You ever get into a tarot funk?
For me there are different ways this manifests:
- I receive the same message over and over again from my cards, across different decks.
- I am feeling disconnected from my cards.
- I'm in an emotional, spiritual, or physical low swing for whatever reason. (For example, the way these past days of violence and vitriol have taken a toll on my energy reserves has meant that daily draws have been sporadic at best.)
- I haven't read cards at all for a while and I'm feeling nervous about getting back into it.
- I've been reading cards for everyone else and forgot about myself along the way.
Even in these moments, the desire and instinct to draw cards remains even if the desire to follow through doesn't. In these moments I always want a gentle way back to the cards that feels low-impact for my heart and spirit. These are some of the methods that have been successful in getting me back to my cards.
- Try a tarot challenge. There's tons of these on social media, particularly Instagram and Tumblr. It's kind of like working through writer's block with a random prompt generator. Some of them don't even require actually reading the cards with questions like "What is your favorite tarot card?" Work the questions you want to, ignore the questions you don't.
- Writing prompt. This is supposed to be low-key so I suggest that instead of using a card you pull to journal, use it to write some fiction. Start writing with one card and pull the next, and the next for inspiration. This is a great tip for those of us who like to write fiction even outside of tarot block. Have fun, avoid editing if you can, and write away!
- Re-order your cards. Grab your deck face up and arrange the cards in order- Fool to World, Aces to Tens. Not only does this move any stagnant energy around it also gives you a chance to look at each of the cards with no pressure to read them. You'll find your mind might notice things it usually misses in a reading environment. If you've been getting a lot of reversals, turn them all upright and start over. A great thing about this is that it's just good practice to make sure you don't have missing cards.
- Speaking of moving energy, cleanse your deck. There are multiple ways to do this. Place near, on or under clear crystals like quartzor fully cleansing crystals like selenite. Let them have a day in the sun or a night under the moon. Smoke them with cleansing herbs like mugwort, rosemary, palo santo, or sage.
- Shuffle shuffle shuffle. All the shuffling tricks you can think of. Try them. Cut your deck into four stacks and one by one build it into one stack by taking a card from each of your smaller cards in as random order as you can. Have fun with it. You don't even have to cast cards right after. Come back tomorrow. Or the next day.
- Do you know your birth cards? Find out. Agree or disagree with the result. Keep it in mind but don't do anything else with the information just yet if you don't feel like it. It's just some cool information to have.
- What's your significator card? Significators can represent you in a reading if you like, and I believe they change depending on which chapter in your life you're at. Pick a deck and separate the court cards. Lay them out and see which cards feel like you in that moment. If you have more than one deck you can gather all the court cards together and feel them all out. If you're a King of Wands in one deck, sometimes you'll find you're the Page of Swords in another. Look for your boss, your partner, friend, a stranger passing by on the street. Look for your pet! My cats are Page of Cups and the Queen of Pentacles. Use a light touch and step away whenever you feel like it. Always remember that you don't have to do anything with the information in that moment.
- Have you tried oracle decks? They don't work from a traditional set system and allow for even broader interpretation. However, if you find yourself with the same block, try the next three steps.
- Get a reading from someone else. Sometimes reading for yourself can feel like sitting an echo chamber, especially when the same messages or cards keep coming up. It may be that an outside perspective is needed, and honestly there's nothing wrong with a bit of external affirmation and support.
- Swap, sell, or give away. This is probably a last resort but sometimes you just need to let a deck go. You may have never connected or you once did and now you've outgrown each other. A great idea I've seen is to use tarot cards from decks you aren't using as greeting cards. While I wouldn't send the Ten of Swords to anyone (mostly, heh), I'd certainly send the Three of Cups to a dear friend in memory or celebration of good times.
- Step away and keep away. Hey you know what, sometimes that feeling keeping you from the cards is being protective. Be compassionate with yourself. Tarot is supposed to be about empowerment, and if you're feeling constantly beat down by your cards then it isn't serving you. Go off and do something, anything else that brings you joy. Come back to your cards next week or even next month.
Hi, I’m Asali! I’m a Black queer femme earthworker passionate about tarot, tea, and healing work. Schedule a card reading with me for a deeply clarifying intuitive tarot session. You can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, drop me a line!