I mentioned in a recent blog post that I’ve been a Tarot reader for almost twenty years. I started off with The Spiral Tarot and learned that deck. I never thought about picking up other decks, as I personally didn’t see a need for it. But, there’s a spiritual revolution in the Witchy World that’s been going on for the last, I don’t know how long. Probably longer than I’d assume as I just began to notice an attempt at transforming this world. But this post isn’t that. Rather, I’m here explaining how I’ve read and been learning to read the cards over time.
I was gifted a Ganesha Oracle deck back in 2016 by a soul mate and not only did I find the artwork of the cards beautiful, the impact she had on me with this gift phenomenal. I don’t think she and I ever talked about my recent introduction to the remover of obstacles or my affinity for his friend, Lakshmi. I found it quite auspicious that she’d send me a statue of Ganesha as well in one of her lovely care packages. I’d come to realize so many things about this relationship later, but that’s for another post in my private journal where I keep secret plots to take over the world using flying monkeys, duck tape (yeah, that’s on purpose!) and your mom.
Modern tarot decks come with a little book explaining the Major and Minor Arcana cards, usually giving a short one to three sentence for what the card ‘means.’ I put that in quotes simply because you can read the cards using those few sentences, but then you’d ask yourself how some readers (myself) can pick out semi–specific details about your life, while others can pinpoint with a great deal of accuracy, more intimate details about the querent’s life.
The story of man is one as old as time. Philosophers have documented the struggles, the trails, tribulations, tragedies, and triumphs of man and we can see patterns in human behavior. One can ascertain (gods, I sound like man with a stick up my ass, don’t I?) the path a querent takes, guess with general luck where they’re at in regards to their question and make an educated guess based on that alone. Writers do it all the time with our characters. But there’s so much more going on beneath the surface than that, isn’t there?
While there are as many interpretations as there are readers of the cards, each one having a specific style, we can agree that we do tap into a universal truth. What that truth reveals to us at the time depends on where WE are in the stages of our paths. I’ve mentioned in that same blog post how meaning of cards has changed for me over time. The Five of Wands is still a chaotic card, but at age 26, the meaning held more weight behind the struggle and potential for arguments that may have arisen, compared to me almost eighteen years later. If that card comes up, I take into it everything I know, experiences, lessons, all of it. The severity of that card no longer spells doom for me.
The same of the Tower. There was talk during a very regal political period about “Tower Times.” from the Witchcraft community and while I agree with the what, I don’t agree with other aspects of their doom and gloom surrounding the zeitgeist, but that’s again, another post involving flying monkeys, Elon Musk’s Not a Flame Thrower and your sister. And guns. What I DO agree with is that change was coming, for good or bad.
My interpretation of The Tower is just that – a shakeup. Does it mean you’re going to lose your house, your pets will reject you, you’ll get a disease and instead of suffering, your loved ones will murder you? I’d say with 99% certainty, probably NOT. But you will have change in some aspect, and it will be great. The key is to pay attention.
Now, on these interpretations, I’m not as overly familiar with some cards as I am others. And, at heart, I am a storyteller (Fuck you, Jaskier, you whiny bitch!) which means I extrapolate from things. The description may say “great change is coming.” I’ll take that into context with the question, if the card is the only card or in a spread and weave together the interpretation that makes the most sense based on years of study, aid from others in my journey, and yes, sometimes books.
There’s this one book I read from and I had major beef with her interpretation of certain cards. I’ll name the book, because you HAVE to read it from the start, rather than pulling a Johnny move like I did and just finding her (hip?) interpretations of the cards before you judge, because only then will her intuitiveness make more sense to you. The book is WTF is Tarot…and How Do I Do It, by Bakara Wintner. My beef involved the harshness of a particular card (There’s an Instagram post) and disagreement with how she felt over the card, vs. my knowledge. My age. My time in study.
All of which, as we can imagine, are bullshit. What is NOT bullshit is listening to her views and understanding where SHE came from, because there’s lessons in the cards for everyone. And because her path (which she explains throughout the book in plain language) is important and has helped give me more insight.
Because I am a storyteller (seriously? Do I have to shit on Gabrielle, Bard of Potidaea too? No? Just Jaskier, great!), I have all this information weaved together in my head. The knowledge from the books that came with the decks, the books outside the decks, the people I’ve talked to, and based on the question, I make the best statement/reading based on my heart, not my head. Because the head’s logic only works so far here, it’s best as a problem solver. The heart, however, is in touch with the soul, which is what you’re dealing with when you’re asking for intuitive guidance.
Don’t believe me? Ask your tarot reader questions. It doesn’t matter. You got money troubles? What is your soul asking you to acknowledge of your SELF? Career problems? What’s your soul calling you to do? Relationship problems? What’s not being addressed in your soul? Addiction issues? Seriously, that’s your soul calling out for fucking help. Ask me how I know…
Those posts on Instagram aren’t merely random words strung together. They’re not a regurgitation of the books from the decks. They’re from the heart and I hope they help you on your journey.