5 Simple Steps to Read Tarot with Confidence

Good Cards, Bad Cards

By May 22, 2013Tarot Tutorials

A few months ago, I had a Tarot reading via Skype with the wonderful James Wells. I was eagerly anticipating an insightful, uplifting and powerful reading about my business and its future direction over the coming 12 months.

James had created an 8-card spread for me, with the first position being “What is your authentic spiritual path and purpose?” In my head, I’m thinking, “Please let it be the Star or the World or the High Priestess. Something ‘good’.” Then, James laid out the card.

The Tower.


Words start to roll around in my head. Disaster. Break-downs. Catastrophes. Chaos. Upheaval.

“Oh boy”, I thought, “How are you going to get out of this one, James?!”

James looked up and calmly said, “This is about being a catalyst, Brigit. A change agent. You’re here to make change.”

Ahh, relief!

And so beautifully done. James had skilfully been able to turn this seemingly ‘bad’ card into one which carried such a powerful and inspiring message for me.

And so that is what I want to cover today. How do we, as Tarot readers, skilfully interpret ‘bad’ Tarot cards in positive positions? And similarly, how do we interpret ‘good’ cards in negative positions?

What is a ‘Good’ Tarot Card and a ‘Bad’ Tarot Card, Anyway

Show the Ten of Swords or the Death card to any Tarot reading client, and you will see their expression change from intrigue to shock or anxiety. (Just like me in my reading with James.) Or, on the flipside, draw the Sun or the Two of Cups card, and your client can’t wait to hear what’s coming up.

Because the imagery in the Tarot cards is so strong and powerful, we often sense its energy before we really understand what’s going on behind the scenes.

So, for example, the imagery in the Ten of Swords, Tower, Devil, Hanged Man, Death, Three of Swords, and the Seven of Swords lead us to think that these cards are inherently ‘bad’ or negative cards.

While the imagery in the Sun, Star, Two of Cups, Ten of Cups, Ten of Pentacles, and Lovers depict highly positive scenes which lead us to perceive these cards as ‘good’ Tarot cards.

But, are Tarot cards really either ‘good’ or ‘bad’?

The first thing to acknowledge is that it is not the imagery itself that makes it a good or bad card. It is how we perceive that imagery. Whilst our first reaction might be that we think a card is ‘bad’ because of what we see in the picture, we need to push ourselves to go beyond our first reaction and delve deeper into exploring all sides of that card.

What’s more, every card in the Tarot deck has light and shade, positive and negative aspects. Take the Devil, for instance. Yes, this card highlights issues of attachment and entrapment, but it can also show a very strong bond between two people or an exciting sex life.

It’s very much like life itself. Something ‘good’ happens to us, yet there always seems to be a flipside. For example, I land a dream job, but it means I have to leave my friends. Or something ‘bad’ happens, but it ends up being a blessing in disguise.

Another way to look at it is how we harness the energy of the cards in our life. If we bring too much or too little of a card’s energy into our life, it can easily turn a ‘good’ card into a ‘bad’ card. Take the Sun. It is a very ‘good’ card, but what might happen if the energy of that card became excessive? Too much of the Sun’s energy may lead to ego-centric behaviour or being overly optimistic about a situation.

When ‘Bad’ Cards Show up in Positive Positions & Vice Versa

Where we often trip up as Tarot readers is when a seemingly ‘bad’ card turns up in a positive position or a ‘good’ card turns up in a negative position.

Some common positive and negative Tarot spread positions include:

  • Strengths / Weaknesses
  • Advantages / Disadvantages
  • Opportunities / Obstacles

In a Celtic Cross, oftentimes it is the Problem, Advice, Hopes/Fears, and Outcome positions that can cause problems.

So let’s say you’re doing a reading on a relationship and you ask about the strengths of the relationship. You draw the Five of Swords and the Five of Cups and you’re stumped. How do you interpret this?

If we only see Tarot cards as ‘good’ or ‘bad’, then these positions are always going to confuse us. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

3 Tips for a Balanced Tarot Reading

Here are my top three tips for creating a balanced Tarot reading, where it becomes easy to interpret any Tarot card in any Tarot spread position, regardless of whether they are negative or positive.

