Sample Reading with the Golden Tarot of the Renaissance (Estensi Tarot)
Reading by Diane Wilkes

The querent asked for a general reading, but the specific focus of the message was indicated immediately by the cards.

Card One:  The Querent and her situation - The Knave of Swords

The querent is about to be a grandmother for the first time, and this card literally heralds that message (the Knave is actually blowing a horn!). The Knave (which corresponds to the Page in the Rider-Waite-Smith deck) is a card of beginnings, much like the Ace that follows in this reading. Since both are Swords cards, we can safely surmise that the change in the querent's life from mother to grandmother (and mother of a child to mother of a mother) involves new perspectives, new ways of seeing the relationship(s). This will call for a fresh approach to her daughter and her spouse, one that involves a degree of detachment and judicious discernment. 

The two primary symbols in this card are the Sword, which speaks to cutting away old, possibly over-protective maternal bonds that will free the querent to see her life differently, more independently, allowing her to focus on her self and her own individual needs. Swords specifically apply to thought, and we can be bound by our thoughts even more tightly than by physical constraints, because we are not always aware of our thinking patterns.

The second symbol is the horn, upon which the Knave is tootling, much in the manner of the Judgment card. This speaks to a rebirth, a new way of living, a new mentality. It is also celebratory, as is the feel of this card. The querent is rejoicing at the prospect of grandmotherhood.

Card Two: The querent's strengths and gifts - Ace of Swords

Another card that speaks to beginnings and a new vision, this Ace of Swords is quite unique and echoes the Justice card. You can't see it in the thumbnail version of the spread (above), but the word "Justicia" is engraved on a white pillar of the classic structure that is in the foreground of this card. Wingd cherubs bedeck the building with olive branches and a shield with a peaceful white angel is imposed upon the Sword, emphasizing the blending of compassion with justice, evoking Shakespeare's Portia ("The quality of mercy is not strained...").

For the querent, this card indicates that her strengths lie in her ability to cut to the core of an issue with incisiveness, yet retain the qualities of empathy and compassion. In terms of her relationship with her daughter and son-in-law, she may see things she isn't necessarily in accord with, yet she can express her feelings judiciously, and always with love. 

Card Three: The querent's blockages and weaknesses - Seven of Wands

This card diverges from the RWS imagery, depicting a youth walking over his faithful dog while seven staves lean against a pillar. The interconnectedness of the imagery in the cards (the swords, the white buildings on card two and three) offer a seamless meshing of all three messages.

There is a small imagistic similarity to the Fool card here, but there is a thoughtfulness and judiciousness that applies more to the other cards in the spread than Trump 0. The key image here is the dog--a mother's love is as unconditional and loyal as a canine's and is often as all-encompassing. A message of the Seven of Wands can be to fight for what you believe in, but in this spot of blockages and weaknesses, it could be a warning to the querent not to get too involved in the interpersonal relationships between the new mother and dad. Feelings of partiality are the antithesis of the Sword messages of the first two cards, and fiery enthusiasm can turn into the embers of antagonism and resentment. This card counsels caution in the area of family loyalty and overinvolvement.

The three cards are all very active (Swords and a Wand) and speak to new energies and increased vitality. The elements are compatible and positive. This is a time of great change for the querent, and, unlike some people (me!), she is unafraid of change--she, in fact, embraces it.  The youthfulness of all three cards indicates that the querent has an opportunity to literally gain a "new lease on life" at this time, if she chooses to take it.

You can read a review of the Golden Tarot of the Renaissance here.

Images 2004 Lo Scarabeo
Reading and page 2004 Diane Wilkes