Sample Tarot Reading


Following is a sample tarot reading. It follows the model used by the tarot reading service offered on this site, in which (1) the person requesting a reading is asked to send in a brief description of himself or herself, a first name (if possible) or pseudonym, an astrological (Sun) sign (if desired), and a major question or issue which he/she wants to gain some understanding about; (2) the service replies with a reading, which will offer several possible lines of interpretation, if applicable (thus leaving the subject with the opportunity and responsibility to fine-tune the reading to his/her life. Since the interactive nature of the service is limited, this is important, because it allows the subject to make a choice about what speaks to him/her the most, from the complexity of the cards.) (3) The subject is then entitled to one follow-up communication, asking for clarification on certain points (not a new reading. In this case the service will reexamine the original spread with the object of clarifying certain matters, as they appear in that spread. In cases, new "clarifying cards" may be thrown down.) (4) The service provides the additional analysis (if possible) to the subject.

Text included inside square brackets, [ ], is not part of the response to the subject, but is, instead, included for the benefit of people using this website, to help shed more light on the interpretive methods and style used in the reading.

The Subjectís Initial Contact Letter

My name is Inga, and I am interested in having a tarot reading done for me. I am presently working as a receptionist in an international trading company. My work life could be better, but it is not beyond the point of bearing. I love medieval legends, stories, and fairy tales, and often wish I could live in another time and place. The main questions I would like answered have to do with my love life. I want to know why I have so many problems establishing a stable relationship with a nice man. I just seem to go from one failed relationship to another. Of course, I also want to know what the future holds. Do I have anything to look forward to in the near future? My astrological sign is Pisces.

The Tarot Reading Provided By The Service

Dear Inga,

Thanks for your letter.

A reading was done for you using the Mythic Tarot Deck which has been described on our web site. The cards were laid down according to the Celtic Cross spread described on this site.

The cards drawn in your reading were:

1. The High Priestess

2. The Magician

3. The 10 of Cups

4. The Queen of Wands

5. The Devil

6. The 8 of Wands

7. The 2 of Cups

8. The Wheel of Fortune

9. Judgment

10. The Page of Pentacles

The first card represents you as The High Priestess, who in the Mythic Tarot, symbolizes Persephone, daughter of Demeter, the Goddess of Fertility. This card probably represents some of your qualities, an individual seeking contact with her inner self, and intuition; an individual who may have some interests in the occult, the mysteries of life, the world of dreams and fantasy. The card also represents the birth of something in the unconscious, something you do not see at the moment, something invisible, which is being put together beyond your knowing in the depths of your soul - perhaps a solution or new understanding of the situation. In ancient Greek myth, Persephone was kidnapped from the earth by the God of the Underworld, and had to live with him in his dark realm for part of the year. So I also think this card relates to your own sorrow, a part of you that feels separated from the world, melancholy, and isolated. But, just as the spring reemerges at the end of the winter, that introspective, sad state may be setting the stage for a new engagement with life.

The second card, The Magician, symbolizes the major obstacle that you face at this time in your life, in terms of the question you asked. The Magician is a figure of great power, charisma, persuasiveness, and, of course, "magic." In the Mythic Tarot, he is represented by Hermes, the Messenger of the Gods, known for his cleverness and, at times, his deceptiveness. Some have compared him to the folkloric figure of "The Trickster", whose cleverness can both help and harm. The Magician could stand for a man, or the men, in your life, who created the illusion of being what you wanted, then transformed into something else, vanishing in a puff of smoke to leave you with something very different than what you started out with. But, of course, the illusion was not merely a product of their behavior, it was also a product of your perception, which may have been driven by your need, to ignore important clues, distort reality, and turn thieves into kings. You may have "projected" some of your longings from the world of fairy tales, onto them, adorning them with your wishes, and your own soulís beauty, "re-creating" them to be "worthy of a princess", rather than seeing them as they really were.

The third card drawn, The 10 of Cups, seems to represent what you are longing for, a dream of love fulfilled, a blissful home, perhaps children and a family: the happy ending to your long, hard struggle on the road of love. [ The 3rd card drawn in this spread should represent Ingaís current situation, on the surface - what is visible to the eye. On the other hand, Ingaís description of her situation makes it clear that she is very far removed from the bliss portrayed on this card. So it seems that the card most likely applies to an inner state, an expectation, a hope, which is important to her at this time in her life.]

