Tarot Challenge: Interpret This Reading!

Ready to practice your Tarot reading skills?

It’s been a while since I presented you with a new Tarot challenge, so I decided to make this one extra tough…..by using only Court Cards!

First I will present you with a fabricated scenario:

You are doing a reading for Stephen – a middle aged man who works stocking vending machines in government buildings. Stephen has been divorced two years, has two teenaged daughters who hate him (he sees them every other weekend) and a Chihuahua with a bladder control problem.

Despite this dreary description of Stephen’s life, he is actually quite happy and content. He is coming to you for a reading because he’s just met someone new – Larissa – a new-agey maven who runs the local crystal shop.

They’ve been on a few hot and heavy dates and now Larissa wants him to come to Sedona with her for a Shamanic drumming weekend. He is reluctant. He hates that shit! But he doesn’t want to upset Larissa. What should he do?

You shuffle your cards, lay them out and turn them over. This is what comes up…..

tarot challenge
Druidcraft Tarot

Remember: Court cards can represent people and/or personality traits. They can suggest how to act (or how not to act). Notice the facial expressions, body language and action in these cards.

You are not using a particular spread, so feel free to interpret the cards however you like.

So….what advice would you give Stephen, based on these three cards?

Please post your interpretation/reading in the comments below. This challenge is open to ALL levels of readers – so don’t by shy if your a beginner!…I can’t wait to hear what you come up with πŸ™‚

33 thoughts on “Tarot Challenge: Interpret This Reading!”

  1. Stephen is a strong minded man with responsibilities, that include bodies that need him. Larissa appears to be a responsible woman. By declining the offer to do something that in his own word, says he hates, Steven might avoid an unnecessary conflictive message.

  2. he the king will go just not to forfeit on getting his needs met, but will end up hurting the queen by ripping her Sedona weekend to shreds verbally when he sees some thing he cant put into logical comprehension. he will rip it apart, he wont be able to keep the charade up. his mask of falsity falls away, it takes effort to do that and is very unhealthy not being honest, his true color will shine through.

  3. I chose to view this reading as though all of the cards were aspects of Stephen’s personality and situation: his current course of action (card 1), an alternative approach (card 2), and a possible outcome (card 3).

    KING OF SWORDS — I saw this card as a personification of Stephen’s inflexibility. Like the King of Swords rooted to his throne, Stephen is rooted to his life. However “dreary” it sounds to others, he’s comfortable doing his thing — and I really think the operative word is “comfortable”. He has habits and routines, he knows his job inside and out, and he probably has a strong sense of who he is (which is a positive thing). But there seems to be little opportunity in Stephen’s life for personal growth and new challenges. Dating a free spirit like Larissa may shake all that up. But what starts out as an exciting attraction between opposites will likely deteriorate without adequate nurturing and care. If he’s looking to make the relationship long term, Stephen might benefit from cultivating some less developed aspects of himself.

    QUEEN OF CUPS — There’s no doubt that Stephen has difficulty when it comes to relationships. His ex-wife and daughters “hate” him, and even his pet chihuahua seems to be a little afraid of him. Hence the bladder control problem? πŸ™‚ Maybe Stephen is a bit blunt and impatient when it comes to others — this would be in keeping with a King of Swords style approach to interpersonal relationships. Considering this, the Queen of Cups might symbolize what Stephen needs to be a better boyfriend — gentleness, patience, and flexibility. Integrating these attributes into his communication with Larissa would not only nurture their relationship, it would probably help make Stephen a more well-rounded person.

    PRINCE OF SWORDS — The Prince of Swords seems antithetical to romance — he’s aggressive, reckless, and pretty warlike. I think he represents Stephen’s plan (conscious or unconscious) to hack his way through the shamanic drumming weekend and “get it over with”. But there’s no way he’ll be able to keep that energy up in the long term. If he smothers his true feelings and accompanies Larissa this time, how many more New Age-y workshops and weekends will she innocently expect of him? Ultimately, Stephen shouldn’t do something he isn’t comfortable doing, and Larissa shouldn’t be led to think that Stephen is someone he’s not. At the same time, taking an interest in your partner’s interests is pretty much a given for a healthy relationship. Expressing his concerns and asking Larissa questions about her hobbies would be a more relationship-building way for Stephen to approach the problem. Choosing to step out of his comfort zone and try something new (without judgement!) might be a good exercise in personal growth.

    Essentially, I feel like the reading’s message is all about personal growth. For Stephen, this will likely entail merging the bluntness and rigidity of the King of Swords with the intuitive, emotional Queen of Cups. In doing so, he may feel better equipped to navigate his interpersonal relationships — not only with Larissa, but maybe with his children as well.

