How to Read a Tarot Card (Using Dream Interpretation Techniques)

Last week I had the weirdest dream. I was trying to buy some booze at a liquor store and the cashier, who happened to be Jake Gyllenhaal, asked to see my ID.

But when I reached into my wallet for my driver’s license, it was gone! I panicked. I felt dizzy with anxiety over the fact that I had lost my identity.

I tried explaining to Jake Gyllenhall that I probably just misplaced my ID and it wasn’t a big deal but he called his supervisor over and she said that it WAS a big deal and they wouldn’t sell me the alcohol.

I felt powerless and sick to my stomach.

There’s a few weird elements in this dream. #1 I’m not much of a drinker, #2 I’m too old to get asked for ID and #3 I’m not even into Jake Gyllenhaal, so why is he popping up in my dreams as a miserly cashier?

Since the dream make absolutely no fucking sense to me, I decided to put my dream interpretation techniques to work!

I usually do these four steps when interpreting a dream:

  1. Theme – what was the overall theme of the dream?
  2. Feeling – what emotions did I experience?
  3. Symbols – what were the main symbols in the dream?
  4. Action – what was I mostly doing in the dream?

The theme of the dream was losing my identity. The main feeling I had was panic and anxiety. The action I was taking was trying to convince the people in the dream to give me what I wanted. And the main symbols in the dream were the lost driver’s license, liquor and Jake Gyllenhaal.

The symbols are intriguing – while my driver’s license helps me prove who I am, liquor can help me forget who I am. I still have no idea how Jake Gyllenhaal fits into any of this.

Then I tried to take what I’d learned about this dream and apply it to my real life…

Was I struggling to find my identity? In what areas of my life was I feeling panicky and anxious? Did I feel I had to convince others to give me what I wanted?

This led to hours of fascinating self reflection and journaling! Thank god I don’t have kids or a real job, so I can just sit around all day pondering this shit.

Just as these dream interpretation techniques can help you plumb the sordid depths of your psyche, they can also help you decode a Tarot card.

Okay, now let’s apply these same four questions to a Tarot reading situation!

Let’s say you’re doing a daily one card draw. You ask “what do I need to know right now?” and draw the Knight of Wands from the Everyday Witch Tarot.

Everyday Witch Tarot
  • What’s the overall theme of this card?
  • What feeling do you get when you look at it?
  • What action (if any) is taking place?
  • What are the main symbols?

If you want to practice, I’ll let you answer the above questions on your own. To see my answers, keep reading!

So I’m going to start with the symbols, because that’s the easiest bit. I see the fire breathing dragon, the mountain and the magic wand as the main symbols. You may have picked different ones and that’s totally fine.

I think the mountain and dragon symbolize a challenge or a goal. The magic wand symbolizes your own power and ability to direct your will and energy.

I feel excited and energized when I look at this card, but also antsy, like when you drink too much coffee and then have to sit for twenty minutes in the waiting room of your waxing salon, reading People magazine while you nervously anticipate getting your pubes ripped out.

The action that seems to be unfolding is that this knight is going on a quest to vanquish the dragon.

The overall theme of this card is tackling a big goal or challenge.

So now for the tricky part! How do all these elements apply to your life? What is the advice or suggestions offered by this card?

When I consider this card and what’s going on in my life right now, there are a few possible messages:

  • Now is the time to tackle that BIG roadblock or fear
  • Having a specific goal to work towards right now will be helpful for you
  • What do you consider to be your biggest challenges right now?

Some things to keep in mind…

The symbols you notice and the feelings you have when you gaze at this card will depend on what’s going on in your psyche right now. This is why no two people will read this card in the exact same way.

Also, if you look at this card in a few weeks, you might see different stuff and therefore come up with a whole different message. For example, I sometimes see adventure and excitement when I look at this card, but today all I got was goals, goals, goals!

What I love about interpreting a Tarot card like a dream is that it lets you go beyond the book meaning of a card. You can go deeper into a card this way and the messages feel more personal and custom made to fit your life.

Okay, so I didn’t tell you about the second and more scandalous part of my Jake Gyllenhaal dream…

After refusing to sell me alcohol, Jake Gyllenhaal approached me in the park behind the liquor store. I was sulking at a picnic table. He leaned down and filthily whispered “come back to my place and we can do all the drugs and have all the sex.”

Can you believe it?!

Sadly, I was horrified and disgusted by his lurid offer and said “no way!”


I guess even Unconscious Me is an uptight prissy pants.

In the comments below, tell me your most recent weird dream…because I’m creepy/nosy like that 😉

3 thoughts on “How to Read a Tarot Card (Using Dream Interpretation Techniques)”

  1. Great article! I’m super into dreams and really like the idea of reading tarot like interpreting a dream, seems almost obvious now that I think about it…
    I often dream about losing my voice at the worst moment, not being able to scream and call for help when I’m under attack… I guess I need to speak my truth more, or maybe ask for help when I need it?

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