Choosing The Significator
What is a significator in Tarot?
A significator is a card that is consciously chosen to represent the client (or a person they are asking about). Some spreads may require a significator, but they are generally optional. There are many ways of selecting a significator. It can be any of the 78 cards, either major arcana or minor arcana, although most of the time a court card such as a king, queen, knight or page will work well. The actual card chosen can depend on their physical and personality attributes and the age of the person in question but more on that later. In my experience it has great value in helping you to focus your energies on the person in question. You can also choose the significator to match the client's star sign. I tend to choose it based on what I pick up on when I meet the client. For example the person may be a Taurus but the way they present to me is that they are confident and fiery then I would choose the Queen or King of Wands. If a particular card turns up in a reading representing a partner for example and the client wanted to focus on the outcome of a relationship then I would use that card as the centre of the next spread. I often use the significator and place this card in the centre of my reading space, unrelated to the positions in the spread. It just helps me to focus my attention on that person in question.
There are so many kinds of spreads - general and specific. The signficator is generally reserved for specific questions and complex spreads involving the interplay of other people in the client's life.
A significator is often chosen to assist with focusing on the client or the issue at hand when you are doing a specific spread such as the Celtic Cross for example. For example if it is a legal case you may like to select the Justice Card. If you a choosing a significator based on the Star sign of the client the following may be helpful.
Zodiac Sign Birthdate
Aries March 21 - April 19 Fire Wands Court card
Taurus April 20 - May 20 Earth Pentacles Court Card
Gemini May 21 - June 21 Air A Sword Court Card
Cancer June 22 - July 22 Water Cups Court Card
Leo July 23 - August 22 Fire A wands Court Card
Virgo August 23 - Sept 22 Earth Pentacles Court Card
Libra September 23 - October 23 Sword Court Card
Scorpio October 24 - Nov 21 Water Cups Court Card
Sagittarius Nov 22 - Dec 21 Fire wands Court Card
Capricorn Dec 22 - Jan 19 Earth Pentacles Court Card
Aquarius January 20 - February 18 Sword Court Card
Pisces February 19 - March 20 Water Cups Court Card
Children of either sex Pages
Teenages to young adults Knights
Adult Females Queens
Adult Males Kings
You can choose any card as a the significator and often one of the Major Arcana Cards may suit the character or features of the person just as well or better than the court card corresponding to their star sign or features. For example someone who works in sales and is confident and resourceful you may pick The Magician. An older man who is down to earth, stable but very authoritarian you might choose the Emperor rather than the King of Pentacles for example.
Three Card Simple Spread
The simplest spreads is the three card - PAST PRESENT FUTURE SPREAD. This spread I tend to use at the end of reading rather than at the beginning because it is so broad in terms of time frame but often seems to sum up the overall message of a reading. The timing with this spread is fairly short term 1- 3 months.