tarot card meanings

The Best Way to Learn the Tarot Card Meanings

The following post and video is inspired by Andy Matzner’s book Tarot for Transformation.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret – a juicy Tarot secret that will help you truly understand your cards and make your readings POP!

But first, some boring backstory….

I first discovered Tarot when I was young and impatient and I immediately set about trying to learn and memorize all 78 Tarot cards.

A typical Tarot beginner move!

Not to brag or anything, but I kind of succeeded. Within a fairly short amount of time, I had a surface level grasp of what most Tarot cards represented. But I was a shitty reader and I still didn’t understand what Tarot was really all about.

Fast forward to now. I’m slowly working through Tarot for Transformation: Using the Major Arcana to Discover Your Best Self and Create a Life Worth Living by Andy Matzner.

It’s a deliciously slow process, like eating a box of chocolate caramels while stoned.

This slow process, which I’ll describe in a hot minute, allows me to stay with a card way longer than I normally would – to really climb inside it and roll around in it. And at the same time, to climb deep inside myself (which sounds a bit creepy, now that I think about it).

The more I get to know each card, the more I realize that the cards are simply there to help me get to know myself. Mind blown!

So what exactly IS this juicy Tarot secret I speak of? And how do you apply it to your readings?

The secret is this: each Tarot card is alive within you – it’s like a map of your soul. Once you understand how the themes of each card play out within you, you begin to develop a personal relationship with the Tarot. And once you come to know the Tarot intimately (seeing your self in the cards and the cards in you), the cards will open up to you and reveal their mysteries.

I’m going to take you on a little journey – we’re going to dive into The High Priestess together. Or rather, we’re going to dive into ourselves to find our inner High Priestess! Woo hoo!

Exploring the Subconscious

mystic meg tarot
Mystic Meg Tarot

In Tarot for Transformation, Andy Matzner writes that The High Priestess is associated with water, intuition, repeating cycles of change, the moon, wisdom, the subconscious and many other things. Basically, all the cool stuff.

He asks: “how can we best move between the conscious and subconscious parts of ourselves?”

So let’s start there. How indeed?

I’ll let you go first. Have you found any methods or activities that help you tap into the partially hidden realms of your mind? Take a moment to ponder.

A few years ago I was hypnotized and while I was under hypnosis, the hypnotherapist asked my higher self to come forward and answer a list of questions that I’d prepared in advance. Holy moly! My higher self said all kinds of wild stuff! The session was recorded and when I listened back to it I was blown away by the wisdom, advice and insights that I got. Who knew?!

Dream Journalling, lucid dreaming, meditative journeying and various automatic writing exercises have also helped me tap into my subconscious and unearth my inner wisdom.

Often, when The High Priestess shows up in a reading, she’s telling you to go deeper. Don’t just be content to fuddle about with surface level stuff. Go deep. The answers are within you.

Honouring Your Intuition

In Tarot for Transformation, many different methods of tapping into your intuition are suggested, along with a list of journal questions like how do you know when your intuition is communicating with you? and Describe a time when listening to your intuition changed your life.

Everyday Witch Tarot by Deborah Blake

So let’s go there. What is your relationship to your intuition like? Are you in the habit of ignoring it? Have you been making attempts to honour it or even explore it in a feet first, New Age Adventurer kind of way?

For years I tuned out my intuitive feelings like you would a pesky younger sibling. My intuition felt like an inconvenient distraction from logic, reason and the goals of the ego.

But as I got older and more desperate to find real meaning in my life, I began to re-discover my intuition. And look at me now! Blogging away about intuition like I know what I’m talking about! ๐Ÿ˜‰

The High Priestess reminds us to acknowledge our intuition because the way we treat our intuition mirrors the kind of relationship we have with our soul (our deeper, expanded self). Honouring your intuition is a great way to show yourself some love and respect.

Cycles & Rhythms

Now let’s shift gears a bit and talk about the moon, cycles and natural rhythms, which are all in the realm of The High Priestess.

