Tarot Exercise: What your favorite card says about you

tarot-talkI found this interesting little exercise on the Daily Tarot Girl blog about what your favorite tarot card says about you and I thought it might be interesting to try it and then share it with you.

I don’t entirely agree with one section of the exercise, but I’ll talk about that when we come to it.  The instructions say to flip through your tarot deck until you find your favorite card, or if you don’t have a favorite to find one that particularly calls to you.  I’ve already talked about some of my favorites (The Moon, The Star, The Hermit) so I decided to take a deck I use infrequently and flip through it until I found a card that spoke to me.

Using the Universal Fantasy deck I chose the Two of Cups.

2_of_cupsCard chosen I proceeded to the exercise.

Key #1: Color
What color is most prominent in your favorite Tarot card? This tells you what is most important to you right now.

Looking at this card my first thought was purple, secondary looking gives me gold and red, but I decided to go with my instant first impression of purple.

Purple – You are strongly focused on spirituality at the moment. You are in the process of getting in touch with your own divinity and connecting to spirit. You share many of the blue/green traits, but you are very interested in things like astrology, the cosmos, reading channeled books, ascension, hypnosis and activating your psychic abilities. Others may think you are weird – but you could care less!”

Hmm, I’d say partly true, and I do strongly associate the color purple with Spirit and I have been doing some work around intuition lately.

 

Key #2: Gender
If there is a figure on the Tarot card, is it male, female or androgynous?

Here’s where I differ a bit in the interpretation.  The exercise has this to say:

“This symbolizes the energy that you are most closely aligned with at the moment. If the figure is a male, you are probably quite focused on doing, whereas if the figure is female, you are likely more focused on being.”

Firstly, it doesn’t really take into account that there are two differently gendered persons on my card and I object to the active/passive characterization and having it tied to genders. So, well, that’s my two cents on the matter.  If I do this exercise again I would just skip Key 2.  Or work on rephrasing this or coming to a different understanding of a way to read the energy in the card that wasn’t tied to socially constructed ideas of gender roles.

 

Key #3: Action
Is there any action going on in your favorite Tarot card? Whats happening in it?

Let’s see, in my card we see a male presenting figure looking into a mirror and seeing a female presenting figure.  One of the things that drew me to this card was the fact that I recognized a possible trans narrative in it.  The two of cups can means a partnership or relationship, but it can also mean acknowledging a bond or coming towards acceptance of a situation and getting a positive response.  If I were reading for a gender variant person and this card appeared it would be extremely encouraging.

You could also read this as the fantasy world equivalent of Skype where two people are speaking to each other over a great distance.  Perhaps one is a warrior fighting in a distant conflict, stealing a precious chance to talk to someone back at home.  Or maybe it’s an arranged marriage and the two are meeting for the first time over magical Skype.

You could really go in a ton of directions reading this image.  I’m going to stick with my first and strongest impression, that of a trans person seeing their true self in the mirror.

That reading tells me that in the forefront of my mind are transformation and the struggle to speak and live our truths.  With all the hate for GLBTQ+ folks that’s been moving around that makes a lot of sense.  I also am reminded to try to be more inclusive of my trans siblings whenever and wherever I can.

 

Key #4: Symbols
Is there a particular symbol in the card that stands out to you?
Look into the spiritual significance of this symbol or ask yourself what you think this symbol means. Chances are it represents something you are desiring or something that is important to you.

Mirrors –  Seeing yourself reflected, self image, distorted perceptions of myself.  I’m dealing with some health things lately and I’ve been avoiding rescheduling a doctor’s appointment.  It could be a subtle dig at me to go do that.

Cups – The holy grail jumped to mind as I was thinking about this symbol.  The whole idea of a mythical holy relic that has been lost to time.  Something you’re always questing after that has mythical magical properties. Maybe it means that I’m searching for something that always seems just out of reach.

It’s an interesting exercise if you’re looking to deepen your understanding of a card.  It’s a decent way to do a little self reflective work.  What other keys might you have included?  What card is your favorite?  Let me know in the comments.

Card of the Day: Two of Swords

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Today’s card is the Two of Swords from the Happy Tarot.

