Major Arcana represent the same spiritual journey but indicate a spiritual hang-up or blockage, a spiritual issue or problem.

To continue, my reading of the Ace of Wands is: I need to pay attention to my intentions today to help me rebirth myself. I can rely on my intuition (yesterday's card) and I do need to be concerned about what I intend to teach others (Monday's card).

Thursday morning my card was the Five of Wands which means intuiting (Hierophant is Five) my intentions (Wands is Fire and Fire is intentions). The first thing I notice is a repetition of intentions and intuition. I really need to pay attention (Magician and Aces) to my intentions (Wands) and intuition (Hierophant and Fives). The message for the week is pretty clear at this point. Anyway, that was my reading for the day.

Friday morning my card was the reversed Death card. To me this card means to change my behavior. Reversed it means this is a spiritual issue for me. It's not just a simple tap on the shoulder, it's a message something's wrong and some behavior needs changing.

At this point, let me digress. The message for the week is fairly well answered and it was coming through loud and clear. The message for Friday gave me pause to reconsider how I had been implementing my intentions for rebirthing myself into the person I want to become. Then it hit me. It was more of a Tower experience than a rainbow.

I had received several intuitive hits about how to change the curriculum I was rewriting. But the fact is I was discounting those intuitive hits (that's easy for me to do) and sticking with the standard time-proven approach. Tradition was winning out over innovation. You don't rebirth yourself by doing the same old things over and over again. Death paid me a visit on that day to tell me I have a spiritual problem and need to change my behavior. If I really want to rebirth myself I need to pay attention to my intuitive insights and my intentions.

Saturday morning my card was the Reversed Three of Wands. Three is the Empress and she relates to imagination. My key phrase for the Empress is Imagine the Possibilities. Reversed Wands relate to career. My career right now is writing curriculum, articles, reviews, and newsletters.

My reading for the week is only slightly modified by Saturday's reading. The message is to imagine the possibilities for my career, change my behavior, pay attention to my intentions and use my intuition. By doing these things I'll rebirth myself into the person I want to become.

Sunday morning my card was the Justice card which means things are the way they're supposed to be. In looking back over the seven-day spread I could see how things were actually changing in my life. I left this spread out for the remainder of the day.

Toward evening I felt I'd learned the lesson I was supposed to learn. The message was I was making progress, I was changing my behavior, I was paying attention to my intentions, I was allowing my intuitive insights to influence my writing. I was in the process of rebirthing myself into the person I intend to become. I picked up the cards and shuffled them back into the pack. After several minutes, I posed a question to the deck and started the whole process all over again.

The seven-day tarot spread is just that. It takes seven days to complete the spread and it speaks about the week in progress. You can spend a couple of minutes a day with your seven-day tarot spread or you can spend longer. You can do it at home and forget it or you can carry it in your head with you throughout the day. You can use it to help yourself along your spiritual path or you can use it for any purpose you decide. I hope you find a purpose that works for you.

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