Modern Witch Tarot Deck Guidebook
Modern Witch Tarot Deck Guidebook
The universe has always been a large, mysterious place. Whether water, bones, or Tarot, throughout history humans have used various forms of divination to attempt to understand the world around diem.
Witches, like divination, can be found across all cultures. They arc holders of wisdom and paranormal power, and Tarot is often associated with them. In centuries past, these powerful femme people were revered and sought for their knowledge about both the natural and supernatural. They were the healers and respected counsel of commoners and royals alike.
Modern Witchcraft has in many ways become a refuge for the disenfranchised. Tarot is a way to explore oneself as much as the world. For many people of color, LGBTQ+ people, and femme folks, it can be a way of retaking power. It can be a way of connecting with a part of themselves that they didn’t even know they were cut of!' from, and of seeking answers to questions they were previously afraid to ask.
Lisa Stcrle is both an amazing artist and an amazingly kind, insightful person. Through her work, she has helped hundreds of people to connect to the magical space that is made of imagination and insight.
What you are holding in your hands is a beautiful example of love and respect for tarot. Here you will find yourself, and those you love, all represented as the complex, powerful beings that you are. Young, middle aged, old; femme, androgynous, masculine; Black,
brown, white. You’ll find artists, scholars, and fighters; warnings and celebrations; and most importantly, enlightenment.
This set is perfect for those who arc well practiced in the art of reading Tarot, or diosc that are seeking the wisdom of the cards for the first time.
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, visualize that which you seek. The answers arc waiting for you.
It all started with the Ten of Swords. I was a few years into a dead-end design job that was slowly draining my creativity, my passion for art and my general faith in humanity. On one particularly terrible day, I was feeling my absolute lowest, doubting myself and the path I'd taken. 1 didn’t know how to escape my situation and all options seemed equally terrifying and awful. Through luck or fate, I was somehow reminded of the Ten of Swords. I flipped through my deck and there 1 was staring at this card and feeling it in my bones. 1 made the very first illustration of the Modern Witch Tarot deck that day, when “Everything is Fine” was the thing I’d been telling myself for a long time.
My self-esteem and perceived artistic worth was at tin absolute bottom when 1 drew that illustration. Then, unbelievably — the image resonated with people. It resonated with a lot of people, more than any other
piece of art I’d ever made. I realized then that, through my pain and misery, I had finally arrived somewhere on the other side.
My wish is that you can turn to this deck for answers or for guidance; when you are feeling absolutely awful or full of love and joy. I hope that these cards can be a tool for you to work through pain, or to grow to understand your choices, or solidify some spark of inspiration.
I hope that you too can find the path you need to take.
THE MAJOR ARCANA
The Major Arcana, also known as Trumps, are a collection of 22 potent archetypes that represent forces beyond the everyday. Their progression can be seen as a path of enlightenment, known as the Fool’s Journey. The Fool, card 0, with all its potential and freedom, sits both outside the other Trumps and within them all. As it travels from The Magician to The World it develops spiritually but, like all worthwhile journeys, this one bears many challenges - for how else will she grow?
In a reading, a Trump may show forces outside the querent’s control, a situation of high significance or the influence of the Divine. Elementally the Major Arcana are the realm of Spirit.
| THE FOOL |
The grand adventure begins! The fearless Fool with her devil-may-care attitude is ready to take the first steps towards the unknown. Pure passion and optimism fuel her as she dances to her music, to joy itself. She doesn’t know what lies beyond the cliff’s edge, but she’s left behind her life in the city. Goodbye to normalcy, to routine, to the structured life she’d had within society. She fully trusts her instincts to carry her beyond the ordinary.
Don’t be afraid to take that leap of faith. Now is the time for you to start your journey, because you’re ready. Be spontaneous and let your wildness run free. Don’t look back in fear, look ahead and up to the sky and sun and let your instincts guide you. You got this.
| THE MAGICIAN |
It’s time to make some magic, to turn dreams into reality. The Magician knows what she wants and knows what she’ll need to make it happen. Standing confidently and boldy, brandishing a wand towards the sky, The Magician channels magic and inspiration into herself and transforms it into creative energy. Laid out before her is all she needs on a crystalline pedestal. The sword - her smarts and wit - prepares her for the task ahead. Her cup is full and emotionally connects T he Magician to her goal. T he pentacle is the life experience that taught her how the world works. The other wand drives her forward into action.
Bring those lofty drcams down to earth, make them real! You know what you want, and you have the magic within you to make it happen! Believe in yourself, you know that you’re ready to start creating. Let that inspiration How through you and use all your tools to make some stufl!
There arc deep secrets attd many mysteries in life. The High Priestess knows the path toward them. She sits on her throne, with her laptop full of secret knowledge and wisdom, pensive but inviting. Behind her, a veil of pomegranates suggests the desire for answers is there, but we may not be ready to lift this veil of mysteries. The moon, at her feet, seeks to awaken our unconscious and open us up to hidden things and the strangest parts of existing.
Be still. Sometimes the greatest power comes in knowing that you do not know anything. You’ve come up against the truth that more self-knowledge is needed, and it’s time to reflect in order to grow. Explore your subconscious, through meditation, through tarot itself, through study. It’s not time to make big decisions right now.
