On Tarot Mindfulness: or a badly-named Three Card Draw

Tarot is an act of mindfulness. To me, it is less of a divination and more of a meditation. An ordering of thoughts cast from the chaos. A method to interrogate the subconscious. Where do your tarot answers come from? Let’s see!

In the early stages of planning this blog, I asked the somewhat open question: “What should I think about this blog?” I drew these cards (along with a fifth clarification, later):

On Tarot Mindfulness

  • 1: Situation- Judgment
  • 2: Conflict- Five of Wands
  • 3: Advice- Ace of Pentacles
  • 0: Not- The Hermit

for some info on The Cards

As you can already see, my Three Card Draw is badly named, considering that it uses four cards. The extra clarification card I drew begins to push the bounds of absurdity, but at heart I consider this to be about three cards.

This was a nerve-wracking drawing. Judgment tends to make me anxious, and immediately following it with the Five of Wands didn’t help anything. The Ace of Pentacles rounded out the draw and smoothed the edges, though, but first let’s talk about The Hermit.

The 0: Not card is where I tend to start a reading. This is a clarifier that I draw at the beginning, and consider first by looking at its most obvious meanings. At this point a rough interpretation of the spread is in my mind, and I look at the Not card to get a firm idea of what the spread is definitively not about. This instance tells me that the cards are not dealing with primarily internal matters and will deal with external interactions.

Judgment tells me that this reading is about the weight of my choices (with The Hermit reminding me that these choices refer to the world outside my head). The Five of Wands warns of conflict (appropriate, considering that this is the conflict position, but at this point I don’t have any information here other than: there will be conflict).

Talking about a topic like the beginning of a project, this reading seems to tell me to be aware and mindful of my actions, along with the general conflict warning. Fair enough, when looking at a beginning. The idea is starting to creep into my intuition that these cards are reminding me of the commitments that I would be facing, but more details on that later.

Moving to the Advice card, the Ace of Pentacles seems much more unambiguous. This card seems difficult to view right now as anything other than: Do it, auspicious beginnings! Easy enough to leave that there for now.

The situation and conflict cards still don’t feel like they have too definite of a meaning yet, though. This is where the mindfulness comes in. And this is where the magic is in tarot. Some will call this divination or intuition, depending on their views. I’m clearly inclined towards the intuition camp but that doesn’t feel like the most accurate description, at least as I see it. This is a meditative process now to get beyond the “what does this card and that card mean” and get to the meaning that makes it more worthwhile than a memory-recall activity.

What does this mean? I’m now considering awareness of actions and how it relates to the beginning of a project (namely, this blog). There’s nothing specific in the cards that says anything here, and that’s why ultimately I like a three card format. There are gaps to be filled and questions to be answered. At this point, in fact, the reading has given me mostly gaps, other than the overly affirmative Ace, but since I’m not looking for a yes/no answer there’s more unpacking to do.

Knowing myself and the general nature of publishing, I’m thinking about commitment. About how I can have a tendency to explore interests and about how if I begin publishing I’m making a commitment to myself and to my future readers. Ultimately about how if I get started I may not always want to or be able to stick with a schedule but I’ll essentially be making the decision to do it anyways.

So, as I’m sitting on my couch on a snowed-in day, wrapped in a sweater and drinking a coffee, these cards are in my head. Or more specifically, the cards have uncovered the main points that I know I need to think about. The meaning, a paraphrased slogan, jumps forward. If I’m going to do it, I need to do it. Here, I draw a clarifying card. I don’t necessarily need it but I want to take it a little further. The Knight of Wands, a warning to add to Judgment and the Five of Wands. I’m getting the conflict now; it’s all about a need to focus. Don’t rush into a thing unaware of the consequences. Remember commitment in the face of exuberance. And then act confidently and fully.

Then, to paraphrase again: Be aware and mindful but not timid. Prepare, then act.

This, of course, is all from my thoughts. This is what I already know and this is self-motivation. But these specific thoughts, which are actually good things to stop and consider in my current situation, weren’t on the top of my mind until I was forced to pluck order from the randomness of three (or four, or five) cards from the luck of a draw. That’s the mindfulness of the tarot.

The cards used in this post are from the Deviant Moon tarot deck.