Sunday, February 9, 2014

Does Tarot give answers or raise questions?

Universal Waite Tarot
Often we turn to our cards when we have problems, are curious about what might happen or for a simple focus for the day. It is not so strange to see Tarot as a deck of cards full of answers, potential opportunities and guidance.
When I drew the Seven of Wands from the Universal Tarot for today, my initial thought was to brace myself for an attack on my private thoughts or my opinions and to set aside a part of my energy for myself this afternoon. For me that is the general meaning and the first answer I get from this card. It is very obvious what the Seven of wands is about when you look at the picture. But when you are reading the cards like that, tarot can get boring so it is advisable to ask a lot of questions when you draw the cards.
Personally, I do this on a regular basis, but I became very aware of this method when I saw the video of Louise from Priestess Tarot. 
You can start easy, by asking yourself what you are seeing in the card and what details are standing out to you for today. Following, you can ask yourself questions about how the character in the card would  feel, why he does what he does and about more particular subjects to which the card is drawing your attention. It is also fun to notice how the questions vary when you compare several of the same cards from different decks. 
It might be a nice exercise is to draw one card or lay down a small spread and ask myself some questions about the card(s) . The challenge will be not to answer them right away but rather let them stew for the rest of the day. From time to time they will bubble up and perhaps raise more questions. In the evening I want to return to the card(s) and figure out what the message was.
A few questions for the seven of wands:
  • Who is attacking me? or am I attacking myself?
  • Why do I need to defend myself?
  • What/who am I afraid of?
  • What is my strength which I can rely on?
  • What conviction is worth defending
  • What/where is my refuge?
  • What do I want to be clear about?
  • and so forth


  1. What a wonderful exercise. I think once you get past the basic keywords (as a beginner), this type of questioning could lead to a fuller, more beneficial use of tarot cards.

    1. I think so too. Writing this blog is also helping me to delve deeper into a card. Both methods are like stepping on the breaks of my reading skills and take it slow like I've never seen the card before

  2. Thanks a great post, Ellen. Right from the post's title I enjoyed it so much. Thanks also for linking to the Priestess' video. It encourages me to talk when I do the readings for myself. Listening to the Priestess I understood how important it is to speak, even when i'm on my own. It's so hard to begin with. But once started it's so much easier for the letting go. And then the questions come.
    For me it's all about the questions you haven't ask before. The answers are always so easy once you found your question.

    1. Welcome to my blog. I am glad you've enjoyed my post.I have to admit I do the"talking" mostly in my mind. Perhaps I will try to speak out loud sometime when I am a lone.:)
      I've read somewhere you shut you left brain up when you are "free talking" something like free writing I guess.
      thanks for stopping by

  3. Mary K Greer offers questions to ask yourself for each card in her book 'Tarot for Yourself'. :) Here are her questions for 7 of Wands: What beliefs or opinions are you holding on to despite criticism and social pressure? Who are you up against? Are you being loyal to yourself? What result would you ideally like if it could be anything you wanted? How can you most effectively take a stand and present your point of view? These are similar to your own questions. The 7 of Wands card to me is the 'proving oneself' card. And there are so many ways one can be called on to prove oneself. :)

    1. Thanks for pointing that out to me Carla. It will be nice to compare my own questions with hers.
      I think we are proving ourselves perhaps to many times. If not to others then to our self.
      Our own sticks can perhaps beat us up even harder

  4. Great post Ellen! Asking ourselves questions about the cards we draw can be a very enlightening and constructive exercise.

    I sometimes see the 7 of Wands as a man planting sticks or building a fence if you like. Perhaps he feels the need to defend his territory or he's in the process of creating a boundary? For me this card occasionally suggests external demands when I'd rather focus on something else or the need to choose between a number of options... which usually means saying no to the rest. Saying no isn't always an easy thing to do.

    1. "creating a boundary?" That was what I was thinking too. Like he was defensing his own little space. How small it may be; we all need some private place to retreat; if only our mind :)