I decided to go ahead and try giving myself a reading for the first time. The first reading I did was a few days ago for a friend, and I’m still very new and learning, and basically going with intuition, which I think is the best thing to do. I’ve found that allowing my intuition to take over really gives me a lot of freedom and my body and spirit just seem to know what to do or say, so I’m taking that as a good sign. I read a bit about the best ways to perform readings, and the reading is essentially an answer to a question. I saw a format, or spread, that I haven’t seen before, which is three cards, in which the first represents your problem, the second represents the advice on how to go about addressing the problem, and the third is the likely outcome. I also happened to read a brief little bit about reversed cards, or drawing a card in a reading that comes out upside down. Apparently some people ignore it, some people take it to mean that the opposite of the cards meaning is true, and many other things.
As it happened, I tried the three-card spread I mentioned above: a problem, advice, and the likely outcome of the problem. The question that I asked was this: I want to find a passionate, fulfilling relationship that will help me grow as a person, will I find it? All three cards that I drew were upside down, because of course I didn’t realize the whole deck was upside down. My first instinct was to start flipping them up, but then I decided to go ahead and leave them as they were, and see what happened. The cards were, in sequence: the Ace of Cups, the High Priestess, and the Devil. The Devil was a card I’ve been hoping to see, as I feel a connection to the imagery as well as the meaning, but I’ll get to that in a moment.
With the ace of cups, I was at a loss. My guidebook gives traditional meanings for all of the major arcana but for the minor, only clues as to the meanings. The description talked about being the first drop of water creating ripples that make waves, and being surrounded by intense sea of emotion. But I wasn’t so sure that was a good description of my issue, which is that I want to find a fulfilling and passionate relationship. The second card was the advice, and it was the High Priestess. This symbolized learning and intuition. I still wasn’t entirely sure I was connecting with the message the cards were trying to give me, so I moved to the third card, which would be the outcome of the situation: the Devil. When I began to read the cards description I understood why I drew the cards upside down: I was reading backward. The Devil described my situation, The High Priestess still described advice, and the Ace of Cups described the outcome. The Devil represents making a choice to stay in darkness, pleasures, lust, indulgence, and willful ignorance. This greatly described my current situation, and I’ve felt a connection to this card since before I’ve had the deck.
Now that I had a better understanding of my current situation, I read the cards backward. The High Priestess remained the advice giver, but her advice made much more sense to me now. It was a message to open, receive, and embrace. A torrent of opportunities were coming, and I must open myself to them and learn from them, invite these opportunities in, and trust my intuition. As for the Ace of Cups, I was still at a bit of a loss, but I believe it means that there will be a torrent of emotion in the future, both positive and negative. My instinct is to say this means I will find a passionate relationship and it will fail. It may also mean that I will find a passionate relationship that also comes with many difficulties. It may even mean that my life will become full of passionate relationships. It’s difficult to know, as it seems to have such a broad meaning. In a hopeful sense, I would like to think it means that I have the opportunity to surround myself with new opportunities and people, learn from them, and in a positive way, experience joy and love for myself.
ADDENDUM: I checked out the Shadowscapes Tarot (my deck) website, and the author intends the Ace of Cups to represent compassion, love, intimacy, attunement, and deep feelings. This gives me great hope! I feel that this card represents finding someone with whom I share a very genuine connection with, who enriches me and with whom I have passion and love.
SECOND ADDENDUM: I spent some time thinking about this, and it’s possible that the reversed cards did not mean that they were meant to be read in reverse. In my past there has been great passion and intimacy, attunement and deep feelings, but an issue is that that happened very deeply to me a long time ago and I’ve been unable to get into relationships because I haven’t felt that feeling again, and I’ve let doubt hold me back. The flip side of that is that I’ve learned to trust my intuition, and I think that I’ll know when the right person for me comes along, but it’s possible that the memory of the passion I felt with my first love has been holding me back from opening myself to future possibilities. It’s also possible that in the future, the outcome of my search for love will be untamed passion and perhaps being ruled by desires, it certainly seems like something that might happen for me. It could also be a warning not to be ruled by my passions. Lots to think about here.