Why do tarot cards have different meanings with each reading?


Sometimes you might have a reading where one card seems to hold a different meaning than when it came up in another reading.  There are several reasons this can happen, but be assured – the card itself does not change nor does the essence of it change.  What might be different is the nature of the question asked, the position in the spread, the type of spread, and/or the style of the reader.


Let’s start with style. We all know the color blue, but might all describe it differently, for example, so that you never get the exact same description twice.  If that were the case, we could put all the “answers” into a nice computer program and you would not need a tarot reader at all.  The tarot cards are a tool, but the tarot reader is the interpreter.


The nature of the question is another variable that can seem to change the meaning of the tarot card.  Your current question may be about family, whereas the last time your identical card came up, the question might have been about money.  A changed question also changes the interpretation.   Each card of the minor arcana, for example, is part of a suit. The card has certain characteristics it shares with others within the same suit.  The cards of the same number also share certain characteristics.  Low numbers have more in common with each other than high numbers.  There are many factors in play besides just the picture or symbols on the card.  If you wanted the reader to explain every possible thing the card “could” mean, it would take you all day to do a reading.  Your reader takes the issues from the cards which are relevant to your question and generally incorporates only the most important of those into your reading.


Perhaps the most significant way the cards seem to change meaning is the position in the spread.  In a generic three-card spread which reads left to right as “past”, “present” and “future”, for example, even if you could draw the same identical card three times (you can’t, of course!), each position would generate a different meaning.  Some cards are even considered “stronger” in one position than another.


One last thing to consider when wondering about the different meanings of the same card is which deck is used. I almost hesitate to even mention that, because there are so many different decks available with seemingly ambiguous figures compared to the standard Rider-Waite deck that so many of us use.  Each deck comes with its own feel and tone. Some have a more adventurous feel, some are more mystical, others more black and white. Also, the relationship between tarot deck and reader is very personal.  I have 4 decks, two of which I use regularly.  I use one for romantic-type questions and the other for everything else.  If I drew the same card from both decks in the same place with the same question I would still have a different interpretation.


I should counter here, however.  Often a querent will see the same card appear for them again and again.  It could be that the tarot is reiterating a prior reading or trying to send you a stronger message.  If a card does come up for you twice, don’t necessarily disregard that.  It is always best to keep your heart and mind open.



On the Fence? Help With Your Tough Decision


There have been many times in my life I was faced with tough decisions, and, quite frankly, I fell on the wrong side of the fence more times than I care to count.  Yes, the journey has taught me many lessons, but I sometimes wonder  how different my life would have been if I had discovered the tarot much earlier.

Turns out, the tarot can really help when making a tough decision (or any decision)!  There are several ways to go about it:  a simple one-card “yes or no”, can help, but so can an intricate spread designed especially for your particular dilemma.  The great things about  tools of the tarot is that there are so many ways to find your answer.  Read for yourself, have a reading done, simple spread, intricate spread, whatever you decide to do, the tarot is ready to help you.  It does not make your decision for you, however!

The main thing the tarot does is eliminate several dozen other options, and whittle your situation down to one or two issues that may be affecting your indecision.  Once you address these few things, often the answer will be standing right in front of you, “staring you in the face”.  You’ll wonder why you every had any problem deciding at all – it just seems to obvious!  That’s the clarity of the tarot working for you!


Tarot Exercise – colour your own!

got to save this awesome link! Fun way to learn the tarot!

Tarot Taxi

Once upon a time, somewhere on the www, I found uncoloured line-drawn copies of the RWS cards. I have found it very useful to colour my own as a tarot exercise, and am always pleasantly surprised by what is revealed to me in the process. Perhaps it’s because I look at the cards differently during the process of colouring them, seeing details I had not noticed before.

An example of this is the Three of Swords card. When I spent time colouring this card in I unexpectedly noticed  that the swords were sharp upon entering the heart but blunt upon exiting it! Something changed the blades in the process of piercing the heart! This was something I had really not noticed before colouring in my own Three of Swords card. I also noticed for the first time that it was raining (in the card)! In these unexpected discoveries lie exciting new…

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Asking the Right Questions

I want to know...

I want to know…

Isn’t this doggie a cutie?  He’s certainly curious, as I hope you are. I really want to help you, so I’m hoping I can coach you a little into thinking through your questions before you ask.  It’s easy to ask the general things, like “does he love me”? or “will I get a promotion?”, but the best way to serve you is to help you whittle down the question to a precise thing you would like to see happen, and that you feel is possible given the right set of circumstances.

We’re not about raining fire or creating chaos.  The tarot doesn’t judge or take sides.  What we need to do, when we do our work together, is to find the right question for you to ask the tarot.  When the question is in tune with your spirit, i.e. is really what you want and need to know in order to somehow improve your life, the answers flow much more clearly and fully.

