How did I get here?
The back-to-front reading

An inside-out reading

Inside-out readingThose who keep a journal may know this: reflecting on a situation is often the way to a solution or, at the least, a way forward.

[Article modified 31 August 2022.]

Reflecting with Tarot cards is even better.

Usually, a tarot reader chooses cards randomly and places them in a pre-determined layout called a spread. Since reflection is, in a way, turning yourself inside-out, let's turn a tarot reading inside-out for this reflective exercise.

The exercise has five steps, and by the end, you will have a thorough grasp of your situation and a solution.

Step one: In your journal, make brief notes about your current situation: what is going on, how you feel about it, and why you feel it to be a problem.

Step two: Go through your tarot deck and choose six cards that in somehow express your situation. Put these in a pile before you.

For example, if you feel trapped and as if you are going in circles, two appropriate cards would be the Wheel of Fortune and the Eight of Swords. Feeling burdened might require the Ten of Wands. Feeling as if your world has turned upside-down could be expressed by the Hanged Man. For anxiety, you might choose the Nine of Swords.

Don't worry about the traditional meanings of the cards; go by the images and choose the most representative cards.

Note in your journal which cards you chose and why. Also, note the sequence in which you drew the cards.

Step three: When you look at the cards, look for a theme that connects them. A theme could be similar meanings, shared images, shared or sequential numbers, and so on.

How does this theme correspond to your situation? Write this in your journal.

Step four: Now read these cards as you usually read tarot cards, using the spread below. Place the cards according to the sequence you drew them from the deck:

Spread 6 cards Starting a new cycle

  1. Your situation.
  2. What is a reason to be optimistic about your situation?
  3. Where is this going?
  4. What is the potential for good in this situation?
  5. What do you need to do to get out of the situation?
  6. Hope for the future.

How do you feel about using the cards you selected in step one to represent the situation in a more positive light?

Step five: Choose a card randomly from the remainder of the deck. Place this card next to card 6 in the spread, and read it as "Solution, or the way forward."

This is it! You have now looked at the problem in several ways using tarot cards. If not a solution, you should at least have a way forward.

[An earlier version of this article appeared on SynTAROTis.]


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