Understanding the Tarot Batons

    Here is an enigmatic symbol: a pruned branch. The Marseille Tarot calls it a baton, but it has also taken the name of a club, stave, staff, or wand. Whatever it’s called, it looks like a stick or a branch. What use could this branch possibly have? It’s not as obvious as the…

Understanding the Tarot Cups

Tarot books usually say cups are about love and romance. What makes the cup a symbol of love? And surely there must be more to it than romance? The cup is a visual symbol, and like other Tarot symbols, we must approach it by first removing all our preconceived ideas. Then, simply look at the…

Understanding the Tarot Coins

What is this simple mandala, called by the archaic French denier? Card readers refer to it as a coin, a plate, a talisman, a pentacle. But could it be a molecule, a planet, or a star? The simple circular motif, curled about with wild vines growing in four directions, could be almost anything. And what the hell…

Understanding the Tarot Swords

If you’ve used the Rider Waite deck or its derivatives, the suit of Swords probably triggers images of heartbreak and despair. But why? Aren’t the swords supposed to correspond to the element of air? Why are the images so discouraging? To understand the swords, let’s put aside the Rider Waite tradition for the moment. Let’s…

Why is Mercury Always Fucking Retrograde?!

Wait, again? Didn’t we just have a goddamn Mercury retrograde? You remember, that week when your trackpad shorted out in the middle of a project and you couldn’t send that email in time and the whole thing fell through? And you went home and fought with your girlfriend about some miscommunication and you couldn’t express yourself…

Tarot Cards and Satanism: What You Need to Know

Tarot reading is a form of divination, and part of a broader set of activities known as occult practices, witchcraft, or magic. Christianity has demonized these things for centuries. People tell stories about Tarot being gateways for demons to enter your house, or worse, your mind. They cast divination as a contract with the devil….

The Number One Thing You Should Be Careful About With Tarot

Tarot is all fun and games, right? It’s a party trick, great for entertaining friends or impressing that guy with the om tattoo. It’s totally harmless, and the only person who’s worried about it is your weird Christian aunt who keeps telling you it’s Satanic. Well, it may not be Satanic, but it’s not as…

Learn to Read Tarot in 3 Easy Steps

We’ve all been there, sitting on the floor with a beginner’s Tarot book, squinting sideways at the mess of cards trying to get a grip on what they could possibly mean. Checking website after website for the explanation of a card until we’re so confused that we just chuck it all in a box with…