    Thanks, Kate πŸ™‚

    1. Brie – I LOVE your interpretation! Especially how the Knight of Swords represents his plan to hack his way through the drumming workshop – I never would have come up with that, but it makes total sense.
      Thank you so much for adding your wisdom and insights to this thread πŸ™‚


  4. Stephen has been set in his ways of thinking, inflexible (possibly why his children don’t care for him much). Larissa offers a new opportunity, to break out of his, albeit comfortable, rut. She offers a new adventure, a new way of thinking about life. Change comes with risk, but Larissa is the queen of cups, she has the power to nurture this relationship and possibly the power to help transform his other relationships in positive ways.

  5. I’m a very new reader but I’ll give it a try.
    Our king of Swords: is not sitting in a position of a solid, confident ruler. He’s questioning. His sword is off balance, he’s thinking, pondering, trying to make a big decision. He knows he needs to use his wisdom to make a balanced decision that will have important consequences for his future. He likes Larissa but they’ve only known each other for a short time. Her interests and his are different. But that’s a good thing. But it takes time, not pressure, to become familiar and interested in the interests and perspectives of a new person. That’s the adventure.
    The Queen of Cups: is connected to her spirituality, she’s strong but maybe a bit too pushy too soon. She wants to introduce Stephen to what she considers a more open perception and new experiences. Maybe she thinks it will bring them closer together. But she doesn’t understand that a whole weekend commitment in Sedona with people of her like mind, so different than his, makes him very uncomfortable. Not a good indication of her empathy or being able to understand what he is feeling.
    Knight of Swords: Here the message to Stephen is don’t charge into something you are not comfortable with or sure about. Look how you and your horse can easily stumble. Be true to yourself and Explain to Larissa that a weekend in Sedona is not what you are ready for. Perhaps overtime, in small doses, he will open up to “new age” stuff and find it interesting enough to join her in some activities. If she is upset over his decision to not come to Sedona, does not respect or understand his discomfort and hesitation, she won’t understand anything in the relationship that doesn’t go her way.
    So Stephen, be honest with her and if she gets it that’s great. If she becomes upset, don’t waste anymore time on her.

  6. It seems to me that everyone is blaiming Stephen if he doesn’t go to that drumming circle, but have anyone ever thought about what kind of woman Larissa really is? Maybe she’s a bit dreamy, and yes, maybe she is a much better person than Stephen, but if SHE can’t take NO for an answer, what kind of relationship would that be?

    How long have they been togheter? A month, or maybe two, three?

    Maybe the King of swords suggest that all he actually needs, is time. Maybe they both do. A LOT of TIME. Because of their differences Stephen needs time to grow in their relationship, he needs to know that it is not the ending of them being togheter if he says no, but that they can take time to grow with each other, or with each other before he/she invites him to this kind of stuff.

    The knight of swords seems to me that Larissa is capable to let him fall into his knee. If you lock closer, the horse is about to fall, or go down on his knees, so the knight of swords doesn’t ride straight ahead, but seems to stumble, to almost fall. Stephen doesn’t like “that kind of shit”, but if Larissa gives him a little time, he will turn, I’m almost sure of that.

    No-one seems to like Stephen because he is so cold, so stubborn, so rigid, but he do have a past that makes him think twice or more before he wants to go further with anything. And maybe it makes him less adventurless, but I think he needs time to know that Larissa won’t put him on the defensive side if he chooses to not participate in her interests.

    (:P arrg, I hope you understood me! )

    1. Thanks for giving your interpretation, Maria – you pointed out some really good stuff. I have never really associated the Swords cards with time before, but since the Swords are very analytical and linear thinking, it makes sense!

  7. Larissa has been patiently waiting for Stephen to make up his mind. But the time has come for Stephen to decide. He must act on his decision right now for Larissa is thinking about moving on and testing other waters.

  8. Note for Kate: are you kidding me, all fricken fracken Court cards. But I will be brave and give it a try.

    Stephen’s Reading:
    I see Stephen as the pensive King of Swords, too much in his head but a very logical and practical sort of guy, likes his routine though. Of course Larissa is the Queen of Cups, a free loving and nurturing spirit, always dipping her toes into new experiences. In many ways, they are opposites, but opposites attract, right? If you noticed they are turned toward each other, so there is a mutual attraction.

