I’ve always been terrified of tarot cards. I mean, come on, in every TV show or movie that features tarot cards, things never turn out well. People always get ‘The Devil’ or ‘The Hangman’, or something ominous. And then they die a gruesome death.
Nevertheless, I tried a tarot reading for the first time last year after borrowing a set from a friend and former colleague. I was at that point in my life where I had already decided on a career change, but was terrified of the unknown and what lay ahead of me.
Thanks to the booklet accompanying the deck, I learned a lot about tarot cards and got quite addicted to them, conducting several ‘readings’ for friends during office hours (we either used the meeting rooms or went down to the cafeteria).
As it turned out, they are not as frightening as Hollywood has made them out to be, though I still get scared every time I do a reading for myself. Cards can be interpeted differently, and your future is supposedly subject to change all the time. As they like to say in the movies, your destiny is in your own hands.
Anyway, I returned the deck and stayed away from tarot cards until last week, when I downloaded a tarot app called ‘Tarot Holic’ on my iPad. It’s apparently the #1 top paid lifestyle app in South Korea!
The app has several types of readings, and the first one I went for was an ‘In-depth Career Spread’ with 5 cards. What that meant exactly I wasn’t sure, but I was ready to find out. It has almost been a year since I left the legal profession and took the plunge to become a ‘writer’. So far I am still a student, but I’m slowly making progress, even if it’s not as much as I have hoped for.
So, I selected 5 cards by concentrating on my questions and tapping on a spread out deck. And the results were very interesting…
(click on ‘more…’ to read on!)
The first card is my ‘Attitude about work‘. I flipped it over and it was…The Devil!
Jealousy, Materialism, Despair, Bondage, Addiction, Hopelessness, Sexuality — A horned demon is perched above two figures similar to the Lovers. The man’s tail represents a corruption of the Zodiac, the woman’s represents excess regarding the senses. Both are held to the demon by chains they could easily remove. The demon holds one hand in a sign of dark magic, the other holds an inverted torch of self-destruction. The inverted pentagram that crowns the demon indicates that man’s place in the universe has been reversed and he is vulnerable to evil. The Devil in a reading indicates a negative cycle of events. You may find yourself in a situation where nothing seems to go right, and your problems spawn other problems with no end in sight. This is usually because you are not seeing the whole picture. It could also be because you are too focused on the material world and not the spiritual. Remember that like the people depicted in the card, you have the power to release yourself from this bondage. Focus on gratitude rather than gratification. Rather than thinking about your problems or what is missing, try thinking about God and all that you have been given.
Okay, up until the God bit, just about everything made sense to me. My attitude about work at the moment is not where it should be or needs to be. I’ve done a few things here and there but the heart isn’t in the right place. I’m expecting things to happen rather than going out and making it happen. My mind is filled with fear and uncertainty, but it’s only because I’m not giving t everything I’ve got. It’s a negative cycle because I keep telling myself that I’ll get on the right track the next day, and then the day after, then the day after that. I have the power to release myself from this bondage — I just need to have the willpower to do it!
The second card is my ‘Situation‘. Flipped it over and…The Hierophant (what the?):
Government, Society, Religion, Tradition, Teaching, Beliefs, Spiritual — The Hierophant is a master of sacred rites holding court in a holy place. Acolytes kneel before him and listen to his wisdom. The robes of the acolytes bear a design of red roses and white lilies (which also appear in the Magician card) which symbolize desire and abstract thought respectively. Between them at the Hierophant’s feet are two crossed keys representing the conscious and the subconscious. Unlike the High Priestess, the Hierophant is concerned with the application of spiritual knowledge to the physical world. The Hierophant in a reading can indicate the establishment, the ‘powers that be’, or perhaps an overly stubborn adherence to tradition. It is often a sign that it is time to think about giving up your routines, your old way of doing things, and to move into the unknown. Perhaps consider what life would be like if we truly lived by what we believe.
Most of that made absolutely no sense to me, but the last two sentences are spot on. I need to give up on this routine of laziness, let go of my old ways and move into the unknown. I need to live by what I believe in.
Card number three is ‘Advice‘. I tapped it and it revealed…Eight of Pentacles! From memory, pentacles are usually not good…
Improvement, purpose, consistent, education, diligent, organized, persistent — An apprentice is engraving some Pentacles. This card can be compared to the Three of Pentacles in which the craftsman is already a master. This card often appears in the reading of one who is studying the arts or a trade. In any reading, however, it usually indicates the start of employment or employment to come, learning a trade, and small gains. Besides employment, the focus is on the backing of a project, risks, betterment and accomplishment. Circumstances are going to change for the better, but don’t try to assert yourself yet. Bide your time and wait for an opportunity to present itself.
Dude, talk about being dead accurate. This card was made for my current situation. I’m studying the arts (writing), and I will have to seek employment in just a few months (if not beforehand). It’s high risk and I and focused on a project (my book). Since I am still studying, it’s not the time to completely assert myself just yet — I have to wait for the right opportunity!
Card four stands for ‘Challenge/Opportunity‘. Tap and…Six of Pentacles!
Prosperity, Success, Knowledge, Inequality, Good News, Luck, Charity — A wealthy merchant not only gives to the poor, but does so in a fair and intelligent manner, weighing his gold in the scales that he carries. The meaning of this card is clear: charity with justice. The Six of Pentacles is about philanthropy, as well as the idea that what you give, you get back in abundance. The focus here is on career opportunities, investment potential, solvency, and promising enterprises. Reverse – accumulating debts, mishandling money, underhanded dealings, theft, greed, exploitation, selfishness, envy.
As vague as that is, it kind of makes sense to me. Obviously this is a good card, full of potential and opportunities — but I need to give in order to receive. I can’t expect people to do me favours or give me a break if I don’t try and give back in return. But it’s also a risky path because there are a lot of temptations along the way that can lead me astray…
The last card, and the most important — ‘Work’s potential‘. The final tap and it’s…Strength!!!
Courage, strength, determination, patience, self control, compassion, acceptance — A maiden in white, the symbol of infinity above her head, closes the mouth of a wild lion, The lion represents our strong inner passions, the maiden purity. The maiden, confident in her abilities, easily tames the lion with virtually no physical strength. The message here is clear. If we are determined, we can control our passions and use them for our own purposes, rather than vice versa. The strength of your convictions, and your resolve to proceed without fear, will help you attain the help of powerful spiritual forces. If you draw this card, you will overcome all obstacles, because you are determined to let nothing keep you from your goal.
Woo hoo! I killed this last card. But I guess the message is clear — if I stay determined and work hard, then good things will happen. If I proceed without fear and belief in my strength and conviction, I can overcome all obstacles in my way.
I guess that can only mean one thing. It’s time to write!