A Rusty Tarot Reading

This may or may not surprise you, but those of you who actually know me remember that I have worked with tarot cards for many years. I find them very helpful for clarifying my thinking, figuring out trends, and learning about other people. In fact, this blog and our ranch, The Hermits’ Rest, is a nod to the card Lee most identifies with, the Hermit. It’s about seeking the truth, teaching others, and yes, withdrawal from life.

I wish the card I identified with most was romantic and exciting, but I’m afraid it’s the less intense equivalent of the Hermit, 4 of Swords. It’s a card of calm, peace, meditation, and retreat. It used to come up for me nearly every day when I was drawing a card a day. Now that I’m a lot better at self-care, I don’t think it would do that so much.

Enough of the tarot blathering. I haven’t done many readings lately, except a few for others. The one I did for my sister a month or two ago was really something, and I think that’s the last one I did. But, with yesterday being the traditional new year for earth-centered folks, I decided to do my usual Halloween reading to see where I might be headed in the next year. Here’s what came up.

My reading, October 31, 2021

I was so rusty at reading that at first, I was a bit concerned. There are a lot of stern, mean-looking dudes in that spread. Who or what were they and why were they all over my life for the next year? But, as I looked at the other cards and considered the context of my life right now, it began to make sense. I’ll share with you what I saw. Note that my friends who are good this stuff may see something else. Alternative perspectives are welcome.

I tend to use the cards to draw connections my conscious mind hadn’t seen before and to see relationships emerge that I hadn’t realized where there. I’m not predicting the future.


The card that signified the theme of the reading is the 3 of Pentacles. That’s a card about doing high-quality work and getting recognition for it. That evokes my recent job change that is a new part of my life this year. I realize that a lot of the reading may concern work.

Crossing that card is the Wheel of Fortune, which is not a game show, but represents either luck or a life full of significant ups and downs. I’d say that summarizes both my recent past and my present, and the thing that’s made it hard to do my best work–so many other things going on and demanding attention.

Next, I saw the Empress over there to the left, in the past position. She’s a mom and a nurturer. I have, indeed, spent a lot of my time in the past few months to a year trying to make things better for people and expending a lot of energy in that. That’s the past, though.

Sitting high above me is the Hierophant, who signals institutions, bosses, teachers, and such, which used to be the card I hated. When I was in a bad job, he showed up over and over until I left. I think this time it represents the job I just left, because of feeling oppressed by the demands of out-of-touch higher ups but cautions me to be aware of wanting to conform to make a good impression at the new place, too. Hmm. Lots to think about.

Below, at the root of the issue is the particularly unattractive 4 of Pentacles. This represents someone who wants everything to themselves, can’t let go, or as Robin Wood (who created the deck I read with) said, “an emotional black hole.” This is telling me that the other part of my life that weighed me down for the past year or so (one I don’t talk about here) is still lurking down there, thanks to the Empress being so strong and me wanting to help even when it goes against my best interests. Since it’s tied (in my mind) to the Empress card, I think it’s in the past, too.

That’s confirmed by the future card, which is, hip-hip hooray, the World! That card hints that I may well be right that I’ve figured some things out, am in a better place, and come to the end of a cycle intact and with lots and lots of knowledge. Good, good.

So, what happens next? Well, the card on the bottom of the stack on the right is the 8 of Cups. When I saw that, I said to myself, “Ain’t that the truth?” This card shows someone turning away from all the “stuff” in the past, ready to step forward into whatever is next, without all that emotional baggage (cups are emotions). Right, right! That’s what I want to be doing. Thank you, random tarot cards, for confirming that.

Here’s where more of the “people” cards show up. They always make me think about whether they represent people in my life or traits. With the King of Pentacles in the position of my friends and family, it becomes clear. This is a kind guy who has money, and I would like that to represent the people in my household, who also work in our business. They know what they are doing and will be with me all the way.

Next is the card that represents my hopes and fears/dreams. I chose fears here because it’s the King of Swords. This is a scary guy, to me, often a military man or stern ruler. He’s smart, but not very emotional. You may laugh at me, but I thought of the Governor of Texas, who keeps passing laws that upset me and make me fear for the safety of women, children, immigrants, and other people without much power. Now why is THAT GUY in my reading??? I think I’m more worried that politics is going to mess with my happy 2022 than I let myself realize consciously.

Moving on to the end, things do get better, judging from the cheerful 6 of Cups at the top. It looks like if I do the stuff the other cards are hinting at, like working hard, giving up on nurturing people who don’t want to be nurtured, and learn from the crazy past year or two, I can have the kind of life I’d want, a simple one full of happiness and family. I would not turn that down!

There’s a card to the side. I drew it to see something more long term. It’s the Knight of Swords. That’s my estranged son, the cuttingly intellectual one who is always in my dreams telling me how I failed as a mother and human being. Maybe some resolution to that issue will come in the next year.

My cards, a leaf, pinecones, and a magpie feather.

Well, if you ever wondered how people can read cards, that was an example of one way. It is NOT the only way. I use a lot of intuition. Some people are more literal. Others have different interpretations of cards, based on their own experiences. These things are flexible and can be what you would like them to be. Nothing to be scared of here, just time to ponder possibilities.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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