I selected the Pentacle Reading, which is used for help in the search for wholeness, healing, integration, and spiritual development. Seemed very appropriate. The spread consists of 5 cards, one at each point of the start, each representing an element and, therefore, a concept of the self and the world. The card drawn represents your relationship to that concept, ways to improve it, or how to integrate it with other aspects.
Now, whether you believe in Tarot or not, to me, is kind of irrelevant. Like literary interpretation, what you get out of it is more for you and says more about you than anyone else. So I read the cards partially for divination purposes, but the divination is derived from how I assign meaning to the cards. It works for me and often works for those I read for. That being said, things change – sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. I always advise taking Tarot readings as light guidance with the final decision, as always, being up to you.
Card 1: The Place of the Inner Flame
This card represents intuition and creativity, my relationship to it, or a new idea about to dawn.
Ten of Swords, reversed
Generally speaking, this isn’t a positive card. I mean, just look at it. That is an overabundance of stabbiness. And this card tends to represent suffering or defeat. However, this is not always a bad thing, it just isn’t something that feels good. Attached to this card is a Druid triad: “There are three spiritual instructors: worldly misfortune, bodily illness, and unmerited hatred.”
The suit of Swords is all about the mind and some say the meaning of this card is negative thoughts pinning you down until you are immobilized, whether your own or someone else’s. And, actually, this general feeling of this card is why I decided to go to therapy. I felt like my thought processes weren’t allowing me to get anywhere, to be who I wanted to be… in essence, they were killing me. And really, this is extremely apparent in my trust of myself as I’ve stated in other posts. This card seems extremely appropriate for that. I bog down my intuition and creativity with many negative and often self-harming thoughts.
Now, this card is reversed. Some people to bother with reversals, but I do. I see them as the polarity of the card, the flip side that everything has in order to exist (I enjoyed Derrida in college). In this respect, I see this card as a fairly positive draw. It signals to me that I am on the right track and the suffering that I put myself through is passing and allowing me to grow. One of the lines in the reversal meaning stood out to me – “An opportunity for liberation or change may be on the way. Act on it.”
Card 2: The Place of the Well
This card represents emotions, their role in my life, opportunities to develop emotional maturity, or influences on the heart.
Six of Swords
I’ve always liked this card and it tends to show up for me a lot. It often means a journey of some kind, often over water, which can be literal or metaphorical. In that way, it means healing and respite, an emotional journey that brings you to some place new, a place to rest.
One thing I took from this card that I haven’t really thought about before is the reminder that journeying, both physical and emotional involves growth and healing and, following that, allowing time to rest and recuperate. Today, I watched a TedTalk on emotional hygiene. The psychologist states that we value the body more than the mind so much so that we teach children to brush their teeth and cover a cut, but we are never taught to take care of our psychological health. This is a good reminder to take time for self care.
Card 3: The Place of the Sword
This card represents the role of intellect, clarity, discrimination, and the ability to judge between courses of action. This covers the role of thinking in my life, opportunities for mental development, and influences on my thoughts and judgment.
Princess/Page of Pentacles
Princess or Page cards are about new beginnings, especially that stage where you are still full of hope and intention. Pentacles are about the material world and material manifestations, but this card in particular talks about starting a new phase of creativity, study, and self-reliance, all begun in a good-natured way. The message of the card states to focus on both the seeds of of what you are creating as well as the manifestation.
I’m still ruminating on this card, but my initial thoughts on this center on this blog I have created. This is, more or less, a digital manifestation of what I hope will be a productive spiritual journey. It’s keeping me writing on a regular basis, which I am glad of, however, the point of it is that I spend some time and energy really delving into my spiritual side. I feel, right now, like I don’t fully understand this card, but that it is reminding me to focus more on the spiritual aspect of my journey, to make sure it is not just the manifestation of posts as that would make for a shallow journey overall.
Card 4: The Place of the Stone
This card represents the literal body and the role of sensation (the 5 senses) in my life. It covers how to improve health and influences on the physical world around me.
Prince/Knight of Swords
Prince or Knight cards tend to signify a lot of action, and, in the case of Swords, the action of intellect, which can be good (quick witted) or bad (not thought through). This card, specifically, mentioned a radical change in lifestyle or routine, whether it’s new friends or even a whole new life.
That’s a lot to chew on even in relation to the physical. Right now, I haven’t radically changed my eating or exercise habits, instead focusing on making small changes to improve my health and making them habit. Truth be told, that isn’t working very well for me, although I am slowly losing weight. Maybe it would be best for me to just radically alter my approach to health. I’m going to think on this a bit more.
Card 5: The Place of the Spirit
This card represents exactly what it sounds like it represents, the soul and spiritual connection. This card is supposed to contain the gifts or advice of the transcendent, an idea or symbol to achieve wholeness, balance, integration, or the needs of the soul.
Prince/Knight of Cups, reversed
Ok, so part of this card’s description literally said, “an important phase in your spiritual journey.” It also talked about going into unsettling territory with artistic or poetic inspiration and not being afraid of it. Part of the reversal portion warns against deception , specifically hiding from yourself or others. I feel like this is more of a reminder not to get caught up in wanting this spiritual journey to be neat or pretty. It would be nice, but that’s not how it works.
There are two other things I’m taking from this card: the first is that I need to remember that, despite how much thinking I’m doing, this spiritual journey is about emotional healing (embodied by the suit of Cups), so I need to make sure I’m not logicking everything out and actually allowing myself to feel things. The second is that this kind of journey takes time. Of all the prince/knight cards, this one is the slowest. The horse is all but standing still and yet the man is barefoot, he has no intention of stopping.
After laying out cards, I usually examine the relationships between them and any patterns that emerge. In this case, I have a lot of swords, which makes sense and is pretty normal for me – I spend a lot of time in my head. That being said, there’s two areas that are not swords, my soul card and, somewhat ironically, my thinking card. Both cards have elements of creativity, and, really, the Princess of Pentacles may be material, but she is still studious.
The Sword cards are all on the bottom of my reading, two of them have a lot of movement (with the Prince meaning literally action and that 6 of Swords signifying a journey) and they surround the third, which is pinned. This may mean that the key to unblocking my intuition is in moving out of my comfort zone and doing so thoughtfully.
I also have a lot of Court cards, two of which are princes, standing for action and movement. There’s a couple of ways for me to analyze this. None of the Court cards of from the same suit and none of the suits of the cards drawn match up with the elements for the spots they are in, neither do the elements of the rank of the cards match the elements of the placement. They do make up the last three cards of the drawing, with the Princess leading, then the Princes following behind. Additionally, one idea for reading the prince cards is to study what card their horsed are pointed at. Technically, both of my princes are pointed at the Princess, who is turned away from them. To me, this signifies that the best way for me to take action in improving my health and my spiritual journey is to study intently and look at what I want and how to manifest it.
That’s where I’m at for right now, but part of the purpose for doing a yearly reading is to see how things evolve and to meditate on the relationships between the cards. I’ll keep you posted with any updates or insights.