I’ve developed some stalker cards on a few recent tarot reads. You know them: the cards that pop up again and again and linger for awhile. They seem to suggest that you need to continue focusing on a topic.
Why do we fixate on stalkers cards in tarot? Is there any rhyme or reason to their appearance?
I’m not so arrogant to claim that I know the answers to the unspeakable mysteries of existence. Much of what we do in tarot falls into the big-question-category. But with that being said, I’ll be happy to admit that I don’t tend to think that there’s much of what people would consider to be “magic” in these cards or in their users. I use tarot as a form of guided meditation in which the individual’s mindfulness is sharpened through the chaotic drawing of the cards.
Of course, I could be entirely wrong, I’ll admit. And when serendipitous or synchronous draws do happen, it makes you think.
Lately I’ve seen a number of appearances of the various court of Wands. And then I did a daily meditation with the Six of Cups and the Seven of Wands, and those two cards showed up associated with each other in a reading the very next day.
In the early stages of writing for this blog, those stalker cards seem to be giving me repeated advice about things I am working on. But then the big kicker came that made me sit back and think. And then decide to write this post. I did a Celtic Cross spread where the two central self cards were the Knight of Wands and the Six of Swords– which seemed like a clear message about jumping off into creating this blog itself (named Six of Knives, after the Six of Swords).
Why am I seeing repeated cards and seemingly-direct messages on the topic of this blog? My rational and skeptical brain tells me it’s confirmation bias. The fallacy in which you think a repeated encounter has greater frequency than it actually does, but where you’re fixating on a particular thing and remembering it as being more common than it actually is. Much of what people identify as numerological superstition I tend to write off as confirmation bias.
But my stalker cards have been definitely showing up more commonly than other cards. I know this because I keep a notebook of my readings and meditations. The court of Wands, for example, has made an appearance in about 75% of my readings in the past few weeks.
I naturally attribute it to the creative endeavor of constructing this site. And other synchronous cards are being pulled into that attribution as well. But really, what are the odds? The chance of drawing a single particular card in a standard tarot deck is about 1.28% and the chance of drawing two particular cards is 0.02%. Those numbers are low. Not impossible low odds, but unlikely low odds.
So how do we account for synchronous draws? Especially when they seem to come on a regular basis? In short, I don’t know. I do know that my attaching these cards’ meaning to the workings of this site comes from an internal mental process, most likely because I’m spending a lot of time working on and thinking about the project. I’m definitely the one attaching the specific meaning to these cards through my mental processes. After all, it’s not like I’m drawing a card called “The Website.” But I still can’t explain why these same cards are repeatedly showing up in a short period of time, other than to say that luck or fate or chance or the Wheel is giving them to me.
Or maybe a small amount of oil is left on the cards from my hands and it causes them to come up again. Is that a thing? I really don’t know.
But these questions: that’s what I suppose makes the tarot interesting. Even the most rational and skeptical reader is throwing the proverbial bones when doing a tarot reading. While the front of my mind is saying that the tarot is an intellectual activity based on archetypal shared human characteristics, my subconscious is still grasping at the “magic” chance-laden aspect of it all. I love that it’s chaotic. That I’m synthesizing the chaos with meaning.
Do I believe that there’s real magic in tarot? Nah, not really. At least that’s what I’ll tell you. But will I swear that I know for sure? Of course not. Because if you practice tarot for long enough you’re going to have some weird, unexplainable situations.
The cards used in this post are from the Deviant Moon tarot deck.