Top 10 Tarot Cards for Guilt and Shame

by Brigit on July 4, 2012 in Top 10 Tarot Cards

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The Tarot often reveals inner secrets, both within ourselves and our clients. So, what Tarot cards indicate the inner secrets of guilt and shame?

Here are my top 10 Tarot cards for guilt and shame. (And a special thank-you to Jemma Parsons for brainstorming this one with me!)

Judgement reversedJudgement reversed – After going through a period of self-judgement and evaluation, you find yourself regretting past actions and feeling immensely guilty for what you have done. It is time to forgive yourself and ask for forgiveness from others.


Two of SwordsTwo of Swords – You are in denial about what has happened, and rather than owning up to what you have done, you prefer to bury your head in the sand and keep your eyes closed. Guilt and shame is building from within.


Nine of SwordsNine of Swords – Riddled with guilt, you are having panic attacks and you are feeling immense stress and anxiety about what has happened.


Five of CupsFive of Cups – The figure in the Five of Cups has his head hung in shame. You regret what you have done and you feel shame for what has come to pass. You want to make ammends and move forward, so ask for forgiveness and show remorse.


Ten of WandsTen of Wands – You are carrying the burden of your guilt and shame and it is weighing heavily on you. It is time to let go of this baggage, either by seeking forgiveness or moving on with your life.


Seven of Swords ReversedSeven of Swords Reversed – You thought you got away with something that was deceptive and under-handed, but it has caught up with you and now you’re about to get busted. You feel ashamed for having deceived others and worse, yourself. It is time to own up to what you have done.


Five of Swords reversedFive of Swords reversed – You have said some very hurtful things in the heat of the moment that you now regret and wish you could take back. Put your tail between your legs and apologise for you have said, even if the other person is not completely in the right either.


DevilDevil – You know you have engaged in self-destructive behaviour even though it felt oh-so-good at the time. You may be starting to realise the long-term detrimental affects of your actions and you are experiencing the guilt and shame as a result.


Six of Wands ReversedSix of Wands Reversed – You have tarnished your otherwise good reputation. Your actions have lead to others perceiving you in a negative way, making you prone to gossip. If this is your own doing, you may feel the associated guilt and shame of having ruined your personal reputation.


Nine of WandsNine of Wands – You are feeling paranoid and on ‘high alert’, perhaps as a result of having acted in a way that was not lawful or ‘above board’. Excessive feelings of guilt are prevalent and you are going into self-preservation mode.


What Tarot cards do you associate with guilt and shame? Leave your comments below.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Aasheesh Kumar July 4, 2012 at 12:28 am

Nice post Biddy.It would really help in readings especially ones related to relationships. Two Of Swords ,and Devil are so symbolic of guilt and shame. Wonder if Hanged Man could also be included ?


Brigit July 4, 2012 at 6:09 am

Great suggestion with the Hanged Man. Often this is associated with martyrdom also which may be a more hidden guilt or shame, projected in a different way.


Lisa Frideborg Lloyd July 5, 2012 at 2:04 am

Great choices… and I agree with Aasheeshesh’s comment about the Hanged Man too! I would add the 7 of Cups (upright) and the 8 of Cups reversed as possible candidates as well. The 7 of Cups often shows up in readings when someone is ‘hiding in a bottle’ and the 8 of Cups reversed means that there is an unmet challenge to move to ‘higher ground’ that could potentially cause feelings of guilt and shame. It’s funny though, I rarely read with reversals myself any more… yet I find it impossible to discuss card meanings without referring to them. In actual readings I find that the reversed meanings show themselves more in combinations/elemental dignities… or simply in how they ‘resonate’ with the question asked if I pull only one card.


Brigit July 5, 2012 at 2:13 am

Hi Lisa,
First, welcome! And second, thanks for sharing your different perspectives on the cards. I have never thought of either card in that way, but it has opened up a new possibility for me!
Warm regards, Brigit


Sherry July 5, 2012 at 2:47 am

8 of Swords I often associate with Guilt and Shame: Many times the soul/spirit becomes so caught up in it that we are imprisoned by the weight of a perceived flaw or mistake that we can’t see a way out or may build up barriers and blindfold oneself unable to participate in the world.


Brigit July 5, 2012 at 5:21 am

Hi Sherry,
Welcome, too! Well said 🙂


Amit May 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm

I too feel the Hanged man can represent guilt. It came to my mind instantly when I read it. He is thinking and rethinking over certain issue/s of life, may also contemplate suicide due to its mid air hanging representation.


Arooj mehru May 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Great work Biddy. I take Fool reversed as a card of regret and shame in a way that fool is guilty and ashamed of losing a new opportunity or handling it with naive approach. His blind actions has not only put his life on stake but has made others suffer too.


Brigit May 27, 2014 at 10:06 pm

Interesting! Thanks for sharing.


Denise January 9, 2016 at 4:32 am

Ive just been thinking about this and then found this page. May I add 4 of pentacles as he looks like he is holding his cards close to his chest so to speak, and 9 of cups reversed because I think of the cups being emptied, the tablecloth, curtain showing what is behind and I see his long robes dropping down and exposing him !!!


Brigit January 11, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Great suggestions!


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