As a graduate of Mystery school, former resident psychic at an East Village Wiccan bookshop, and frequent reader of many spreads, I am well-versed in the occult insight from astrology, numerology, and the Kabbalah contained in Tarot cards. Beyond these fields, let us not lose sight of the fact that our 22 Major Arcana trumps and 56 Minor Arcana pips and court cards were documented in fifteenth century Italy but arose from polytheistic Iran and thus contain strong biases from all these ancestors. Which is to say that sometimes in a reading you will hear the wise echoing spirit of those who came before and now seek to teach you shout “Are you kidding me??”
THE FOUR OF SWORDS
This card is so over whatever you’re asking about that it is literally trying to take a nap that may or may not last for 1,000 years. In the middle of your reading. While you are waiting for it to give you an answer. Basically, the four of swords is telling you that the most lively response it has to offer is a stained glass window that appears to be of a kid who is dressed like a red beetle and his mom who doesn’t understand why you’re not. Meanwhile, “SHHHHH, just closing my eyes,” says the card who can’t be bothered to advise you right now.
THE FIVE OF SWORDS
Are you getting the memo that not only is the card trying to ignore you, but so are all your friends? You’re left to pick up all the crap they dropped — or you dropped? I dunno, were you trying to play “pick up the antiquated jeweled weapons” with your pals at the beach? — with no hope of any help, let alone from this card which depicted you garbed as a blond unemployed Macy’s elf who truly could use a haircut.
THE FIVE OF PENTACLES
“Stop complaining!!” groans yet another five, this time in the suit of Earth. “You could go inside the church and get warm, but nah. You could save your Grecian sandals for summer, but nope. You could even talk to your Sturm und Drang buddy, but not at all. You just want to trudge silently through the snow, wearing a cow bell, and freezing your tuchus off, like WHYYY MEEEEE. This is easily the most openly mocking of the Tarot cards.
EIGHT OF CUPS
If this isn’t the GIRL BYE of the Minor Arcana, what even is? The figure in the card is peaceing out just because there’s one missing cup. The moon is giving you side eye. And whoever stacked up those eight goblets didn’t stick around to listen to you stare wide-eyed back at your reading wondering if you should like maybe leave, or?
TEN OF SWORDS
LOL, you did not get the message swords one through nine. I know, says the guiding spirit of Tarot; let’s jam no less than ten swords into this fool’s spine to see if he gets the message. Cool cool, he’s raising two fingers in a gesture of surrender to Truth. This couldn’t have happened maybe a little sooner!? WE NEED TO STOP ASKING THE TAROT DECK THE SAME DAMN QUESTION.
THE HIGH PRIESTESS
Heyyy it’s a lady with a phases-of-the-moon hat and a persimmons curtain that looks straight out of the Urban Outfitters tapestry department! She’s holding the TORA, sitting between two columns that together read BJ, and she’s wearing her down-to-clown party dress! At last, a Major Arcana card that can give us less judgment, more answers to our dearest inquiry.
“You know,” she says, expression unmoved.