Just as we aren’t really encouraged (in our current society) to honour our intuition, we are actively discouraged in following our natural rhythms and cycles. Tampon ads are the perfect example of this.

Google image search “tampon ad” (go ahead, I’ll wait for you) and you’ll see an array of women playing tennis, doing gymnastics, climbing walls, doing back flips and playing soccer alongside phrases like “my period doesn’t slow me down!” and my personal favourite “Serena SHUTS OUT mother nature’s monthly gift” (a Tampax Pearl ad featuring Serena Williams). Cold and flu medication ads pull the same shit.

But is it wise to push your body when you’re on your period? Or trying to get over a cold? The High Priestess says NO! Work with your cycles, not against them. There will be times of high energy and times of low energy. There is a time to shine and take action and and a time to rest, recharge and go inward.

The Anna K Tarot

In Tarot for Transformation, there are a bunch of great journalling questions about this, like “how familiar are you with your own natural rhythms?” and “when do you typically feel most drained during the day? Most energized?”

A question I want to add is how can you better honour your natural energy cycles?

Take a moment now to ponder this. Journal about it if you want.

I’ve found it much, much easier to honour my energy cycles since I became self employed and started working from home. From ages 4 – 30ish, I was always on someone else’s schedule and feeling like I had to meet the energy demands that others placed on me. Since I became fully self employed, I’ve been in control of my own schedule and the type of work that I do, allowing me to work with my energy and cycles.

Of course there are plenty of ways to honour your cycles without quitting your day job! A really neat book on how to sync your diet and exercise to your menstrual cycle is Womancode by Alisa Vitti.

Learn about the moon phases and experiment with syncing up your activities so they correspond to the moon’s energy. For example, focus on manifestation and taking action on goals when the moon is waxing and releasing things when the moon is waning.

Is there a particular time of day when you’re most energetic? Or most creative? Plan your activities accordingly. It sounds ridiculously simple but we often overlook this sort of thing.

So now you know!

Now you know the secret to really, truly understanding your Tarot cards. Dive deep, take your time and don’t just explore each Tarot card and it’s symbols, but use your cards to explore your SELF. Use your cards to ask yourself questions and don’t be afraid to get nosy and personal (it’s just you, after all!)

If you liked this approach to exploring Tarot…

Make sure you check out Tarot for Transformation by Andy Matzner. It’s a big book with plenty of great info on each Major Arcana card, along with journalling questions, exercises and tips for diving deep. Your relationship to your cards (and your self) will never be the same!

Purchase on Amazon (my affiliate link)

Now tell me…

Did you learn anything new about The High Priestess (or your self) from doing this exercise? What was this exercise like for you? Feel free to share in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

The Tarot Court Cards….In Bed! Part 4: The Kings

It’s been over a year since my last installment in the Court Cards in bed series and I’ve left the best ’til last…The Kings!

After struggling to understand and connect with those distant and chilly Court Cards, I decided to hop into bed with them (in my mind) and imagine what they would be like between the sheets. Yes, it’s super pervy, but that’s just how I roll!

If you’re unfamiliar with this series, here are my previous posts:

The Smutty Side of The Tarot Queens

Those Nasty Pages!

Hot Tarot Knights

 

I had so much fun writing these, but for some reason I couldn’t muster the passion to write about those stuffy Kings. I guess I’ve just never been into older men. But my smut loving readers have been asking me to finish this series for months: “Do the Kings! Do the Kings!”

So finally, with a little help from my evil twin Veronica, I’m doin’ the Kings!

The Tarot Kings in Bed

The Kings are mature, confident and experienced. As Samantha from Sex and the City once said about an older lover “he’s been around the block and knows how to use his c*ck!”

And that pretty much sums it up.

The only downside with the Kings is their tendency to be a bit….stuffy and overly serious. But those crusty, responsible exteriors are hiding a molten hot lava core of blistering raunchiness. Enjoy!

 

The King of Cups

Crystal Visions Tarot

Suit qualities: emotions, feelings, relationships

Personality traits: touchy feely, chit chatty and caring, he’s one of those “sensitive” guys.

