Using the Tarot for Creativity and Empowerment

Interpreting a Tarot Card – Literally!

Sometimes when working with the Tarot, the interpretation can be quite literal. Ask yourself: what is the character in the card doing? Is there any way that this can be applied to my life?

This literal interpretation seems to be especially prevalent when I’m working with the Gaian Tarot – it has occurred twice this week alone! I typically use the Gaian Tarot for my daily draw and for any personal, meditative work. Earlier this week, I pulled the Canoe card, which is the equivalent of the Chariot in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition. I assumed my message of the day was that of focus, will, determination, and movement. Later that morning, my phone rang and it was our local river organization, asking me if I’d be willing to volunteer for the annual River Cleanup on Earth Day weekend, since I have a canoe. I immediately recalled my card of the day – The Canoe.

The Canoe card from Gaian Tarot

The Canoe card from Gaian Tarot

Yesterday, I drew the Bindweed card, which is the equivalent of The Devil card in the Rider-Waite-Smith tradition, and typically suggests being out of balance, being in bondage (i.e. addictions or unhealthy relationships) or otherwise being in a situation of oppression. In the afternoon, I came down with short-lived stomach bug and found myself in the exact same posture/position as the figure on the card. I sat on the couch, hands behind my head and knees drawn up to my chest, waiting for the stomach pain to pass. At that moment, I recalled the image of my morning draw and it gave me a bit of a chuckle. Apparently, the message had come to pass – literally.

Bindweed card from Gaian Tarot

Bindweed card from Gaian Tarot

So if a card doesn’t make sense in a particular context, try interpreting it literally. As I have discovered on more than one occasion, the tarot can be quite literal at times.

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