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Tarot Card Layout: Advice and Readings-Motherpeace Deck

Updated on March 24, 2017
ShyeAnne profile image

ShyeAnne is a remote camp cook on the spectacular west coast of British Columbia Canada.

Motherpeace Tarot Cards

I was shopping one day, about 20 years ago, in a cool little store in Harrison Hotsprings. Harrison Hotsprings is a small lakeside town just outside of Chilliwack on British Columbia, Canada's lower mainland. The store smelled like incense and had gentle spa music playing softly in the background. I spotted a display of tarot card decks. I picked up a deck of Motherpeace cards that was calling to me. The cards felt very comfortable in my hands. The pictures on the cards were positive and welcoming, even the 'darker' ones. The Motherpeace tarot deck offers two size options, both round, large or small. I prefer the small cards as they fit into my hand easier and are not as cumbersome to shuffle as the larger ones. I bought the small deck. I have had them for many years and continue to get new insights into the tarot world with each reading.

I had been playing around with the tarot for about a dozen years or so, mostly with decks that included dark and/or negative images and meanings. Ryder-Waite deck was a well known, well used deck. I found many of the images in the Ryder-Waite deck dark and negative. It was a delight to find a deck of tarot cards with positive images and gentler definitions.

Tarot cards originated over 500 years ago in Italy.

Major and Minor Arcana

I read my own cards. I study the cards in their positions in the layout, attempting to figure out the message that is offered.

I do not believe the tarot holds any deep secrets about where we have been or where we are going. I simply feel the cards and meanings have been designed and honed over many years to offer suggestions of a more positive way of to look at one's life experiences. These messages can pertain to any circumstance in the seeker's life. The cards are meant to help gently guide one to a clearer thought process. To help open the mind to possibilities that the Universe does give us help in finding answers when we ask.

I see the use of tarot as a logical and somewhat mystical, magical way to help define how you are and who you are.

There are 56 Minor Arcana cards and 22 Major Arcana cards. There are 78 cards total in the deck.

The Minor Arcana cards are said to represent the inner workings and self influence, of the seeker. The Major Arcana represent the influence of the Universe at work, helping and guiding us in the right direction.

The Four Suits of the Minor Arcana

*Wands (fire, energy)

*Cups (water, emotions)

*Swords (air, thinking)

*Discs (earth, physicality)

Have you ever had your Tarot cards read?

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How the Cards are Read & What They Mean

  • The meaning of individual cards is determined by the picture on the card, the suit it belongs to, whether it is a Minor or Major Arcana card.
  • While the reader is preparing to read a seeker's cards, they will ask the seeker what is the predominant issue they are hoping for guidance with. The seeker can offer up what is in their thoughts or they can choose to keep their question or issue private.
  • The reader will then shuffle the cards.
  • As the reader is shuffling the cards, she (or he) thinks about the seeker, the circumstance, the issues the seeker has presented. The reader will ask the seeker to focus on a question they want answered regarding their life circumstance etc. When the reader feels the cards are sufficiently shuffled, she then cuts the deck three times to the left, using the left hand. Sometimes the seeker is asked if they want to cut the cards.
  • 11 cards are then laid out, starting with the center card. Often tarot readers will determine additional meaning of the card by it's slant, or if it is placed upside down. For a long time I did not acknowledge the slant of the cards, believing that the positive upright position was the only relevant meaning. As I became more comfortable with reading my cards I realized I was ignoring a lot of important and pertinent messages by ignoring a left ( passive) and right (aggressive) or upside down (reverse meaning) placement. Over time I realised the slant of the card changes the translation of the meaning quite significantly and I felt much more satisfied when including the slant of the card in the definitions.
  • I do touch on the darker side now, if appropriate and necessary, to get an accurate reading and to remind the seeker that sometimes life has bumps in the road, hiccups. Sometimes we need to call upon our endurance and courage to walk through our fears.

Daughters - Earth

Sons - Air

Priestesses - Water

Shamans - Fire

A full 11 card Motherpeace tarot reading layout
A full 11 card Motherpeace tarot reading layout | Source
a diagram layout with the positions numbered
a diagram layout with the positions numbered | Source

Explanation of Significance of Card Position

My focus when I laid the tarot cards out for a full reading was "Am I headed in a positive direction in my life?"

