Tarot Q&A: Minor Arcana cards for general readings


I’ve been gradually re-introducing Tarot to my Holistic Health website as a way to decrease stress, and this question came up. Thought it was worth a look here, too. What do you other card readers think about omitting certain card for certain readings?

Originally posted on Ronda Snow, Ph.D.:

This question really caught my attention – it never crossed my mind that that anyone would omit the minor arcana for any reason. I’d love to hear more about where the idea of just using the major arcana only comes from…leave a comment below if you have anything to offer or if you did the search that inspired this fictional Q&A -thanks for the thought provoking question!

Q: Can I use minor arcana cards when doing a general spread, and no particular question in mind?

A: Yes, of course! Why wouldn’t you? Who doesn’t?

I approach Tarot expansively…the whole point and purpose is to expand our horizons, learn, grow, ease stress. To me, more cards mean more opportunity for inspiration and more chance of sparking just the brainwave we need. Even the full 78 card deck doesn’t seem to be enough sometimes, even when you throw in all the little variations…

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Excuse me, are you the Witch?


this is just beautiful…

Originally posted on Cauldrons and Cupcakes:

Image from Mattsko

Image from Mattsko

“Perhaps I am the only person who, asked whether she were a witch or not, could truthfully say, “I do not know. I do know some very strange things have happened to me, or through me. - Lady Alice Rowhedge” 
Norah LoftsBless This House

Last year the little girl from down the road at our city house knocked on my front door. The family had not lived in the street long, and I hadn’t met her or her siblings, although I had waved to them on occasion.

I could tell she was nervous.

“Excuse me,” she asked very shyly, “are you the Witch?”

Before I could say anything she pulled a fifty cent coin out of her pocket which she placed on the doormat at my feet.

“Can you turn my brother into a toad or a rat or something? Not forever, but just…

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Arcana In Balance: The Magician

The “Arcana in Balance” series began in the early days of the Modern Oracle Tarot blog. The idea was to look at each of the major arcana cards, and how they each teach us an important point of balance in life, like the balance of work and play, new beginnings and staying the course, as we saw with the Fool card last week. The original series was interrupted mid-way by the demands of dissertation, and bringing “Triquetra: The Dance of Worlds” and “#PeaceTarot” to e-publication. The series is back for real now. I’ll be re-posting the first cards from the archives, with a few tweeks and edits to bring them up to date. Then I plan to finishing the series once we’re caught up. All posts copyright Ronda Snow, all rights reserved.

This week: The Magician


Popular culture is a handy thing. A huge number of people have seen it – that’s the definition of popular, right? The cool thing about it is that it contains as much truth as anything else if you keep your eyes (and mind) open to it. If you watch the medium John Edward, you’ll see he uses TV, movie and music references all the time. So do I. Pop culture is fertile soil for the coincidences and synchronicity that is the very language of soul and spirit.

For the magician card, my favorite movie reference is the Disney’s “Halloweentown”. I love the line that “Magic is just wishing for something, then letting yourself have it”

If you want to get all intellectual about it, this alludes to the psychology of self-confidence and “self-sabotage”. But let’s stick with the pop theme, and let ourselves mentally fly on broom, like the witches of Halloweentown. Or Harry Potter. Or whatever bit of fiction that you like.

The Magician card is fun, powerful, and evocative. In my mind’s eye it brings forward images of Merlin, Dumbledor, Gandalf. Wisdom, humor and above all…magic.

What is magic? The ability to move things around without physical effort? The ability to make what we want appear out of thin air? If you could have magical powers like a legendary wizard, what would you do with it? What would the things you do with your magic say about you?

While we could talk all day about magic, the wizard archetype, and making life magical, let’s get back to the balance aspects of the card.

Think of labor-saving and thing-making stereotypes of magic we’ve always seen in books, movies and tv. Underneath that is simply desire and fulfillment. We want stuff. The fictional version of magic symbolizes instant gratification.  We desire certain things…some attainable, some more fantastic. Sometimes, though, those wants have have been symbolically fulfilled in a less instant, but more literal way. Man wants to fly, so in time we invent airplanes, balloons, hang gliders, helicopters and more.

So magic has to do with the balance of desire…the wish for something…and our ability to have it fulfilled.

The magician is often associated with the Alchemist…changing one thing into another that is more desired. There are consequences. We might get gold from lead, but the lead is lost in the process. We may find sudden wealth, but at what does it cost us in terms of contentment…and taxes? Again…balance is the key. You may desire love or a relationship with a person…but at what price? Is the cost of fulfillment make the desire worth it? What if a wish causes harm to another in the process of fulfilling it for you? If you knew the consequences, would you keep the same wish? Think of genies from literature. Genies are magic too…of a trickier sort, often with hard lessons in tow with the magic. “Be careful what you wish for, you just might get it” as the saying goes.

