Posts Tagged ‘Tarot’


A Tarot Card Primer – “Cheat Sheet”

   Posted by: Scrivener    in Tarot

One of our Second-Degree students, Danika Yawn, submitted the Tarot “cheat sheet” that follows this paragraph to our wytcheboard forums. I dressed it up a bit but the work is all hers.

There are 78 cards in Tarot. The Tarot is divided in two groups, the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana contains 22 cards numbered with Roman numerals 0-22. The Minor Arcana is further divided into four groups, Wands, Cups, Swords, and Pentacles, and they are also sort of divided. Each group contains cards numbered 1-10, as well as a page, a knight, a queen, and a king. The following is a cheat sheet from the back of The Easy Tarot Handbook by Josephine Ellershaw.

Major Arcana

0     The Fool: Unexpected opportunity. major choice.
I     The Magician: You have the ability you need to succeed. Mastery.
II     The High Priestess: Intuition. secrets to be revealed. unexplored potential.
III     The Empress: Nurturing to full potential. marriage. motherhood.
IV     The Emperor: Ambition. authority. financial stability. achievement.
V     The Hierophant: Traditional values. a wise person provides guidance.
VI     The Lovers: Love relationship. perhaps love choices.
VII     The Chariot: Triumph over difficulties. strength of will needed.
VIII     Strength: Gentleness wither inner strength and courage.
IX     The Hermit: Withdrawal for contemplation. inner wisdom.
X     The Wheel of Fortune: Change of fortune. a new cycle commencing. progress.
XI     Justice: Fairness. the need for a balance mind. legal matters.
XII     The Hanged Man: Understanding. Different perspective. Self-sacrifice.
XIII     Death: Major change. Transformation.
XIV     Temperance: Patience. Moderation. Compromise. Balance. healing.
XV     The Devil: Manipulation. Overindulgence. self-enslavement.
XVI     The Tower: Destruction of something built on false beliefs.
XVII     The Star: Hope. Healing. Optimism. Better times ahead.
XVIII     The Moon: Uncertainty. Illusion. Fluctuating emotions. Unseen depth.
XIX     The Sun: Success. happiness. good health. Happy marriage.
XX     Judgement: Renewal. Revival. Reward for past efforts. Karma.
XXI     The World: Triumph and achievement. success and happiness.

Minor Arcana


Ace of Wands: New venture or way of life. Pregnancy or birth.
Two of Wands: Initial accomplishment. Possible partnership.
Three of Wands: Completion of first stage of project. Progress.
Four of Wands: Stability. Holidays. Marriage plans.
Five of Wands: Conflict. Quarrelling. competition.
Six of Wands: Success. Achievement. promotions.
Seven of Wands: Defending position. overcoming obstacles.
Eight of Wands: Fast progress after delays. travel.
Nine of Wands: Perseverance. pull reserves together for final push.
Ten of Wands: Feeling overburdened. weary. Determination required.


Ace of Cups: New relationship. New start that brings happiness for all at home.
Two of Cups: Important union. Balance in a relationship. reconciliation.
Three of Cups: Happiness and achievement. Wedding/family celebrations.
Four of Cups: Boredom and discontent.
Five of Cups: Feelings of disappointment letdown or betrayal. Regrets.
Six of Cups: Happiness from the past. Old friends. an old love revived.
Seven of Cups: Feeling overwhelmed with choices. one must be made. Imagination.
Eight of Cups: Abandoning a path. Disillusionment. emotionally unfulfilled.
Nine of Cups: The “wish” card. Emotional and material fulfilment.
Ten of Cups: Committed and contented love. Marriage. Happy home life.


Ace of Swords: Triumph over adversity. Inner strength and mental clarity.
Two of Swords: Stalemate.
Three of Swords: Quarrelling. Misery through separation.
Four of Swords: Rest and recovery following strain.
Five of Swords: Deceit. hidden agenda. unfair dealings.
Six of Swords: Harmony after strain. Long journey over water.
Seven of Swords: Diplomacy not aggression. Situation not going as anticipated.
Eight of Swords: Feeling restricted by fear. Being withdrawn.
Nine of Swords: Sense of anxiety and despair. Feelings of oppression.
Ten of Swords: Disappointment. End of cycle. Failed plans.


Ace of Pentacles: Start of successful venture. Important document. Gift.
Two of Pentacles: Maintaining balance with more than one area of life.
Three of Pentacles: Success through effort. Gains and recognition.
Four of Pentacles: Overly cautious fear of loss. Material focus. miserly.
Five of Pentacles: Temporary hardship. Guard against loss.
Six of Pentacles: Successful gains. Sharing. Gift.
Seven of Pentacles: Work and patience rewarded. Good news financially.
Eight of Pentacles: New job. moneymaking venture from existing talent.
Nine of Pentacles: Financial Success and material security.
Ten of Pentacles: Financial and family stability. Property. Inheritance.

