Card Meanings & Spreads

Here is a thread you can post a card you might want some further clarification on. Or perhaps some insight you got in a card. Or share a spread you got and would like some help in finding further meaning for.


Since my Sapien deck has not yet arrived, I’ll use the Rider-Waite image as a reference in our discussion.

Sure, this image sure does give the impression of imprisonment and that can be one of the interpretations for this card.

But notice something interesing about this image. The lady is not actually imprisoned. Sure, she’s blindfolded and her arms are bound. But her feet are free. And the Swords are behind (and one to the side of) her. Furthermore, there is no guard guarding her.

If she chooses to, she can make her way forward. In fact, she’s got a clear path in front of her, even if she can’t see it.

The image also begs the question: how did the lady come to be there? If you look closely, you might see the village, behind the Swords, high on the hill in the distance. Has the lady wandered away from home and into a strange land? However she came to be there, the Swords are inhibiting her return.

tl;dr: So, sure, your message could be an “imprisonment” of some sort. Or it could be a message that the limitations you might encounter today don’t have to stop you. (In fact, they might not be as limiting as they might seem.)

You can make progress, particularly if you proceed carefully and thoughtfully. And that the direction that’s “best” for you is your way forward, further into the new “strange land,” that returning to what was past (or familiar) is not ideal for you. (Have you burnt some bridges in that regard?)

BTW, something for you to chew on: Is the lady “imprisoned”? Or are the Swords protecting her?


I think these 2 posts could help this thread!



Temperance has always been a favorite card of mine. The image for me was always the RWS version with, ostensibly, the Archangel Michael. The card of Temperance (XIV) falls between Death (XIII) on the one hand and the Devil (XV) on the other. This told me that, not just when the card arose but also in the grand order of things, I was safe because Saint Michael was tempering the waters between the two, thus keeping me safe. So despite what other things Temperance represents, whenever it shows up it tells me that above all else, find your center (‘get a grip’) because in so doing (and even without), I’m protected.

Given this affinity with St. Michael, you can imagine my delight when I discovered the petit homage Captain embedded in the Temperance card of the Corpus Spiritus deck. At first glance, one sees a beautiful angel pouring water from one chalice to a second, That second chalice, by the way, looks to be the Holy Grail chalice (an archetype available to work with for sure).

If you look at the RWS card, mid-lower left of the angel, you’ll see a great, sparkling, golden crown which is meant to be symbolic of Archangel Michael’s mastery over water and earth. The Corpus Spiritus deck also shows this crown (if you look in the background, just beyond the angel) hovering over what also looks like a mountain. Closer inspection reveals what appears to be the likely the outline of Mont St Michel in France. For comparison, I’ve included a link to Dreamseeds’ “The Sword of Saint Michael” video below which features Mont St. Michel prominently. However, only Captain can say for sure.

Rider-Waite Smith

There’s so much more that could be discussed in just this one card but the last point I’d like to make is a question. It’s a genuine question I have, something that’s caught my eye which feels significant but whose meaning currently escapes me. I’m hoping that others here can help me puzzle it out.

It’s in the way that the angel is pouring. It’s unusual in two ways. First of all, the more mainstream depictions of the direction of the pour is (from the angels point of view) left to right, back & forth with the left most chalice raised. But our angel, pours not only with the right chalice raised, but she’s pouring towards herself. Nowhere except in the Visconti-Sforza deck do I see a right to left orientation and no where have I seen a pour to self. The implications feel huge…but I can’t quite grasp the words.

If anyone has any thoughts, on this or other aspects of the Temperance card, I’d be happy to read them.

And, if you’ve read this far, thank you for your indulgence.


Visconti-Sforza VS Temperance


Eight of Swords

We can see all 8 swords. There are none behind her. The only thing that is preventing movement on her part is the fact she appears to be blindfolded. Maybe it’s a dream. Maybe she is only as blind as she believes she is. Seeming reality as prison. Buying into a belief that may or may not have truth as its core.

