A Tarot Reading is fast, specific, and thorough. It’s one of the most convenient ways to provoke and challenge your own assumptions about yourself, your life trajectory, and the world around you. By drawing a few cards, you’re cleaning out your existential purse. The best way to deal with a disorganized mess of stuff is to dump it all on a table and sort through each piece individually. This is exactly what Tarot does to your thoughts and feelings. It won’t allow you to take any aspect of your own life for granted. It will hold up a mirror to the most neglected characters in the theater of your mind. It will shine a light to reveal hidden trap doors out from under a bad story you’ve been telling yourself.
Tarot is quickly outgrowing its reputation as a future-telling ritual. A new generation of readers has unlocked the multifaceted power of symbolic card decks, creating a much wider and healthier practice of readings designed for all manner of purposes. You can do a reading to resolve a personal dilemma. You can do a reading to turn an acquaintance into a friend. You can do a reading to brainstorm at the beginning of a large complex creative project. You can do a reading as a regular reminder that meaning and thoughts and feelings and joy and truth and love and despair and faith and grief are all real things that the whole world is doing, has been doing before you were born, and will continue to do long after you’ve passed.
So use Tarot as your Rosetta Stone for deciphering the mysteries of your inner world. Use Tarot as an improvisational mythology that gently pulls the profound out of the mundane. Use Tarot to throw your life onto the grand stage of human poetry, and capture a glimpse of yourself perfectly in tune with the mad and beautiful cosmic song.
Tarot, like any language, can be whatever you want it to be. Therefore, I want this reading to be a clear reflecting pool for the person reading it right now. I want to show you something about what’s going on in your life, something that can only be found along the way as I look at these cards and capture what comes up. Here we go.
Your 3-Card Reading for May 25, 2019
Your greatest challenge at this time
What you’re being invited to receive to overcome this challenge
What you’re being invited to give to overcome this challenge
Your greatest challenge at this time: 5 of Discs
Discs represent the Earth, and all things of the material world: wealth, money, resources, power, influence, time, productivity, energy. Discs are everything that gives life solid physical forms, and everything that keeps those forms in active motion. The suit of Discs represents how we relate to physical things, including our own physical body. We give, we receive, we build, we cultivate, we save, we spend, we borrow, we owe, we own, we trade, we store. The story told in the suit of Discs is the story of rises and falls in prosperity as we interact with the dance of practical value itself.
5 of Discs represents a moment when we are challenged to reconcile with the concept of lack. No one goes through this life without feeling that they don’t have enough of something, and then deciding what they’re willing to do to get more of it. Are we comfortable with where we are, or do we yearn for more time, more freedom, more power? What are you willing to go hungry for? How do you really define wealth for yourself? What does inequality mean to you? This card appearing in your challenge position means now is the time to get serious about your true principles and your true desires.
Do you want to give up all of your posessions and live a life of renunciation, so that you might provide pure service to others? Do you want to move massive wealth through your hands, so that you might provide a river of prosperity to others? If you feel either, or perhaps somewhere in the middle, it’s time to be honest about how closely the actual circumstances of your life are matching up to those feelings. Do you want what you say you want, or do you want to merely find a comfortable way to just hold yourself forever within that sensation of wanting?
What you’re being invited to receive: The Lovers
The Lovers is a Major Arcana. These are the big ticket items, the core energies of life’s language of experience. They are the primary movers from which all other things in your existence are moved. They are the forces and feelings that remain when all of the mundane details of our little affairs are discarded. To draw a Major Arcana in a reading is an opportunity to make a connection with the most essential building blocks of your foundational self.
The Lovers represents the inexhaustible power of love itself. It is the sum of the full spectrum of our feelings of beautiful connections with family, friends, intimate partners, and community. It is the magic power that is unleashed by pure connection itself. It’s love making the world go round. When this card comes up, it represents the best kinds of fullness and radiance that our hearts are capable of, and the essential necessity of the act of making two into one.