The Court Cards


Page of Wands: Good news work related. Active cheerful child.
Page of Cups: Happy news emotional nature. Sensitive creative child.
Page of Swords: Delayed/Disappointing news. Minor problems with a child.
Page of Pentacles: Good news financially. Academic methodical child.


Knight of Wands: Change of home or long journey. Energetic young man.
Knight of Cups: Love proposals. Romantic idealistic young man.
Knight of Swords: Swift movement. Chaotic. Quick minded serious young man.
Knight of Pentacles: Eventual positive outcome. Reliable young man.


Queen of Wands: Warm cheerful woman. always very busy.
Queen of Cups: Kind thoughtful sensitive woman with caring nature.
Queen of Swords: Perceptive lady. Efficient no-nonsense type.
Queen of Pentacles: Woman of worth. capable and practical.


King of Wands: Entrepreneurial dynamic man who can be rash.
King of Cups: Warm thoughtful man in the caring or creative professions.
King of Swords: Man in uniform connected to law government etc.
King of Pentacles: Successful man who works with finance/ figures.

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Signifigator (Your innate characteristics):


You face trials ahead but with head held high, you are able to grasp firmly your destiny. You will master the forces within you.

Objects in Your Dream:

Poster from the movie “Blow”:

10 of Cups

You fear that your former life of abusing drugs or being associated with the drug world will destroy your happiness

Broken Headboard:

10 of Pentacles (rev)

You have a hard time letting go of things that no longer serve your best interests: e.g. broken relationships, things you’ve lost but may never find again, your own doubts and fears.

Oreos & Milk:

5 of Swords (rev)

In your past there was a conflict and while you were victorious you paid a high price for your victory—loss of childhood innocence or something that represents former happiness.

Transition Card (influences People in Dream):

Queen of Swords (rev)

Trying to find meaning and even demanding that there must be a meaning to what happened to you in the past is a fruitless endeavor.

People in Your Dreams

You smoking marijuana:

Knight of Cups (rev)

Be wary of falling into old habits for doing this could jeopardize future happiness. Or, this could simple be a fear of that happening. You seem to have a lot of emotional baggage from your past.

Your Friend, Amanda:

Queen of Pentacles

Amanda represents a time when you were happier and things seemed simpler and everything made sense. Now, you are feeling very confused and are unsure of what to do.

You & Amanda:

9 of Swords (rev)

Here again, Amanda represents something from your past or a sense of loss. I feel that you are almost nostalgic about something and are desperately trying to regain it. Your heart is crossed and you can’t see your way to solve this problem or resolve some old conflict. Until you are able to do this you will be blocked from true wisdom and emotional calm.

Transition Card (influences Symbols or the Deepest Meanings of your Dreams):

Knight of Pentacles (rev)

You need a rest or currently are in limbo about something. However, don’t hang on to the past too long or spend too much time searching for meaning in your past for your future will require your attention for your future holds abundance or fertility if only you can adapt to your changing environment.

Symbols in Your Dreams

A Wall (appeared twice):

The Devil

You have misplaced blame. Take responsibility for what happened and move forward. You’ve been using these feelings like a wall to prop up a false sense of being a victim thus creating an imbalance in your life. The wall is a barrier you must move through to create a new you.


The Emperor

A castle and an emperor or a king appears in your dream. But the emperor like the castle has decayed and fallen into ruin. You have weakened the foundation of your life or perhaps your relationship with a father-figure has deteriorated. You recognize this and wish for more stability in your life.

Shattered Windows in Castle:

The Fool

The Fool represents you and the new beginning and everything before you on a journey to a new life, and all you are hoping for but the broken windows suggest you must first move beyond the shattered halls of your past. While it is good to seek answers about the past the future and present are more important. Make a radical change in your life in the face of conventional wisdom.

Hunger (for Oreos and milk):


Seek balance in your life and beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself—cut yourself some slack.

Haunted Buildings:

The Empress

You have some unfinished emotional business with something or someone from your past—possibly your mother or a mother-figure or perhaps even with yourself.

The Past Influences:

The Page of Pentacles (rev)

Carelessness in the past has caused you grief in the present. Pay more attention to practical matters. Seek new challenges or studies and don’t rest on your laurels. Be warned you don’t know as much as you think you do.

The Present Influences:

The World (rev)

You feel as though your world has literally been turned upside down and are languishing. But chaos and change are all part of growth. You lack confidence about your present and it’s not really all that bad. You tend to see the worst possible outcome in every situation.

