Tarot Card Meanings: How the Tarot Can Warn and Predict a Surprise
5 of Wands as Warning
What is a surprise ending? For example, in answer to “What about going to Italy first, and then France?” regarding an upcoming trip, the tarot card layout might indicate you’re not going to Europe at all, due to a change in plans.
Each tarot layout rests on a map, as all divination systems do: in palm reading, the palm of your hand is the map, with different regions associated with different planets, and the lines on your hand rest on this planetary map. The tarot cards can have many maps: three cards for “past, present, and future”, four for “fire, water, air, earth”, and even if people are just pulling one card, it is with the understanding that the answer comes from an authoritative consciousness that knows; the fact that the answer comes from spirit - a communication from a higher consciousness – is the map.
Whatever layout or system you use to interpret the cards, if you are answering a question, the tarot layout represents among other things, a conclusion; a consequence. It is not necessarily the consequence the querent imagines.
I have many examples in my own life of how the tarot shows me to expect a surprise, and how it warns. The other day, deciding whether to drive to a concert, the tarot showed me I would have a great time if I went, but what also showed up was the five of wands. The number five is associated with the planet Mars, which among other things it symbolizes war and conflict and violence. The element fire is associated with physical activity – action, and what is in motion.
In my language with the tarot, the five of wands indicates the potential of an accident if it is in the “consequence” position – the “earth” position. Something that is set up to happen can REALLY be a problem, stopping you from arriving where you want.
Although I hesitated a minute, I went to the concert anyway. Here’s what happened on the way back from a great show (Cha Wa from New Orleans, they brought the juju!) Sailing along on the freeway going at least 75, suddenly in front of me were totally stopped cars. Accident! Sometimes you can see an accident from a long ways off, but where I was on the highway, it felt like a very abrupt and horrifying accident-about-to-happen. I could stop in time, but I think my prior musing about what lay ahead according to the five of wands, helped me react so fast.
The cards pick up on what’s relevant to the querent that happens out in the world, and what’s relevant that’s going on within them. If there’s no basis in reality to your question – for instance, the event you’re asking about is cancelled and you’re asking should you show up early for it – the cards show the reality, not what you assume are the circumstances.
In a future post, I’ll discuss two more instances of surprise endings. The next discusses a major arcana as the deliverer of the surprise, and how it functions in making predictions.
Divination Best Practices and Tips for the Tarot Reader
People all over the globe for centuries have been interested in two inter-related things: what’s the best way to live in this world, and what’s going to happen in the future?
Faced with different paths and choices or stuck somewhere in between, people want to know what is the “divine will” and the divine guidance about the matter. In every country and on every continent, people have invented systems to do this: the I Ching, the Mayan Calendar, the casting of stones or cards or other objects. Anything can be turned into a divination system as long as its symbols are relatable to the diviner, and have associations with phenomena in nature.
Sometimes the way information comes to the diviner changes. I have always had a way of getting insights from the directions: East, South, West and North and their associated elements, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. For years I just used it for myself and also for making predictions in horoscope columns that I’ve produced since the early eighties. At times it was a daily practice of tuning into the different forces of nature and what the spirits of each direction had to say to me and about the day.
Just yesterday, I got the insight to stop using this method the way I now relied on it. Over the years it had morphed into mostly a practice to get insights for my clients. The more I worked with people, the less I did my own circle work. Until now, when in the course of my own spiritual evolution, I got the insight to return the directions divination to a personal practice. Voila! My intuitive intelligence immediately gave me a new way to get pre-appointment insights, which I used today.
Those two things that everybody wants to know create a puzzling situation for the tarot reader. Which one are the cards answering? Are they giving advice about the better way to do things given the current circumstances and options, or are they telling you what’s going to ultimately happen? Although this answer will differ according to each diviner’s symbol systems, ultimately the most important fact is that the cards powerfully stimulate the intuition. The cards laid out in a pattern that makes relational sense to the reader act like an ignition key that turns on their intuitive intelligence. Working together, the intuition and the imagination make the jump from staring at pieces of paper to reading a detailed map.
No matter what the method of divination, if you want to read for other people or divine about world events, feed your own soul first: begin by asking the tarot, for instance, for whatever guidance or healing you might need. When your own cup is full and you have soothed your own self with the wisdom or truth of a higher vibration, you’re in the best position to read about other people and things.
Tarot - The Story I Was Told
One story is that the original tarot was used in ancient temples as a tool to know Divine Will. The priests didn't ask the tarot questions, they asked the gods to speak to them through the cards--"What did the gods have to say to them?" . However old it is and wherever it originated, the tarot is still an instant way to receive wisdom.
As a divination system, tarot cards are magical, practical, and anybody can use them. They can look into the past, see the very big picture; warn, state the truth of a situation, bring divine insight, and see the consequences of an action a person is thinking of taking. One of its most intriguing mysteries I witness daily, is that people with no experience can accurately tell a story about themselves through the cards. The tarot brings can bring out most peoples' inner knowing.
In October 2010 I spent a week researching tarot history at the Widener Library at Harvard. I was curious what scholars thought about the tarot and people who studied it. They have a vast store of metaphysical books in their labrynthine basement three floors underground. None of the tarot histories were conclusive about its origins and use. None were so inspiring as the story my metaphysical teacher Eric Teissedre told me about how they were used to commune with the divine, and that it was a portable ancient wisdom and all knowledge.
I use the Waite deck because its system of correspondences between the planets, colors, is closest to Nature's language.
(Nature's language: the color red is associated with the planet Mars which is associated with aggression, male energy, war, etc. Wave a red flag in front of a bull, and they'll charge. In the Waite deck, the Mars card (the Emporer) is the right colors for its meaning, with a red background.)
Elissa Heyman, Psychic Counseling and Spiritual Healing, in person/by phone, Santa Fe, NM 87501, 505-982-3294. firstname.lastname@example.org