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Giving In: Working through Resistance in Tarot Reading

The unwanted tarot cards

Giving In: Working through Resistance in Tarot Reading

  |   Articles, Tarot Reading for Yourself

It happens to all of us—it happens to me all the time… One of the most common pitfalls of reading Tarot for yourself is that moment of emotional overwhelm when you draw a card you do not want. A deep, guttural feeling of, “nooooooo!”


Maybe that card is making you angry, disappointed, or even depressed. You may react by quietly returning the card to the deck and drawing again. Or by staring at it blankly for a minute and then walking away in frustration. Or even by throwing the card and the whole deck across the room.


Tough love from the universe is hard to take. And acknowledging this is the first step towards working through your resistance and accepting the message of your card.


Tarot (as I so frequently repeat) tells us what we need to know, not what we want. But the beauty of Tarot is also that, unlike your mother, spouse or best friend, you can’t hurt its feelings. So stomp, scream, throw, cry and pout all you need. It’s okay to allow yourself that moment of crisis. And that process of coming to terms with the truth.


The message of the card will remain unchanged and will be waiting and ready for you once you are done releasing your feelings and are ready to look deeper.


And this leads me to the second step of working through resistance: What you see at first glance is most often not what that card is giving you to learn.


Look deeper, past aspects of the card that created fear, anger and sadness. You originally reacted to something, but not everything. So rethink your assumptions. Take in all the details, the scene as a whole, the colors, the humanity, the aspects of hope and release on a card that may otherwise appear dreary. Meditate on these other aspects you see to allow them to open up something new within you.


And finally, if you are still feeling resistance, try this:


Create distance between you and the imagery of that card. Imagine this card isn’t for you, but was drawn for your best friend. Or if there is a character on the card, bring this character to life in your mind. Imagine what they are feeling. Imagine why they are feeling this way. Open your heart to empathy and compassion for their experience. What would you say to them to send them love in this moment?


Most of us are much harder on ourselves than on others. And so practicing this is a way to open yourself to self-love and direct compassion and acceptance inward.


As much as you may want to put that card away as quickly as possible, challenge yourself by leaving it out. And see if, over the next several hours, the card’s message softens, eases and becomes more digestible, multi-faceted and loving.


Ready to dive deeper into self-discovery with Tarot? Tarot Journeys Fall Session is now open for enrollment. This time we meet virtually, beginning Thursday, Sept. 22nd. Learn more here.