The Future Influences:

The Mage (rev)

You have all you need at your disposal if only you will start to apply yourself and have a little faith. Continue your studies whether they be a magickal ones or mundane ones at a school. However do not let your blossoming abilities lead you down the path of manipulation and overly controlling others for that is an addiction as bad the other you suffered.

What it all Means:

The Hierophant

Through studies both magickal and mundane you will find what you seek but more importantly to you, you will come through this difficulty. You will learn (so make sure you keep studying), you will find some of the answers your looking for (others you will never know and must accept this as fact), and finally society will accept you and you will find contentment within structures others might find too confining but will make you happy.

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This spread was a remote reading for a friend. I’ll refer to her as ‘R’. Typically when asking a question about a situation, I like to use the Celtic Spread. I use the full 78-card deck for readings; therefore, I sometimes yet need to peek at the card interpretations. However, I look at the symbolism on the card and add my own thoughts as well. One must do that otherwise, there would only be a finite number of unique readings possible (albeit still a large number—something like (78! / [number of cards used]) if my memory of statistics serves me.) The deck I currently favor is the Gilded Tarot.

R is a fellow guildmate of the online game I play. She asked me for a reading and I consented, curious to find out how accurate I’d be without being close to the querent. She lives in Texas with her boyfriend who recently lost his job. I also know that things have not been all quiet on the home front.

The cards definitely echo her situation and unfortunately, unless R alters her present course, I don’t see much improvement of her situation. For a card-by-card analysis, see my comments below each card listed.

The Reading

Significator (Self)

The World

This card, usually chosen by the querent represents how they see themselves. Since this was a remote reading, I chose by cut of the cards using my left hand since the left hand represents spiritual matters.

A woman stands atop a pedestal surrounded by a wreath. Her demeanor is proud and confident. She wears a lion mask and her hair is blown back as though it were a mane. She holds in each hand a silver wand. The wand is a symbol of air and intellect. The two wands together suggest mastery of the unconscious and conscious.

R believes that she is captain of her own ship and master of all she surveys. This card could also indicate a victory or a completion of task. But does the reflection in the mirror always tell us the truth?

1. Self (Present Situation)

The Emperor (reversed)

The emperor is a leadership card. In this position and reversed the card indicates that the querent arrived at the present place through some poor judgments or miscalculations. Possibly, because the querent was too stodgy and unwilling to let go of autocratic rules or adhered to strongly to ingrained habits.

2. Self (Immediate Influences)

Five of swords

A man holds aloft a sword in triumph on a battlefield strewn with the dead, dying, and injured. The sword is the symbol of fire and passion.

Was whatever victory R won worth the cost? Sometimes the best battles are those waged in the halls of diplomacy.

With the Significator, this card also suggests that R is at an end of a cycle or period in her life.

3. Self (Recent Influences)

Ace of Cups (reversed)

The cup or chalice is the symbol of feminine nurturing and is of the element water. Water signs such as Cancer are homebody nurturers. The chalice or grail is also a symbol of the depth of universal gifts of romance, love, and idealism.

Because this card is reversed, (the cup is upside down and hence emptied), it means that R’s journey for whatever this particular grail stands for is at an end and combined with the previous card’s influence it would indicate possible dissatisfaction with a quest’s result.

Whatever R was looking for, she didn’t find it or it wasn’t worth the price she paid. The moon phases depicted above the cup, again point to feminine influences but since they are ‘below’ the reversed cup it could mean that the moon’s pull is at a low ebb as are R’s feelings. She must feel as though the bounty of the universal grail’s gifts have all ‘run out’ on her.

4. Self (Past Influences)

Four of Cups (reversed)

This card echoes the negative side of the Emperor and in conjunction with the previous card indicates that R may be seeking an ideal that does not exist. She ignores what has been laid at her feet while following an internal dogma that dictates that something better is out there but she’s not exactly sure what it is. This is a negative manifestation of the truism that the grass is always greener…

5. Self (Possible Goal or Outcome)

The Sun (reversed)

This card is never negative—even when reversed. Reversal merely diminishes the Sun’s effect. The sun is pictured above a zodiac circle with Jupiter and Saturn figured prominently. The other planets in the orbits are also pictured.

It’s important to this reading that Jupiter is pictured since R is currently under some financial distress and Jupiter is generous and expansive when it comes to money matters.

If Jupiter is expansive, then Saturn is restrictive. Saturn is the astrological taskmaster that admonishes us to knuckled down and get to work.

As a possible goal or destination, and in combination with the previous card, I’d say that with a little hard work, R can reverse her economic misfortunes but maybe not to the degree she’d like.

6. Self (Future Influences)

Two of Pentacles (reversed)

The two of pentacles shows a man effortlessly balancing two pentacles. This card relates to having mastery and balance in one’s life—especially where work is concerned. As I see it R is lacking in this balance. The ship and the dolphin in the background of the card indicates travel. I see R moving to some place where she can achieve balance in work and home life.

