C is for Card Meanings

I have owned a number of Tarot decks for a couple of years now, My favourite, as I have mentioned lots of times before, is the shadowscapes tarot. However, since owning this deck I haven’t truly connected with it.

I struggle to read tarot, and normally opt to read with my casting collection instead. The meanings don’t flow very easily for me and I find myself having to consult the book, which makes the reading very stunted and not very intuitive (which is how I like to divine).

Recently, I actually listened to a piece of advice which is always given out to me: sit with your deck, look at the pictures and write down what each card means to you without the use of the book!

So last week I got my Shadowscapes tarot and separated the major arcana. I started picking them out at random, and studying the images properly. At first, I drew a complete blank when looking at the cards. Then, slowly, little details started to jump out at me and I began to write about my overall impression of the card. Once I started things began to flow and after a few minutes I found that I had written several paragraphs for a card. I was even able to distil those paragraphs into some handy keywords.

I am still going through the major arcana right now, and I will do the minor arcana in time. This technique has made tarot actually speak to me in a way it never did before, and now I just want to buy more decks! Damn my penchant for pretty things!

I wanted to share a couple of examples I have done so far. I started writing down the meanings in my spiritual journal at first, but realised pretty soonish that I was going to be taking up a lot of space for just this one deck! Therefore, I decided to copy down all my interpreted meanings onto a word document instead, which I could then print out. Some of my meanings turned out to be drastically different from the book meanings, others were closer.

The Chariot

 I wrote: ‘Underwater, in the emotional depths, turtles bob as the tumult on the surface moves them. High above is the cloud castle of thought. The chariot is the tumultuous middle ground between thought and emotion. Her horses are wild and need reigning in, but right now she is going with it.

Keywords: Balance (thought/emotion, rational/irrational etc.), chaos, standing firm in adversity, going with the flow.


I wanted to include justice here because it took a few days of returning to the card for me to get ANYTHING out of it. It was one of the hardest so far to crack, and it took me noticing how the butterflies bunched up around one side of the scales to start things in motion.

‘There are some souls trapped in the bark below. Butterflies begin to emerge and flock around her scales, expecting to see justice prevail. She holds in her hand the feather of truth, which she will weigh against their petitions. She is impartial and her answer is true and unbiased.

Keywords: Facing the truth, true examination of ones actions, impartial justice shines through.

Even though these interpretations may not make sense to others, they make sense to me! Just the act of thinking about each card for a few moments before writing something down has conferred these things to memory much more effectively than reading the book. I can’t wait to see how these read for me and others now!



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