Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey (2020) by Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror is a versatile, power-packed tarot reading method based on the Grand Tableau from the Lenormand tradition. Thomas takes that method many steps further and presents a way of reading the cards that you’ll turn to time and time again, for your personal readings and for your professional client readings.
Skill Level: Advanced
To start, let’s introduce the basic tableau, the foundation of Thomas’s Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey. I’ve put together a Sightsee the Tarot video to guide you through the basic spread along with 22 tarot journaling prompts excerpted from Tarot Tableau.
In this workshop, we’ll be using the Tarot Tableau for a long session of free-writing as therapy. Writing therapy helps you to process your thoughts and experiences, which opens you up to new insights on how to get back to equilibrium, facilitate much-needed spiritual healing, and grow emotionally.
Working with your reading results from the Tarot Tableau method, you’ll answer 22 questions inspired by the 22 Major houses of the spread and after you’re done, you’ll attain newfound clarity in the situation you were inquiring about or, at the very least, understand the “why.”
22 Journaling Prompts with the Tarot Tableau
Click above to download.
Print out the PDF linked above and free-write your answers to the journaling prompts. If you have a particular tarot journal layout and design going on already, you can download the DOCX and edit accordingly.
Download the above-pictured worksheet and either print it out or copy the layout into your tarot journal before you start the video. You’ll be recording your reading results on the worksheets.
The rest of this post will be my review of the book.
The Tarot Tableau isn’t just a spread; it’s a reading method. You lay out 22 cards into 22 house positions, and then you can use that spread of cards to do a quick-scan reading or you can deep-dive into its labyrinth.
The standard Fool’s Journey tableau is the one showcased in the video, but there are several other versions of the tableau that Thomas gets into as well. The book also explores ways to use the entire deck, not just the 22 Majors.
Tarot technique wise, this book is in-depth and comprehensive. Just to give you a proportionate sense of how in-depth this manual goes, what we covered in the Sightsee the Tarot video was just one page (p. 12) from Tarot Tableau plus introducing the basic version of the layout (there are several more that Thomas walks you through in the book).
What I love is how budget-friendly these guides are. Be sure to click on the above image to visit Thomas’s shop page. Support our community’s generous thought leaders by buying their works. Plus, the Tarot Tableau is one to master for your personal arsenal of reading methods.
Reviewing the printed coil-bound version of Tarot Tableau, which is what you see pictured here, the layout design is beautifully done. I love it. However, for my poor eyes, the font was way, way too tiny. I strained my eyes until I saw fuzzy bright spots just trying to read the text. Ultimately I had to stop, rummage for my magnifying glass, and finished reading the book with a magnifier.
So if you’ve got bad eyes, I strongly urge you to get the e-book version and not the print version. Just to give you a frame of reference, the copyright notice on the front cover page of my Spirit Keeper’s Tarot Little White Book was printed in font size 7. I held that up side by side with the Tarot Tableau book for comparison and its text is slightly smaller, so it must be font size 6. That’s right. The entire book is typed in font size 6/7. Compounding that with the print color being a charcoal gray rather than a solid black just made for a slight struggle.
However, that’s just the printing logistics. As for the content itself, not a single complaint or gripe. Well-structured, organized, easy to understand, and easy to implement right away. Yet the insights and methods learned are profound.
If you’ve got an extra deck to spare, set out the Majors from that deck in sequential order to set the 22 houses. You’ll see that’s what I’ve done in the above photograph with the Major Arcana from The Muse Tarot by Chris-Ann Donnelly, published by Hay House.
Then, using the deck I’m reading with, shuffle and proceed with the method, drawing the cards out into the Major houses.
So, for instance, after setting the 22 houses with the Muse Tarot, I do the tarot tableau reading with my SKT Majors. Then for any house-card pairing I want to deep-dive into, I can pick up that Muse-SKT pair and study it.
I love the idea of slinging out this impressive, massive spread of cards (and anyone who does client readings knows the aesthetics and mood-setting is important when reading for another), but then being able to answer a simple yes-no question in 3 minutes with the tableau or deep-diving way into the past, the future, the depths of one’s soul, and giving accurate prophecies from beyond for a 1-hour session.
You can get the above fillable worksheet for something like $1 (yes, one dollar!) from Thomas. How incredible is that. Plus, if you check out his website, he offers so much free content that in effect you’re donating $1 to him just to say you appreciate his work and as a thank you, you’re getting this awesome worksheet (and others like it; you can also choose whether to get a Waite-Smith or TdM keyed worksheet).
Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey teaches a reading method you’ll want to master and keep in your personal repertoire. It helps you pinpoint the heart of any matter immediately through the Central Card of the tableau. Do a one-card reading with just the Central Card. Read just the card in The Fool house for the “You are Here” reading of your situation. Read just the card in The World house to get a sense of how it’s all going to play out and end. Read the Cross of cards formed from your Central Card for just a 4 or 5 card reading.
And then after that narrow short-answer assessment of the situation, zoom out and look for the many patterns Thomas will instruct on in the handbook. See the big picture. Answer the “why.” Spot connections and links in the cards that you can then see clearly in real life. Every single relationship between every pairing, triplet, cross, etc. of cards in your tarot tableau is meaningful and will offer a packet of insights into your situation you might not otherwise have seen.
The 22 question prompts from p. 12 of Tarot Tableau developed into a 15-page writing therapy exercise is just one demonstration of the myriad possibilities this reading method offers.
Support indie authors and tarot teachers in our community. Buy your copy of Tarot Tableau from Thomas of Hermit’s Mirror and see for yourself the versatility of the tableau.
FTC Disclosure: In accordance with Title 16 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations Part 255, “Guides Concerning Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising,” I received Tarot Tableau: The Fool’s Journey from the author for prospective review. Everything I’ve said here is sincere and accurately reflects my opinion of the book.