1. Let Go of the Idea of Good and Bad Tarot Cards

Really, there are no ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Tarot cards in the Tarot. As I discussed earlier, every Tarot card has its light and shade, its positive and negative aspects. When you start to let go of the need to attribute black-and-white interpretations to the cards, you allow more possibilities to blossom.

So, make a commitment to yourself now. There are no good and bad Tarot cards!

2. Let Go Your Assumptions

So the Two of Cups turns up as a ‘problem’ and you’re wondering how a new relationship could possibly be a problem. But who knows?! Perhaps that relationship is one that is not appropriate or healthy for some reason – perhaps it is an affair or with a colleague or a best friend.

Or, in the example above with the Five of Swords, it may be a sign that arguments are a healthy part of this relationship and actually help the couple to understand each other.

You can’t always assume that a particular card is always going to be a positive or negative energy for an individual’s life. The Devil might just be a very desirable card if someone enjoys a bit of bondage and role-playing. Or the Hierophant may be a complete turn off to the commitment-phobic.

3. Explore the Light and Shade of a Card

If you draw a seemingly negative card in a positive position, think about, “How could I make this card work for me, not against me?”

For example, the Seven of Swords is often about trickery, deception and betrayal. Not a particularly helpful energy in this form, huh?! But, what if we were turn this around and think of the card more as a card of strategy and ‘working the system’, whilst also employing the principle, “Do no harm”. Now we’re talking!

It is the same for positive cards in negative positions. Consider, “What might too much of this positive energy look like? How could this be to my detriment? ”

4. Look on the Bright Side of Life

Let’s say you draw the Five of Pentacles as an opportunity. First reaction? How could poverty be an opportunity? Well, for Eckhart Tolle (author and spiritual teacher) it was. He lived below the poverty line for several years, but this period of his life allowed him to become so much closer to his spiritual self.

Always consider how something seemingly negative could actually be a blessing in disguise. And on the flipside, always consider whether there is a downside to something that is seemingly positive. It is just like the Wheel of Fortune, constantly turning from positive to negative to positive again.

Try This Exercise…

Pick out 3-5 cards that you feel represent the most ‘negative’ cards of your Tarot deck. For each card, come up with at least one meaning that is more ‘positive’ or that allows you to connect with its energy in a positive way.

Now, pick out 3-5 cards that represent the most ‘positive’ cards in your Tarot deck. This time, come up with at least one interpretation of each card that may be a shortcoming or a negative aspect of the card.

Write these down and keep them nearby for future Tarot readings. If you ever have a ‘good’ card come up in a negative position or vice versa, you’ll now have a handy reference to make it easy to interpret.

Over to You…

I’d love to hear from you. Share your comments and stories in the Comments section below about how you’ve turned a positive or a negative card around in a Tarot reading.

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  • Amy B. says:

    This post is coming at a great time! I was doing readings this weekend for myself and for family and this is actually the problem I was having! Thanks for the tips!

  • Patricia F says:

    I love the way you have explained this subjet . Because we do get the chills when “bad” images show up. What can be worst than a building falling down along with you? Some people actually believe that that is going to happend. But sometimes can be related to a believe. Long time ago I had an experience with this card that came along with the nine of swords. Yikes! Well, it happend that my believes about a person very close to me were shatter to the ground. I did cried and I did learn. It was a lesson from which we became stronger. Now I I’m more careful when this card comes up. I know it’s not the happiest card but its not dark one either. It’s not against you but it’s calling you for more consciousness , because something it’s coming, not easy but that will enrich your life at the end.
    There is a Tarot I would like to recommend. It’s the FITH TAROT, I’m learning how to use it. I think it’s wonderful.
    Sorry if there is misspellings or my ideas are not clear. I’m still learning English. That its why I don’t write comments on your blog. I’m afraid I won’t be able to express my ideas.
    Thank you for your insights of today’s post!
    Best regards,
    Patricia F.

  • Jamie Morris says:

    Great post, Brigit. I really like that you started out with a Tower-esque bang! That certainly caught my attention–and showing an example from your own reading really helped me move to a position of openess as I read the rest.

    Another resource for me on this topic is Janina Renee’s book “Tarot: Your Everyday Guide.”

