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Deciphering the Meanings of the Tarot Suits in Different Types of Readings

By February 15, 2012 April 8th, 2018

Have you ever gone to do a relationship Tarot reading, only to find a layout full of Pentacles cards? Or what about a work-related Tarot reading where half the reading is made up of Cups cards?

Often, when we read on a specific topic, we expect to see Tarot cards that confirm or emphasise certain messages. But what happens when the Tarot seemingly throws a curve ball? What happens when we get a bunch of Tarot cards that just don’t seem to match up to what we’re asking about?

Rest assured, it isn’t the Universe trying to confuse you! Instead, the appearance of ‘unexpected’ Tarot suits in your reading holds special significance and is something which needs your attention.

Back to Basics – The Tarot Suits

One of the first things we learn when we explore the Tarot cards are the general meanings for each of the Tarot Suits. We learn that:

  • Cups = Emotions, feelings, relationships and matters of the heart
  • Pentacles = Career, work, finances and practical matters
  • Swords = The intellect, conversation, truth and matters of the mind
  • Wands = Motivation, energy, inspiration and matters of the soul

So, when we do a relationship reading, it would make sense to see lots of Cups cards. Or when we do a personal development reading, it would make sense to see lots of Wands cards.

But what often happens is that it doesn’t work this way. Instead, we end up with a relationship reading full of Pentacles cards or a personal development reading full of Swords cards.

Deciphering the Tarot Suits in Different Readings

The beauty of the Tarot is that it often highlights issues or concerns that we are not yet aware of. It brings to the surface that which is sitting within our subconscious mind, so that we can then be more consciously aware of what is influencing us and shaping our thoughts, feelings and behaviour.

So, when you see a lot of Pentacles cards in a relationship reading, stop and ask yourself how money or career is impacting your relationship. Is there something you have been missing here? Why is money taking precedence over your deeper feelings for one another?

Or, if you see a bunch of Swords cards in your personal development reading, ask yourself how your intellect and your mind may be affecting your spiritual connection. Are you trying to rationalise and critique your life when you really need to be tapping into your inner psyche? What truths do you need to find as you develop and grow yourself?

Don’t be put off when you see an unexpected Suit come up in your Tarot readings. Instead, see it as an opportunity to think differently about your situation. Ask yourself (or your client) some challenging questions about how these unexpected factors may be impacting you. Bringing these issues to a conscious awareness will be very powerful in helping you to make the changes you want and need.

Your Task: Brainstorm the Meanings of the Tarot Suits in Various Situations

If you are struggling with how to interpret unexpected Tarot Suits in your readings, then why not dedicate some time now to mapping out your ideas.

Print and complete the following table and feel free to share your insights with other readers below in the comments.


Need a Helping Hand?

If you want to know what each and every Tarot card means in a specific reading, then you might enjoy my eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Tarot Card Meanings. I include specific Tarot card meanings for each card for career, love, spirituality, health, etc. Learn more here.

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