The King of Cups actually cares about your feelings and listening to you yammer on about the emotional day you just had gives him a total boner!

He’s ultra sensual and cares deeply about your pleasure and will go to the ends of the earth to make sure you explode in just the right way. But beware…..

You may think you can have an anonymous quickie with this guy in the bushes at a Summer music festival, but then he’ll ruin it after by saying something lame like “how are you feeling?” or “I hope I didn’t violate any of your emotional boundaries.”

He wants nothing more than to “be there for you” and to listen and comfort you in your time of need. Which is just fine if it’s a therapist you’re looking for. But if it’s just a great shag your in need of, look elsewhere. This guy could drive you nuts with all the talk talk talk about feelings.

In real life he’s a counselor or teacher and loves giving his friends and co-workers spontaneous backrubs and hugs for no reason.

He’s very comfortable touching people. And he won’t hesitate to touch you – everywhere – again and again. You may think you’ve landed yourself a doting lover, but his generosity is a sham – he will later demand payment in the form of sharing your feelings. *Shudder!*

Secret fantasy: Doing it missionary on one of those Freud-style therapy couches while you whisper the word “feelings” over and over again in his ear.

 

The King of Wands

Druidcraft Tarot

Suit qualities: creativity, passion, career, action

Personality traits:ย This King is full of get up and go, filthy ideas and the plenty of raw energy to make your fantasies a reality. He’s someone worth busting out the Astroglide for.

As a lover he can go all night long – unlike some of his contemporaries, who are more interested rubbing suntan oil on their beer guts and grumbling about interest rates.

Since the King of Wands is a very successful sort of man who has his shit together, you will be deliciously shocked by his inventiveness and lusty ways in the bedroom!

For example, he is the type to suggest co-writing a porno script and then acting it out, viking helmets and all. See what I mean? Totally raunchy!!!

The only problem with the King of Wands is that he won’t tolerate a phoned in performance in the sack. So don’t think you can just lie there and fake moan on those days when you’d really rather be watching Witches of East End and eating peanut butter Coconut Bliss.

Secret fantasy: Being the star in a live sex show

 

The King of Pentacles

Morgan Greer Tarot

Suit qualities: money, health, home, the body

Personality traits: This guy is sexsessful with a capital S! Dripping in gold watches, money and businesses, he’s the quintessential sugar daddy.

Having shed the uptight sensibility of his youth, this King has weathered a few divorces and isn’t looking for a big commitment – he’d rather wine, dine, 69 you. And that’s good news!

The King of Pentacles is very much into eating….food and other things. He will suggest you cook him dinner wearing nothing but an apron and then want to smear your entire body in creme brulee. Which could either be fun or totally gross. You decide!

Alcohol, especially wine, is a favorite bedside companion for this booze swilling King. He loves nothing more than getting drunk by the fire and then rolling around naked on a faux fur rug until you both pass out.

His greatest downfall is his tendency to get so trashed that he becomes unconscious before you get a chance to get it on. Worst of all, he won’t even remember your mind blasting BJ techniques that you learned from reading Cosmopolitan in the grocery store line up.

Secret fantasy: Something involving a bevvy of prostitutes, being fed grapes and a champagne waterfall.

 

The King of Swords

Robin Wood Tarot

Suit qualities: intellect, thoughts, mind, communication

Personality traits: I hate to say it, but this guy is kind of a bore. He’s rigid, starchy and has no sense of humor….until you toss him on a bed and have your way with him!

The King of Swords spends all day being a big boy and acting like Mr. Smartypants. Just the kind of guy who needs to be taken down a peg or two.

If your looking for someone to dominate, the King of Swords is your man! His corporate facade is exhausting to uphold and he longs to pushed around and told what to do.

But his tastes are rather specific – not just any old honkytonk dominatrix will do. He prefers a lady of substance and refinement. Someone who is well read and knows the difference between Wuthering Heights and Fifty Shades of Grey.