The fourth card, The Queen of Wands, perfectly represents the depths of your current situation. In the Mythic Tarot, this card represents the person of Penelope, who was the wife of Odysseus, the Greek warrior and adventurer. For 20 years Odysseus (Ulysses) was away from home, first gone to war, then lost at sea. Rumors of his death abounded, but Penelope remained loyal, faithful, and true to the husband she believed might still be alive and return to her, even as many other men who wanted to exploit her pressed her to give up on him and marry them, instead. In the image of Penelope, I see your high ideals and expectations for a partner, your commitment to a love that will live up to those expectations, your willingness to wait to get what you want. Even if you sometimes feel impatient, and unlucky in love, it may be this dynamic which is somehow contributing to the disintegration of your relationships, as the part of you that aspires to find "the perfect man", "rejects" the men who do not "meet your standards", even as it seems you have given yourself to them. You may not make the effort and adjustments necessary to preserve some relationships, because, deep in your heart, you are still looking for something better - perhaps the "return" of your long-lost soul mate.

The fifth card in the spread is The Devil. You might well think it applies to one of your former boyfriends, or even to all of them! But, chances are, it actually applies to some inner dynamic within yourself, which is partly responsible for generating your problems in love. It is best not to think of The Devil as Satan, or the force of evil - in the Mythic Tarot he is represented by the half-man, half-goat figure of Pan - but as a force of negativity and adversity, which oftentimes lies at least partly within us. In both the Rider-Waite and Mythic decks, this card features naked human beings, either bound in chains or restrained by leashes, underneath the power of the Dark Master, which is usually nothing more than a part of their own psyche: a pattern of behavior, a fear, a desire that holds them in bondage, and limits them from finding happiness or freedom. Liberation comes with self-understanding, by escaping from a false level of need to reach a truer level of need.

The sixth card drawn is The 8 of Wands. In the Mythic deck, this represents the voyage of Jason back home after he had finished his struggle to complete the quest of recovering The Golden Fleece, a legendary treasure. The card symbolizes "smooth sailing", a release from the strife that went before, and it may indicate a trip of some kind in your future. Since the 5th card and the 6th card usually represent a development over time, these two cards, combined, seem to indicate that some inner obstacle is in the process of being resolved, perhaps as a result of the introspection shown in the card of The High Priestess. You will feel a sense of relief, and freedom. This may come about as the result of a trip (a trip which you take somewhere, which may just help you to "get away from it all", or on the other hand, lead directly or indirectly to you meeting someone new. The arrival of someone new, a traveler, may also be indicated.) Or it could be a signal for you to use insights you have already gained (treasure), and to sail back home with them (apply them).

The seventh card in the spread is The 2 of Cups, a card which could signal the beginning of a new relationship in the near future. In the Mythic imagery, Psyche, a mortal stranded upon a lonely rock, is visited by the God Eros, golden, and flying to her with the Cup of Love in his hands. Psycheís love force, her love need, has found someone concrete to seek a connection with, and there is the aura of a rescue, as love brings back meaning to her life.

The eighth card in the spread is The Wheel of Fortune. It is a card of uncertainty and change. For those who are perfectly happy with everything the way it is, it could represent a threat, though it could also represent a chance to discover something new, on the other side of the routine. For those who are dissatisfied, its flux could represent a wonderful opportunity. The individual must be prepared, for the ultimate effect of this card often depends upon the individualís adaptability, resilience, and alertness. In your case, Inga, I feel that this card indicates the opportunity for your love situation to change, and for your "down" to go "up." [ In theory, according to the spread I use, this card should indicate "The Views of Others", or how other people perceive us. While this positional context for the card could be strictly maintained - in which case, I would have to say that other people regarded Inga as undependable, and perhaps moody or erratic, like a revolving wheel, which could be a major cause of her relationship problems - I chose to "let go" of the position, and to intuitively free-interpret the card, outside of the formal "structure" of the spread. To me, it just "seemed" natural to interpret it the way I did, and to connect it more to the total web of the cards, than to a single, fixed positional meaning.]

