From Despair to Where?

starOver the last month, I have been publishing small chunks of tarot reading advice on my Instagram and Facebook pages, which I call Tarot Tips.

For each, I have posted a card from my own deck, the unpublished Spirit Within the Shadows Tarot. I have been working my way through the Major Arcana, adding a tip associated with the meaning of each of the 22 cards.

For The Star, a card of hope and inspiration, I wrote:


I remember a public reading I once gave for a lady. The first two cards out of the trap were the 10 of Swords and The Tower.

As a reader, it’s natural to think ‘Kill me now!’ in a situation like that.

Thankfully, the lady understood the message. She’d had a traumatic week and was pleased to see it reflected in her cards.

A reading might look ‘all doom and gloom’. It may even end with the Death card or the 3 of Swords. But remember, every card is a blessing of some description.

A card might be a ‘heads up’ someone was expecting and will help them change course before it is too late.

A difficult card could describe a recent challenge a person will recognise and is pleased to have moved through successfully.

Once The Tower explodes in a reading, it brings release, understanding, and the ability to start afresh.

A challenging card needn’t be an omen of negativity in your future. It is a red-flag – often an invaluable warning or lesson to learn from.

There is always hope within every reading. Look for it in yours!


We often hear that no card is wholly positive or wholly negative. This is true. But sometimes, our ego will interrupt and creates disasters out of what could be a potential solution.

If the 7 of Swords suggests that your boyfriend is lying, would you rather know the truth or lie to yourself, pretending that all is ok?

If Death announces the eventual end of your work contract, would it not be best to go in search of something new ahead of time?

Are these difficult cards or blessings?

The 7 of Swords may enable someone to confront a situation or instigate a conversation which they have been avoiding.

The information brought about by Death could be the difference between whether you’re able to pay your rent in a month or not. Maybe it is advising you to tighten your belt in advance.


When you see a difficult card in a deck, take a deep breath and confront it. Life has ups and downs, and they will reflect in your readings. Seemingly bad cards show dips in the road and allow us to navigate around them with greater efficiency. If the 10 of Swords sits in that final position of your reading, rather than allowing it to inspire dread within you, know that while it could predict an uncomfortable period, the tarot is telling you that the end to painful situation is near. Sometimes, that is all a client wants to hear.

Why not look through your own tarot deck, pull out cards which appear problematic, and think about how they might bestow blessings rather than fear?




Illustrations from The Raven’s Prophesy Tarot by Maggie Stiefvater


5 thoughts on “From Despair to Where?

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