Death Card facing down Six of Cups - reversed Card facing down Seven of Cups - reversed Card facing down

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Problem Solving Tarot Reading



The deck is shuffled and your tarot cards are dealt on the table, face down.

Reveal the cards

When you are prepared, and your query is formulized, please reveal each card by clicking on it, or reveal all cards at once by use of the button appearing below the tarot spread.

Decipher the cards

Once revealed, click on a card to learn of its significance, alongside a larger image of the card. You can leaf through different books offering tarot card interpretations by use of the drop-down list, above (the default selection, The Pictorial Key to the Tarot, is recommended for the casual querent).

Advanced options

The advanced cartomancer can draw additional cards to further clarify the tarot reading, by clicking on the Show Deck button, appearing below the tarot spread, and dragging a card away from the deck. Once dropped, the card can be moved again to a different position.

Good luck on your tarot reading.


Death


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

End, mortality, destruction, corruption also, for a man, the loss of a benefactor for a woman, many contrarieties; for a maid, failure of marriage projects.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Inertia, sleep, lethargy, petrifaction, somnambulism; hope destroyed.

Inner Symbolism

The veil or mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher, and this is more fitly represented in the rectified Tarot by one of the apocalyptic visions than by the crude notion of the reaping skeleton. Behind it lies the whole world of ascent in the spirit. The mysterious horseman moves slowly, bearing a black banner emblazoned with the Mystic Rose, which signifies life. Between two pillars on the verge of the horizon there shines the sun of immortality. The horseman carries no visible weapon, but king and child and maiden fall before him, while a prelate with clasped hands awaits his end.

There should be no need to point out that the suggestion of death which I have made in connection with the previous card is, of course, to be understood mystically, but this is not the case in the present instance. The natural transit of man to the next stage of his being either is or may be one form of his progress, but the exotic and almost unknown entrance, while still in this life, into the state of mystical death is a change in the form of consciousness and the passage into a state to which ordinary death is neither the path nor gate. The existing occult explanations of the 13th card are, on the whole, better than usual, rebirth, creation, destination, renewal, and the rest.

Description

13. Death. The method of presentation is almost invariable, and embodies a bourgeois form of symbolism. The scene is the field of life, and amidst ordinary rank vegetation there are living arms and heads protruding from the ground. One of the heads is crowned, and a skeleton with a great scythe is in the act of mowing it. The transparent and unescapable meaning is death, but the alternatives allocated to the symbol are change and transformation. Other heads have been swept from their place previously, but it is, in its current and patent meaning, more especially a card of the death of Kings. In the exotic sense it has been said to signify the ascent of the spirit in the divine spheres, creation and destruction, perpetual movement, and so forth.


Death


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Death - Death, Change, Transformation, Alteration for the worse.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Death just escaped, Partial change, Alteration for the better.

Symbolism of the Keys

Death - A skeleton armed with a Scythe (wherewith he mows down heads in a meadow like grass). He signifies Transformation, or Change.


Death


Card position:


Context

This card represents the querent’s general environment. These are the forces and influences currently at play, beyond the immediate problem or hardship.

Card interpretation:


Description and Meaning

The picture speaks for itself--as indeed most of them do--but still there is more in it than we might suppose at first sight. Beyond all doubt it is a sort of allegorical representation of Father Chronos, Time, who, while creating, consumes his own children, and was very often pictured as a warning of death or a remembrance of mortality. But on the other hand Time marks the beginning, and birth is not less under his government than death. The ancient edition of this card shows the figure harvesting heads and limbs of human bodies upon a field. This may be an expression of an old superstition, which said that those limbs with which man sinned would grow out of his grave. Probably a distorted teaching of the Law of Karma or cosmic reaction, which is also ruled by Saturn, at least in the execution. And in this function he is the old God of Israel, whose law was "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth."

But Saturn is more. He is the planet or cosmic function (let us say planet for convenience sake) of Formation, which means also determination in Place and Time, limitation, definition, etc.

Now let us see what Papus says. He identifies the card with the principle of the Hebrew letter Mem, who "is a woman, the companion of man," and therefore gives rise to ideas of fertility, formation. "It is pre-eminently the material and female, the local and plastic sign, an image of external and passive action." It is really a great pity, that this occultist never realised what he was saying, astrologically or cosmically. "Mem is one of the three mother-letters."

Saturn is the ruler of the Tenth house, Capricorn, which as such is called the house of the 'married woman' in Hindu astrology.

That Saturn, the Christian Satan, has close relations with woman and even that he used her as his favourite vehicle or agent, is one of the Christian 'teachings,' in which we recognise distorted or perverted occult knowledge.