The number 8 is associated with infinity and integration. What is she integrating, or what can she integrate regardless of the seeming barrier? Perhaps since she is blindfolded she doesn’t even know the swords are there. In that case, perhaps it’s something she doesn’t want to see that is making her believe she is “stuck”. Inner sight, second sight, desire to be free of whatever is clouding the horizon.

Her city (if it is even hers) is behind her and at a higher level. Civilization, home, family, the “known” is behind her. Perhaps it signifies the past, and yet she has not ventured to step out of where she is now to the “future” now. Maybe the swords signify that she doesn’t want to go back where she was before. Perhaps she put the swords there to make sure she doesn’t go back to living in the past. Perhaps if she removes the blindfold she will be tempted to return to where she was. Perhaps she is resting on a new path, taking a sabbatical to prepare for the new life. The water at her feet might be a symbol of new life and a spiritual baptism or awakening.


I just drew a card before bed while wondering about food for thought for sleep and tomorrow and I got an upright Five of Pentacles. All the sites I’ve seen are saying that’s really not good. The picture is showing poor and hungry children.
(It’s especially not good since I’ve got some NFTs dropping soon.)


Cards, in general, are best read in context.

Fives …halfway between 1 and 9 indicate a transition, a turning point. Cards one to four indicate material matters while 6 to 9 speak of spiritual matters.

As a side note, it’s unfortunate that the fives get painted in this way. That goes way back to a misunderstanding with the Church…but I’ll save you all that.

Pull another card to see in which direction the cards are indicating events will turn. Depending on what you get, you may indeed want to pull back.


This is so true!

How are you setting up your context before your draw? IOW, that could be a whole opportunity for empowerment that you might be throwing away.

For example, if you were to simply shuffle and pick a card with little focus or intent, then you will have a card that could apply to anything, because you haven’t set any context. At worst case, without a context selected for your card, you can place yourself in a position where you’re hunting around, “Is the ‘warning’ of the 5 of Pentacles meant for this situation or that subject of my life…?” And as you try your card on for size in all the various situations and subjects of your life, you erode your self-empowerment as you try and shoehorn your card’s warning onto all the topics of your life. If you’re a LOA fan and you’re doing that sort of shoehorning,
then you’re doing a sort of negative visualization for yourself. That’s not good, right?

So, the first thing I would suggest as you play with your cards is for you to set your context, and to set a context which empowers you. “What should I know about tomorrow?” is a less empowering for you because there’s a potential for defensiveness and vulnerability baked into that question, you see?

“I want to learn about my new cards. [Look at that intention, amiright? It’s something that’s under your power {your learning} and it’s something that you want.] What card can I most comfortably learn about using the events of tomorrow? [We’re still talking about the learning you want to do and you don’t have to bring in any of that guardedness or vulnerability with this focus, you see?]” can be a much more empowering context for you (provided you don’t borrow my words and really mean something else when you say them, you know?).

People give away so much of their power with things like Tarot cards. “Should I date Steve?”, a typical question, right? Well, that question gives away all the asker’s power. It puts the cards into the driver’s seat and that’s not so good for personal development.

But we can massage that question, to get more information about the Steve situation so that we can make our own powerful decisions. “If I were to date Steve, how would that affect my health [or finances or social life or…] over the next 6 months?” Now, that’s a different kind of question there, isn’t it? Now, we can ask a series of those types of questions, with us dating Steve or not, gather a bunch of intelligence and use our intelligence to guide our decision -making process, much how generals have planned victories since the dawn of “man .”

I think the 5 of Pentacles provides the best backdrop for this conversation I’m having with you because, yes, those folks in your card are “left out in the cold.” However, the [R-W] card shows us a solution that’s there for those folks. There’s a warm, well-lit church right there that could provide sanctuary for them and they in the perfect place to take advantage of that solution.