Magic, manifestation…the law of attraction. It’s all related. If we wish for something, we have a choice…

We can set our intention…but then put on the brakes and not allow ourselves to have our wish made real – which can be good or bad. If we keep stopping short of success, what does that teach you? By the same token the ability to abort can be a safety net and act of compassion if things are going wrong or headed toward harm.You can make wish, identify a need, set your intent – and then do nothing about it, except wish and intend and attract your heart out…and then get angry and resentful when it doesn’t happen.

Or you can make a wish, work for it, allow the universe to help you get it…and then be grateful for the magic that let your wish be made manifest.

Yes, we can allow ourselves to have our wishes. It is OK to allow our happiness. The counterbalance to allowing and attracting is doing the real world  work that is needed, plus having the compassion to not harm others in the rush of attainment.

Manifestation and missing out, self and others, attraction and repulsion: These are the dichotomies of the magician.

May you make a good wish…and let yourself have it. May your life be magic.

Back by Popular Demand


There is still lots of interest in the combination of the Magician and the Lover’s card. I have an uneasy feeling it comes from a place of fear and manipulation, to be honest. I get the vibe that it comes from 1. a fear of rejection or a fear being ‘alone’ ie not in a dating relationship or 2. a desire to control someone else’s feelings, and bend a situation to one person’s will over another.

There is no love potion or love spell – especially not in Tarot. What goes around comes around. Like attracts like. What you give to the universe comes back to you threefold. Approaching dating and romance with anything other than love and compassion for the other person is bad advice.  Here are some pages and old posts that might be more helpful.


The Magician and The Lovers in a romance question.

How to Find Your Soulmate

Decision Meditation

Alice got it right, Twilight predicts the future

Tarotbytes: 10 of Coins



All it takes to be happy is giving yourself permission to be it.



“Clap along if you feel happiness is the truth” – Pharrell Williams

“People are as happy as they make up their mind to be” – attr. to Abraham Lincoln

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony” – Ghandi

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion” – Dali Lama

quotes via brainyquote.com and azlyrics.com

Q&A: Will we get back together?



Q: Will we get back together?

A: I don’t know.

Only you and your ex can answer that. Tarot doesn’t predict the future, or read other people’s minds. It’s a way to learn, a way to find inspiration, a way to access your own good intuition…not some kind of creepy stalker thing to go rummaging through other people’s hearts and minds. End of discussion as far as I’m concerned.

But this is your lucky day – felt pulled to pull a card for you BUT it doesn’t have anything to do with your ex or if you’ll get back together. This card is only intended to help you understand the way things are now, and maybe give you some idea about what direction to go next.

Your card is: Three of Swords.

If you look at the Smith artwork in the Rider Waite Tarot (public domain image via sacred-texts.com), this card makes lots of sense, really.

Your are experiencing heartache. Breakups are heartbreaking things, and this card is acknowledging your hurt, letting you know the universe hears you and understands.

This card is offering you the heart version of that old Zen adage – instead of “only an empty cup can be filled” in this case, only the broken heart can be mended, meaning this is a life lesson, and an important one.

Look at it logically for a minute. You broke up for a reason. SOMEthing happened. Has that changed? Has the trust been repaired? What’s different now? What tiny shred of anything makes you think things would be a tiny bit different if you did get back together? Why would you want to go back to that, whoever was at “fault”?

Better than thinking about getting back together, wouldn’t it be better to think about how this has changed YOU? What have you learned? What do you know now about the kind of relationship you want in your life? What are you able to give – or not give – to a relationship? “you can’t cross the same river twice” they say. You can’t go back, even if you re-start a relationship with the same person. Time has passed, and experiences have passed between you. Don’t think in terms of getting back together…think of starting new, be it with this person or with someone else.

If there is as much heartache as this card hints, why rush back now? Who do you want your partner in romance to be: someone who is whole, happy and strong, or someone emotionally injured, bleeding and needy? It isn’t up to other people to heal you…only you can heal you. What chance would a relationship have (new or re-start either one) if you go into it hurting and half-there? If you want a good new relationship, go into it whole strong and happy…like attracts like. Offer up wounds, you get wounds. Go into it happy, whole, and full of love to give…then chances are greater of attracting the same in to your life, too.

Will you get back together? I dunno. You need to answer that…and answer why you would want to.