    I think the Prince (or Knight) of Swords also represents a side of Steven, a side that wants to be a bit more of free spirit, but there is always something holding him back, his thoughts, his fears, what we people think, etc. I think the Prince is saying, β€œtry something new Steven, let’s go on an adventure.” How does he know he would not like shamanic drumming, has he tried it before? If yes, then have a heart to heart honest communication with Larissa. Dolly Parton’s husband hates being in the spot light and is a homebody, they are complete opposites but they work it out and have been married for years and seem to get along very well. They let each other be themselves, so be honest with Larissa. However, you could be knight charging forward on a new adventure, just tell Larisa that it might not be for you, but you are willing to like to try it. You might find there is a drummer inside you or not. But if you are absolutely sure that this weekend is not for you, then just be honest with Larisa about your thoughts and feelings. Be yourself, be your true self, be honest with Larisa. Would you expect less from her?

    I would urge you to really examine what is your reluctance about? Knowing that you truly do not want to go and upsetting Larissa or is it trying something out of your comfort zone or is it you feel it is too soon for a weekend get away with Larissa (the relationship is not quite there yet)? What is the worst thing that could happen if you went? You truly hate it and you never do it again, but what if it turns out to be a great weekend and you love it? The Knight says take a chance, go on an adventure. Let go of your preconceived ideas of the King, open up for new experiences, perhaps even new thoughts and ideas. Take a chance, step outside of your comfort zone.

    1. Thanks for your take on these cards, Theresa! I especially liked how you interpreted the Knight (prince). I didn’t know that about Dolly Parton – that’s interesting!

  9. So I see the girl as the queen of cups. A person I tune with her emotions, a very giving woman. But her eyes are closed so sometimes she may not consider other peoples point of view or emotions. The king of swords tell him to tell her how he truly feels it’s important to be truthful early on in a relationship. The knight of swords warns him to consider how and what he will say to choose his words wisely and to be tactful in his delivery of his messages.

    That was fun! I’m a new reader so any advise is highly welcomed and encouraged

    1. Excellent interpretation, Veronica πŸ™‚ I love how you noticed the queen’s eyes and how you read into that – and your advice to be wise about what he says is bang on. Thanks for joining in on this Tarot challenge!

  10. Hello,

    I am new at this, but I will give it a go.

    It seems from what Stephen has said, is that he is worried about hurting Larissa’s feelings, therefor he cares about this woman. We can assume that because they have cultivated enough of a relationship to be hot and heavy more then once and was invited to this retreat that they cultivated more then a physical relationship.

    Now, because he is visiting a tarot reader, we can also safely assume that he is at least open to more then just a typical way of thinking.

    King of Swords- Seems to be displaying a thoughtful/defensive posture. Hand on chin is a classic “I’m thinking but not worried”. Sword up and slightly pointed towards the front shows a defensive but not closed off posture. This I believe represents Stephen, he is considering his actions carefully and being slightly guarded with his feelings, plus the other women in his life (ex-wife and daughters) don’t like him very much, so he is likely protecting himself from more pain.

    Queen of Cups- We see her walking forward with eyes closed and head held high, this denotes trust and confidence. She is also holding out a chalice in a sharing posture. I believe this to be Larissa, she is giving of herself confidently, with a great deal of trust. She seems to care about Stephen enough to trust him fully.

    Knight of Swords- We the knight barreling in to action while keeping a defensive posture. This, I believe should be the action to be taken.

    I would suggest that Stephen go to the retreat, but be honest and set ground rules. He should confess his caring for Larissa and his willingness to try ‘it’ for the weekend; however, he should tread carefully, don’t put himself in a position where he could alienate another woman and be careful not portray a false, whole hearted interest in the reason for the retreat.

    Thank you

    1. Fantastic, clear advice, Mike – loved reading your take on these three cards. Thank you for joining in the discussion πŸ™‚

  11. Hi Kate

    Here are my thoughts on this spread for Stephen.

    The Prince of Swords is telling me Stephen that you rushed into this relationship and that this is a reaction to your feelings about your divorce, the relationship with your daughters and your dog with bladders problems which are challenges in our life right now that you cannot ignore. At present you do not have any harmony in your home life. You appear outwardly happy but this is not the case inwardly. You do not have the respect of your daughters who feel neglected.

    In the Queen of Cups, your current relationship with Larissa is rocky, you don’t want to upset her upset by not going to the drumming circle but you feel heavily attracted to her but this is not a relationship you can sustain by not being honest. Although you feel this relationship is hot and heavy, you are frightened of upsetting her. You see her as someone quite assured of herself which you don’t feel right now. This relationship is revealing aspects of your personality: running away from difficult situations when they become too hot and you have a number of dominant females in your life who you find difficult to deal with, namely your daughters.