Most of the cards show us the solution that’s there for us. We have to look for it. And I would encourage you to look into the cards you’ve drawn for yourself to find the solutions that they are offering you. (Otherwise, you will turn your cards into tormentors, rather than the helpful friends and guides you had wanted them to be.)

And then when you do get a “negative” card from which you can see no solution, set a new intention and draw another, clarifying card like I had recommended in the Beginner’s Journey thread.


Lovely contemplations, Rose! (I hope you’re having fun with your explorations.)


When I read this, I received a thought that her blindfold was limiting her knowledge of her situation. So, maybe this card could also ask the question, “How does my lack of full knowledge or awareness limit my understanding of my situation?” After all, as you are saying, it’s her limitations which are distorting her view of her situation, where we–without her blindfold share able to see more about her situation than she can.

Nice. And doesn’t “integrating” have a different meaning from “imprisonment”? I mean, we can look at her situation and have our own reactions and conclusions to it. But, as you’re pointing out, we don’t truly know what’s going on for her. We might have our reactions (“Oh, noze! She’s in a terrible place!”) but her reaction might be a very different “Huh, I’m in this situation where the ‘only’ thing for me to do right now is to go inside and contemplate and integrate.” And, in this go-go physical world.of action and doing, doesn’t that happen to so many of us, where it takes something as dramatic as being backed into a corner of swords before we will do something as helpful as contemplate and integrate?

Yes, I had that thought, too. Maybe that city isn’t hers but “the enemy’s”? Which prompted my “protecting” question.

So, she put the blindfold on herself, to help her? Interesting!

Very nice.

I’ve always looked at that water as an indicator that the storm has come and gone, because that’s how the ground looks to me after a storm has passed.

Fun discussions!


This is interesting. There is so much to be said for tuning into how the card mirrors our particular situation while reaching deeply into everything that is going on. These cards are not mirroring a static world. They are dynamic and fluid and work with the subconscious. Throw out limitation and embrace possibility. Of course our interpretation of the 8 of Swords would initially be based on our own short-sightedness (blindness). Continuing to delve into it, looking at it again and differently has shown more to me. I am guessing that all of the cards will continue to reveal more layers as we are given eyes to see, and feelings to explore. Thanks for your comments. They help by causing me to look again and to go deeper. Awesome process. :slight_smile: No doubt if I go back and read what I wrote again it will be applicable to something going on with me now.


Particularly apt insight for the 8 of Swords!

So, might the 8 of Swords be a message for the reader? “Where are your blindfolds interfering with your ability to see the actual picture/situation?”

And you’re right (Godblessit! Anyone else been fighting with the forum’s editor these past few days? Sigh) You’re right. We all have blindfolds and, like the lady, we can’t really help but bring them with us wherever we go. That’s why I post in the cryptic ways that I do, to get people to think about their blindfolds and to decide if they want to keep them or not.

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Yeah, perfect. :slight_smile:


Here’s a good one. Any takers?

The question concerned how to let go of something within that causes me to procrastinate, running away from letting go even when I know the energy isn’t real.

The cards were RWS, all upright

1st Card = the Fool (Where am I now?)
2nd Card = 6 of Swords (What can be done?)
3rd Card = Page of Cups (Outcome)

I want to work through the 6 of Swords like I did with the 8 of Swords. That process was very enlightening and lightening.


