What happens when you e-x-t-e-n-d something beyond its regular reach?
If you look through a telescope, stretch out tent poles and tripod legs, use extension ladders or extension cords, put up an umbrella, add an extension onto your house, take an extension course, apply for an extension to your loan?
You see farther, reach what was unreachable, expand your space or your intellectual horizons or your financial breathing room. You get more of something.
That's what extending the energy boundaries does for reading tarot!
What would happen if you s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d the basic card energy to its extremes, ending up with a dangerous excess of that same energy on the one hand, and an almost pathological lack of it on the other hand?
You'd reap more choices and winkle out more reading possibilities. Interesting!
Here are examples from three of my go-to decks.
First the Gaian's Seeker. I see the basic energy here as focused anticipation - a bit nervous/bit excited, perhaps butterflies in her stomach - but she's going!
Let's extend that focused anticipation in both directions.
Too much might be frenetic unbridled energy: running heedlessly down the hill, falling, losing her pack, perhaps breaking a limb, failing to scope out the valley for possible dangers, ignoring the wise instincts of her fox companion, racing off without a thought.
Or moving through new experiences so quickly that she can't take them in, enjoy them, or learn from them.
Or no enthusiasm for anything the future might hold: endeavours, meeting new people, travels, knowledge.
Now the Wheel of Fortune from the AnnaK. I see enthusiasm for the game of life, a willingness to
Too much might be clawing scrambling fighting your way to the top, risking broken bleeding hands and a bruised body, and ruthlessly trampling those in your path.
Not allowing yourself to rest when you fall.
Not taking the time to learn something from the positions you've experienced on the wheel.
Too little might be lethargy, depression, an inability to keep trying, not having enough energy to cling to the wheel as it rises,
staying face down in the mud when you fall, not enjoying the view from the top while you're there.
Poor me. Eeyore, Winnie-the-Pooh's gloomy friend.
Last, the Tower from the Sidhe. Breaking out of a mask, blasting away illusions, a lightning bolt of transformation, shattering the status quo.
Too much of this energy would not only blast through any masks,
pretensions, facades, it might also destroy the person within.
Burn her to a cinder. Render her unrecognizable.
Make it impossible for her to go forward, or retreat back into a protective facade even if she needed to.
It might harm others within range of the explosion.
Too little of this break-out energy could trap a person in the mask forever. No changing one's image for the world, no re-inventing oneself. No release. No freedom. Rapunzel trapped in the tower. The Man in the Iron Mask.
A miniscule amount of this energy might be just enough to crack the facade and render life behind the mask uncomfortable. A permanent stone in one's shoe or cinder in the eye.
My immense gratitude goes to Paris Finley of The Massachusetts Tarot Society, whose work on Card Energy Extremes got me excited about this process in the first place. You can listen to his interview with Donnaleigh on Blog Talk Radio