    The King of Swords is saying, β€œSlow down. You need to think clearly about what you are doing.” This card is showing areas of your life you have neglected: your daughters who hate you and your incontinent dog. You need to be honest with yourself and Larissa as to what you want from this relationship. She wants you to share in her life but you don’t want offer that level of commitment. Your relationship with your daughters needs addressing and your dog too. Being honest with Larissa would be a good start as she is represented in the Queen of Cups as someone who listens to her intuition and may well be sensing your resistance to going to the drumming event. This relationship is at an early stage, so you are getting to know one another, so this is where the work comes in. By being honest to all parties involved including yourself you will be doing a service to yourself and others to begin to heal the relationship with your daughters; your dog will feel better; and Larissa may well respect you for your honesty.

    1. Top notch advice, Shirley – thank you for sharing this here πŸ™‚ Your right – there are quite a few dominant females in his life. I think his dog is probably a girl and her pissing all over the place is just a form of control or something – or perhaps letting him know she’s “pissed”, just like his two daughters.

  12. He is thinking to much. The woman obviously likes him but who is he really? He needs to come clean about how he feels both about her and the Sedona thing. If he can respect her beliefs and she can accept that he does not share that aspect of her life then the relationship will have a chance. Who wants to be in a relationship where you are hiding something impoufrom the person?

    1. Exactly! It seems the key here is for Stephen to be honest about who he is. Thanks for joining in the discussion, Kathy πŸ™‚

  13. Stephen should go, he is the King of Swords and he is thinking about the best thing to do, he likes to meditate decisions, he is very confident with his life and takes decisions based on his experience, the sword represents the power of confidence, he is not a “needy” guy… The Queen of Cups is Larissa, a dreamer, passionate about life and love, she trusts Stephen and really believes that he is coming to the Shamanic drumming weekend… the prince of Swords is telling Stephen that not going to the Shamanic weekend would be a betrayal to Larissa, the sword of the Prince is pointing to the back of the Queen, this is telling us that declining the invitation would be devastating to Larissa….What you think Kate about my interpretation. Thanx, Cheers from Mexico. (Kate, continue with this initiatives of Tarot challenges…)

    1. Hi Jay,
      Glad to know your enjoying these Tarot Challenges πŸ™‚
      This is a good, solid interpretation – love how you noticed the sword pointing toward the Queens back.

  14. The king and prince of swords tell me that he has to be himself, even if that doesn’t please others (the girlfriend – queen of cups in this case). The swords also is the suit of “words” and, I think, this means he should communicate his true feelings to the girlfriend, who would understand (queen of cups). Prince of swords may indicate a probable conflict or discussion that is usually not the most pleasant (could be formal, technical discussion or a discussion).

    King of Swords may also indicate the true client’s nature, maybe that’s the reason he is divorced and his daughters don’t like him. He is a little selfish and knows not of any good ways to express what he feels in a way that doesn’t hurt others. So this might be a challenge. The prince of swords only affirms that.
    The queen of cups is the woman he loves and she has a giving and altruistic nature. I think it’s important to be clear in this situation, he might need to tell her his true feelings and she will understand – that’s what was my first (and last) impression. the When we are in relationship with someone, it’s better if both sides know and accept each other the way they are because no one is perfect anyway. So, I think Stephan needs to be courageous and direct about his feelings to Larissa.

    1. Thanks for your reading, Aina πŸ™‚
      I really like how you point out that the Prince of Swords suggests direct verbal communication (even if its uncomfortable).
      Really good advice here!


  15. Oh, Kate! You have me laughing so hard at this one! First, I have to wonder why someone would have a Tarot reading if he “hates that shit”. Perhaps he meant just drumming circles. πŸ™‚

    I also feel like this is what you all were referring to last Menage A Tarot podcast- about talking to the person first about it before consulting the cards. Like maybe try, “I’ve really been enjoying the time we’ve spent together, and it’s cool you’re into this new-agey stuff, but it’s not really my thing. If it’s important to you that I be there at this Shamanic Drumming, I’ll be happy to come and give it a try, otherwise, I’d prefer to sit this one out.” But clearly, Stephen is needing guidance right now, and as Tarot Readers, interpreting the cards is what we do, so let’s have at it:

    Prince of Swords: Dude, this is you. You’re on the defensive right now. You’re more logical and pragmatic, and while you like Larissa and all, you’re having some difficulty figuring out the dynamic in this new relationship given your different personality types, and how to best effectively communicate how you are feeling to her.