Boundaries and structure make us feel safe. The Emperor is full of authority and creates a world full of rules and laws. She is a comforting answer to the chaos of the natural world, but she is rigid and uncompromising on her stony throne. She requires logic and reason above all else, and she is unafraid to lead and take the reins to shape the world around her. Though she lords over a powerful and grand cityscape, the river of life has slowed to a trickle behind her.
Protect yourself, if you need to. Don’t allow others to walk all over you, and don’t be afraid to stand up, take charge and force change. Logic and reason may be the best approach for a particular problem, and by creating some stability in your life you may be able to release some anxiety. Don’t lose touch with your compassion though; stubbornness and stoicism will not always be the best answer.
Love is everything. The Empress is feeling herself! This benevolent goddess is alive and truly connected to the world and others through passion and pure emotions. The Empress is empowered by her love and sexuality, and her energy' flows through everything around her. She gives life to the lush vegetation and receives life from the powerful river. She welcomes pleasure and feelings, and fills each moment with ecstasy.
Think less, feel more. Embrace self-love, and use that self-love to build stronger and more profound connections with family, friends or lovers. Be fulfilled by your social circles of those who love you. Drink from the cup of love, allow it to nourish and warm you. Through love, you can find deep meaning and fulfillment. Love, love, love! It’s all here for you if you let it in.
As students, we learn from the past and from others. It is die Hierophant that calls us to unlock our psyche and hidden potential through diligent study. She is wise in her guidance, helping us discover new things we could not have found alone. As students and disciples, we kneel at her feet, listening to her stories and lessons, and if we do so, we may be able to find the lock that fits the keys crossed at her feet.
Look to the past, read books, find a community of both differing worldviews and familiar ones. Find the passion within you and the hunger to know more. Nothing is created in a void, and you can enrich yourself by finding communities or collectives that help to structure your study Learning new things can open your mind to new pathways and possibilities.
Through love we can reach new heights. The Lovers card is full of beauty, stars, wishes, hopes and dreams. Two hearts, minds and bodies become one. The Lovers create a wholly unique and special place, a paradise of mutual respect and adoration. All protective walls are torn down, leaving us naked and perfectly ourselves. Together we see beautiful dreams through our unclouded eyes, we do things we never thought we could, we make each other stronger through trust. The world sings and nothing is impossible.
You’re feeling lucky in love, drunk in love, maybe a little crazy in love. There’s a chance that these new feelings come with a choice to make so embrace your desires and trust your heart. The Lovers represent all kinds of love, especially that person in your life who makes you feel like you could climb mountains. You know who they are. Treasure your time with them, walk on air and wish on shooting stars. Let your days and nights be filled with love.
She rules everything around her. The Chariot rides in on a silver gleaming motorcycle, ready for battle. She’s got her leather armor to protect her. Her crown points towards the sky and she’s connected to nature, to her emotions, and to the stable ground beneath her. The Chariot has worked hard to balance everything in her life perfecdy, everything is in its right place and under her control. Victory might not be easy, but she’ll win in the end.
It’s time to be a boss and Get. Shit. Done. Metaphorically (or literally!), put on your most badass leather jacket and toughest boots and get ready to fight. Fight for yourself, don’t give up, don’t let anyone run you off the road. It’s probably going to take a bit of force and mental energy. But you're confident. You’re powerful. You’ve prepared for this. Victory is yours.
Difficult problems require strength and willpower. Strength can tame a lion face down her fears and unwanted feelings, bringing them under control through grace and acceptance. Only by reconciling with those scary aspects of ourselves can Strength grow and discover true inner calm. Flowers create a link between Strength and the lion, and this connection can’t be severed. These inner passions, these emotions that feel like they’re spiraling out of control and consuming us, need to be accepted peacefully or they’ll end up controlling us.
It will take courage to approach these possibly frightening aspects of yourself. It will also take compassion and tenderness, as only then can you find the inner strength and power to make yourself whole. You have to accept your fears, your anxieties and your feelings because they arc a part of you. You can’t cut them off. You may find yourself dealing with a difficult problem, but it can be dealt with through grace, maturity and strength.
Through solitude, we can discoxer new things about ourselves. The Hermit has shrugged off material and superficial concerns and distractions, and has retreated to an inner sanctum. She’s taken a break from the outside world to focus on herself. The glowing star is the guiding light of her unconscious mind, and a pathway to a breakthrough. The laptop is the support of learned wisdom and knowledge to help her along her journey. It can also be a special skill that helps The Hermit cope with being alone.
It’s ok to be alone. Silence and meditation can help you explore your own inner worlds and lead you to new places. There’s so many constant distractions that can keep you from focusing on your own self-care, from social media to job stresses to FOMO. It’s time to take a break from it all, to retreat to a place that makes you feel safe with the goal of improving yourself. Don’t ignore your own mental well-being, and if you need a teacher, a guide or a therapist to help you along the way, that’s okay. Don't be afraid of being alone.
Life never stops moxing forward. This golden Wheel Of Fortune is all of life, with its many cycles of ups and downs. We see the alchemy of the entire world through the symbols of Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus, each representing fire, water, air and earth. There is mystery and the unknowable in the letters on the wheel, as we don't always know why things happen the way they do. But the cycle is what it is, whether we’re at the radiant top or the abysmal bottom.