In between steamy, all out kink fests he likes to discuss literature, politics, art and film (not movies – those are for riff-raff). So if you’re super-brainy, this buttoned up, stuffed shirt King will fulfill your desire for intellectual stimulation and your need to degrade someone. The perfect combo!

Secret fantasy: to be dominated by a bookish librarian type who will shriek out Shakespeare quotes while she spanks him!

 

To Sum Things Upโ€ฆ

Looking at the Tarot Court Cards in a whole new way brings them to life!

The Tarot Court Cards are multidimensional characters and while most descriptions of them can be pretty yawn-worthy and forgettable, I guarantee you wonโ€™t soon forget the filth you just read here.

Add Your Two Cents!

In the comments below, tell me which Tarot King you think would make the most captivating lover and why?

Tarot Card Combinations Exercise!

As I was writing my upcoming Tarot card meanings e-book, which should be out in June, I had a bit of an epiphany and an idea for a fun Tarot exercise.

My epiphany was this: the Major Arcana in the Tarot (The Fool through to The World) represent different aspects of your self, while the Minor Arcana represent the different aspects your life.

This of course is not my own idea, as I’m sure it’s been written about in many Tarot books before, but I really truly got it as I was writing this book. It was one of those things I already knew intellectually, but suddenly understood it on a deeper level.

So here’s my idea for a fun Tarot exercise:

As a way to practice card combinations, lets pair up a Major Arcana card with a Minor Arcana card (not a court card, though). I chose the The Emperor and the Four of Cups.

emperor and four of cups
Universal Waite Tarot

 

How would The Emperor deal with feeling bored and uninspired (Four of Cups)?

Or, how does your inner Emperor – the part of yourself that is independent, a bit rebellious and stubborn – respond to feeling this way? When you feel like the mopey moper in the Four of Cups, how does that effect your ability to be the Emperor in your own life (ie: the captain of your ship)?

Personally, when I’m feeling bored and blah about life, I tend to feel un-confident about making decisions and taking charge of my own life. This is when I might sleep till noon and spend the evening watching shit TV or reading celebrity gossip blogs. Aka Saturdays.

Let’s try another!

How would Death – the part of you that ruthlessly clears out what is no longer neededย  – experience the Ten of Wands (feeling overburdened and exhausted by crummy chores and stuff)?

death and ten of wands
Universal Waite Tarot

 

I’ll bet he’d delegate certain chores and start saying “no” more often. He would have no trouble allowing things to die (like droopy houseplants, dull friendships or lacklustre hobbies) if the upkeep of those things didn’t make him feel alive.

Through this exercise, you’re able to learn things about yourself and explore all the possibilities of who you really are.

Now it’s your turn!

Choose your favorite Major Arcana card and then randomly pick a card from the Minor Arcana. Ask yourself this:

1. When I feel like the Minor Arcana card, how does that effect the part of myself that is like the Major Arcana card?

2.ย How would the part of myself that is like the Major Arcana card deal with the life situation illustrated by the Minor Arcana card?

3. What does this tell you about yourself? Is it relevant to your life right now?

Share your results and interpretation in the comments below ๐Ÿ™‚

How to Read the Same Tarot Card in Different Decks

Do Tarot card meanings differ depending on what deck you’re using?

Does The High Priestess in the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot deck have the same meaning in The Druidcraft Tarot or the Shadowscapes Tarot?

Yes AND No!

Let me break it down for you and show you how to read Tarot like a pro – regardless of what Tarot deck you’re using…

When reading Tarot with different Tarot decks, keep these things in mind:

1) Each Tarot card has a basic meaning, which typically will not vary much from deck to deck. Think of this as the underlying structure of the card, like a blueprint for a building.

2) Each Tarot deck will depict the cards a bit differently. The underlying structure of the card remains the same, but the artistic differences are like interior decorating – they add a different twist to the basic structure/meaning.

3) Your initial interpretation of a Tarot card will remain very similar, regardless of what deck you’re using – but how you elaborate on that meaning will differ, depending on what images and symbols appear on the card.

Good luck & happy Tarot reading!