To draw The Lovers as that which you are now being invited to receive means that the answers to your challenge cannot be found alone. It could be that part of the challenge has come feeling the need to face it alone. We fall into traps of believing things like “If you’ve got money problems, that’s your own personal business.” or “If you see unacceptable inequality in the world, you should be focusing on yourself instead.”. Wealth and power are constant sources of shame and fear. True love is the only antidote to shame and fear, so you’re being invited to focus on accepting love into your life. Are your frustrations with money and value the physical manifestation of inner feelings of unworthiness or uselessness? Maybe we seek an excess of material security when we are lacking emotional connection. Maybe opening up to that connection is the first step that needs to be made before addressing the practical sides of the issue.
What you’re being invited to give: Ace of Swords
Swords represent the element of Air. The suit of Swords depicts the ways we relate to mind, which is made of language. To speak, to write, to articulate, to express oneself, these actions are the domain of the Sword. To master your Sword is to master your Word. The journey depicted in the progression of the Swords from Ace to 10 is the journey of learning how to choose ones thoughts, and how to construct a healthy ego. Part of that process necessarily involves the ego becoming bloated and then bursting like a bloom of seeds that will grow into the next ego. The more we grow and shed our ego-minds, the more depth of meaning we uncover.
Aces represent the energy of their suit at its most pure, most potent. It’s like fruit off the vine, or a pure mountain spring. It’s the untouched natural quality of the suit’s power before that power even enters the realm of human affairs. The Ace of Swords represents the flowing nature of the mind. Our thoughts are a song that doesn’t end. We are constantly riffing and improvising along a thought-tune that continuously circles back to repeating cycles and refrains. The best representation of an Ace of Swords would be a freestyle rapper, who masters their craft by loosening their grip and allowing the pure flow of words to move through them.
To draw the Ace of Swords as that which you are being invited to give could mean that you’ve been a bit too locked up about this central challenge. You’ve been thinking a looping thought over and over again about how much you’re in a bad situation and you’re a bad person for allowing yourself to get into that situation. You have not fully articulated the problem, so you cannot see it from all angles. Your self-hating thoughts about your own wealth and power are stuck inside you, and you need to get them out so that new thoughts can unfold.
Putting it all together
What I see in this reading is someone who is frustrated with a specific power dynamic. They can’t fully accept some drastic imbalance in their life. A debt that needs paying. An injustice that has gone unnoticed. They don’t know whether to fight it head on, outmaneuver it, or ignore it, and it sticks in the front of their mind like a stain on their windshield. The continued presence of this issue has been a drag on the momentum of their life for too long.
What they haven’t fully accepted is that underneath the surface of this seemingly material conflict, there is a deep emotional, almost spiritual need that has gone unmet. How you do one thing is how you do everything. You cannot have a healthy flow of wealth and power in your life and an unhealthy flow of love and connection in your life, or vice versa. Take a break from turning the logistical rubix cube over and over in your hands, and just open yourself up to radical emotional vulnerability. Watch how the reception of a transmission of love is accompanied by a reception of a transmission of material harmony.
The best way to open yourself up to this love is to spill your guts. Create an opportunity for long, in-depth conversations. Pour your feelings into some kind of vocal performance. Write a long vulnerable social media post that you only share with those closest to you. Open up about that central challenge or frustration you’ve been hiding from everyone. Don’t keep anything in. Get it all out. Overshare if you have to. Write it down on a piece of paper and burn it if you have to. There’s some rotten bags of green fuzzy mush in your mental refrigerator shelves and the only way to clean it out is to express every inch of it.
Once upon a time someone said that we are constantly surrounded by very intelligent and powerful magical spirits who love us very much. Although we can’t see them, they are capable of subtly shifting events and circumstances in order to make our life more beautiful and harmonious. However, they are bound by strict rules, and can only provide this help if we specifically ask for it. Your homework assignment is to write a letter to these spirits asking for their help. Give yourself permission to take their magical presence and power seriously, even if only temporarily. Once you’ve finished, read it over and then write a second draft. This new draft will be gently adjusted to say essentially the same thing, except you’re asking for help from the actual people in your life. You’ll know exactly what to do with the letters, but only once you’ve finished both of them.
I hope this reading has been helpful.
Brian Duffy has been studying Tarot for more than 10 years, and regularly performs readings at public events and private parties. He also conducts individual readings, and teaches classes.
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