A boat, a person steering, a cloaked figure and what appears to be a child. 6 swords clustered in 2 groups - 2 to the left and 4 ahead. Water a little choppy to the right and smooth to the left and ahead. Traditional RWS says cloaked figure is a woman, so I will go with that. She has a vibe of sadness and remorse. The ferry guy seems neutral but he is steering, so it appears that the timing of reaching the destination is up to him. He mirrors her gravitas, perhaps? Her head is bowed, so she is not acknowledging the swords, the “facts” as seen in 3D. The work seems to be to let go of the seeming situation, the “story” that she is holding onto. As long as her head is bowed she will not allow herself to feel the feelings and let them go. The bowed head signifies how much she is buying into 3D, thinking that the feelings, the situation, the whatever happened is her, constitutes her identity. Maybe she knows that, maybe she doesn’t, but somehow the pain of what has happened appears so real that letting go doesn’t even seem to be an option. I believe the ferry guy (maybe he’s a fae) is holding space for her, maybe a friend and maybe she is not even aware. Maybe he is a guardian angel or spirit guide. The left hand is the receiving hand, and the left side water is calm. The choppiness of the right side water can be looked away from. The calm water can be the meditation. The weight of the “angel” is a comfort. His presence is a comfort. His job is portraying the identity of one who is not attached to 3D. He moves them through the water of misfortune and regret without allowing those energies to be entertained by him. She is blessed really. She has support and a divine movement is occurring that propels her from where she was to the calm future of being identified with beingness, the spirit moving upon the water.

Whoa, forgot the child. The innocence, the immaculate, blank canvas. The beginning without identity.

Also didn’t mention the port ahead on the left shows that there is a time and place where the emotional water journey ends in peace.

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2 requests and 2 questions for you:

  • Give it a shot for yourself. (You can’t get it wrong, as you’ve already found out in your other discussions.)
  • Give us some (little bit) of a context. Without the context, we can go crazy and these cards will yield different meanings for (say) a work situation vs. a love situation vs. a personal situation.
  • Were all these cards upright?
  • Are there any other people we should consider in our replies?

Remember, the quality of your answers is determined by the quality of your questions. :wink:

ETA: Are you using the R-W cards? Or your C.S. deck (which might have different images)?


I was messing around with an online set, so the cards were RWS, all upright. The question concerned how to let go of something within that causes me to procrastinate, running away from letting go even when I know the energy isn’t real. Still I feel fear and energetically run from it. Not all the time, as I do release on it, but I wanted to know where I am now in regard to it (card 1), what I need to do (card 2) and the outcome (card 3). Card 1, The Fool, tells me I’m in a good place to approach this = unlimited and open consciousness. The outcome, Page of Cups, tells me that the freedom I desire was there all along.

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I am going to check out the Corpus Spiritus Deck next, now that I’ve worked through this one. I will check back to see if I’ve learned anything new.

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I see you added to your post. Good for you!

That’s fine. I’m not an absolutist. It’s just that, from your comments on the 8 of Swords, I’m learning that there are significant (to me) differences between the two decks. So, I’d like to talk apples to apples with you (at least at the beginning). I don’t want to mix you up. (Not that I think that’d be likely with you. :wink: )

I don’t know about you but, to me, the R-W 6 of Swords image really captures the feeling of this Where I Am Now. What do you think?

You are in a good place to approach this (although I didn’t need the cards to know that :wink: ). But do these cards give you an idea of how you might approach this? (I’ll let that percolate for a moment before I come back to that.) And, yes, the Page of Cups outcome is a good one for you.

The 6 of Swords is one of “those” cards whose images tend to grab us. (The R-W Swords tend to do that for many of us.) As I said, I think the image of this card accurately reflects what you’ve told us about this situation; it accurately reflects your Where You Are Now with this situation.

As I read your interpretation, my first thought was “don’t be so hard on the woman; she’s been through a lot,” which could be one reason why her head is bowed. Other reasons could be that her head is bowed because she is feeling her feelings and those feelings are powerful to her (and that’s all right); or that she’s huddled to protect the child; or that stealth, cleverness and/or precision are required (these are Swords we’re talking about).

If this were a private consultation (where we could talk more freely), I would (gently) probe into this situation. I’ll ask some questions here but you don’t need to answer them. Does this situation involve someone other than you? A child? (There’s child energy in each of these cards.) Or something from your past? If it’s something that you’ve learned from your past that you’re kind of repeating in your Now, which female adult in your past did you learn it from?