    In this book, Renee shows how every card, “good” or “bad,” upright or reversed, can be interpreted as providing advice. Her work is very grounded, and I think it could help us develop exactly the skill that you’re suggesting we add to our tool belt.

    Happy Tuesday!

  • Jacqueline K says:

    Absolutely mind-blowing Brigit. Yet again you’ve added another incredible layer to my tarot readings. I always doubted my intuition when I saw a more positive side to the “bad” cards, but not anymore! Thank you for sharing your gift of teaching – you have a knack for making things that are challenging doable and accessible.

  • Tammy says:

    Hi Bridgit,
    What a great post. I was just about to do the exercise you suggested, but decided that I would first pull 2 cards for insights as to my strength and weakness within romantic relationships, only to laugh my head off as I realise I have pulled the 8 of cups as a strength and the 6 of wands as my weakness!!! Talk about Irony, I guess the tarot were telling me “No, you will learn now!” 🙂
    It’s quite apt. that the 6 of wands shows up as my weakness as I have suffered with co-dependency in most past relationships. My last relationship ended six years ago, although it lasted less than 6 months; it took a few years to get over him. I have dated since but it’s never lasted more than six weeks! I would like to be in a loving relationship again but at the moment I am working on my personal growth. I’m thinking, that maybe my strength is that I won’t stay in a relationship that is not working for me just to avoid being on my own, hence I have spent most of my adult life out of a relationship. Brigit, What do you or anyone else think?

    • Jamie Morris says:

      Hey, Tammy–

      As soon as I read your note, I thought, Now THIS is a woman who knows how to walk away from what’s not working in a relationship–and I mean that in a good way, not a negative way. So, for me, that would be the 8 of Cups as your strength, as you say. You don’t put up with what’s not good for you.

      As a weakness, the 6 of Wands? I’m drawn to the other riders in the card, and I’m wondering if the bolstering of those others supporting the main 6 of Wands guy (you) might be a clue. If you have a lot of pals behind you whose input pushes you in certain directions, or who push you to be more outwardly confident than aligns with your inner self, I could see that as a possible reading of that card as a weakness.

      (In my own life, this can look like my friends egging me on to something that I don’t really feel all that excellent about, but they–correctly or incorrectly–perceive my reluctance as lack of confidence, sometimes they can “talk me into” starting something that never ends up feeling right.)

      I’ll be so interested to see how others respond, and thanks so much for sharing so openly here!


      • Tammy says:

        Hi Jamie,

        Wow, thanks very much for your response and feedback. 🙂 Regarding my weakness card 6 of wands, as I am very selective about my friends, therefore I have few, but this suits me as I prefer quality over quantity, also I’m generally happy with my own company. Thanks again for your great feedback.

        Tammy. 🙂

        • Jamie Morris says:

          Hey, Tammy–

          Thanks for YOUR response. I’ll be watching comments to see what you, Brigit, and others make of the Six of Wands in this situation.


    • Brigit says:

      With the Six of Wands as a weakness, I would say it is also about caring too much about what other people think of you. Sometimes this card is the ‘pleasing others’ card and wanting to set a good impression, but losing your own authenticity in the process.

      Eight of Cups… knowing when to walk away from a relationship that’s not working out. That’s your strength!

      • Jamie Morris says:

        Oh, Brigit, I’m so glad you weighed in on this. I feel very supported in, at least, the general direction (those other riders) that this card was taking me.


  • Sonya Singh says:

    A much needed topic of discussion. I have come across many querents who associate seemingly negative cards like Death, 3 of swords etc to sorrow, gloom and doom. I have often found myself in doubt when these cards have appeared in a reading, struggling to see the positive meaning in them. Thank you very much for shedding light on this subject. I am all set and raring to go with my exploration of the so called ‘negative’ cards.