Shit happens. It can feel like it doesn’t make sense, it’s unfair. Or perhaps you’re at the top and you just can’t believe your good luck. And sometimes, that’s all it is. Pure dumb luck. It’s your task to understand that when goodness comes, badness will inevitably follow, and vice versa. Just ride it out. Nothing lasts forever, the good or the bad, so appreciate everything.
The choices we make shape who we are. Justice, contemplative in her bright red robe-like coat, holds high the sword of choice. She does not treat her task lightly, and the balanced scales indicate that she is weighing all the options before her. Justice seeks to uncover deep understanding of moral and ethical truths. And once she’s found the right path, she’s ready to take action and use that sword.
You have to take responsibility for every choice you make. If you drift through life without examining your choices - and what they say about you and your values - you’ll never be truly self-aware, and you may find yourself treating others with dishonesty and unfairness. There may be a difficult issue that you need to examine, or a social responsibility you’ve been neglecting. It’s time to stand up; it’s time to do tlie right thing.
Death comes for us all. She comes oil a pale horse, dressed in black leather, a skull bandana hinting at our inevitable end. Death is light and dark, truly and deeply a pan of life. The queen tries to fight it, and fails. The old woman is wise and is ready to greet it without fear. The young woman can’t even bear to think about it at all, and turns away, pretending it’s not there. The little gid is bright-eyed and innocent; she doesn’t even understand why she would be afraid. Death is eternal, inescapable and necessary.
You don’t have to let death control your life. Death is the moment of letting go. Maybe there’s a memory that haunts you, or a thing you desperately want to believe about yourself and will into existence. If you can let it die, you'll finally be able to change into someone better and new. Rebirth can follow tough changes.
Balance is a beautiful thing. Temperance is a radiant angel decked out in rainbows, balancing one foot on land and the other in water as she confidently pours water from cup to cup. Sunflowers arc bursting behind her and the sun is bright and full of joy. Temperance is the perfect alchemist, and she’s full of song as she blends things together in harmony.
Your life is off-kilter and you need to create some balance. Maybe you’re burnt out from working too much, or you’ve been binge-watching TV all weekend and now your house is a mess. So it’s now time to put your house in order, and start doing things in moderation. You’ll find that if you work to balance all the different aspects of your life, everything feels so much easier. Try and face this task with optimism and positivity, and enjoy all the wonderful things in
Unhealthy habits and desires can consume and control us. The Devil has tempted and captured us with their false promises of wealth, power and pleasure. The upside-down pentacle, symbol of dark magic, adorns their forehead. They raise one hand in an assurance of knowledge and the other hand holds a torch pointing at the earth and all physical things. We arc blind to our chains. The Devil has so skilfully misled us into their intoxicating realm.
Money, sex, power, status, pleasure. You’ve become obsessed with superficial and fleeting desires, and it’s led you down an unhealthy path. You might feel guilt and shame, as you let these impulses control you, and you might hurt yourself or those around you through your selfishness. Face the hard truth. Take the steps necessary to break your chains and seek help if you need to.
Absolute disaster has struck. We’ve built and cared for the Tower, with its golden and bejeweled crown, and now we are thrown violently from it. Fire rains down, dark storm clouds gather ominously, and we are in absolute despair as The Tower crumbles. There is nothing we can do as we watch its destruction, and the pain of the sharp rocks below is unavoidable.
Sudden, massive and probably painful change is on the horizon. The Tower is undoubtedly one of the most violent cards, but it doesn’t have to completely destroy you. You might face the end of a relationship, or a job, bridges may burn or a friendship may go up in flames. But from the ashes, a phoenix. Tragedy can help us grow stronger, and really illuminate what’s truly valuable to us. Feel your pain, don’t ignore it and you can learn from it. Pain is just another necessary element in living a life.
Darkness has turned into light. The Star is peaceful and content in her nudity, she has been born anew and became stronger from her trials. She is free and unburdened, not trying to balance or control anything, but is happily pouring her cups full of life, energy and love out into the world. The ibis, symbol of creativity and inspiration, Hies high in the sky above her, and the stars shine brightly for her.
Despair has turned to hope. Your wounds are healing, your scars are fading, so bask in this time of peace and serenity. You don’t have to do anything if you don’t want to, let yourself be free and accept these calm moments. The earth and everyone around you will rejuvenate you, comfort you and fill you with joy. You are a shining beacon of possibility, so dream big and wish on that shooting star.
The full moon brings out the weirdos. Two nude women with wild hair and animal masks dance under The Moon’s strange light. They dance and howl in the moonlight, and release their wild, untamed energy. The Moon brings out strange things from the dark, a glimpse of what lies beyond the ordinary'. A creature lurks in the pool of water behind them, a reminder of the ancient fears of the unknown.
Wake up your wild side. Imagination and the realm of the mind can allow you to see things in a new way. You might be feeling restless, kinda weird and full of wild energy - so be spontaneous. Do something crazy. Trust your instincts, it’ll lead you to new and possibly strange places. But be aware that by waking up your wild side, you may wander into some dangerous places as well. So be alert, and listen to when your gut tells you you’ve travelled too far into the unknown.
With sunshine comes new life. An innocent child, full of carefree joy and happiness, waves a red banner high in the sky. Behind her, a grey wall is her past, and the flowers of memories bloom and thrive in The Sun. There is wonder and warmth everywhere. The Sun has turned the day into a promising playground ready for exploration. It’s a time to feel totally alive.
