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What do you think are the reasons why tarot practitioners should learn the OOTK?
I might not go so far as to say tarot practitioners "should" learn the OOTK, but I will say your practice, no matter what stage of study you are at, will be substantially enhanced by learning it. When you learn how to work through the five operations of the OOTK start to finish, you're training yourself to spot patterns. Of course there are other tarot practices that help you with this, but I have not encountered any other methodology quite as effective as learning the OOTK for training you to spot patterns.
Spotting patterns is an imperative skill for a tarot reader to have. Every single scientific breakthrough, philosophical principle, even works of artistic expression came about because somebody spotted a pattern. To be a master tarot reader, few skills are quite as important as pattern spotting. Psychics are merely people who don't have to work as hard at spotting patterns, but the operative function of what they're doing, of their psychic ability, is still just pattern spotting.
That is why I have said ad nauseum that learning the OOTK isn't about learning the OOTK-- it is about how to spot patterns, not just in a spread of cards on a table, but in life, in the universe you observe around you, in every energetic imprint.
I also blame my father's teachings for why I think learning the OOTK helps you to master tarot. When I didn't understand seventh grade chemistry, my father would drop his doctorate level chemistry books on my desk and make 13-year-old me learn chemistry out of the books 27-year-old him had used. But by golly, his teaching methods worked.
At least on me. I can't say if this methodology of teaching will work on you, but I suppose if you've selected me as a teacher, all I can do is employ my teaching methodologies. Reading intuitively, elemental dignities, learning tarot and astrology or tarot and the Kabbalah, or how to use numerology in tarot will suddenly feel so much more digestible and approachable after you've gone through the trouble of mastering the OOTK. Nothing feels too daunting after you've tackled the OOTK, not because the OOTK is hard, but because the OOTK requires discipline. Learning the OOTK imparts the discipline you need to be a solid reader and, beyond that, a skilled metaphysician.
Beyond the personal modifications and adapted approaches you mention in the videos, are there any other ways you utilize OOTK techniques in your practice?
Here are just a few other ways I cherry pick from the techniques in the various operations to enhance my tarot (and even oracle) readings:
(1) I use the "Opening of the Four Worlds" four card piles technique to commence a reading when a client wants a general reading or doesn't have a particular question in mind. After the significator is located among the four card piles, you can either draw cards at random into your spread of choice for a reading about that subject matter or employ card counting to determine the cards to read.
(2) When clients want to know about timing (e.g., "When will be an optimal time for me to find love and romance?" or "What period of time is most auspicious for me to seek gainful employment (or) my dream job?"), just use the Third Operation (twelve zodiac signs) as an independent reading. When you invoke and shuffle, intend the reading to project into the future only, and intend that the reading will not raise the past, but only bring up future projected conditions. The zodiac sign assigned to the card pile the significator is in corresponds to the period of time. Then read the cards as a narrative for further details and insight.
(3) For a fancy, all-topics-inclusive 36-card reading, use the Fourth Operation (thirty-six decans) and simply do a three-card reading for each astrological house. Example: Set out the first three cards and read about House 1 matters, i.e., seeker's sense of personal identity right now and most prevailing character traits; then set out the next three cards and read about House 2, i.e., financial concerns; then set out the next three cards and read about House 3, i.e., important communications that may be incoming in the near future; then House 4, i.e., home and family matters, etc. You could use oracle cards, Lenormand, Kipper, or stick to the tried and true tarot--anything goes.
(4) Apply Fifth Operation techniques to any tarot spread you're familiar with. Example. Let's use a simple three-card past, present, and future spread to illustrate. Distribute the cards into the three piles intending one pile for past, one pile for present, and one pile for future. Go searching for the significator and the corresponding pile tells you whether you are about to give divinatory insight about a past, presently pending, or future matter that Spirit definitely wants your client to know about right now. Employ card counting to select out the narrative and read accordingly.
Once you become proficient at all five operations, isolate specific parts and integrate into your tarot practice in creative, personalized ways. Your creativity will trigger your intuition (and vice versa).
"I teach tarot classes and workshops. May I teach using the materials or instructions from this master class?"