This is one of the least ‘happy’ cards in the Happy Tarot at first glance.  The card depicts a IMG_0454blindfolded woman in a chair, carrying two crossed swords.  It’s the middle of the night and only a crescent moon casts a dim and hazy light over the scene.  She sits with her back to a rushing river.

Her entire posture seems to be one of a stubborn refusal to acknowledge or accept something.  It could be that she’s trying to keep out of a deeply emotional situation that she’s feeling overwhelmed by (which could be what the river represents).

She holds those swords closely over her chest, almost like she’s struggling to balance them or brandishing them at unseen enemies.  Cats look on with curiosity and perhaps a little wariness.

Looking more closely at the card you can see that she isn’t tied to her spot, she could at any point, set down the swords and remove her own blindfold.  This card isn’t one about being held down by external forces.  It’s talking about being in a situation and choosing not to deal with what’s going on.

The other thing to consider is the way she’s got the swords crossed over her heart.  Literally protecting it with weapons.  I think it’s important to recognize that this card isn’t saying that the woman has made a bad or unreasonable choice here.  Sometimes situations force you to cut yourself off from things or people that are harmful to you, and it’s always okay to take steps to take care of yourself.  The message here is to be careful of closing yourself off completely to everything.  The more we close off from everyone and everything around us, the further away we get from those things that can help us.  It’s kind of (pardon the semi-pun) a double-edged sword (get it, two of swords? Okay, I’m done, I promise).

Ignoring a problem isn’t going to solve it in most cases.  It’s okay to take a break and gather yourself before you try to face down a giant beast, but try not to let it get the best of you so you don’t end up blindfolded on a chair.

Card of the Day: Two of Wands

S W I M I N T H E S E A

Two of Wands

Today’s card comes from the Universal Goddess Tarot deck.  It’s the Two of Wands and it depicts Ataentsic, an Iroquoian goddess.

img_0542Two little boys are engaged in a fight with each other with their wands.  At first glance it looks really dangerous: those wands are on fire, after all.  But a maternal figure is watching over the scene with her arms outstretched–she almost looks like she’s about to embrace them.  The expression on the boys’ faces are sort of mixed, as though they’re not sure what they’re doing, or that they’re reluctant to fight but determined to win.  But if you only look at their feet, this isn’t a fight at all any more.  It’s a dance.

The Two of Wands speaks to a relationship between two things.  It could be two people, two ideas, two places, any kind of duality.  A casual observer sees a conflict, two situations fighting against each other to beat out the other.  Depending on where you look in this card you’ll see a lot of different ways to interpret the action.  Imagine that you’re standing directly behind one of the boys.  It might look like he’s trying to defend himself.  Stand behind the woman and you’re watching her teach them intricate steps of a dance.

The boys are dressed in dark and light costumes, and you could view them as two sides of a coin: one side must come out on top.  Or you could take a more Taoist view and see them as the yin and yang, each must balance out the other.  You may notice that I’m deliberately not talking about them as good vs. evil.  The concept of whiteness being good/pure and blackness being bad/dirty is a hurtful concept that devalues people of color by declaring whiteness to be superior.  It’s more productive to talk about the balance of energies.  Neither is inherently superior and that’s what this card is telling us.

This card reminds us to carefully consider options when we’re faced with a challenge.  You might first think you have to make a choice, one or the other, when really you could have both.  It’s a delicate balance: if one of the boys misses a step, he risks hitting his friend, or even setting him on fire.  The suit of wands is the suit of fire and it can be interpreted a few ways.  It might be that spark of inspiration that lights the way to a new way of life, or it could be that faithful night light, guiding you through the darkness.

There are two players in this dance or there are two opponents in this fight.  Can you resolve the conflict without a fight or do you have to take your place in the dance?  It might be frightening to be caught in the middle of all of this action, but this card also offers comfort.  The whole mess is being watched over by a kind maternal goddess.  The card doesn’t specify, but in some Iroquoian legends she’s the mother of twin warriors, and this card feels that way to me.

Consider all your options and double check what assumptions you might be making, did you bring a knife to a dance fight?  But don’t worry too much, you’ve got someone looking out for you.