Winter is over. The world is lush and full of excitement and beauty. Bask in the sunlight, embrace life! You might have just stumbled upon a big discovery or revelation that’s astonishing, amazing and helps you see things in a new and beautiful way. This new perspective is the result of your hard inner and outer work, and now it’s time for the reward. So treat yourself! Do something fun, have an adventure, the days are yours to fill with childlike wonder and optimism.
At points in our lives, we can feel like there’s something pulling us to change. Judgement calls down to us in the form of a benevolent angel and presents us with the crossroads on her banner. As humans, we aren’t alone in the world, but surrounded by others struggling - each in their own way. Through compassion, love and a desire to be better people, we reach up towards this lofty goal of self-actualization to enrich the world and others around us. Only through responding to the call can we become truly alive.
It’s not about judging others, but judging yourself. There are times to be kind to yourself, and then there are times for some tough love. Now is one of those times. There’s an important change needed for you to reach new heights, but you’re prepared. Your past self is behind you and the future calls. Examine yourself and your choices honestly. Is this the best you?
The journey is over. Much like The Fool at the very beginning, we end this adventure with a dance full of pure joy. The World dancer is perfecdy fulfilled and has unified body and mind, conscious and unconscious, and all the elements in perfect harmony. She is centered, enlightened and bursting with self-love. She is a part of everything, and everything is a part of her. The wreath circles her with a zero and infinites. She is both everything and nothing all at once and has become one with The World.
Success! Your hard work has paid off: you’ve passed the trials and overcome the obstacles. The journey might have been challenging. You might have had to fight and cry and feel all the feelings possible to get here, but you did it. Take the time to acknowledge what you’ve achieved and revel in your success and glory. You are full of magic, and you are absolutely amazing!
THE MINOR ARCANA
The Minor Arcana are split into 4 suits: Wands, Cups, Swords and Pentacles. They run from Ace to 10, known as the Pips, and are followed by the Court Cards: Page, Knight, Queen and King. 56 cards seems like a lot to learn, but remember, all the suits have their own theme, and each number or Court Card brings a certain aspect to that theme. So, if you understand one, Ace you’ll hopefully remember the rest.
WANDS: Fire. Willpower, creativity, projects and action.
CUPS: Water. Inner experience, relationships and imagination.
SWORDS: Air. Thought and the intellectual realm.
PENTACLES: Earth. Work, finance, nature and physical reality.
In a reading, a Pip usually represents how events unfold in the querent’s life, whilst Court cards often represent an individual, cither the querent or someone else.
ACE OF WANDS: High above a desert landscape baking in the sun and heat, your wand burns with passion. A fire has been lit within you, and there’s no putting it out. Allow this burning drive within you to push you forward into new things. Harness that creativity. It’s time to go... start this wild journey!
TWO OF WANDS: You’re a commanding presence looking down on the world below you. The phone in your hand holds questions while you wonder what to do and where to go next. You’ve had success lately but are a bit uncertain about your next steps. It’s not time to rest yet though. Don’t get distracted and stay fixed on your goal.
THREE OF WANDS: Standing solidly on Earth, you’ve got your wands for support and you’re contemplating your plans. You’re working hard and getting ready for the future. It’s working! You’ve got a solid strategy, so all you have to do now is put it into action.
FOUR OF WANDS: The garden is growing luxuriously, and these two have wandered away from their stress and planning to have a little fun. It might be a surprise, but you’ve got some good times on the horizon! Take a break from your hard work and put all your energy into treating yourself.
FIVE OF WANDS: Their wands raised high, this girl gang is engaged in battle, ready to defend their position and fight one another. It could just be friendly competition, or it could get ugly, but either way it’ll be exhausting.
Competition is fierce, and the obstacles are many.
SIX OF WANDS: A V for victory! You’ve just won a big battle, and now you can enjoy the rewards. Your admiring supporters cheer you on in a victory parade since you’ve just accomplished something big! Success is yours! Enjoy your moment, and let your ego get that boost.
SEVEN OF WANDS: Your fiery drive has given you die strength and willpower to climb to the top of the cliff, only to have others try to knock you back down. You’ve succeeded and you’re feeling strong, but others may be jealous. They’ll try to make you feel like less and sow seeds of doubt in yourself. Don’t let them. You deserve to be here. Fight for yourself.
EIGHT OF WANDS: You fly across the desert, fast as hell
and looking to the horizon the wands speeding along the sky above you. It’s time to stop sitting around. You’ve gotta take action and GO, GO, GO! Rev the engine and stop wasting time because you’ve got tilings to do, people to sec. and places to go.
NINE OF WANDS: You’ve got your fighting gear ready, your wands all stacked neatly in a wall of defense - backing you up. You’re prepared for a good fight. It’s time to wrap those knuckles and get dirty. There’s
a battle ahead, so don’t compromise. You have the strength and courage to stand your ground and defend what you have built.
TEN OF WANDS: You're overburdened, your back hunched over in pain as you try to move. You’re carrying something so large you can’t even see what’s right in front of you. Take a long hard look at how you’re spending your time and energy. You’re not managing it well and it is burning you out. Now may be the time to find support.
