Thursday, December 28, 2017

Tarot Tips

A few people have asked me to talk a little bit about how I read tarot, so I thought I'd do an example reading for you.  The deck I'm using is the Deviant Moon Tarot, which I strongly recommend.  It's also available as an app from Fool's Dog (full disclosure: the owners of Fool's Dog are friends).  I've tried below to narrate my thinking as I progress thru the reading, so you can see how I do it. 

The question was "What can I do to make my business more successful in 2018?"

Now the first thing I notice is that I got three trump cards, which is generally a sign that there's more powerful forces at play here than one would generally expect from such a straight forward and mundane-seeming question.  (although, to be fair, the Witch for Hire biz is not so mundane and straight-forward as all that).  I'll come back to this point when I do the actual reading.

The next thing I do is look at the generally "geometry" of how the cards line up together.  Here, you can see, the two figures on the ends are looking in at the central card.  That tells me that the real "meat" of the answer is that central card, and the other two are related to it.

Next, I look to see if any figures are repeated.  Here, I notice that the red devil of the last card is also present at the top of the Wheel of Fortune.  I also see that the emaciated figure of the Hermit has a fat (pregnant?) twin on the stool in the middle card.  Finally, I see the fish in the Hermit is repeated around the edge of the wheel itself.  One of the things I like about these cards is that they have a lot of those sorts of details.  These repetitions will help me divine a narrative connecting the individual cards.

Next, I think about each card individually, paying attention to whatever particular details that caught my eye this time I saw it (which are different in every different reading, and one reason I like art-dense decks):  

In the Past, The Hermit:  I've been avoiding networking and advertising, because I'm super shy, and I honestly hate that kind of hand-shaking small-talk schtick.  Sigh.  But, I know it has to be done.  In the background, I see an industrial city, which I understand to be Pittsburgh, where I live.  I should be networking more here.  The horns of the moon point backwards, which is another signal that the force of this card's effect is in the past.  At this point in my analysis, I'm not quite sure what the deal with the fish is.  Generally, I understand fish to be a sign of prosperity (I'm not sure why; I think it has something to do with a story I read on a plaque next to a koi pond in a Chinese restaurant when I was little).  They also relate to Pisces, which is my birth sign.  Perhaps it's that the fish is left on the ground to rot, I understand to mean that I am leaving my prosperity on the ground by not using my inborn talents (much as I hate it, I'm pretty good at small talk).  I don't worry about it, or try to puzzle it out at this stage.  I just stay open to inspiration and messages from my spirits, and have faith it will become clear as I continue to read the cards.  If it is still unclear at the end, I will do some more intellectual analysis.

In the Present, The Wheel of Fortune:  Generally, the Wheel of Fortune indicates that the situation is very fluid, and liable to be moved by the tides of destiny.  It also reminds us that the central lesson of the Wheel of Fortune is that good times come and go, around and around, and that only in the center is there stability.   Don't get sidetracked by the flash of fortune, but remain centered.  Ha!  Nice try, cards!  But I asked about finances and business.  None of your mystic woo!  Back to work!  At first I understood the woman in red to be reading for the person on the stool, but then I saw the microphone in her hand.  That made it seem, instead, that she was bidding the person on the stool to speak.  I think that the person on the stool is me.  Where I was the Hermit, now the spirits, for the woman in red suddenly puts me much in mind of the great Earth Goddesses who inspire oracles, and she bids me speak.  In this context, the Wheel of Fortune is a very clear signal that the part of my business I should focus on is the divination.  Perhaps I should start writing some blog posts about the kinds of tarot readings I do?  ;)   As the the fish along side the wheel, I am still unclear as to what they mean.  They have, however, multiplied, and multiplying fishes seems like a clear sign of prosperity.  They both face up, rather than facing around the wheel, as they would to indicate it's motion.  they seem to be paying homage to the red devil at the top, who plays the wheel of fortune like a drum.  I know the devil might seem all ookey spookey, but to me, he is my beloved Teacher, He of the Crossroad.  Once, long ago, Jason Miller gave me a piece of advice on tarot reading.  He said "read like the devil", a phrase I believe he picked up from Camelia Elias.  I understood him to mean that I should be penetrating and precise, holding nothing back and softening no edges, while still aiming for those precise spots most open to change.  In any case, there is no question that cartomancy is, indeed, "The Devil's Book", so this seems a clear sign.  Particularly given that the final card is...

In the Future, The Devil: 
I've already spoken about the Devil's role as patron of cartomancy, so that meaning seems clear enough.  For me, the Devil card almost always tells of the relationship to a spirit ally, although that is not necessarily how I read it when it appears for other people.  Notice how, in this particular card, the moon's horns point right?  That is a sign that the card's effects point to the future, even tho the "action" on the card is facing back.  The Devil of the future is informing the Wheel of Fortune in the present.  This is a very clear sign of magic, when causes come after their effects.  So, I must do some magic in the near future (I know it's the near future because of the slimness of the moon; a fatter moon would indicate more time).  I must dance with the devil, which, really, is one of my favorite things to do!

So, altogether, the reading is a clear indication that I need to focus on the divination aspect of my business, building it up with a combination of old-fashioned networking and sorcery.  One aspect of that is this "Tarot Tips" blog post.  I hope you've enjoyed seeing how my readings work, and I hope you picked up some inspirational tips you can integrate into your own readings.  To learn more:

Watch this space for more tarot tips in the future, and let me know what else you'd like to see!


  1. I loved this. Thanks for sharing. Your ability to outline your thinking process was clear and accessible!

  2. Thank you! I also sell lessons, if you'd like to learn more.