Death certainly is only relative and the death of the form may mean the commencement of life on another plane. Birth down here may be seen as a sort of death of a higher existence. "The veil and mask of life is perpetuated in change, transformation and passage from lower to higher . . ." (Waite) Higher to lower as well. Waite shows the figure on horseback, which is not inadequate for the ruler of Capricorn, which succeeds to Sagittarius: action and definition in space and time are born from thought. ". . . perpetual rebirth of the Being in the domain of Time." (Papus)

Astrological Correspondence

Saturn


Six of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Description

Children in an old garden, their cups filled with flowers.

Divinatory Meanings

A card of the past and of memories, looking back, as--for example--on childhood; happiness, enjoyment, but coming rather from the past; things that have vanished. Another reading reverses this, giving new relations, new knowledge, new environment, and then the children are disporting in an unfamiliar precinct.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

The future, renewal, that which will come to pass presently.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

Pleasant memories.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

Inheritance to fall in quickly.


Six of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Six of Cups - The Past, passed by, Faded, Vanished, Disappeared.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

The Future, that which is to come, Shortly, Soon.


Six of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Focus

This card represents the problem or hardship at hand. These are forces or influences, now coming into effect, that may either complicate the situation or present an opportunity for untangling the knot.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

The past, memories, looking back. Antiquity, ancient things, etc. Reversed: Afterwards, regeneration, resurrection, renovation, etc. Another version says: "Happiness, enjoyment, but coming rather from the past . . ." (Waite) Sometimes "new relations, new knowledge, new environment. . . ."

Theory

The Water of the soul on the house of Taurus, the Second, house of exaltation of the Moon. The latter is no doubt responsible for the addictions concerning memory and the past. The rest of the traditional descriptions, however, are rather rudimentary. There is more to be said of this house: it is full of meaning, as we already have seen, in the line of art, economy, etc. It relates to the country, and in connection with the latter the card will indicate rustic pleasures, enjoyment of country life and restoration to health by residence on the land. Happiness is surely a characteristic of this card, but we should say particularly in a simple and country life. Further we ascribe much artistic value to it, especially in painting, love for the picturesque. It means receptivity for beautiful impressions in general. On the other hand it may denote a love of good cheer and feasting. Good health and good humour are certainly results of this combination. On account of the Taurian qualities it will impart the tendency to collect objects of art and of antiquarian value; also an instinctive understanding of the same, so it promotes dealing in such objects. Appreciation of music in the lighter style, love of the theatre, but love of Nature above all.

Conclusion

Happiness, feeling of riches in oneself, joy, enjoyment, love of Nature and country life; the picturesque, painting, instinctive knowledge of art and antiquarian value; love of the lighter sorts of music and theatre; good health, good cheer, feasting. Receptivity for beauty. The only drawback may be the tendency to dissipation. Taurus, the everlasting, may indeed produce impressions of the past as well as of the future.


Seven of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Description

Strange chalices of vision, but the images are more especially those of the fantastic spirit.

Divinatory Meanings

Fairy favours, images of reflection, sentiment, imagination, things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees, but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Desire, will, determination, project.

Additional Divinatory Meanings

Fair child; idea, design, resolve, movement.

Additional Meanings - Reversed

Success, if accompanied by the Three of Cups.


Seven of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Divinatory Meanings

Seven of Cups - Idea, Sentiment, Reflection, Project.

Divinatory Meanings - Reversed

Plan, Design, Resolution, Decision.


Seven of Cups - reversed


Card position:


Outcome

The card represents the potential outcome of the Context and Focus cards, in their operation on the problem or hardship at hand.

Card interpretation:


Tradition

Thought, soul, spirit, intelligence, idea, memory, imagination, conception, meditation, contemplation, reflexion, deliberation, views, opinion. Reversed: Project, intention, desire, wish, resolution, premeditation. Another version has: "Fairy favours . . . things seen in the glass of contemplation; some attainment in these degrees but nothing permanent or substantial is suggested." (Waite)

Theory

If we eliminate 'soul . . . spirit . . . and desire,' words too far apart from the original meaning, we find in tradition a very pure rendering of the effects of the Water of the soul on the house of Gemini, the Third, the house of the changeful concrete mind and thought in which indeed nothing is permanent, and everything is passing, ephemeral. These effects must be very varied, including the most fantastic plans and conceptions, and 'fancy' is the most fitting word for this card. It will denote many intellectual proceedings and has to do with travelling for short distances, sight-seeing, considering, gathering impressions, etc. The word 'reflexion' is really quite appropriate in its place here, because the card represents the conditions of mind in which the surroundings are simply reflected in the soul. There may come seductive and suggestive images, some of which may be realised, but others will remain just fancy. The description which is given by Waite is very accurate and points to the fact, that under the third house come nature-spirits and genii, who will eventually help, guide or mislead man.

Conclusion

Thoughts, intelligence, ideas, imagination, plans, suggestions, fancy, fantasy; reflexions and opinions, deliberations and intentions. Much in this card will not come into physical reality. Short travels, sight-seeing, impressions, views. Changefulness, unstable conditions. Promise and surprise, but always much more promise than fulfilment. 'Fairy favours.'