PAGE OF WANDS: The Page is always bursting with new ideas, new things to do, new things to learn and study. She wants it all, but doesn’t quite yet have the maturity to focus on following through with her fleeting passions. Everything is possible and it’s exciting. If the Page is you, you’re in an experimental stage, so try everything and follow your whims. Eventually you’ll find something that clicks.
KNIGHT OF WANDS: This Knight is all action and doesn’t spare any time to stop and think. They pursue their goals singularly and recklessly; their unstoppable passion is inspiring but comes with risks. If the Knight is you, it’s time to be bold and seize that crazy opportunity in front of you. It won’t stick around for long. Enjoy this feeling of total confidence in yourself, but just be aware there can be unforeseen consequences for acting too impulsively.
QUEEN OF WANDS: The Queen is bursting with life and infectious energy, and you can’t help feeling like you could take on the world when you’re around her. Her confidence and get-to-it-ness is so powerful, she motivates you to DO shit. If you’re the Queen, life is
giving it all to you right now: good luck, ideas, friends, promotions, so channel this bounty into confidence. You know your strengths and weaknesses and how to utilize all your skills to get you want. So get it, girl.
KING OF WANDS: The commanding leader, totally confident in their actions and abilities. The King can be an inspiring teacher, or a boss you really respect. If the King is you, it might be time to step up and take control in a particular situation. Don’t be afraid to take the lead, you can channel your passions into action and energy. You’ve got the skills to be in charge.
ACE OF CUPS: Something beautiful and full of love has just begun, and your cup is so full it spills out into a pool below You’ll feel yourself filled with radiant positivity, happiness and joy. Be receptive. You’ve been blessed with life-giving love, so welcome all your new endeavors!
TWO OF CUPS. There's a super amazing, spectacular person in your life, or there’s about to be. You love being in their company so much, each time you’re together feels like a party and your heart is just bursting full of love for them. Get drunk on love, enjoy them beside you and let them fill your cup.
THREE OF CUPS: Time to raise those cups high and cheer, because there’s a celebration in order! You’re surrounded by friends that love you, and you love them, so now’s the time to show it. Either you or a close friend has possibly achieved something incredible, or maybe you’re just really recognizing how much they mean to you. Either way, it’s tune to party!
FOUR OF CUPS: Life is full of disappointments, imperfections, and unhappiness. You might be feeling super cynical lately, like nothing ever goes your way and the cards are stacked against you. But that negativity isn’t going to get you anywhere, and dwelling too long on regrets or failures isn’t healthy. If you just change your outlook, start saying yes instead of no to the world, you will find there’s still support and beautiful things waiting.
FIVE OF CUPS. Something important has been lost, and you’re filled with soul-crushing sadness and despair. Maybe a relationship has ended, or you’ve been laid off work - whatever it was has destroyed your hopes for the perfect future you had enxisioned. It’s okay
to feel defeated and mourn. Sadness is part of the process. You’ll start to feel hope again eventually, and there is more love waiting for you when you’re ready.
SIX OF CUPS: You’re being called to embrace family and friends with kindness and compassion. Spread your love and sweetness to those you care about, and nurture your connections. You might also be feeling a little nostalgic; maybe there’s something painful from your childhood that needs examining. Just don’t forget to be kind to your past self. Embrace them.
SEVEN OF CUPS: Love, spiritual wisdom, money, success, power: it seems like all the treasures are just out there waiting for you to grab. You’re dreaming SO big that you’re in the clouds and totally out of touch with reality. It’s time to step back down to earth and do the hard work required to be mentally healthy. Only then can those big dreams become attainable.
EIGHT OF CUPS: It’s tough, but whatever you’ve been pouring all your love and emotions into, you need to step away. It’s just not working out. It’s time to say goodbye and move forward. It might be very difficult - you’ve invested a lot of your time and energy into this after all! But wisdom comes from knowing when something is hopeless, learning from it, and moving on.
NINE OF CUPS: Treat yourself! You’ve been killing it lately, and you deserve a nice reward after your success and accomplishments Throw a party, buy yourself something nice, have a spa day. Do something you want to, only for you. Show yourself the love you deserve.
TEN OF CUPS: It’s a beautiful day. A rainbow shines brightly in a clear blue sky and all is full of joy. You’ve been through some trials and tribulations, but your home life is perfectly at peace and in balance. Stop and smell the roses, appreciate your loved ones around you
and just enjoy these beautiful moments.
PAGE OF CUPS: What’s that, a surprising little fish poking it’s head up from her cup? Something or someone unexpected is coming your way, and it’s going to affect your emotions pretty wildly. Maybe you’ve been hit by a wave of inspiration or a you’ve stumbled upon a brand new friend. Whatever it is, it’s a tidal wave of feelings. Don’t be afraid to just wade right in.
KNIGHT OF CUPS: This Knight is confident, charming and wonderful to be around. They instandy draw you in. But be aware that they’re not focused on you, they’re focused entirely on their cup and are constandy looking for those brand-new feelings of love and passion. This is a relationship that won’t last for long, as much as you’d like it to. If the Knight is you, you’ve been chasing feelings a littie too much and need to take the time to nurture your existing friendships and relationships.
QUEEN OF CUPS: A comforting and therapeutic guide, she is deeply in tunc with die inner worlds of emotions. Highly empathetic and creative, she spends a lot of her time gazing out into the waters of the unconscious and it might be difficult to keep her on solid ground. If this card is you, trust your intuition and feelings in creative endeavours. If you search within, you will find a wealth of creativity and inspiration that will guide you down the right padiway.