Swords are mental. They deal with thoughts and decisions and ideas. So, based on the scant information I have, I would say that the 6 of Swords indicates the decision to move away from the “something” you’re talking about and I would remind you that even that decision is movement, progress forward. You might not see the progress because your head is “bowed.” IOW, you (like the woman) might be looking where the progress is not. (She’s looking down which will distort her view of the progress that they are making.)

The woman and child are being ferried, so their progress is slow. But they are making progress. And they (as you said) are safe. It’s like those Swords which look scary (and right in her face–for realz? ) but their boat is afloat (which you wouldn’t expect with swords positioned like that).

You said something very interesting in your interpretations: “…even when I know the energy isn’t real.” You’ve struck at the very essence of Swords–they’re about thinking and knowing. But here’s the thing: a lot of times we talk about how “we know,” when the “truth” that we Know [I’m going to play games with capitalization here] is something very different. Often we pay a sort of lip-service about “knowing” something that we’ve heard or read somewhere when our life experiences have taught us to Know something else instead. You know, a sort of intellectual (Swords) “knowing” and that sort of knowing can be weak and pale.

Without knowing (see what I did there? :wink: ) more about the situation, I would tell you that you’re going to have to bridge your beliefs from what you truly (in your right now experience) believe (that part of you that wants to run away) to your desired knowing intellectually that the energy isn’t real. There’s healing that needs to be done here.

The Fool gives you the path. Some could say that The Fool is telling you to just take the leap and I wouldn’t necessarily argue that advice. The Fool does give you other options. The Fool isn’t bogged down in intellect. (Heck, he’s about to step off a cliff, amIright?) That’s because (to me) The Fool is focused up and is the embodiment of the Higher Truth of the Higher Self. He’s about to step off that cliff because he Knows that “the worst case” scenario (that he’s going to die? Pshaw! Spirit cannot die) is just a thought (Swords) that scares us.

The trick is working our way into the Knowing of The Fool. For “mere mortals,” that might require meditations and therapy and the like but we have clearing fields and healing fields and ascension/alignment fields as well the exercises of this forum to work our ways into the Knowing of our Higher Self (The Fool) so that we can take his first step with the same carefree enthusiasm The Fools shows us. (No Swords before him, amIright? :slightly_smiling_face: )

[ETA: The more I think about it, the more I’m convincing myself that The Fool is indicating some inner child work to be done now. In a lot of ways, The Fool is the ultimate inner child, yes?]

Page of Cups, yes, freedom, but also a deeper, friendlier relationship with your emotions. Emotions become your friend and you have learned some greater mastery over them. Look at how extensive the water is in the 6 of Swords and look how it’s contained and controlled (too strong a word) in the Page of Cups. With this greater mastery, you are likely to have improved psychic abilities as well.

Whoa, way more than I thought I’d say here, too.


Whoa - thank you for the detailed answer. A lot to digest. I will get back to you.

The what and how in the exploration of the “cause” needs clarification. Inner child for sure. Empath child with intellectual parents hiding immature emotions, also for sure. There seems to have been an “event” that I don’t have a clue about though - or maybe it was more than one that got compartmentalized. The blocking swords may hold more info. Whenever there is a big ball of stuff to be unraveled I panic (hence why I have had private meltdowns in community groups when there is too much info and I just can’t take any more in). I surround myself with stuff but panic when I try to organize it. Yet, I am a good organizer of information. Go figure. Perhaps I just power through with intellect and ignore the child who really can’t handle it. Right now, as far as I can see, this is the crux of the matter. There’s where I will start. I will pull some cards about that bit and get back. I’m learning a lot, and it’s fun! :slight_smile: I appreciate your feedback, @WellBeing.

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FWIW, the Six of Swords is suggesting to me, “poetry”, of all things. :thinking:

Perhaps you will make progress if you work things out using poetry? :woman_shrugging: