Tarot Project: Complicated Reading

As I was shuffling this morning, three cards fell out of the deck. I don’t know if this is standard tarot practice, but a friend of mine who also read tarot once told me that if a card falls out it should be read, because the deck really wants you to see that card. So, the three cards were the Queen of Swords, inverted, the Emperor, inverted, and the King of Coins.

The court cards are the hardest for me to read, because they can refer to actual people, or they can refer to similar qualities in the querent. They also tend to be very conditional, depending on the other cards around them for clarity. More than any other card in tarot, I find I have to use my intuition to suss out the meaning of these cards. First, the general meaning of the cards.

  1. Queen of Swords, inverted: An untrustworthy woman, prone to gossip.
  2. Emperor, inverted: A lack of ambition. Dislike of authority.
  3. King of coins: A slow, methodical man. Loyal, reliable, and patient, but does not act quickly. Can relate to establishment in a career.

Last night, right before bed, I received a notification that a story I submitted to a contest did not place. While I suspected when I submitted the story that it might not be a good fit, I always go into a slump after my writing is rejected, sometimes for a short time, sometimes for longer. Tarot readings tend to pick up whatever is most on the querent’s mind when shuffling, and I think this event informed the three cards that fell out of the deck. So, this is how I would interpret them:

  1. Queen of Swords, inverted: All queen cards are attached to the element of water, so the Queen of Swords has two elemental affiliations and could be considered “water of air.” This means it is attached both to emotions and thoughts. I would read this card as referring to how I am currently thinking and feeling. My thoughts are in “monkey mind” mode, cycling through constant self-destructive chatter.
  2. Emperor, inverted: This one seems pretty simple. As with most writers, I get frustrated with the “gate-keepers” and getting rejected really drains my ambition.
  3. King of Coins: I think this also refers to my psyche. Kings are all attached to air, so this card could be read as “air of earth.” I think that if I continue to pursue my goals patiently, I will eventually earn the career I want.

After considering this reading, I replaced the cards and shuffled the deck, this time so I could draw out a single card for today’s reading. Again, a card leapt out the deck. This time it was the Nine of Swords, inverted, which refers to misery, depression, isolation, and despair. Neat, huh? It is always important to remember with the suit of swords that it reads the mental state of the querent: the Nine of Swords doesn’t mean that I will actually be isolated and my life full of misery, but more that I am perceiving the world that way. My thoughts are in a dark place.

Since today’s reading was already so involved, I decided to go a little further and do a simple yes/no reading. In these readings, five cards are laid out. Dignified cards are a yes, ill-dignified or inverted cards are a no. The center card counts twice. The cards themselves offer insight into the answer.

The question I asked was: “Should I submit my story somewhere else right away?” The cards I drew were:

  1. The Emperor, inverted
  2. The Queen of Swords, inverted
  3. The King of Coins
  4. The Falling Tower
  5. The Page of Coins

Well, three of those look really familiar.

The overall answer is yes, I should, but even so the spread doesn’t read very optimistic. The Falling Tower indicates a violent change in life. It is ruled by Mars and the gods of war. Actions which have widespread and unexpected consequences.

The page card is something of a mystery. The pages usually refer to children. The Page of Coins refers to a thrifty, conscientious, kind scholar. I’m tempted, despite the slight age discrepancy, to consider the Page of Coins my partner Philip. He’s in school, so he would qualify as a scholar. He’s also a Capricorn, the Cardinal earth sign, and the Page of Coins is the “earth of earth.” Coins refers to jobs and finances, and Philip’s career is still in the formative process.

So, I could read this spread as: I have a lot of self-doubt that robs me of motivation, but if I continue pushing forward patiently and submitting my story it could lead to an unexpected life changing event for both me and Philip, specifically financially. Mind you, it doesn’t specify what the event is, if I get published, or whether the upheaval is something I would consider good or bad. Risky.

Well, that was a lot more than I expected. I’m tempted to go hid in bed till the day is over, but I’m going to try and push through my feelings and be productive anyway.

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