Emotions are central in the way we adjust to daily
challenges. In addition to affecting the way we
treat each other, emotions also influence our
inner sense of personal welfare.
We learn to express emotions according to what
is socially acceptable and culturally normal.
American psychologist Paul Ekman, PhD., who
spent a great deal of time researching emotions,
concluded that emotions are revealed through our
Ekman's research identified six universal
emotions: anger, fear, happiness, sadness, disgust
and surprise. He developed a widely-used
diagnostic tool called the Pictures of Facial
Affect, which is a set of images used to identify
emotional norms in cross-cultural studies.
When we interpret the significance of patterns in
a tarot reading, we can often relieve the angst
over situations that place us on an emotional
roller coaster. The challenge is to remain objective,
especially if we're reading for ourselves.
Recognizing the emotional climate expressed in
the cards can be a useful technique. Here's an
exercise to help you do that:
1) Take a sheet of letter-sized paper and
divide it horizontally by lines into six columns
and label each individual column with one the six
basic emotions. For example, the first column will
be anger, column two will be titled happiness, and
2) As you go through your deck, list the card
in the column which seems to express the emotion
you sense for that card. For instance, the 3 of
Cups may seem to evoke joy, so you would place
it in the "happiness" column. The 7 of Swords may
suggest surprise, so list it under "surprise." Do this
for all the cards in your deck.
Try this for different decks that you own, and
compare your results. You'll find that your
emotional responses will vary from deck to deck.
Some cards, such as the Aces, depict inanimate
objects that do not show emotional expressions.
Place these in a category for the emotion they
evoke in you at the time you are doing this
exercise. If you observe an emotion that doesn't
seem to fit any of the basics, you can record them
in a separate "miscellaneous" category.
After you are done, consider which cards fit into
a majority of the basic emotions. Also, observe
which cards were the most difficult to categorize.