Then, if you need further clarification, we can do that too.  So think about what you want to happen, then work backwards until  you find a way to ask the questions that can lead to that happening.  Here is an example.  Let’s say I’m looking to buy a house.

Goal:  to live in a new(er) home in a quiet neighborhood.

we might at first just want to ask “how can I get a new home in a better neighborhood”?  but the more effective question would be “what do I need to do to start working toward finding/obtaining a newer home in a better neighborhood”?

See what we’re doing?  Pulling the question back to ourselves.  Not what can the universe do for me, but how can I follow my true path to get there?  What does the universe already have laid out for me?  How do I know which path to take?  These are the types of questions for which the tarot works best.

Often I have done readings, multiple questions for the same person, and even though the questions may be different, often (quite often in fact) the same cards will come up for that person, even when I use a different deck!  That tells me that there is something within the querent that needs to be worked out along the path these cards suggest – no matter what the question is!  So, we need to be very clear on what we want before we begin.  Broad questions can lead to confusing and misleading answers.

What is Tarot?

Mystic BridgeThe real answer is that it is many things. If a picture tells a thousand words, then a tarot card tells…. well infinite words.  The first decks were developed before most people could read, so the symbolism was very important.  In order to convey a message, the pictures had to tell a story.  Each card has it’s own story – a little vignette, that helps the reader to ascertain what the card may be trying to teach us.  The cards themselves are but a conduit to the spirits – both of the the querent and of the universe.  They assist in conveying a message through the reader. That is why it is so important to me to keep my reading area clear and open to positive energy.  I spend time in contemplation and meditation for each reading  – to insure clarity and also to double check myself, that I am not “projecting” my feelings or hopes into the reading.  There is a great deal of synchronicity involved in the tarot.  It is best to let the universe flow naturally through the reading and through the reader, without trying to force an answer we wish for.  For that reason, it is very important to begin a reading with an open mind.  I believe that works both for the querent and the reader.  So, before you task yourself with wording your question, be sure you are clear of mind, and calm of heart.

Spring Break or No Break: Carve Out Some Down Time



It is Spring Break around here for most students. And while my kid has the week off, I still have to work. Yea it can be tough, but them’s the breaks for working moms sometimes.  Even working moms and other busy women  (yes I am talking to you) can find clever ways to carve out little bits of “down time”. 

Be in the moment.

Rather than “sigh” every time my son says “Maaauumm”, I try to revel in the sound of his 11 year old voice and remember there will be times when I wish I could hear him call me.  I try to be thankful that I mean so much to this special little person.  I find a way to make our little day-to-day interaction a little less hum drum, with a funny face or a surprise tickle, or mock imitation back “Whaaauuuttt”?

Create your own moment.

It doesn’t take long to sit on the back porch swing and take in a little spring breeze, or to check the stars in the night sky, or appreciate early morning sounds. Now that we’re getting up an hour earlier, take the opportunity to create a new habit for yourself.   Five minutes of doing “nothing” can mean a whole lot of something.

Find some “me” time

The old saying “If Mamma ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” has a ring of truth, especially if she’s the busiest one in the family.  Remember to take some time just for yourself on a regular basis too.  A 15 minute bubble bath or nice brisk walk can clear your head and help you focus more on what you do need to do when you need to do it.

Later, Tater

Are you constantly trying to think of all the things you need to do, even when you are trying to relax?  Keep a little notebook or use the note function or calendar on your phone to keep track of all that, so you it doesn’t clutter up your head.  Let your down time be just that. Power down and let yourself worry about it later.

As we begin to look at a change in seasons, take the opportunity to pencil in plenty of time for yourself. Alone time or time with friends or family, make sure you are feeding your own soul.  Time may not stand still, but whatever is so pressing at the moment can surely wait, at least a little while, while you take care of you.

What Does it Take for You to Smile?

Happy in the snow

I notice some people smile all the time, while others seem to express their joy less frequently. Smiles are contagious, that I know, but even the most cheerful being sometimes hits a road block in spreading good cheer.  My question today is, what does it take for you to smile?  Do you have to feel great, look great, be with someone special, be doing something in particular?  Do you have to be laughing to find yourself smiling?

It might seem ridiculous, but the physical act of smiling can enhance your mood. I’ve read about this and tried it myself.  It does work, even if only for a few seconds, or a minute.  The more frequently we smile, however, the better our overall mood.  I catch myself smiling when I am alone sometimes, just thinking about something that makes me happy, or listening to something on the radio that makes me smile.  It is wonderful thing, our ability to have “moods”.  I think it may be unique to humans. Why not make the best of what we have and try to keep things happy?

Here is my reason why:  If we are not in a good mood, we are closer to being down, or angry, or sad.  Something small that happens to us when we are already down can bring us down more. But if we make an effort to stay upbeat, those small things will not eat away at us. Instead, they will just roll off our smiling face and never be seen again.  Happiness is a choice.  Find your inner smile and let it out this minute!