::Gets back to the lectern and clears throat:: Ideas cannot be copyrighted and should not be treated as proprietary. Spread ideas freely. I see you as an active contributor of tarot knowledge when you disseminate what you've learned about the OOTK to others.
If you want to publish or post snippets or actual content from the course, yes, please by all means feel absolutely free to do so. I'd be most pleased if you'd give a tiny shout-out somewhere, and nothing fancy or long-- just to "Benebell Wen" is plenty.
"May I write or publish about any of the materials or instructions from this class to comment on the OOTK or my experience with this class? May I publicly share excerpts?"
In fact, now I'm a little peeved you asked, as it means you don't read my blog and never read my PDF reference or old posts on fair use. ;-)
Oh, but-- Please feel free to share video screen shots if you want, but just a personal thing-- I prefer that screen shots of my face are not used (especially since these videos were shot on a time crunch in the midst of a hectic schedule, so half the time it's really early or really late and I look like I got hit by a storm). If you do anyway, I'm probably not going to do anything about it, except cringe if I happen to see it, but yeah, generally, I prefer no screen shots of my face. But again, ultimately, it's fine. So what if I cringe. I'll get over it.
"May I incorporate any component of what I learned through this course, including your personal practices, personal modifications, your own spreads or approaches, etc. into my professional tarot practice?"
And for that, no credit is needed. In fact, don't even bother with credit. Just go forth with the techniques that most resonate with you and be as good of a tarot reader as you can for your client.
What do you think a professional tarot reader should charge for an OOTK reading?
Wow. This is a really hard question to answer. I would say pricing and the fact you're doing an OOTK reading have no relational bearing on one another. Instead, charge according to how much time it will take you to do the reading, whether it's using OOTK techniques or you're doing a three-card spread. Charge according to your time and effort, not because you think there is something special or different about you happening to use the OOTK to do your reading.
In your opinion, when is a practitioner ready to offer the OOTK as a divinatory service?
Assuming you're already a professional tarot reader with an operative practice, then when you've completed this entire master class as outlined and all listed syllabus tasks, you're ready.
How frequently do you use the OOTK in your own tarot practice?
The five operations consecutively, start to finish? Rarely. A handful of times per year, and that's exaggerating. However, I pretty much start every single tarot reading, whether it is a 15 minute reading or 1 hour reading, with some variation on the first operation. So the first operation techniques are firmly integrated into my everyday tarot practice.
I also like using a first operation + third operation combo. After I do a reading with the first operation, I'll divine on timing via the third operation. I also routinely use the second operation to do full twelve-house zodiac spread readings.
Consider integrating OOTK operations and techniques into your everyday tarot exercises, not because you need to employ any part of the OOTK in your actual tarot readings or divination, but because like playing scales and practicing etudes on a piano or violin before you get to working on the concertos and sonatas, the OOTK is an incredible training tool for teaching you how to be a more powerful tarot reader. It teaches you how to catch synchronicities and not only catch them, but make sense out of them in a way that will be productive for you and the people you read for.
Do you interpret any significance from upright or reverse significators?
For me, yes. My approach to shuffling does take into account both upright and reversed. So in a reading, if the significator appears upright, I take it as an affirmative, validating sign that the divination to come will provide a road map that keeps the seeker congruent with his or her optimal life path. It’s the sense that things are generally moving in the right direction, even if we’re encountering hiccups, roadblocks, or what not.
Now, if the significator somehow appears in reverse in the reading, I will take note. To me, the reversed significator is a sign that significant, substantial aspects of the seeker’s life choices are not in line with his or her higher ideals, with a higher calling. It can also suggest a seeker who is behind schedule in terms of the seeker’s own life plans, so the card reversal is an indication to accelerate your actions. You’ve fallen behind a bit and now it’s time to really be proactive and play catch-up.A reversed significator can also be the indication of a seeker who is currently on a plateau, experiencing deep-seated dissatisfaction or ennui with his or her status quo, so that mental disposition is something I’ll want to try to address in the course of the reading.
Decks in Photographs: Golden Universal Tarot by Lo Sacarabeo; A Sea of Calm: Mandala Oracle Deck by Fiona Stolze (self-published)