  • jasjeet singh chadha says:

    very interesting observation, a cut above the rest good i like it

  • susan says:

    This article brings up an interesting point about personal context in regards to the symbolism of a card and how it can be interpreted. I’d like to share a story on the meaning of the Death card that may assist in revealing a deeper connection to other cards. I began working as a landscaper in a local cemetery recently, and it has shown me a beautiful sense of compassion and respect. Often, people ask me if I get “creeped out” or sad from being around graves and funerals. I realize that death is an often ignored concept because it can seem so terrifying that many are reluctant to acknowledg it as an inevitability. Yet, when mortality is taken into consideration, life’s values, beauty, and a sense of wonder are vivified. Our virtues have meaning, our relationship with our loved ones are more meaningful, an a profound respect for life gives way to a deeper sense of purpose in our endeavors and beliefs. When I find the Death card in a spread, I take the questioners understanding of this nature into consideration. Perhaps they take their potential for granted because they feel they have their whole life to make a decision on what to do with it. Perhaps they take their own life for granted and are wallowing in self deprecating thoughts and actions. Death can be powerfully positive card, not just representing change, but a reminder that your life has value and limitless potential. Don’t see it as an ominous, “creepy” card, but a sign that there is much in life to appreciate.

  • Orly says:

    Loved this article

  • Brandy says:

    I was actually wonder about the comment made about ““What is your authentic spiritual path and purpose?” In my head, I’m thinking, “Please let it be the Star “…
    What would the Star card mean for your authentic spiritual path and purpose?

    • Brigit says:

      Good question… I often see this card as one of personal transformation and sharing that with others. To me, it is highly spiritual and something I would like to be associated with.

  • Lynda says:

    Thinking outside the box is something I am finding hard to do. When it is much easier to take the first impression – the image of the card. We can lose sight as you showed us so easily. Also, the question is as relevant as the position the card is in. Thank you for showing us this, it really does help to remember to look outside that box.

    • Brigit says:

      Practice makes perfect. Try out the exercise and it will start to get you in the practice of reading the whole aspect of the card, rather than just first impressions.

  • Greg says:

    Hi Biddy, I signed up for your newsletter because you struck me as being intelligent and down to earth with a gift for explanation. I am new at this but this newsletter (my first) is showing me that I was right. I am learning from you.

  • Merryl says:

    This is a great article Bridget, as often when people come for a reading they are at a point of hazy ness or even feeling at the point of despair in some cases, and when they come for Tarot council they need the flicker of their flame re-lit so they can move forward in fresh hope and love and optimism . The perception from a reader is responded to looking through the eyes of a positive and yet balanced reading delivering a satisfying and hopeful outcome instead of a client leaving with a negative and less hopeful outcome for their situation

    • Brigit says:

      Excellent point! We can certainly use these skills to provide a balanced, but also honest and authentic reading (i.e. not sugar-coating the reading, but also not overwhelming the client with seemingly despairing messages).

  • Catharine says:

    I loved the Good/Bad reflection
    It is current with our times
    reflecting how attitude shapes our interpretation of what is going on

    If i am in a ‘bad mood’ i might read an email with a negative slant and then when the mood feels more balanced, read it in a completely different light.

    I felt your article was a reminder to reframe to the highest good.

  • serena says:

    Thank you so much for bringing this up. My personality card is the The Wheel of Fortune so when I first started learning how to use the Tarot, this idea came to me very naturally. But it is always good to be reminded of this. Especially for me personally. I’ve been on the bottom of the wheel for some time now and have been fighting through some dark times. To read this right now is perfect, because I pledged to myself this week to actively pursue getting out of this long funk I’ve been experiencing. Time to do a reading!

    • Brigit says:

      Indeed! And if you would like to share that reading here, please do. It would be fascinating to see what comes up for you and where there may be some blessings in disguise.

  • James Wells says:

    Lovely article and very good activity here, Brigit. Context makes it all clearer, doesn’t it? Thank you kindly for the mention, too.

  • Thanks Brigit for these comments…. one often gets reaction from a a client ,with an intake of breath, as the so called typical ‘bad’ cards come out eg Death, The Ten of Swords etc as you have described! Others will say I don’t want to come for reading as I might hear something bad! I think your response has answered these dilemmas so well.

  • Shelley says:

    Well said, and so timely! Just yesterday I did a reading for myself about possible risks and benefits of a particular decision I’m looking at, and the Tower came up (reversed) in possible strengths. I interpreted it to mean that perhaps a benefit would be that in making what I see as a rather risky decision, but in a proactive way, I end up sort of actively “harnessing” the energy of The Tower, that usually shows up unannounced and topples everything topsy-turvy! In a potential “risk” I got the 3 of Wands reversed, which was a sort of positive card in a not-so-positive position. Here I interpreted it to mean that perhaps a risk in making this decision would be that there would be a lack of seeing a wider, broader vision, or inability to expand and travel… along those lines.
    I absolutely agree on the no positive or negative cards. Just as in life, we live among the “shades of gray” not the black and white!
    Great post!