KING OF CUPS: They’re calming, and their cup is brimming with love and compassion. They draw strength from treating others with tenderness and kindness, and they’re truly in touch with all their emotions. They’re the kind of person who you feel perfecdy at ease with because their presence is sincere and accepting. If this indicates a relationship, you’re finally fully able to let down all your walls and feel comfortable and loved by this person. If the King is you. you’re doing a beautiful job as a friend and confidant, so be proud.
ACE OF SWORDS: A rush of clarity and inspiration comes with the beginning of this journey. You may feel as though your thoughts are racing constantly, die wheels are turning and you’ve reached a revelation. This is just the beginning of a difficult path though, and you’ll need all your wits and reason about you to see it through.
TWO OF SWORDS: You’ve raised your defenses, steeled yourself against opposition and blindfolded yourself. By refusing to budge, you’ve blinded yourself to the truth of a difficult situation. Maybe you've shut off your emotions as a defense mechanism, or you’re refusing to see dungs logically. Perhaps you are stuck in analysis paralysis. Either way, you’re not dealing with the problem honestly. Take off the blindfold and confront the issue.
THREE OF SWORDS: You’re in for a stab of betrayal and heartbreak. Someone close to you has hurt you deeply, betrayed your trust or has been deeply inconsiderate to you. You don’t have to toughen up; it’s okay to feel pretty shitty about the situation. It hurts. If you haven’t experienced this pain, do a little soul-searching and make sure you’re not treating anyone else poorly.
FOUR OF SWORDS: The struggle is real, and you’re goddamn exhausted. You’ve been putting time and energy fully into all the outer aspects of your life, like friends, your relationship or your job, and you have forgotten to care of yourself. You are worn out, so take a break. Relax, close your eyes, meditate. Take a nap. Do what you need to in order to recharge.
FIVE OF SWORDS: You’re definitely feeling strong, maybe a little angry or a little fed up with a situation, and you’re prepared to throw punches. If you choose to go this route, you’ll definitely win, but there will probably be unforeseen consequences. You’re so focused on this situation you’re not thinking about the future. Stop and consider the situation for a second, before you do something you’ll regret.
SIX OF SWORDS: You’re going to need to make a difficult choice, one that might feel painful and almost impossible; however, you know deep down that this is the best path forward. It’s definitely going to be rough waters for awhile, and your emotions may fight you, but logic tells you this is what you need to do. Be well as you walk forward into the unknown.
SEVEN OF SWORDS: Sometimes in life we can’t be completely open and honest. A little lie, even just one of omission, may be tactfully required in a challenging situation. Maybe you’re dealing with a truly awful coworker or an abusive relationship, and you need some secrets to keep yourself safe. Just be careful that your deceit isn’t hurting yourself or others, and that it truly is the best way to deal with the situation.
EIGHT OF SWORDS: You’re feeling trapped, blinded, unable to take action because all your swords are stuck in the ground and they seem too difficult to pull out. But those ropes aren’t very tight, and with just a little struggle they’d fall right off. Don’t surrender to hopelessness and negativity. You might have made some mistakes that have gotten you here, but you have the skills you’ll need to get yourself out of this situation.
NINE OF SWORDS: The swords hang high above your head and you’re wide awake at night. You can’t sleep as your mind is just consumed with anxiety, despair and an impending feeling of doom. Maybe you’re going through something truly terrible, or maybe you’ve been building up an obstacle to be larger than it really is. Either way, it’s ok to feel scared or anxious. Talk about it with someone that you trust and try to look to the future.
TEN OF SWORDS: Everything is fine. It’s fine. Really. Sure, you’ve been completely pierced through with ten sharp swords, and you’re collapsed into a ball on the floor. You’re struggling, just trying to survive, as the weight grows ever heavier. You’re going through something truly soul-crushing and it feels like your world is ending. Every movement hurts, and sometimes only a meaningless distraction feels like it’ll help. But the pain will end, and you will come out stronger having survived it.
PAGE OF SWORDS: This Page is full of wild energy and drive, she is relentless in her action and does not sit still for long. She never runs out of crazy things to do or say. A true idealist, she can be a little exhausting in her youthful determination. If the Page is you, dive headfirst into your wild schemes and plans, and find those who will support you in your crazy ideas.
KNIGHT OF SWORDS; Bursting onto ±c scene with fervour and confidence, The Knight rushes headlong at their obstacles without a second thought. They are passionate and fully self-assured in their intelligence and opinions, but they’re sorely lacking compassion and heart. If The Knight is you, it is time to second-guess yourself. You are probably a bit cold, and overconfident, and possibly afraid ' / /\ |B\\\ of showing some vulnerability. It’s / y CgP \ left you imbalanced and ill-prepared for what lies ahead.
QUEEN OF SWORDS: The Queen has unflinching perception and can cut to the truth of the matter in seconds. She can be blunt, brutally honest and very forward. But just because she’s truthful doesn’t mean she’s lacking compassion and humour. She’s still understanding, because she can truly sec the entire situation for what it is. If you’re The Queen, it’s time to set your emotions aside and try to view things intelligently, with clarity and honesty.
