Tarot Card Advice on Asking Questions

When it comes to reading tarot cards, a good rule of thumb to follow is:

If you don’t really want to know the answer, don’t ask the question.

If you choose to ignore this advice, one of three things will surely happen.

1. The cards will pick up on your subconscious hopes and wishes and reflect back to you what you want to hear. At first glance, you might feel joy and relief. Then you’ll get that “hey, wait a minute…that can’t be right” feeling and self doubt will kick in…

Q: Does X like me the way I like him?

A: You are the sunshine of his life. He sees you two as a couple. Your dreams will come true.

Your gut response: “Yeah, right…”.

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck XIX-The Sun - 2 of Cups - 9 of Cups
XIX-The Sun – 2 of Cups – 9 of Cups

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck (c) 1985 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


2. The cards will pick up on your subconscious worries and fears and deliver worst case scenarios, sending you screaming for that carton of rocky road ice cream stashed at the back of the freezer (or for whatever your go-to comfort food happens to be).

Q: Does X like me the way I like him?

A: No way. He is lying to you. He will break your heart and leave you crying.

Your gut response: “Aw, come on … it couldn’t possibly be this bad…”

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck 7 of Swords - 3 of Swords - 5 of Cups
7 of Swords – 3 of Swords – 5 of Cups

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck (c) 1985 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


3. The cards, having picked up on your subconscious, vibrational broadcast that you don’t really want to know the answer, will arrange themselves in some gobbly-gook fashion, all but indecipherable, no matter how many times you reshuffle and draw again.

Q: Does X like me the way I like him?

A: Insights, inspirations, hopes fulfilled, new enterprise or beginning, success, completion, goals achieved, job well done .

Your gut response: “Huh??!!”

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck XVII-The Star - Ace of Wands - XXI-The World
XVII-The Star – Ace of Wands – XXI-The World

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck (c) 1985 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.


You can avoid the above scenarios by only asking questions for which you are ready to hear the answer. Another approach would be to rephrase your questions — especially about subjects in which you may have an emotional investment — in ways that feel more empowering and less fated.

The tarot is exceptionally good at providing deep insight into your situation/ circumstance/ issue. Instead of asking questions that can be answered “Yes” or “No,” practice phrasing your questions in empowering ways. Empowering questions such as “What’s the most important thing I need to know about [situation/ circumstance/ issue]?” or “What’s the best approach I can take regarding this [situation/ circumstance/ issue]?” are much more helpful and considerably less stress-provoking than the typical yes-or-no questions people tend to ask.

 * * * * * * * * * *

A great spread for ascertaining helpful advice and guidance is a variation of “The Veil” spread described in the Tarot de Marseille LWB (little white book). The first three positions are per the instructions. I added positions 4 and 5 because I think the additional information is helpful.

Position #1: What you are seeing.

Position #2: The Veil, or what you are not seeing, or the reason you are not seeing the entire truth.

Position #3: The truth, or how things really are.

Position #4: The advice.

Position #5: The Probable Outcome if you follow the advice.



Pertinent background leading up to the question: Recent blood work shows my cholesterol’s too high and the doctor’s scale confirms my bathroom scale is accurate (sigh).

My question: “What am I seeing / not seeing concerning my health and what is the truth?”

 The Veil Spread with Extra Positions

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck Queen of Pentacles - 8 of Pentacles - II-The High Priestess - Ace of Swords - 0-The Fool
Queen of Pentacles – 8 of Pentacles – II-The High Priestess – Ace of Swords – 0-The Fool

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck (c) 1985 U.S. Games Systems, Inc.

Position #1: What I am seeing.

Queen of Pentacles - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
Queen of Pentacles – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

QUEEN OF PENTACLES: I am seeing myself as healthy. After all, my cholesterol is not that high, and my weight is not that excessive.  The doctor didn’t even lecture me about either one. I want to believe I am healthy enough.

Position #2: The Veil, or what I am not seeing.

8 of Pentacles
8 of Pentacles – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

8 OF PENTACLES: Eight is the number that signifies balance vs. imbalance, and pentacles are physical. As such, they are often related to health issues. There is some type of imbalance going on, likely physical, whether I want to admit it or not.

Position #3: The truth, or how things really are.

II-The High Priestess - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
II-The High Priestess – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

II-THE HIGH PRIESTESS: I am not listening to my gut feelings surrounding this issue. I am ignoring the inner voice that keeps nagging me that all is not well and that I really need to start doing something about it, preferably sooner rather than later.

Position #4: The Advice.

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck Ace of Swords
Ace of Swords – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

ACE OF SWORDS: I need to find ways to release pent-up emotions, stress, anxieties and worries. Working out on a regular basis will go a long way in helping me bring my physical and mental energies back into balance. Exercise needed!

Position #5: The Probable Outcome if I follow the Advice.

Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck 0-The Fool
0-The Fool – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

0-THE FOOL: A new beginning, starting afresh. All things are possible, jump in with both feet. Improved health.


I had to admit the cards were right. I told myself, the next time I got a flyer from a local gym offering promotional pricing, I’d join. And wouldn’t you know it, a flyer from the fitness center closest to my house arrived in the afternoon mail…

 * * * * * * * * * *

I’d really like to encourage you to ask questions that help you sort things out, empower you, and lead you to your own conclusions. The answers you’ll receive by taking this approach will be much more insightful and helpful than any yes-or-no answers could ever hope to be.


Mary Hawkins

Tarot Card Meanings: High Priestess – Trusting the Voice Within

II-High Priestess is the second of 22 cards comprising the Major Arcana of the tarot. Also known as La Papesse or The Female Pope, II-High Priestess is associated with the zodiacal sign of Cancer, ruled by the Moon. Cancer, a water sign, and the Moon are associated with emotions, the subconscious and intuition, and II-High Priestess as an archetypal force symbolizes the hidden, spiritual, unconscious, and intuitive aspects of the universe in which we live.


Tarot de Marseille II-The High Priestess
Tarot de Marseille II-The High Priestess


As La Papesse, II-High Priestess reminds us we are spiritual beings walking around in human bodies. As such, we have access to spiritual knowledge, the subconscious mind, and our own inner guidance system which is connected to the Divine.

Keywords for II-High Priestess: intuition, secrecy, feminine mysteries, virginal, platonic, psychic, something going on beneath the surface, hidden issues, innermost feelings, inner voice, divination, celibacy, low sex drive, hidden potential, self-trust, self-reliance, self-sufficiency, self- acceptance, self-resourcefulness, independence, spiritual depth, extra sensory perception, occult knowledge, intuitive capabilities, harmony, balance, equilibrium, healing powers.

In a tarot reading, a person represented by II-High Priestess may be reserved, secretive, and/or self-reliant. She may be psychic or possess healing powers. Usually she is inner-oriented or directed, responsible and self-sufficient. II-High Priestess as a person is typically a mature, serious, cautious and/or discerning individual who uses discretion in her dealings with others. Unless surrounding cards say otherwise, she is trustworthy and wise.

If II-High Priestess is drawn as a theme card or the card representing the situation/ issue/ circumstance, it is an indication that the situation/ issue/ circumstance is of a serious nature and not everything about it has been revealed to you yet.

Negative manifestations of II-High Priestess: inability to communicate, passivity, promiscuity, not enough reflection given to the situation/ issue/ circumstance, being out of touch with yourself, going against your gut feelings, not paying attention to your true needs and/or feelings.

Work: Something is going on beneath the surface. What is your gut telling you? A female co-worker, supervisor or employee may be hiding something from you or you may sense some psychic or underhanded manipulation going on.

Romance: A hidden agenda. Something is not right or someone isn’t telling you everything. Secrets. Trust issues. Something may be out of balance in the relationship. (This is almost never an indication that the person in question is your soul-mate.) Trust your intuition.

Finances: Unknown factors are at play. Do your homework and research the situation. Something may be off balance. Uncover discrepancies, probe beneath the surface. Ask your inner self for guidance, clarification and direction. You may need to consult a financial adviser to help you clarify and resolve your issue. Trust your gut feelings and your psychic impressions concerning money issues.

Health: You don’t have enough information to make a decision concerning your condition or its treatment. More research is needed. Be proactive and don’t take anything at face value. If you get a bad gut feeling about a certain course of action or medical procedure, don’t do it. Question the diagnosis, the treatment, the doctor. Get a second opinion.

Spirituality: Cultivate and/or focus upon the qualities of self-trust, self-resourcefulness and self-acceptance in order to achieve spiritual balance and deepen your connection to the Divine. Developing receptivity to “the quiet voice within” releases healing powers and strengthens your intuitive capabilities.

Empowerment: Pay attention to your intuitions, hunches, gut feelings and dreams. Don’t be afraid to look beneath the surface, keep your own counsel, and trust your own inner guidance system.


Tarot de Marseille II-The High Priestess
Tarot de Marseille II-The High Priestess

Note from Mary: Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the “secretive,” “psychic,” “intuitive” nature of II-High Priestess while forgetting that the number 2 first and primarily points to balance and the ability to successfully manage yin (receptivity) and yang (action). The way you can do this is to develop a regular routine for going within and accessing your spiritual core — your own inner guidance system — for insight, commentary and advice on how to proceed in any given situation/ circumstance and then learn to trust yourself enough to act on the guidance received.


Mary Hawkins

Tarot Card Meanings: Magician – Using Magician Energy

Note from Mary: I am posting an updated version of an article I wrote which originally appeared in the Tarot Teacher section of my former website, Soulscape Tarot & Astrology. I hope you will find it useful…


Tarot de Marseille I-The Magician
Tarot de Marseille I-The Magician


Recently, I pulled I-MAGICIAN while doing a 3 card daily draw. I thought I would share some insights on this card with you.

I-MAGICIAN is the first of the Major Arcana cards in the Tarot, also known in some decks as I-MAGUS. In a tarot spread, Major Arcana cards typically symbolize archetypal energies in play at the time of the reading. I-MAGICIAN is associated with Mercury (the Messenger), communication, flexibility, duality and brilliance. Astrologically, Mercury is the natural ruler of Virgo (Earth) and Gemini (Air).

I-MAGICIAN symbolizes the process of consciously creating reality through your will, words and imagination. Think of I-MAGICIAN as the Alchemist and Transformer. This card symbolizes your ability to turn ideas and spoken affirmations into action and suggests you can (or should) rely on self confidence, power and determination to see you through.

When you pull I-MAGICIAN in a reading it suggests that powerful and synchronistic influences are coming into your life, enabling you to intuit or invent solutions to your most pressing problems. Since this is accomplished by “tuning in” to “messages” you receive intuitively, it’s important to allow yourself to maintain a receptive frame of mind, especially if you are finding that I-MAGICIAN comes up for you often in spreads.

Here are some possible interpretations of how the energy of I-MAGICIAN may manifest, depending on the subject of your reading or what you’ve asked about:

Work: Positive, augers success. Creative, innovative thought is in order. The ability to turn ideas into reality. You may begin a new job or receive a promotion. Creative endeavors take off, dreams and desires materialize.

Romance: You may meet someone new under unusual or synchronistic circumstances. Telepathic communication with a loved one. Possible indication that you have/will meet a soul-mate. May indicate a creative, intuitive person with excellent communication skills. Negative: could indicate a manipulator or trickster, someone who will try to pull something over on you, particularly if surrounded by negative cards.

Finances: If you’re asking about money, I-MAGICIAN suggests your finances will improve, possibly through a new job or project that provides good income while meeting creative needs. Bills paid, money left over. If this card shows up in a position indicating a problem, challenge, or obstacle, it can be pointing out that you’re engaging in negative thinking and emotions that are resulting in negative or unwanted manifestations.

Health: Problems clear up spontaneously. As shaman and healer, MAGICIAN points to alternative medicine. You are guided to the correct practitioner/ herbal treatment, etc. Remember that illness is often a “wake up call” — listen to your body. A particular dietary change may benefit you. [Note from Mary: if you’re worried about a health issue, please see your doctor or health practitioner!!]

Spirituality: Esoteric, metaphysical and/or occult knowledge provides answers to questions. A Teacher/ Guide offers aid and enlightenment.

Empowerment: Conscious magic provides power and energy to change your life. What you focus on expands!!!


Tarot de Marseille I-The Magician
Tarot de Marseille I-The Magician

How has I-MAGICIAN energy manifested in your life? Please leave a comment and let us know!


Mary Hawkins

You Don’t Have to be Psychic to Read Cards

You don’t have to be psychic to learn how to read cards. All it takes is intention, some intuition, and a good dollop of common sense.

If you learned how to read English — which I assume you did if you’re reading this post — you can learn how to read cards. This is because cards, like English (or French or German or any other language), speak in languages that you can learn to read.

Each card system (tarot, Lenormand, playing cards, etc.) has its own language. Just like any language, there may be similarities — and there are sure to be differences.

For example, XVI-The Tower in the tarot does not have the same meaning as 19 Tower in the Lenormand. The former has the connotation of a shock or disruption of some sort, perhaps a crisis point. The latter has many meanings including legal matters, bureaucracy, isolation, ego, and official buildings among other things, and absolutely no connotations of shock, disruption or crisis.


What you need if you want to read cards:

1. Intention

I-The Magician - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
I-The Magician – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck


You have to want to read cards, otherwise, why would you bother? It is not a huge investment of money to pick up a tarot deck at a local bookstore or order one online. Lenormand cards are not particularly pricey and can also be ordered online. A pack of playing cards costs less than $5.00 at big box stores and drugstores. If you don’t already own a deck of tarot, Lenormand or playing cards, decide which card system you want to start with and purchase one deck. If you’re already familiar and comfortable with one or more card systems, consider trying your hand at another.

Here are some deck suggestions to get you started:

Tarot decks:

  • Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
  • Robin Wood Tarot Deck
  • Universal Waite Tarot Deck
  • Morgan-Greer Tarot Deck
  • Crowley Thoth Tarot Deck

Lenormand decks:

  • Piatnik Lenormand Jeu de destin No. 194115
  • Blaue Eule (Blue Owl) Lenormand
  • Mystical Lenormand


2. Intuition

II-The High Priestess - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
II-The High Priestess – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck


Everyone has intuitive capabilities. While some people may be more intuitive than others, every person has the ability to “intuit” to some degree — and the capacity to build their intuitive muscle. The more you learn about how your own particular intuitive abilities work, the better you will be able to work with them. Card reading is a great way to uncover and strengthen your intuitive abilities. When you look at a tarot card, you may find certain symbols in the picture capture your attention. You might ask yourself, “why has that symbol captured my attention?” One thought may lead to another and before you know it, you could be stringing together a meaning and/or a thought might occur to you that summarizes the message the cards seem to be giving you. This is intuition in play. You will develop and/or strengthen it by reading cards on a regular basis.


3. Common Sense

Queen of Pentacles - Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck
Queen of Pentacles – Hanson-Roberts Tarot Deck

It helps to have your head set squarely on your shoulders. It doesn’t make any sense to me to get upset, worried or scared outta your mind by a card reading. Come on, people, use your heads. They’re just cards. Cards are rectangular pieces of cardboard with pictures on them. The power is not in the cards. You own the power.


Queen of Swords - Hanson Roberts Tarot Deck
Queen of Swords – Hanson Roberts Tarot Deck


I’ll share more of my approach to card reading in subsequent posts. If there’s something you’d like me to  comment on or discuss in more depth, please let me know.


Mary Hawkins