Ever pull a card that's left you with more questions than answers?
Some cards seem to make zero sense as the outcome/solution/block to a given situation. Others have meanings that are frustratingly evasive. What to do when you're stuck on a card?
Here's a few techniques for gaining perspective on sticky cards and, hopefully, their meanings:
- Every card, be it a court, major or minor, has a complimentary card. Getting to know the "reflections" of each card can help immensely in clarifying their meanings. For example, The Empress (abundance) and the Emperor (control) form a natural pair, as do The Magician (active) and The High Priestess (passive). The 3 of Swords (pain) expresses the opposite energy of the 3 of Cups (joy). When you're stuck on a card, consider what its reflection or opposing card represents.
- Any spread that has more than one card will show a progression to the card you're stuck on. Go back and look at patterns leading up to your problem card. Is there a natural progression in numbers (for example, consecutive numbers or the same numbers but different suits)? Are there multiple Aces or multiple Knights/Queens/Kings leading up to or including your card? There's a story here.
- Does your card stick out? For example, if the surrounding cards are all cups (feelings) and the problem card is swords (intellect), there's a message in the switch to a different energy. Likewise if the surrounding cards indicate forward motion (8 of Wands, The Chariot, etc.) and your card shows lack of motion (2 of Swords, The High Priestess).
- Re-read your question (or say it aloud) and then answer it using the meaning of the card you're stuck on. Doesn't matter if the meaning makes no sense...just write it or say it and see what comes up. This is why writing down your original question is so important.
When all else fails, you can always pull one or two clarifying cards. Or sometimes just walking away from the reading and letting it simmer in the back of your mind can reveal an answer at a later date.