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Tarot Reflections

December 15, 2004

Down the Tarot Rabbit Hole
Tracy Hite, ATA Treasurer, Networks Manager

Tracy began her own Tarot journey while recovering from her first son's birth on New Year's Eve, 1996. She tried to study on her own for nearly a year, picking up what she could from books and websites, but she had a lot of trouble piecing everything together. Through membership in  the American Tarot Association, she met the contacts and gained the expertise needed to gain her certification as a Certified Tarot Master.

Tracy is honored to serve as Manager for both the Free Reading Network and the Free Tarot Network. She also volunteers as Treasurer of the ATA and webmaster of the Comparative Tarot site.


Are you “curiouser and curiouser” about tarot? Then follow me down the Tarot rabbit hole each month in my new series. Whether you’re a long-time reader or you’ve never even seen a deck, I’m happy to share my tarot knowledge with you. I may not always be able to answer your questions, and ask you not to substitute my opinions for your own, but I’ll do my best to help. Let’s explore together, shall we?

“Please help if you can. I was doing a 3-card reading for a friend of mine, I totally went blank. The cards were King of Wands, Judgement, Death. Judgement was reversed. I still cannot think of what the cards meant. Can you help?” - Jeana L., Belen, New Mexico

We’ve all run into this problem before. We ponder the question at hand, decide on a spread and deck to use, shuffle and lay out the cards – and then draw a blank. The people in those pictures just stare back at us, stubbornly refusing to share their secrets. Here are a few tips for overcoming reader’s block.

Describe the cards.
Pretend you know absolutely nothing about tarot and simply describe the images. What are the people doing? Do they have anything in common? What emotions or memories does each scene bring to mind? Once you start talking, sometimes something you say will spark that interpretation you’ve been missing.

Move things around.
If you draw a blank on an individual card, skip that one for now and come back to it. If that doesn’t help, try turning the reversals upright, or even reshuffling the cards in the reading and lying them back out into new positions. If this new point of view makes more sense than the first one, go with it, or think backwards about how shifting them back to their original positions might change these new interpretations.

Get a second opinion.
Some messages simply make more sense to us than others. We may read one book on a topic and still be thoroughly confused, but a different author with a little different explanation may make the same topic easier to understand. Try pulling out the same cards from a different deck and see if they speak more clearly to you than the first one does.

Ask the neighbors.
How might the cards on either side of yours provide clues for interpretation? If your problem card is a Six, for instance, think about how an interpretation of the Five or Seven of the same suit might be changed to become this Six. How might the other Sixes provide similar clues?

Ask your client.
Unless you’re reading for yourself, you’ve already got another source for help – your client. Ask her if anything in the cards looks familiar, or if they remind her of something. If you’re not sure how an individual card might fit this question, describe what it usually means to you and ask the client if that makes any sense to her. Surprisingly often, it does.

Take a break.
If all else fails, ask for a minute to collect your thoughts. Sometimes some fresh air can help, especially if you’re tired. Close your eyes, step away from the table, drink a cup of tea – whatever it takes to clear your mind – then come back and try again.

Please send your questions to for consideration for future articles. Unless you prefer to remain anonymous, please include your first name and last initial, along with your location (state or country).


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Tarot Reflections is a publication of the American Tarot Association - Copyright (C) 2004
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