1. The card in this position represents the seeker.

2. The card in this position represents something in the seeker's life right now.

3. The card in this position represents a cross flow of energy concerning the seeker's issues.

4. The card in this position represents the root of the issue, the problem.

5. The card in this position represents something that is passing, an event, relationship or circumstance that is currently being experienced by the seeker.

6. The card in this position represents energy coming in, the influences of the Universe, what is coming at the seeker.

7. The card in this position represents something that is going to happen in the seeker's life. An event, coming or going of relationships, a move; change.

8. The card in this position reveals the fears of the seeker. Things they may be holding the seeker back from living their true destiny.

9. The card in this position reveals the hopes and dreams of the seeker. What they long for, what they perhaps haven't found the courage to do yet in their life.

10. The card in this position represents what others think of the seeker, their opinion. Whether they feel the seeker is doing good, bad, struggling, content etc;

11. The card in this position represents the final outcome. It wraps up the story. A Major Arcana card is ideal in this position. If a Major Arcana card doesn't fall in this position, up to three more cards are drawn to see if one shows up. If the final card is from the Minor Arcana, there is no conclusion to the seeker's reading at this time. It is still a work in progress.

After the last card in the layout is deciphered by the reader, the reader will then look at the overall layout and give the seeker a summary of messages, advice, lessons and suggestions offered by the cards in the reading.

Below I have included a brief explanations of the cards and their significance.


1- Significator - Seeker

The Priestess ( water) of Discs (earth, physicality), is in the first position in the layout. This card is a Minor Arcana card. The first position in the layout represents the seeker.

The tilt to the right is barely noticeable so I do not give this tilt much significance in the reading.


A creative woman with a sense of well-being, security and comfort.

The Empress
The Empress | Source

2-Atmosphere Surrounding the Event

The Empress is tilted at a true left in the second position in the layout. The second position represents what is going on for the seeker at this time. The Empress is a Major Arcana card. The Major Arcana cards represent outside influences that come into play.


The Empress lays in a relaxed state. She takes pride in her hard work that got her to where she is today. The card is tilted to the left suggesting she feels uneasy about something in her life or in her body.

3- Lesson to be Learned

The Seven of Swords (air, thinking) is a Minor Arcana card. This card is in the cross-current, lesson to be learned position in the layout, position three. Minor Arcana cards represent influences controlled by the seeker.


Leaning slightly to the left, the Seven of Swords indicate she is waiting for the strategies she put in place to play themselves out.

4- Root, Unconcious Influences

The Priestess(water) of Swords (air, thinking) is in the root position in the above layout. This position represents the unconscious influences at play, the root of the issue.


The Priestess of Swords is lying in an almost completely reversed position. When reversed it indicates the seeker is unclear about her purpose and direction.

5 - Event Passing Away, Recently Passed

The World ( Major Arcana, outside influences) in position five in the layout. The fifth position depicts an event passing or recently passed away in the seeker's life.


The World card indicates that The Fool has grown into herself. She is beginning a new cycle in her life. The slight tilt to the right indicates she wants to be done with the past. She hastens to move on from it.

6 - Sky, Conscious Thought, Spirit Connection

Swords (air, thinking), Shamans (fire). The Shaman of Swords is in the sixth position, lying at a hard right, almost reversed. I will take into consideration the right tilt meaning as well as the reversed meaning.


Although she speaks with clarity and authority from her heart, when she stands in her truth she is unable to say what she truly sees and feels.

7 - May Happen in the Near Future

The Ten of Wands is a Minor Arcana card is in the seventh position. This position represents something that will happen in the seeker's near future.


The hard tilt almost reversal of the Ten of Wands indicates she is she is using discretion, pulling back her energy, perhaps consciously pulling it back.

8 - Self-Concept

The card in this position, Minor Arcana card the Son (air) of Discs (earth, physicality) is in the upright position. Number eight position is a card of self-concept, how the seeker sees herself.


The Son of Discs indicates he knows what he wants and is willing to work for it.

9 - Hopes and Fears of the Seeker

The Tower is a Major Arcana card. The Tower fell with a left tilt. It is in the ninth position in this layout. The ninth position alludes to one's own hopes and fears.


The ways of her life as she knows them are crumbling and changing. She is shocked at how she feels. The left slant indicates she hesitates to embrace the changes.

10 - Outside Influences, How Others Feel

The card in the tenth position, in this reading a Minor Arcana, the Nine of Cups (water, emotions) was laid with a hard left tilt.


Her friends, family and support systems feel she is not fully behind what she wants, desires. They feel she does not trust herself to have confidence in her decisions.

11 - Final Outcome

The card in the 11th position speaks to the final outcome of the reading. Ideally a Major Arcana falls in this position. If a Major Arcana does not show up up to three more cards are pulled to see if a Major Arcana shows up. If not, the outcome is not clear at this time.

First card laid in the 11th position - Daughter (earth) of Swords (air, thinking) is laid with a soft left tilt. She has the knowledge she needs to move forward but is holding back her power. 2 -Priestess ( water) of Cups (water, emotion) is laid with a slight left tilt. The Priestess is deeply aware she is ready to merge but is not yet anchored to anything. 3- Nine of Swords( air, thinking) is a Minor Arcana laid in reverse. 3- A woman has a series of bad dreams and wakes up to face them. She looks at her fears one by one in the process of turning them into allies.

Then we come to the fourth and final card in this reading, the Magician. The Magician is a Major Arcana and depicts the final outcome of this particular reading. The Magician is laid with a very hard left, almost reversed. The Magician indicates the seeker has self doubt and this is holding back the energy she requires to move forward with her transition.

Taking Care of Your Cards

Tarot cards need to be wrapped in silk for safe keeping and to preserve their energy. I have my cards wrapped in a silk flying scarf that belonged to my Grandfather during the 2nd World War. I am certain his energy is evident and sometimes influences my readings.

Summary - Conclusion

Now the reader will study the cards and the layout in order to pull the reading together for the seeker. Four Major Arcana cards in the reading indicate there is a healthy amount of outside energy that influences the seeker's decisions and actions. Two Priestesses laid in the reading (water), the Priestess of Swords (air, energy) and the Priestess (water) of Cups (water, emotion) indicate the seeker has a balance of thought and heart to help her determine her path. Six feminine cards indicate she has a strong support system.

The seeker has a sense of security but is uneasy about her health and whether she is capturing her life lessons. She is waiting for strategies to present themselves to help her find her way. She sometimes is unclear of her purpose and wavers in her decisions. Her friends and family help her build her self confidence and awareness. The seeker speaks with clarity and purpose but in her heart she is unsure. She uses discretion and pulls back from making clear choices. The seeker needs to work on her confidence to help her eliminate her life-limiting self-doubt.

Motherpeace cards were designed by two women in the early 1970's, Vikki Noble and Karen Vogel.

Light-hearted Insights

Each card ,depending on where it is laid in the reading, has many meanings and is influenced by the tilt when laid down. The cards laid offer insights to attain clarity, awareness and understanding of one's self and journey.

Thanks for reading. Make it a great day !


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    • ShyeAnne profile image

      ShyeAnne 4 years ago from Deep Bay, British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you so much, Jean and Julie, for your comments. A bit long on the thank you to you Julie, I see you left your comment some time ago. I love the Motherpeace deck, even the dark cards have a light energy, and that's what it is all about, energy, how we feel it, our ability to let it flow. Livin' in the Light!

    • Jean Bakula profile image

      Jean Bakula 4 years ago from New Jersey


      It's so nice to see someone else writing about Motherpeace! I was pretty new to HP when I wrote about each card, and never got around to showing anyone the layout for the readings. Every time I changed the hubs, I had a devil of a time getting the right card to line up with my text!

      I've been amazed at the interest in it, the group of hubs have always been among my highest 7. I just finished complying with all the new rules, and had to revisit them again. I love the deck, its so different. I recently got interested in the Revelations deck. Zack Wong is the artist, and he puts the Reverses in so that you don't notice them when the card is Upright, yet if you turn it around there's a whole different scene! I've been using them on my blog, but some are kind of dark, so I switch around and compare a Rider-Waite card to the same card, but in another deck. I think that's good for beginners, since each artist sees it differently. Well, enough from me. Take care.

    • julie58 profile image

      julie58 6 years ago from Fareham, UK


      I've seen this deck in one of our local stores, it's so unusual - especially the shape.

      I agree with you about the Rider-Waite cards, I know a lot of people are fans but I find them slightly old-fashioned and, as you say, some of the cards are quite dark and negative. I prefer something I can relate to and feel comfortable with ...