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Written March 5, 2021, last changed April 2, 2021

The tarot is a divination tool. Specifically, it’s a powerful and dangerous tool for turning your own perspective inside out, drawing unexpected associations, and breaking out of cycles.

I use the tarot in a couple ways.

First, when I’m in need of self-transformation, I turn to the tarot to answer hard & complicated questions. “What am I feeling about this situation?”, “What am I forgetting?”, “What do I need to help me grow?”. It’s important to only ask questions when you’re willing to get an answer that you won’t like. I draw a single card, first, to set the tone of the reading. Then I draw additional cards when the meaning is too ambiguous or muddy (and it always is, at first), or to answer follow-up questions.

Second, I also use it for private journaling prompts, drawing a single card and allowing it to shape my musings in whatever directions they like to go.

The Magician The Suit of Wands The Suit of Swords


My feeling is that clarifiers are good practice, and should be used early and often, regardless of the presence of reversals. There is no shame in pulling more cards to interpret the meaning of a spread position, especially for arcana where there is grounds for ambiguity. Consider the ever-vexing court cards- are they indicating the querent, someone else, or something else entirely? Why leave your querent hanging if you can triangulate that information with just a bit more data?

I tend to pull two cards for each position from the start because the nuance allows for sharper targeting and stronger oracle-to-human communication. Making precise calls with the cards can be anxiety-provoking, but is a skill worth pursuing. Trust Tarot to lead you to surprising places, and it will. Hold back, and you will often find that what you have left unspoken is verified later.

For uprightcards, I tend to think of a clarified position as “this, informed by this.”
For reversals, I tend to think: “not quite this, as informed by this.”

A More General Model of Reading Reversed Cards