Sample Reading with the Instant Ideas Deck by Mark McElroy


The Instant Ideas deck contains 78 picture cards created for artists, business people, corporate employees, marketing staff, trainers, writers, and other people who live by their wits. This powerful brainstorming tool can help you see more options, gain perspective, explore possibilities, and discover unexpected solutions. (You could also use it as a Tarot deck, in a pinch!) Want a copy? Download it for free here.

Iím lucky: as a writer and consultant, I get to work with tarot for a living. Iíve now written four tarot books, and Iíve just finished designing the Bright Idea Deck, a brainstorming tarot. Iím occasionally given the privilege of teaching courses or leading study groups, and I frequently have the honor of reading for both clients and total strangers.


Still, Iím a ďtarot totĒ compared to many of the great members of the tarot community who have been reading and working with the cards for decades! Their knowledge and dedication reminds me that, wherever I am on my spiritual path, I still have a long way to go.


So: I took out my trusty Instant Ideas deck Ö and headed back to school!



1. Where I Began My Study of Tarot: Green 3 (Three of Coins) / Direction.


Like most people, when I started my study of the cards, I began by conforming to the directions of an instructor. (In my case, I was lucky Ö my first ďinstructorĒ was Joan Bunning, through her great beginnerís book, Learning the Tarot.) I soon learned other approaches to the cards from artists and writers within the tarot community (some of whom are now acquaintances and friends) -- people such as Mary Greer, Rachel Pollock, Robert Place, Hajo Banzahf, and many more.


In the beginning, my ďdirectionĒ amounted to learning other peopleís approach to the cards. Eventually, though, Iíd graduate Ö and establish some directions of my own.


2. A Recognition of What Iíve Learned So Far in My Tarot Studies: Red 12 (Knight of Wands) / Pursuit.


Because I continue to learn so much from so many people, this card might represent the way I chase new books, decks, and ideas around!


Ultimately, though, I suspect this card is a reminder that, for me, the study of tarot is always a pursuit. I donít think Iíll ever reach the ďgoal.Ē Instead, I expect Iíll be chasing after new ideas, new directions, new interpretations, and new applications for the rest of my life. Iíve always got more to learn!


Frankly? I donít want to cross the finish line! I enjoy learning new things Ö and Iím glad to see my study of the tarot as an investment of energy that will continue to grow and flourish for years and years to come.


3. A Suggested Direction for Continued Growth: Purple 17 (The Star) / Hopes & Dreams.


This card prompted a chuckle, because this Idea Deck card is associated with The Star Ö and Iíve long bemoaned how little I know about astrology! Itís time to do something about that. (Iíve taken the first step Ö I bought and read Liz Hazelís Tarot Decoded!)


Further work with the card suggested several directions, including the completion of one tarot-themed fiction project thatís been simmering on the back burner for far too long. Thanks to the support and aid of so many good friends and helpers, Iíve achieved my dream of seeing my own book on the shelf at the local bookshop Ö now itís time to finish and sell that first novel!


4. A Resource I Can Use to Foster and Support that Growth: Blue 4 (Four of Cups) / Same Old, Same Old.


At first, this might strike you as an unusual resource card. Boredom and repetition as a resource?


But a creative take on this cardís meaning hints at a more positive interpretation. I learn well from books. I have good contacts within the Tarot community. I have the support of several wonderful Internet groups. Through my computer (where I spend five to seven hours a day!), I have virtual contact with almost every conceivable resource!


I took the Blue 4 card to mean: ďYouíve got great resources Ö now itís time to get down to business!Ē


5. A Benefit of Going Back to School: Purple 21 (The World) / Attainment.


 What better card to represent the biggest benefit of continuing education? If I do my homework, pursue my studies with diligence, depend on the support and guidance of good friends and mentors, and make best use of my resources, Iíll eventually attain my goals!


Thereís another take on the same card: the idea that, by attaining some of my own goals, I may be able to aid others in reaching theirs. As someone who writes about applying Tarot to the challenges of daily life, one of my biggest personal goals is to help others make the best use of this remarkable creative and spiritual tool.


Mark McElroy is the author of Putting the Tarot to Work (a book about brainstorming with tarot cards) and Taking the Tarot to Heart (a book on using tarot to find and improve relationships, coming in January 2005). He is also the designer of The Bright Idea Deck (March, 2005), a tarot deck designed specifically as a brainstorming tool. Visit Mark's website and explore new applications for tarot.

Reading and cards © 2004 Mark McElroy
Page © 2004 Diane Wilkes