The ninth card in the spread is Judgment. It is an impressive card in most decks, featuring souls on "The Day of Judgment." Two interpretive possibilities "hit" me. Since this card is in the ninth position (Your Hopes and Fears), it may indicate that a part of your relationship problems stems from some force of judgment within yourself. Perhaps you judge others too vigorously, holding them to impossible standards, insisting that they match ideals which do not exist on the earth. Or perhaps you do not judge them carefully enough (you are not selective enough before beginning a new relationship.) Or perhaps, beneath the surface, you have some inhibition or guilt about having a relationship, and fearing "judgment" - the judgment of God, as transmitted by some religious teacher, or the internalized judgment of others (such as parents or relatives or friends), or the judgment of a part of yourself - you seek to avoid that judgment (and potential punishment) by not letting your relationships work. This could involve anything from "picking the wrong guys" (to doom your relationships from the start), to not holding up your end of a relationship. Since I donít know you, I could not say for sure. And I do not want to in any way offend you, but many of us have wishes contrary to our own implanted into our minds, alien desires which we subconsciously enforce in order to please others. - My other line of interpretation is to take this card out of its "Hopes and Fears" position, and just place it in the line of development between cards 7 and 10. In this case, I see you reaching a point in life when you must "take a breather", step back and look within, go over your life, who you are, and make important changes. If it is true that we reap what we sow, it may be time for you to plant a different crop.

The tenth and final card is The Page of Pentacles. Although, no doubt, with your background of medieval legend and lore, you would have preferred to have encountered a knight here, donít despair! In the Tarot, knights are dynamic and impressive, but not necessarily chivalrous and dependable. Some of them, in fact, have a rather bad reputation! The Page of Pentacles represents a young, or not totally developed (in terms of life-standing) individual. The individual is hard-working, serious, responsible. He may also be shy, not as charismatic or outwardly confident or "on display", like a peacock, as some of the male figures who sometimes exert an attractive influence. But he should not be underestimated, for while some men are more impressive on the outside, he has sincerity and the promise of a beautiful soul growing greater, each day, inside of him. Although he has potential in the economic realm, he has not yet manifested it in a way that stands out. In the Mythic deck, the Page of Pentacles is represented by Triptolemus, a hard-working youth from Eleusis who one day witnessed the abduction of Persephone by Hades, God of the Underworld, who dragged her back, in his chariot, into his dark realm through a chasm in the earth. Demeter, who was the Goddess of the Earthís Fertility, was Persephoneís mother; and as soon as she lost touch with her beloved daughter, she ceased her work of keeping the earth alive, and began to search for Persephone near and far. As a result of this neglect, this grieving, the plants withered, and the earth became barren (autumn and winter arrived). It is important to note that it is Triptolemus who was able to tell Demeter what had happened to her daughter, and where she was, setting the stage for Persephoneís recovery. (Once mother and daughter were reunited, in a deal that let Persephone stay up in the world with her mother for part of the year, her motherís joy and life-giving power returned, and the spring arrived.) All of this is important, because the first card laid down in this spread, representing you and your introspection, and perhaps depression, was The High Priestess, or Persephone. The Page of Pentacles, or Triptolemus, is the one whose vision and compassion led to the recovery of Persephone from the world of darkness! The Page of Pentacles embodies not only a person in your future, who just might be the one you are looking for, but, also, your own development of the vision and perspective that will allow you to rescue yourself from melancholy, by better understanding who you are, and what you need, and by being able to recognize the right man when he comes.

In conclusion, according to the cards, introspection and self-analysis will be productive for you at this time of life. Donít rush into another relationship just to escape the pain. That will just produce a recurring pattern of failure, frustration, and disappointment. Be careful to look past the aura or charisma of potential love interests, to see what they are really about, and make sure that you do not "overdress" the people you meet with your own soul qualities, wishes, and hopes; see them as they come. Of course, socializing is fine, but do so with less expectations, and with a greater intention to observe. The more you are able to tolerate some degree of loneliness, the more emotional space you will be able to leave for detecting major faults that lie beneath the surface.

As you look inside yourself, make an effort to discover anything that might be "holding you back" - attitudes, fears, the internalized judgment of others, unrealistic expectations. Encountering the right man is not only a matter of Destiny, the Stars and Fate, it is also a matter of internal work to make you better able to find, recognize, attract, accept, and keep him. This is not a suggestion that you blame yourself for anything that has happened, only that you seek to become aware of the internal dynamics that will be most likely to produce the results you seek.

