Master the General Reading (Revisiting Paul Foster Case’s First Operation)

Skill Level: General (All)

Once upon a time, general readings–where the tarot reader doesn’t get the luxury of knowing a querent’s question ahead of time–was a norm.

Today, modern readers struggle with general readings.

Let’s go back to the late 40s and receive some instructions from Paul Foster Case on how we might be able to master the general reading. We’ll be delving in to The Tarot: A Key to the Wisdom of the Ages published in 1947. What we’ll be working through today, the Opening of the Four Worlds and part of the First Operation of the Opening of the Key reading method, was also featured in one of his earlier works from 1933, The Oracle of the Tarot: A Course on Tarot Divination.

Those of you who’ve gotten tarot readings from me before will recognize this reading method. I start every single reading I do, whether it’s a general or a specific question reading, with a preliminary divination derived from this First Operation, or the Opening of the Four Worlds.

Online Independent Study Course

I offer an online independent study course on the Opening of the Key,

Learning the Opening of the Key: An Online Course ($20)

The Opening of the Key is a five-operation inter-disciplinary divinatory procedure rooted in the adept traditions of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Today, given the publicly available records of the procedure, it can be used by tarot practitioners from all backgrounds.

However, this course isn’t about learning the OOTK (though you will). It is about deepening your understanding of divination.

Through a series of eleven video lectures, a 50-page OOTK workbook, and a wealth of study guides, handouts, templates, and quick reference sheets, you will not only master the OOTK procedurally, but also learn basic astrology, numerology, and the Kabbalah.

Holistic Tarot Supplements

For references to help you navigate the reading method, download the following supplemental handouts from the Holistic Tarot companion course:

Reading with Signifiers [PDF]

Quick Review of the First Operation [PDF]

Card Counting (Majority View) [PDF]

Glyph Correspondences for the OOTK [PDF]

Interpreting Tarot Through Astrology [PDF]

Additional Reading: Blog Posts

I’ve written about the First Operation before. Check out the following past blog posts:

A 10-Week Independent Study Course with Paul Foster Case (February 25, 2013)

The First Operation: Adapting a Traditional Method to Contemporary Tarot Applications (June 2, 2013)

Your Year Ahead Twelve-Month Tarot Forecast Reading (December 22, 2017), where I cover this technique in the “Preliminary Four Worlds Reading” step of the forecast.

General Readings and Specific Question Readings (July 3, 2017), where I discuss how the Opening of the Four Worlds can be used in “cattle call” readings.

A Simple Technique for Marathon Tarot Readings (May 8, 2014)

Sightsee the Tarot: Series Page

Click on the Series Page for a List of All Episodes

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