7. Fears

The Lovers (reversed)

This card is not always about relationships. Actually, it deals more with choices. The original card depicted a man choosing between two women.

However, in R’s case, I think it is about a relationship. In the fears position, this card tells us that her biggest fear is damage to their relationship because of economic turmoil or decisions they’ve made in the past.

8. Outside Influences

Three of Pentacles (reversed)

The three of pentacles is about career and pride in workmanship. R feels unappreciated or at least under appreciated in her job. This card shows a craftsman admiring his work. He takes delight and joy in his work or his creation. I feel that R has lost this joy in her work and needs to try to recapture that feeling or move on to something else.

9. Hopes and Ideals

Eight of Swords

A maiden (appropriate since R is female—this goes double for the Significator card) blindfolded, and bound is surrounded by eight swords. This would seem a predicament for most people, but the maiden exhibits a calm, if not confident air.

If the Significator shows how the querent views themselves, then, this card shows the reality of that perception. In this case we have a match between self-perception and reality. If only R can find it within herself to let go of past influences, unrealistic expectations, and yes even a stubborn clinging to romantic ideals which can never come to fruition, she’ll soon find her bonds broken.

10. Outcome

Four of Pentacles (reversed)

The four of pentacles (pentacles are an Earth suit concerned with career, wealth, and possessions) is an extreme or intensifier of the Emperor (which was drawn for the present position card.) When the emperor (in the upright position) provide authority and order for the betterment of life, all is well. However, when reversed, as is the case for this reading, it is merely order for orders sake.

Rather than a warning about an impending financial loss (that’s already occurred), the card seems to echo the Three of Pentacles drawn in the outside influences position. This draw reinforces the fact that R has lost sight of the fact that money / jobs are mere abstractions and only a means not an end. Also she should not be so fixated on current financial difficulties as to miss some opportunities (remember the Sun drawn in possible outcome position?) that will present themselves. She just needs to be flexible enough to recognize these opportunities and open to taking an unexpected (or even unwanted) path.

Overall Analysis

Since at least four major arcana cards were drawn for this reading, that fact indicates strong forces are at work.

The preponderance of pentacle and cups cards drawn is also interesting. These cards indicate trouble at home and at work and or trouble with financial matters. Moreover, since there is actually a run of cards from the pentacles suite (two, three, and four) However, with a little hard work, these difficulties can be overcome.

Another bit of good news for R is that while she may still hold some unrealistic expectations (Three of Cups and Five of Swords) her basic perceptions of herself are spot on as indicated by the Significator, and Eight of Swords. She is a strong and confident person and if she can marshal the strength necessary to change her current course then her situation will improve.

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Dream Spread Tarot Reading

For Myself


The Hierophant (rev)—my thinking has been too rigid. Or, I’ve been overly critical. Or I need to devote more attention to my teaching.

Objects in Dream

Cars in enclosed junkyard

3 of Swords—I am not dealing well with being out of work. I’m looking at the situation in the wrong way. This seems to reinforce the message of the Hierophant above.

The junkyard

10 of Pentacles (rev)—face the changes awaiting you. Discard what you don’t need; it’s time to leave this place of broken dreams and seek things elsewhere.

Crashed cars opening a hole in the junkyard fence

Ace of Wands—Out of this difficulty, a gift of the universe and an opportunity shall arise. This opportunity will be creative in nature most likely.


Strength—Use your power. Listen to your Middle Self. Higher Self cannot manifest from Middle Self—that is a pretense. You must get Younger Self to channel your desires. Accept a gift of strength from Higher Self.

People in Dream

Me on a White Horse

King of Cups—Seek a new outlet for your energies. You will then soon be riding to better fortunes.


Wheel of Fortune—Younger Self is scared—reassure it. This is just another cycle. Lay aside your negativity and bitterness so that Younger Self may channel to Higher Self.

Dream Symbols

White Horse

Temperance—All things in moderation. Practice being less negative.

White wall around the junkyard

The Magician—Think outside the box. You have all you need to reinvent yourself.

Weird candy misfit bullets

The Moon (rev)—my negativity is blocking my intuition. What I see as a source of power is really impeding me.

Past Influences

The Sun—I’m coming from a place where for a long time I haven’t had a real difficulty and now that I am I’m having a hard time dealing with it.

Present Influences

The Empress—Look to Mother Earth or your wife for nurturing to help you manifest the changes you need to perform during this time.

Future Implications

Death—Change. Spiritual growth at the expense of having to let go some old ways.

What will happen if I continue on this course

8 of Wands (rev)—If I don’t change or adapt, I won’t get the outcome I want.

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