Be patient, but also alert for opportunity. When you are ready, you may seek to put yourself into positions where opportunity will be more likely to manifest - but, once again, be patient in the search. This opportunity might come as the result of a trip, which either you, or your prospective love interest, or both, might take.

Be aware that the man who Fate sends to you may not be exactly as you expect him. Be careful not to dismiss him just because he does not fit into your romantic stereotypes, or "sell himself" as effectively as some players of the love game do.

Hopefully, Inga, this will give you something to work with! Take hope, be patient, and God Bless!

The Subjectís Follow-up Letter to the Service

Thank you very much for the reading. I found a great deal of useful information and advice in it. I would like to ask you three more questions associated with my tarot reading. First of all, about the 5th card, what patterns of behavior do you think I could be being held in bondage by? I donít mean the problem about finding the right boyfriends, I mean what is causing that to happen from the inside. Next, about the Judgment card, do you think it could have anything to do with my father? I remember how he forbid me to see a boy I really liked in high school. He said it was because the boy was a liar, because he brought me back late one night from a movie, but I know it was really just because he didnít like something about the boy. Ever since then, I do try to minimize contact between my boyfriends and my father. Finally, I think I have average looks. I try to make up for it by doing a lot with make-up and the clothes I wear when I go out. Do you think I am making a mistake?

Reply of the Service to the Subjectís Follow-up Letter

Dear Inga,

I am glad you found the reading helpful.

Regarding the first question, the pattern of behavior which most likely is affecting you has to do with a tendency to feel too vulnerable or lonely when you are alone, as an "unattached single." This could "force" you to find new boyfriends too quickly, not giving you time to process and grow from previous break-ups. The key to breaking that chain might be to see what lies at the root of that "fear to be alone." Once you are able to better endure solitude, and to feel safe and comfortable with your independence, you will have a better base from which to look for an appropriate partner. You will be able to be patient, selective, and objective.

Regarding the second question, I think your theory is excellent and makes a lot of sense. Your father may have planted the idea in your head that nobody is good enough for you, only someone who is truly amazing (by his standards). This could be because he is overprotective and wants "the best" for you, as he sees it, or even because he is jealous on some level. Not wanting to disappoint him, you may have internalized some measure of his harsh judgment, and, in effect, be playing his role for him, by finding fault with the boyfriends you are with. Thinking they are "not good enough", you may be unconsciously participating in the destruction of these relationships through conflict, or through your active failure to remedy problems when they arise. If this is true, then you will not only have to overcome your fear of (temporarily) being alone; you will also have to make the conscious decision that it is your life, and that you must find the boyfriend who is right for you. Because if you keep looking for the "son-in-law" who is right for your father, you may never find the boyfriend who YOU need - the one who will fulfill you, and make you happy.

Regarding the final question, it is your decision to make. However you choose to date, and to dress and present yourself for a date, you should not hide who you are, or mislead others as to who you are, but accentuate, project, and adorn who you are. I have no problems with that kind of presentation (make-up, sexy clothing, etc.) - few males do! But, if you seek to interest men with a false image that misleads them as to who you are and what you want, or project yourself too superficially, you may attract the wrong men, who are too much a part of the "appearance world." It will then be hard to expect them to give something to you, and to sustain it, on a deeper level. You cannot ask a butterfly to spend his whole life living on one flower, it is just not his nature. The fact that you are asking this question about your dating appearance points to the possibility that it might be a problem, so think about it, and consider doing things differently. Think, for a while, about the medieval lore that you love so much, in which the beauty of a personís soul was so important, and try to recognize that beauty within yourself, and to visualize and feel it spreading throughout your whole body. Let yourself feel beautiful, and believe me, it will begin to show: then, perhaps, tone down the dating apparel a bit. Look for the right kind of guy. Better to meet and attract one man - Mr. Right - than one thousand Mr. Wrongs.

Inga, your future is in your hands. Destiny is on the way, but you must do your inner heart-work to meet It halfway. Take care, and God Bless!

[As you can see, I did not throw down any clarifying cards in this reply to the subjectís follow-up letter. I felt that none were needed, and preferred to continue working with my notes about the spread that had already been put down. Ingaís questions were answered on the basis of those cards, and also, by some plain, old-fashioned counseling.]



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