KING OF SWORDS: The King is truly intelligent and deeply concerned with truth, ethics and honesty. The King brings with them a certain authority; they maybe a role model in your life. They are wise, and seek to be righteous and fair in all dial they do. However, they' are so concerned with knowledge and solving problems cfficiendy, they may lack some tenderness and compassion in dealing with personal issues. If the King is you, step up and utilize your intelligence and problem-solving skills
where they arc needed. Strong leadership may be asked of you.
ACE OF PENTACLES: The world around you is full of possibilities and promise right now. Engage with it, go on a bike ride, take a bath, make some tea, plant some flowers and enthral your senses. You are in this world, on this planet, so live your life and let the good things come to you.
TWO OF PENTACLES: You’re experiencing all the busy challenges of everyday life and handling it gracefully. You’re in sync with the rhythms of the world, and every movement and decision feels like a perfectly orchestrated dance. As long as you are adaptable and flexible, you’ll be able to continue this dance.
THREE OF PENTACLES: Your passion for learning and improving your skills is going to pay off. You’ve been faithfully dedicating yourself to a project, or to your job, and someone above you is looking to reward you for all this hard work. You have the talent to see it through, and soon you’ll be where you want to be.
FOUR OF PENTACLES: You’ve been busy with your balancing act, tightly clutching all your money and material things close in order to help you feel safe and stable. It’s been working for awhile, but somehow you still can’t relax. You might need to give up a little control,
because all this stress about money isn’t making you happy.
FIVE OF PENTACLES: Don’t be too proud or scared to ask for help. You’re struggling, and you feel like there’s absolutely nothing to do but put your head down and try and suffer through it. But if you look around, you’ll see there’s warmth and loved ones who are willing to help you out in some sense. Even if it’s just a kind shoulder to cry on, they’ll help you weather this storm.
SIX OF PENTACLES: It’s all about the money. Maybe you’ve had a stream of good luck, and you’re rolling in it and relishing this new-found wealth. Be generous, but also be careful not to fall into bad spending habits. Or maybe you’re struggling and dependent on others for your revenue. You should see a good windfall soon, so use it wisely. Either way, be conscious of your attitude toward money, and be wary' you’re not supporting mentally unhealthy habits.
SEVEN OF PENTACLES: It’s time for a much-needed break. Step away from whatever project you’ve been nurturing and take some time to relax. Maybe everything’s going perfectly, and you can sec the rewards on the horizon. Or maybe you’re stuck and unsure what to do next. Either way, some time away will give you a fresh new perspective when you come back.
EIGHT OF PENTACLES: There can be no success without hard work. Whether you’ve got an important deadline, a project you’ve been procrastinating on, or you’re looking to improve your situation, it’s time to buckle down and get to it. It can feel like a slog, sure, but it’ll definitely be worth all the time and energy. The proud feeling when you’re finally done will be absolutely amazing. Promise.
NINE OF PENTACLES: Everything is wine and roses right now, and you can finally get comfortable and enjoy it. You’ve made smart decisions, managed your time and money wisely, and now you can sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Treat yourself to something decadent; you’ve truly earned it.
TEN OF PENTACLES: Everything in your life is coming together, magically. No more strcss-filled nights worrying about money or rent or your job. You’ve done the work required to create some stability. Your home is full of love, satisfaction and comforts. There’s no need to do anything drastic or radical, believe it or not. You’ve found some peace. Allow yourself to welcome it in.
PAGE OF PENTACLES: This Page is truly dedicated and focused on their goals. She might be young, or inexperienced, but she has the drive and determination needed to venture forward. Don’t disregard this person, they arc truly talented and will rise to the occasion when it comes. If the Page is you, it’s time to focus up and commit to that thing you’ve been daydreaming about. Start taking concrete steps to bring that magic into the world.
KNIGHT OF PENTACLES: The Knight is solid, dependable and obviously has a serious work ethic. They have no problem keeping their head down and getting the work done, and they’ll do it perfectly. Their attention to detail and their ability to deliver is admirable. If the Knight is you, it’s time to toil away and get shit done. It’s going to take long, hard work but you will probably find some enjoyment and satisfaction in the process.
QUEEN OF PENTACLES: This Queen is rich in more ways than one. She has a stable and simple life that she has filled with things, people and activities that bring her joy. She is nurturing and generous; seeks to bring happiness and provide a sanctuary' to those she loves. If you arc the Queen, it’s time to be nurturing and caring. It could be as simple as taking some time to cook a meal for a good friend, or buying a cute plant for someone special. Be kind, it suits you.
KING OF PENTACLES: The King has all they’ve ever wished and fought for, and all their material dreams have come to fruition. Though they have so much, they arc not miserly, but instead trusting and extremely generous. They love to see others succeed as they have, and will definitely be willing to lend a helping hand if needed. If you arc the King, don’t be stingy with your time and money. Donate your skills, wisdom and possibly money. You’ll feel truly fulfilled after spending die time to help others.
READING THE TAROT
Maybe your Modern Witch tarot is purely for inspiration and reflection (wonderful!), but if it is revelations and knowledge of the tarot you seek, then the cards must be read. Every reading provides a place to see the tarot afresh - a new combination in different circumstance that not only lets you resolve queries but deepens your understanding of the cards as it does so.