    • Brigit says:

      So glad I could help!

      And thanks for sharing your personal reading. I have started to see more of ‘waiting’ in the Three of Wands and in the reversed position, I see it as a sign of too much waiting. Waiting until everything is lined up perfectly, but never really knowing when that will be. So you spend time waiting for the future to happen, when really it needs to be about living in the present moment.

      Reversals can also mean internalised energy so in the case of the Tower reversed, it may be a sign that the strength here is that you could create a personal catalyst for change, you could embrace that energy within yourself.

  • Great post, Bridget, inspired!

    I had a client ask after her child and the Tower (and the Sun) came up in a 3 card reading. I chose to read the Tower as not so bad, more like a breakthrough. But she had remembered the card, googled it, called me in a panic over the implications of the card. I have a similar mantra, ‘there are no bad cards’. I had to explain my own reasoning over the context of the reading to her relief.

    • Brigit says:

      Oh my… don’t you hate it when clients ‘google’ the Tarot card meanings in your reading?!! Unfortunately it misses the point of using your intuitive feel and your experience to interpret the cards laid out in front of you for that specific client.

  • Tania Sampford says:

    Hi Brigit,

    What a great topic..!..Good cards and bad cards..I read about your reading with the Tower card and nodded with familiarity, not only about your reaction, but also the interpretation by the reader. I did myself a Celtic Cross reading about a job I was applying for. I’ve relocated so getting this job was important. As I was turning over the cards they were all very ‘positive’..The 2 of cups turned up in position 9 (positive house)..I did a summary card of the reading..6 wands..Fab..!..then the outcome card was turned,,It was the TOWER..!!…My heart sank…What I did though was note that all the other cards were not doom and gloom..They were giving the message to ‘GO for IT’..So how did I interpret the Tower..Well when I did send off my application it was 3weeks until I heard from the company..and by then I’d given up hope..So when a letter popped through my letterbox with an interview date, it was a total shock.!!..’The Tower’ can be shock, unexpected..and in my case not ‘bad’ at all.. I also felt that if I did get the job, it would be an upheaval to leave my current job which eventually would not offer me the financial security that my family and I would need for the future..Again a reference to the Tower card..So did I get the job..?..You bet I did…!!

  • MJ says:

    As a new tarot reader – doing readings here through your website – this was a great post for me, and one I really needed! Thank you, Brigit!

  • Diana says:

    Brigit..I love your site. I have always been interested in Tarot but after going through a rough patch I decided to keep myself busy with learning it. It’s been only a month and I am giving free readings for practice. I used your interpretations with a bit of my own and I am really starting to feel like I am getting to “know” my Tarot characters!

    Keep the posts coming.


    • Brigit says:

      Fantastic! I am so glad to hear you are using Biddy Tarot to help support your growth with Tarot. And good on you for being bold and giving free readings for the practice!

  • Louise says:

    Brilliant article Biddy, on a topic that has proven to be very popular and meaningful for your readers, judging by the wealth of powerful responses you’ve received.

    I feel that the more we can face up to the TRANSFORMATIONAL aspects of these seemingly “difficult’ cards, the more powerful our experiences with the tarot will be, and the deeper our readings will be for ourselves and others. Sometimes its a fine line to walk between sugar-coating a negative card versus finding a way to see it’s difficult aspects as transformational and necessary. Hard, but necessary. Sometimes this proves to be the most empowering way to deal with these cards.

    With the Tower card for example, I would say that sometimes we NEED to come in for a shake-down so we can rebuild on stronger, more spiritually-aligned foundations. Certainly it’s never pleasant to be shaken-down, but the most important aspect of the Tower card is that it’s necessary. Without this shake-down, no further growth will unfold. The shake-down shown by this card is ordained by spirit, shown clearly through the symbolism of the lightening bolt, while the Tower is man-made and this card shows us that it is not in alignment with our spiritual path. It’s not going to hold us up over the long run. Something needs to be shaken down to a foundational level, and rebuilding needs to take place, otherwise stagnation will ensure.

    It’s a hard message to deliver sometimes, but as any parent knows, sometimes tough love is more powerful than always giving children a soft place to land. Sometimes it’s more powerfully loving to stand by and let someone deal with limits squarely, and not always try and smooth all the corners till they’re round.

    Just my two cents….for what it’s worth.

    • Brigit says:

      Louise, I always enjoy your thought-provoking comments on the blog! I think you’re right… sometimes we do need to experience the full force of a particular card, but with the understanding that it won’t be all ‘bad’, or all ‘good’. There’s always light and shade in all of life’s experiences.

  • Solaris says:

    Hi, Brigit!
    I love your article about cards being both good and bad. Can’t have one without the other. As a negative for the positiveI look at the Lovers as being making a choice for the wrong reason. For the Sun, I see resting too long on your laurels and not moving on. Too long in the sun is a good way to get burnt out. Three of Cups for me is indicative of overindulgence. Four of Wands is a union that doesn’t quite fulfill its purpose.
    For the negatives to have positives I looked at Five of Swords as being undercurrents being revealed. Death card to me seems to be a transition into the unknown. Nine of Swords I say to clients is it is always darkest before the dawn. Ten of Swords is there is no longer room to keep thinking the way you used to–change your perception. And, Three of Swords for me is pain is a good motivator. … thinking that there are even more card interpretations to go back and rediscover!

    Thanks for the thought-provoking exercise.

  • Edward says:

    Hiya!! Here are my interpretations of positive cards but in a negative light:

    Six of Wands (Victory): Showing off, causing jealousy from others. Where there are winners there are losers!

    Ten of Cups (Contentment): Boredom. Taking things for granted.

    The Star: Not thinking realistically. Relying too much on a wish. You yourself must accomplish your wishes!!

    Six of Pentacles (Generosity): Becoming spoiled. Taking not giving.

    Thanks for the post, it really helped (:!


  • Jamie Morris says:

    Hey, Edward–

    I like your negative take on the Six of Wands!


  • Sofiasky says:

    Bom dia,

    I’ve been having problems with the interpretation of the rev cards, not so much because of the card itself, but more related to the position of the card in a reading.

    I often use the 3 spread card :
    Pros Cons and Advice in a situation
    and some times i get reversed cards in the Pros and advice and sometimes i get lost.

    As an example, in my last reading to a friend that is undecided to move from town of stay (a “should i stay or should i go” situation) I got:
    Pros: Emperor Rev
    Cons: Page of Wands
    Advice: Temperance Rev
    and i really got lost there…

    I already read your post about rev cards interpretation
    which helped me, but i still get lost in these cases..

    • Brigit says:

      What I have recently learned about reversed Tarot cards (which isn’t in the post you mentioned) is that they can refer to the upright energy of the card, but on an internal or private level. So, the Emperor reversed may mean creating more structure or power, but internally and in a way that is not expressed externally.

      Hope this helps!

      • Sofiasky says:

        I remember reading that in one of your posts but in my mind that was more related to the court cards.
        ok, it’s a good way to get us out of the block that often happens in the pros, cons and advice spread
        muchas gracias

  • MissP says:

    Hi there. Very much enjoy articles like this one on your site. It’s important for any reader of tarot to be an eternal student and your honesty in this through the article speaks to your great character. 🙂

    I thought 5 pentacles and death were awful when I started. However after a while, whenever I see 5 pentacles now, I look to the family in the image (I have the gilded tarot) and note to the seeker that there may be tough times ahead but make sure you give your loved ones around you credit and support. It’s worked like a charm…even for myself. 5 are instability, but temporary and its easy to be lost in a pity party and forget who you have around you that care about you.

    Also Death is a toughie but can show a person had changed for the better and will help a relationship, so long as the other cards aspect it such.
    Much love!

  • John Williams says:

    I just did a reading which reminded me of this post.

    Context: romantic polyamorous relationship(s) having difficulties.

    Spread: 3 cards for problems, 3 for solutions, 1 for outcome (from one of my iPhone apps)


    Knight of Wands (Upright)
    Four of Cups (Upright)
    Page of Swords (Upright)


    Ten of Cups (Reversed)
    The Sun (Reversed)
    Ten of Swords (Upright)


    Two of Pentacles (Upright)


  • kerry says:

    Thank you for the depth of personalization. You make the web experience a pleasure. I can’t wait to read all the responses!

  • Fabiane says:

    I completly agree with the text in theory. But it’s still hard to put it to practice. For instance, last week I read the tarot for my boyfriend regarding a new possible partnership for him with a friend. At the “pros” position, the 10 of swords came up…. How good can it be? I mean, there’s a guy lying down with a lot of swords through his back! The only thing I could come up with was that the worst part was already over. I don’t think it really helped him decide whether or not to go for the partnership… I couldn’t stop thinking that the deal would end up ruining their friendship…. (don’t know if it’s the tarot reader’s intuition or the girlfriend protectiveness…)

    • Brigit says:

      There may be a release of something that’s not serving him. Just remember, after the 10 (completion) comes the 1/Ace (new beginnings) so it may be a very good sign for the future if he can indeed release those limiting thoughts and beliefs.

  • Ange says:

    Great blog and very insightful. New tools to help us all with our interpretations. Also find it interesting as it were that you read cards for yourself and I really connect with your meanings too but that you still look for a reading from someone else. It intrigues me as to why?
    Love and luck

    • Brigit says:

      Ange, I love experiencing the different reading styles and insights from other Tarot readers. So when I have an issue where I would like that extra, in-depth insight, I go to my favourite readers. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s magical.

  • Rachel says:

    Inspiring article! I hadn’t really thought of it much before this… I saw tarot cards in a black and white kind of way. Like, today I pulled The Devil as my next opportunity in love. I also asked how it could be an opportunity and got the Ace of Cups. So, I figured it didn’t make sense for the Devil to be able to bring about the Ace of Cups. But seeing your article I guess I could be looking at it all wrong…Great job!

  • William Dantzler says:


    I want to start by saying you have a fascinating website. Very insightful! I am a Scorpio and I was researching more about my ruling house and my card No. 13 which is the “Death” card and I came across a picture on Google that show a different version of the care with a skeleton with an arrow in its left hand (the shaft of the arrow is black with a red head and yellow fletching) and its right had is open with a Crow perched on its right shoulder. The Skeleton is standing on the sun during what looks like a Solar Eclipse. The Background of the card is black but there are grey clouds that look like smoke of some sort spiraling downward behind the sun and skeleton. I wanted to know what this things symbolize and I can’t seem to find this information anywhere. Can you help?



    • Brigit says:

      Hmm, I don’t know the deck you’re referring to. Does the accompanying book give you any more details? Or can you get in touch with the designer of the deck?

  • Maggie says:

    Thank you for this great post and your excellent site! I’m very new to Tarot, and stayed away until recently because of that sense of ‘negative’ messages. I’m learning to see the depth to the cards, and Death or the Tower don’t actually feel too bad to me, but I have trouble with the fives! The written interpretations always feel so centred on loss, instability, negative experiences and ‘bad times’ and my heart sinks when I pull one, or especially two! (I do one or two card readings at this stage). Am I overreacting to their seemingly very bleak message? And perhaps missing other angles to them?

  • Annette says:

    This was a really helpful article — thank you. I’ve been studying Tarot on and off for years, but just over the last few months I’ve been working with it daily, using it as a basis for my journaling. I welcome insights like yours that help me see all the nuances in each card. Just like your example, usually when I see the Tower in the reading I get an instant sinking feeling. But I’ve been trying to see the Tower in the context of the reading, of the day, of my story, instead of always “cataclysmic event, oh no!” Inevitably I realize that it’s pointing to a significant change that certainly isn’t easy, but is necessary and beneficial in the long run. In the Gaian Tarot, Joanna Powell Colbert’s version of the Tower is the Lightning card. She says “The strike of the lightning bolt can both destroy and transform. The energy released has the potential for enormous creativity and transformation.” Thanks again for the helpful article, and for your blog. I’ll be back!

  • I have a question please i need an answer
    Cause there are times that i can read it fastly,
    But when i staying reading cards it turns out that i cant read it anymore??
    Is my gift of reading tarot is weak?
    Or i better take more practicing??
    How will i know that i can read the tarot card correctly?

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