    Queen of Cups: This card represents Larissa. She is a spiritual sister. This new-age stuff is her life! She is also into getting her feet wet and trying new things. I think you knew that when you started dating her, and that’s part of what attracted you to her. This doesn’t mean you two can’t ever see eye to eye. She is fully capable of recognizing where you’re coming from. And she may sensitive, but she also very assured and at peace with who she is. She is understanding of others, even when their ideas differ from her own. Don’t be afraid to be honest with her, but do it in a kind and respectful way. This will help ease the communication between you two on this issue.

    King of Swords: Son, it’s time to pony up. This King is confident. While he may be very logical and “sensible” in the traditional sense, he is also inquisitive and open to ideas. Now he still holds his sword at the ready. He isn’t going to let anyone pressure him into anything he doesn’t want to do, but he in’t on the defensive like the Prince. He is willing to give things a go. This card is suggesting a course of action for you.

    I would say try adopting the mindset of the King. I know you say you hate stuff like Shamanic drumming circles and whatnot, but part of you must open to it, or wants to explore it in some way, if you’re dating someone who runs a crystal shop, and are getting tarot readings, am I right? Perhaps you’re not as reluctant as you think. Ultimately, it’s a drum circle we’re talking about here. You don’t have to have to be into new-age, Shamanic stuff to give it a try. It’s not going to hurt you to suck it up and go. And maybe you’ll actually enjoy it.

    On the flip side, if you are truly opposed to it, or are really uncomfortable with it, then stand firm and don’t go. You can still do so with compassion and without upsetting Larissa. Right now you are a Prince; Larissa is a Queen, and you have it within you to be a King. Get on her level and just talk to her about it, man.

    If you decide to go to the Shamanic Drumming, remember you will be going with Larissa. This is someone you like and value. Take joy in spending quality time with her, regardless of the activity. But if you choose not to go, know that’s okay too. It isn’t selfish or rude. It’s about taking care of yourself and knowing what your limits are, so that you can be present for other people. If you’re upfront with Larissa about it, and are accepting of who she is, then I’m sure she’ll understand. But if she doesn’t for some reason, remind yourself that you made the decision that was right for you and that you can be there for her in other ways. Whatever happens, I think you’ll be fine. πŸ™‚

    1. Excellent advice, Chani! Next time I’m all in a pickle about something, I’m coming to YOU for a Tarot reading!
      I totally hadn’t thought out this story properly beforehand, because now that you mention it, Stephen is not the type to get a Tarot reading….at all! Oh well, maybe Larissa bought if for him and said she’d dump him if he didn’t get one?
      Thanks for sharing your insights and interpretations here, Chani πŸ™‚


  16. Hi there,it looks like Stephen is going to come up with some bullshit story to get out of going to Sedona with his new girl.. seems to me the dashing King now knight is going to be rushing out of her life as rapidly as he came into her life. But she sees this in her cup, and is giving him a chance to make good.. but as you know the fast and elusive knight won’t stick around.

  17. I see Larissa (Queen of Cups) as a really grounded and strong individual. She is at ease with any type of spiritual learning that she looks into. She gains insight through all she delves into. Now, Stephen (King of Swords), is a bit perplexed about things and wonders what he has gotten himself into. He’s a manly-man and very worldly. He thinks before he leaps into something. However, he considers that maybe he should go head-long into the issue and give it a try (Prince of Swords). Of course, he’ll still have his guard up in case someone tries to ‘convert’ him. He’ll find out he really enjoys what he learns and all will be well. He will find he can relate to Larissa on a different level.

  18. I’m identifying Stephen’s current attitude as the King of Swords, a little stuck in what he thinks is right, but at least considering doing something different. Also, he’s oriented toward the Queen of Cups, who I’m identifying as Larissa. She’s strongly committed to her woo-woo, and I believe that she’s as no-nonsense about her beliefs as Stephen.

    They’re facing off right now over the issue, but it looks like Stephen has the opportunity to get off his throne (rigid, my-way/highway) approach and get all Mr. Knightly, by going dashing off in support of discovering something new, the Sedona Larissa wants to share with him.

    I like how, as the Knight, Stephen is running TOWARD Larissa, rather than facing her down. It allows Larissa to have some authority in the relationship, too, which is a nice–if rare–gift to receive from the King of Swords!

    1. Thank you Jamie, for sharing your interpretation! It’s funny because I see the Knight as attacking the Queen, like he’s trying to stab her in the back! But I think I like the way you see this layout way more.

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