Here is a step-by-step suggested way to read the cards. There are many ways to read and, in time, you will find your way. Once that treasure is uncovered, be sure to pass it on!
- 1. Preparation and storage. Before use, cleanse or bless the cards. There are many ways to cleanse the cards, like leaving them out under the full moon, smudging with sage and so on; follow your path. Store them somewhere slightly out of the way.
- 2. Phrase the question wisely. Not every question best suits the tarot.
- 3. Choose your spread. Some spreads provide the question in themselves, such as the Celtic Cross or 12-card yearly outlook. But often a spread must be matched with the question. There are some spreads provided here to get you started (page 50) but books and online references will provide all you need to pick the perfect spreads. In time, try to learn four or five simple ones that you can use on most occasions.
- 4. Shuffle and cut. As the querent shuffles (there is no wrong shuffle!) try to guide them to reflect on their query. Have them think on the
circumstances that led them there. How do
things stand now? Visualise important places, people or events. What are their expectations? You may wish for the querent to cut the deck into three or four piles and then bring them back together as they see fit.
- 5. The cards are passed back to the reader. The reader fans the cards and the querent selects each card, which the reader places in the spread. Turn the cards once all arc placed.
- 6. lake your time to see the story; Think of how the cards fit into their position in a spread. Don’t be afraid to refer back to a book if it helps. Most importantly, see the connections - how do the cards relate to each other? Do they reinforce or negate, compliment or oppose? How does one card lead to the next?
- 7. The Oracle speaks. Tell the story. This may evolve as you talk and new connections arise in your mind. Go with it! The chance to talk it through can make it easier to read for others than yourself - plus it makes you a more objective reader for others.
- 8. Any questions? If the querent has more queries as a result of the spread, maybe a simple one- card draw will help clarify. Resist asking the same question again.
Spreads arc how the cards are arranged in a reading.
We are fortunate to live in a time when so many wonderful spreads are shared online. This says much for both the resurgence in tarot and the spirit of its community. Go borrow what is useful to you and, in time, when you have created your own spread, return the kindness.
Some spreads have been provided here to get you started - one of which is part-spell, part-reading (don’t worry, you will know which one - there’ll be no accidental spells!).
ONE CARD SPREAD
Beginners start here
Start a practice of drawing one card at roughly the same time each day. Ask for clarity on the day ahead or next day, then take a photo and note your thoughts. Return the next day and review your card: Were your impressions correct or was there something you missed? Draw a new card for the day ahead or tomorrow. Repeat, learn and grow!
FOUR CARD SPREADS
Both of these follow the same layout. The numbers indicate the order in which the cards are laid down. Whilst being fairly simple, these spreads are versatile and easy to remember. When looking forward always set the timeframe with the querent before they shuffle. The narrower the time set, the more specific the answer generally is.
- Past 2. Present 3. Future 4. Advice
Guide the querent to think about each of these timephases separately when shuffling. Your accuracy regarding the past can be an interesting guide as to how your card reading is developing.
- Positive 2. Negative 3. Result 4. Advice
All of the cards can be seen in either a positive or negative way This spread is both versatile for many queries and a great way to learn the cards. If you see a very positive card in the negative position it usually means a weak negative and vice versa.
THE FOUR POWERS
This spread can be read in several ways, but we’ll start with the simplest. Its perspective is of the present and into the future. Have a clear idea of how far ahead you are looking before shuffling.
- 1. THE PATH. Where are you called to tread?
- 2. WHAT LIES ACROSS. The obstacles and challenges that arise
- 3. TO KNOW. What will be learnt or how your knowledge is best applied.
- 4. TO DARE. In what way will you need to go beyond yourself and express courage.
- 5. TO WILL. Where should you place your focus and intent. How will you need to express determination?
- 6. TO KEEP SILENT. In what way will you need have restraint or refrain.
THE CUNNING PATH
Alternative reading of The Four Powers
Shuffle and select cards 1 and 2. Now you must make a choice:
If you want guidance on The Path (1), select and lay out the cards in the same order as before and consider the perspective they offer - this is the ‘dcosil’ order.
If you want guidance the obstacle in What Lies Across (2), draw your cards in reverse order - 6, 5, 4, 3. The very act of using this ‘widdershins’ order will help you unwind the hurdles you face. Light a black candle to harness tire power of fire to destroy your obstacle . . . but remember, sometimes we need challenges in order to grow.
THE INNER WHEEL
Taking the Wiccan annual calendar of festivals, the Wheel of the Year, as inspiration this spread is for self-exploration in times of change. Card 1, the Significator, is selected and placed face up before the deck is shuffled. The querent should choose a Court card as the Significator to which they feel most affity.
- 2. What are you ready to let go of in your life?
- 3. Where is your energy best dedicated?
- 4. How do you find balance in your process of change?
- 5. What is the fire that drives your expansion?
- 6. The turning point. Divine inspiration.
- 7. What do you need to begin harvesting - literally or metaphorically?
- 8. How will your change feed back into those around you?
- 9. Guidance from your ancestors. If you’re performing this reading on the day of Samhain draw one for your Maternal line, one for your Paternal line and one for the Mighty Dead (those who achieved much but have now passed on).
The Everything is Fine card can be used to replace the Ten of Swords. A version of this card with this tagline was the first I drew for the deck!
This final card is a little bit of inspiration from me to you.